Wall St buzz on Hasbro movie toys

By Robert Marich
   June 10, 2009 – Wall Street crossing its fingers that stock of toy company Hasbro will pop from cinema screen incarnations of its products.
   An article in investor weekly Barron’s notes that, when Paramount released the first Transformers movie in 2007, toy sales of Hasbro's Transformers toys leapt from $90 million in 2006 to $482 million that year, per Jake Hindelong, an analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt, which is a New York-based equity research firm.      
   Notes the Barron’s article by Alexander Eule, “Two Hasbro brands will be prominently featured in coming months, starting with the Transformers sequel on June 24 and followed by a live-action G.I. Joe film in August… Much of Hasbro’s recent growth has come from success in featuring its brands in hit movies.”   
   The article adds, “Hasbro’s 2011 movie lineup includes Spider-Man 4, Captain America, Thor and Stretch Armstrong.” Its portfolio of movie-related toys also products based on Star Wars and Iron Man.
    Though not mentioned in the article, the heyday for film-related licensed merchandise was the 1990s, but then slacked off due to some underperforming movies/toys. That said, Hasbro and others tie-up heavily with some movies on a selective basis.

   "Hasbro has borrowed heavily from its Star Wars experience in creating Transformers toys," notes a Business Week article on the same topic. "There are $300 limited-edition robot sets for adult collectors, $22 action figures with lights and sound for younger kids, even $12 preschool robots. This year's Bumblebee Voice Mixer helmet, $40, looks suspiciously like a Darth Vadar toy Hasbro created under its Star Wars license. The $40 Plasma Cannon is a fatter version of a light saber."
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