Ever since Disney swept in and more or less consumed the Marvel and Star Wars brands (two toys long linked to Hasbro contracts) the rumors began that a merger between Hasbro and Disney was more or less inevitable.
Well, as many suspected, rumors have emerged today of a Hasbro merger with a large scale animation company. But it’s not Disney.
According to Deadline.com (a very reputable and accurate Hollywood rumor source) Hasbro is in talks with DreamWorks Animation on a potential landscape-shifting deal that could help solidify their entertainment brand. Of course by solidify, I mean likely solidify it in second place compared to what Disney is doing and has been doing. Heck, maybe even third behind Disney and Pixar.
I suppose looking at this logistically, it makes a bit of sense. Stephen Spielberg has been working alongside Michael Bay from time to time on the Transformers films, and has a stake in DreamWorks, although one might say his links to Disney & Lucasfilm properties are even stronger.
What this may mean for Hasbro as an entertainment brand is anyone’s guess, but if nothing else, it’ll make things interesting, especially when it comes to toy contracts. As the primary action figure licensee for many Disney properties (including Marvel, Star Wars, and the newly acquired Disney princess license) it seems odd that they would become partnered with one of Disney’s animation rivals. But stranger things have happened in corporate America.
Check out the full details at Deadline.com and stay tuned!
This would only make sense if Hasbro was going to lose its Marvel & Star Wars licenses sometime in the near future. Otherwise it may hurt the relationship it has with Disney.
I think it could only be a good thing to have a big media company known for rivaling some of Disney’s cartoon franchises and producing the immensely popular (though not to me) Transformers movies to take control of Hasbro.
I had been more excited about the idea of Disney taking over as I have no doubt that they would exploit the hell out of the property. And I mean that in a good way. But maybe Dreamworks would find a better way to showcase G.I. Joe. I still think a non-kiddie animated series could really do some good, but the movie series still needs another “soft reboot” to get things going.
Variety is reporting that the talks have fallen through. http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/dreamworks-animation-sale-talks-with-hasbro-end-1201356896/