Hasbro and Disney renews pact for Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ toys

Hasbro will continue to be the toy licensor for Walt Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars franchises, the toy behemoth announced on 21 February. Disney’s and Hasbro’s relations dates back to decades, and they extended a pact back in 2013 which was supposed to expire in 2020.  “We are pleased to build on our relationship with Disney and extend our agreement for Marvel and Star Wars franchises. Disney’s celebrated franchises are consistently ranked as top toy properties and provide expansive content for us to build upon for years to come,” Hasbro’s chairman and CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement. Hasbro’s relationship with Disney turned out to be quite successful as last year, its partner brands revenue rose 24 per cent to $1.22 billion. The company pointed to strong sales for Frozen 2, Avengers, Spider-Man and Star Wars lines for the increase.  Under the latest agreement, Hasbro will continue to make toys Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America, Black Widow and Black Panther. Besides these, the trump card in this lineup is surely going to be the rights to make toys and games for Baby Yoda. Baby Yoda, though its official name is ‘The Child’, features in Disney+’s The Mandalorian, that has stirred a lot of interest. Hasbro could really boost sales from Baby Yoda merchandise, given its humongous popularity. This multi-year agreement could also have additional benefits for Hasbro beyond 2020, since Disney+ will be releasing more original content across the Marvel and Star Wars universes.  Hasbro shares were down 7 per cent till midday Friday. The stock, which has a market value of $13.5 billion, has gained nearly 14 per cent over the past year. The numbers are  proof that Hasbro’s partnership with Disney continues to be a lucrative and stable one.  Toy makers usually rely heavily on online shopping portals like Amazon, Walmart and others, as well as shelf space in stores. Retailers have found that licensed brands more easily draw in customers because children enjoy reenacting scenes from popular movies and TV shows.