Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hasbro partners with Universal

Just this past week, Hasbro signed an exclusive deal with Universal Studios to bring a number of it's properties to the big screen. No not Transformers, or G.I. Joe, those are already taken, but a heap of other stuff has fallen into Universals grubby little paws with this deal. Whether they can actually make something of it is another story.

With a first film proposed to hit theaters in 2010 or 2011 Universal will release at least one Hasbro film a year thereafter. Universal is still working out which property will be the first to hit theaters, but speculation is leaning towards a Monopoly movie, or perhaps something tied into Ouija. Already somewhat in the works, Michael Bay's Platinum Dune company has signed on as producers for the Ouija film, and Ridley Scott is currently in negotiations to be involved in a Monopoly movie.

I know, sounds kinds crazy right? I mean yes I understand there was a pretty funny Clue movie made once upon a time, but really?! I mean really?!!? is this what we've come to... I get that you can probably make money off of most anything, but for every Pirates of the Caribbean, there's also a Haunted Mansion or a Country Bears. Are we really going down this route with Hasbro?

Lets just have a gander through Hasbro's property catalog shall we... These are one that stand out to me as popular, interesting, or things that would be just funny as a film. Obviously there are some things like Spider-Man which Hasbro makes toys for that are licensed properties and probably aren't included in this deal. That said Habsro owns A LOT, with Kenner, Tonka, Galoob, Playskool and more as various subsidiary companies. Battle Beasts (you know how I feel about this, might be a license though), Easy Bake Oven, Jem and the Holograms (maybe licensed), Lite-Brite, Mr Potato Head (you know this one is definitely coming), and Spirograph, Of course, most of the articles I've read on this mention specifically the Stretch Armstrong property... and a number of board games. As Hasbro is the worlds biggest board game manufacturer, owning the Parker Bros, Milton Bradley, Avalon Hill brands. Some of their most popular agmes include: Candyland (I would let Tim Burton direct this one), Magic: The Gathering, Risk, Battleship, Scrabble, Jenga, and the Dungeons & Dragons franchise.

Crap, they really own a ton of properties.... Well, maybe this isn't such a weird deal, it just sounds weird. I think maybe we'll just have to look at this on a case by case basis. Does the world really need Play Doh: the movie? Maybe I'm not the one who should say... One thing is for sure though, we can look for developments from this deal to hit screens for years to come.

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