Last week we learned the very surprising news that the Walt Disney Company purchased the Lucasfilm company (and all of it’s properties, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.) and today we are hearing that Disney may be interested in buying the Hasbro company. Hasbro is the owner of properties like Transformers, G.I. Joe, Monopoly and more. If this rumor is true and if Disney is successful in its purchase of Hasbro, they will add even more of the most iconic pop culture properties to their already overflowing stash of properties. Dang.
[W]e have it on good authority that serious discussions are happening at the highest levels of both Disney and Hasbro to fold the largest toy and game company on the planet into the Mouse. From what we’re told, these are still just discussions at this point, but serious enough that something could be announced at any time and create ripples throughout the entertainment industry. The Lucasfilm acquisition has been reported as taking as few as 6 months to complete. On the other hand, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has until 2015 on his current contract, and he waited about 3 years in between the acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm, so we may be without firm news on this for some time. The acquisition would give Disney the rights to Transformers, G.I. Joe, Dungeons and Dragons, Beyblade, Battleship, Nerf, and Magic: The Gathering among several dozen other game titles and IP. When you add Marvel and Star Wars to that list it’s a pretty comprehensive lock on boy’s entertainment; a far cry from a few years back when Disney was heavily criticized for losing its grip on boys. Hasbro holds the toy and table top game licenses to the now Disney-owned Star Wars and Marvel, and has shown great success with those franchises, as well as exploiting their own IP across film, television, and games. We’ve already seen some cross-pollination with Star Wars Transformers and Monopoly. And Hasbro isn’t shy from M&A having scooped up Parker Brothers, Kenner, Tonka, Milton Bradley, and Wizards of the Coast over the years. So from an outsider’s perspective this makes a ton of sense for all involved … The Transformers and G.I. Joe films are with Paramount, but as we saw with Marvel, that could easily change. The animated series are with The Hub, along with Beyblade, Kaijudo, and others, and it’s not clear how that channel would fit into Disney’s plans. They could be folded into Disney XD, and the girls brands folded into Disney Channel. On the comics’ side this would be bad news for IDW, just as the Marvel acquisition was for BOOM! and the Lucasfilm acquisition is likely to be for Dark Horse. But here’s hoping to a Marvel vs. Star Wars vs. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe vs. D&D vs. Bronies video game! (So yeah, this means Disney would also own My Little Pony, and there would be plenty of cross-over material there, too.)
Wow, this is huge. Disney already owns Marvel and all of those characters … now they own Lucasfilm and all of those characters … adding the Hasbro collection of characters and properties would be … insane. On the one hand, I think Disney would do very well with those properties. BUT, having all of these amazing characters in the hands of one owner seems … dangerous? I dunno. I do think a Star Wars theme park, a Marvel theme park and a Hasbro theme park would be cool if they are as quality-built as the Disney theme parks but … is it all too much? I guess we’ll have to wait and see FIRST if this rumor turns out to be true and then SECOND, what Disney might do with all of these pop culture properties. I dunno … do you think this is a good idea?