A few short days after initial reports hinted at a potential merger between Hasbro and DreamWorks animation, the latest word is that those talks have come to an end. According to the New York Times, a dip in stock prices and internal pressure from Disney may have contributed to the deal falling apart.
It’s not especially surprising giving Hasbro’s deep relationship with the Mouse, being the primary licensor for many of their action figure brands, not to mention just recently sweeping the princess license away from Mattel. Disney is a very powerful voice in the industry and not one you want to be on the wrong side of.
It’s tough to say exactly what the combined forces of Hasbro and DreamWorks might have meant for the G.I. Joe brand, and now it appears we’ll never find out. Get more details at the New York Times.
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!