Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Talks First Steps in Global Plan Following EOne Acquisition

The toy maker plans to pull back eOne licensed content once rights expire

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner has a plan in place that he hopes will fully capitalize on the toy company’s recent acquisition of production studio Entertainment One, while boosting revenue and already existing Hasbro brands.

Speaking at Goldman Sach’s annual Communacopia Conference on Wednesday, Goldner set out to address Hasbro’s recent $4 billion acquisition of “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” creator eOne.

It was already clear, as Hasbro has waded into Hollywood with content production, that the company’s acquisition centered around the valuable brands. But Goldner got more granular on Wednesday, laying out what Hasbro’s plans might be moving forward.

“In eOne, we have the family brands business, which has a number of notable pieces of entertainment, and the most toy-etic of which are ‘Peppa Pig’ and ‘PJ Masks,'” Goldner said during the conference, which was live streamed. “What we will ultimately do there in the first phase of our development of the family brands business: Those brands are licensed out in markets around the world. We will recapture those licenses, because today they work through licensing agents that take more than 35% or more of the economic value in any given geography.”

Hasbro, which along with toys operates its own licensing business, plans to bring those licenses back into the company as they expire in order to fully capitalize on the brands and franchises now under its watch.

The family brands and pre-school age toy business is important to Hasbro, which Goldner said, has been under-represented in that space. Goldner said, citing a report from market research firm NPD Group, that the category represents a $3 billion market.

“We wanted to create the opportunity to accelerate our efforts there,” Goldner said. “We’ve increasingly seen that storytelling across a number of dimensions is important… we saw the opportunity to acquire eOne as an opportunity for us to develop our revenues and our earnings at a level than we had in the past.”

As Goldner looks beyond ramping up its toy and games licensing, he said that part of the second phase of fully incorporating eOne will be taking full advantage of the new brands and IP eOne is creating, such as “Ricky Zoom.” 

“Their team has done an amazing job of creating bespoke new IP from scratch and bringing it to the marketplace,” Goldner said. “Ricky fist streamed on Youku in China and  received more than 100 million streams in just a few weeks. It’s now going out on entertainment platforms around the world, including here in the United States on Nickelodeon.

“So we will again begin to develop ‘Ricky Zoom’ as the next piece of IP in that family brands portfolio,” he continued. “In addition, that team is developing other original content that we’ve seen, and we’re really excited about it — so that’s the next phase.”

Goldner previously addressed how the eOne acquisition would not impact Hasbro’s film business and partnership with Paramount Pictures. That relationship has resulted in a six-film “Transformers” franchise, two “G.I. Joe” films — “G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes” is expected next fall — along with plans to develop films around Monopoly, Micronauts as well as Dungeons and Dragons.

The final phase Goldner laid out, however, in Hasbro’s commitment to boosting family brands will see the company look for opportunities to push its own IP.

“We own an immense array of IP,” Goldner said. “Some of those brands are in the market, some of those brands are legacy brands or latent brands that have created revenue and earnings for the company in the past but aren’t today providing revenue. And so the opportunity is to develop content and stories around those properties and continue to grow on the family brands side.”

Trey Williams

Film Reporter covering the biz • trey.williams@thewrap.com • Twitter: @trey3williams



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