Rumors that Disney is completing its march to mono-corporation by purchasing toy titan Hasbro have been going around. We have no dog in that hunt, so we reached out to our pal Paul Nomad who has his finger on the pulse of the toy biz like no one else, and his sources confirm the two companies are in talks. Before that he also offered some thoughts:
The better question would be why would they WANT to buy Hasbro? Hasbro has licenses with both Star Wars and Marvel.
Cutting that off (in a sense) would mean a significant drop in profits I’d think. You could say they would then own all of Hasbro’s IP’s, but if Battleship has taught us anything, it is that those board game movies may not pan out. On the other hand….My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop and Strawberry Shortcake would add more girl power to their stable…Playskool would provide their own mast head under which they could unleash all their own Disney toys…and there’s the little license called Transformers to reboot in films and license to the planet.
Now if you want a collector’s standpoint, it could potentially be excellent. Not having to pay for licensing for SW and Marvel SHOULD mean reduced prices across the board (which probably wouldn’t happen even if they could), BUT they could take more chances with items like vehicles, playsets and other products that are costly to develop. When you cut out the significant licensing fee, there’s a lot more they could do (coughdeathstarplaysetcough).
While I agree with the boy/girl franchise analysis, I’m pretty sure that among different Disney divisions, they still have to pay each other “Disney dollars” to keep the ledgers balanced. Still, I’m not sure I see the sense in Disney owning a toy company either—the Mouse is much better at licensing than manufacturing. But you don’t become the mono-corp without thinking big, so…
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.