Hasbro Properties Group Brings Global Toy and Game Brands to Licensing 2004 International
by Jay Cochran
June 07, 2004
PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 7, 2004--The Hasbro Properties Group (HPG), the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), arrives at Licensing 2004 International with one of the industry's richest portfolios of brands that translates into a world of fun and excitement for children and adults. This year, HPG launches new licensing programs and builds upon its successes with properties such as DUEL MASTERS, WEEBLES, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE, CANDY LAND and ACTION MAN. HPG will support these programs on a global or regional basis through a wide range of consumer products categories, including publishing, digital gaming, entertainment, apparel and accessories, footwear, food and beverage, sporting goods, housewares and greeting cards.
"Licensing Show is a great opportunity to see the depth and breadth of Hasbro's brands and their impact on our consumers," said Jane Ritson-Parsons, President of the Hasbro Properties Group. "Many of our brands have global appeal and we have been fortunate to work with many of the world's leading consumer product and entertainment companies in providing consumers with rich experiences through a host of publishing, lifestyle and entertainment platforms."
The following are some of the company's core brands that will be exhibited at the Hasbro Properties Group booth (#3417) during this year's Licensing Show at the Javits Center:
After topping the charts in Japan, the hot property DUEL MASTERS has arrived full force in the U.S., Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The DUEL MASTERS property launched in the U.S. and Europe with Dreamwave's comic book series, an animated series on Cartoon Network and Wizards of the Coast's trading card game. Hasbro's line of toys and board games will follow beginning in fall 2004 in both the U.S. and U.K. Building upon the DUEL MASTERS property, the Hasbro Properties Group will deliver a highly coordinated global licensing program targeted to boys aged 8 to 12 that focuses on promotions, publishing, apparel, digital gaming, sporting goods and accessories. In the works is a DUEL MASTERS Gameboy game from Atari, Inc., a line of books from Scholastic, pending contract, and a direct-to-video release due out next spring.
Hasbro's Playskool brand announces the global return of those beloved, wobbly characters--the WEEBLES! The world of WEEBLEVILLE will be bustling again this fall as toys full of motion, music and brilliant colors inspire toddler's imaginations and celebrate the simple joy of play. HPG is developing a licensing program for the brand, including a promotion at Wendy's this fall. Plans for 2005 include, the wacky, new WEEBLES characters making their direct-to-video debut and, pending contract, will be featured in a children's books series by Penguin Young Readers Group's Grosset & Dunlap imprint.
MY LITTLE PONY
In 2003, the MY LITTLE PONY property returned as a highly popular lifestyle brand for little girls. Since last fall, more than four million ponies and over three million books have reached the U.S. marketplace alone. Around the world, fans were able to make MY LITTLE PONY a part of nearly every aspect of their lives with more than 135 licensees signed to date. As a credit to the success of the licensing program, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association has nominated MY LITTLE PONY for three 2004 LIMA International Licensing Excellence Awards, including "Best Character Brand License of the Year."
This year, there is even more to look forward to as the MY LITTLE PONY brand celebrates a new theme - FRIENDSHIP BALL. Little girls will enjoy these new pony adventures with an in-pack video being distributed worldwide. The MY LITTLE PONY story will also be told through the successful and growing publishing program. This year, Simon & Schuster, Hemma, The Five Mile Press and Egmont Books will work with HPG to bring publishing to multiple countries and more than double the number of titles released.
Additional licensees for the brand in 2004 include Atari, Cohen & Wilks, American Greetings, pending contract, and Fruit of the Loom, to name a few. In spring 2005, look for a promotion with a major restaurant chain.
TRANSFORMERS is one of Hasbro's most popular global brands in the entertainment category, as evidenced by the Cartoon Network animated program and Dreamwave comic book series, which sold more than two million copies last year. To build on this success, an array of merchandise based on the current TRANSFORMERS ENERGON theme is due out this year, including the recent release of the highly anticipated PlayStation 2 video game from Atari.
At this year's show, Hasbro will announce a new TRANSFORMERS storyline for 2005 - TRANSFORMERS CYBERTRON. Fans will be able to experience this new theme through a wide variety of entertainment, toys and licensed merchandise. This next installment in Hasbro's legendary saga is a complex story of intrigue and surprises, and will remind fans what it means to be "ROBOTS IN DISGUISE"!
Forty years ago, Hasbro revolutionized the way boys play by introducing G.I. JOE, the world's first action figure. In 2004, kids embark with the G.I. JOE team on another new and exciting adventure - VALOR VS. VENOM - which comes to life like never before with the direct-to-video release of "G.I. JOE: VALOR VS. VENOM," a new full-length feature packed with thrilling, non-stop action. The movie is slated to be available on DVD and VHS in September from Paramount Home Entertainment. One of the biggest marketing programs in the history of the G.I. JOE brand will also support VALOR VS. VENOM with a McDonald's promotion and an array of consumer products, including new publishing titles from Scholastic and Devil's Due, which sold more than one million G.I. JOE comic books last year, and camping and fishing gear from South Bend Sporting Goods.
Fans of SECRET CENTRAL are already in the know about this cool new property with an irresistible twist. Girls learn all about the day-to-day lives of the 20 classmates of the Class of '04 by picking up clues to what's really happening through the handwritten notes that come with Hasbro's doll line, and on-line stories that change every day at www.secretcentral.com. To continue the fun, HPG is developing a focused licensing program for SECRET CENTRAL, including a live-action direct-to-video from Executive Producer Tom Lynch to be released this fall. And, the Class of '04 graduates this month, making way for the SECRET CENTRAL Class of '05. In addition, publishing is in the works for spring 2005, as well as social expressions journals and stationery for back-to-school 2005.
For 55 years, the CANDY LAND game has been a favorite first game for preschoolers in the U.S. In 2004, children will experience this classic game like never before with the game's new look, updated characters and expanded story line. The game will also cross the Atlantic and Pacific for the first time so that children in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand will have the opportunity to enjoy this childhood classic. The first-ever CANDY LAND movie is scheduled for direct-to-video release in the U.S during spring 2005. The excitement around this cherished classic will be also reflected in an expanded licensing program for 2004. A broad range of publishing opportunities for the CANDY LAND brand are also being explored.
ACTION MAN continues to be a leading boys' action brand in Australia, New Zealand and across Europe. Now in its 10th year, ACTION MAN consumer products have also enjoyed a strong following across multiple categories from apparel to live entertainment. Building upon this history of success, Hasbro continues to deliver exciting new ACTION MAN products to consumers in 2004, including the release of an ACTION MAN Game Boy Advance game and a 45-minute CGI movie released on DVD. Also, now in its seventh year, the McDonald's ACTION MAN promotion now reaches fans in 42 countries.
For more information on these properties and other Hasbro brands, including MONOPOLY, TONKA and SCRABBLE, visit the Hasbro Properties Group booth # 3417 at Licensing 2004 International.
About Hasbro and the Hasbro Properties Group
Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.
The Hasbro Properties Group develops and expands Hasbro's core brands such as G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, ACTION MAN, MONOPOLY and CANDY LAND, into a wide variety of entertainment and consumer categories.
(C)2004 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.
DUEL MASTERS is a trademark of Wizards/Shogakukan/Mitsui-Kids. (C)2004 Wizards/Shogakukan/Mitsui-Kids/Sho Pro.
SCRABBLE is a trademark of Hasbro in the U.S. and Canada.