Thanks to Seibertronian xRotorstormx, we have news of an article which is of interest. In a recent Goldman Sachs conference in New York, Brian Goldner, Hasbro CEO had plenty to be excited about. This year so far, Hasbro stock is up 45%, and a large part of that is due to the strong performance of the Transformers brand, among others.
Hasbro has also been busy acquiring Canadian media company Entertainment One, which gives them ownership of Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, and a bigger presence in the preschool market, which Rescue Bots is aimed at.
"Kids are increasingly engaged with characters and story," Goldner said, talking about the need for Hasbro to own the rights to top media brands.
Speaking of top media brands, Hasbro's acquisition of eOne means that they now own the music catalogs of Death Row records, Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg among that label's most famous artists. Might we see a collaboration between them? A Snoop Doggimus Prime redeco of MP-10, anyone?
One other interesting point of interest is Hasbro's increasing business with retailers after the demise of Toys R Us. This would explain the increasing number of Amazon exclusives (Greenlight, Siege multipacks), Target exclusives (Rainmaker trio, Battle Damaged Studio Series Megatron), and Walmart (35th Anniversary Siege figures, Vintage G1 reissues), where exclusives were regularly sold via the defunct toy retailer.
Check out the full article here, and let us know what you think of Hasbro's news. As always, if you have any Transformers related news, please let us know!
Hasbro will begin phasing out plastic from their packaging beginning in 2020. That includes polybags, elastic bands, shrink wrap, window sheets and blister packs, all to be phased out from new product releases by 2022. At the top of the press release it mentions products such as Nerf, My Little Pony, Monopoly, Magic: The Gathering, and Power Rangers, but does not state Transformers. This appears to be just a cursory listing of their products and does not specifically exclude Transformers.
Here's the press release from Hasbro - it's important to note at the end that we know with 100% certainty that this TerraCycle project does involve Transformers toys so these changes will be seen in our fandom at some point. TerraCyle recycles all forms of toys for reuse in various ways as described in the press release excerpt listed below.
From the press release:
"Reimagining and redesigning packaging across our brand portfolio is a complex undertaking, but we believe it’s important and our teams are up for the challenge,” said John Frascotti, President and Chief Operating Officer, Hasbro. “We know consumers share our commitment to protecting the environment, and we want families to feel good knowing that our packaging will be virtually plastic-free, and our products can be easily recycled through our Toy Recycling Program with TerraCycle*.”
Hasbro’s Toy Recycling Program enables consumers to send well-loved Hasbro toys and games to TerraCycle, a global leader in product recycling, who will recycle them into materials to be used in the construction of play spaces, flowerpots, park benches, and other innovative uses. Hasbro recently announced the expansion of the program to France, Germany and Brazil, and plans to expand the program to additional markets with the goal of ensuring all Hasbro toys and games are recyclable in the major markets where it does business."
Read the full press release below.
"Beginning in 2020, Hasbro will begin phasing out plastic from new toy and game packaging across its portfolio of iconic brands like NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, MONOPOLY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and POWER RANGERS
PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 20, 2019-- Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) announced today that, beginning in 2020, it plans to begin phasing out plastic from new product packaging, including plastic elements like polybags, elastic bands, shrink wrap, window sheets and blister packs. The company’s ambition is to eliminate virtually all plastic in packaging for new products by the end of 2022.
“Removing plastic from our packaging is the latest advancement in our more than decade-long journey to create a more sustainable future for our business and our world,” said Brian Goldner, Chairman and CEO, Hasbro. “We have an experienced, cross-functional team in place to manage the complexity of this undertaking and will look to actively engage employees, customers, and partners as we continue to innovate and drive progress as a leader in sustainability.”
Hasbro has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability, from eliminating wire ties in 2010 and adding How2Recycle® labeling in 2016, to the use of plant-based bioPET in 2018, and most recently, launching an industry-leading toy recycling program with TerraCycle®. Hasbro’s Sustainability Center of Excellence is charged with driving the integration of sustainability across the business, including driving sustainable packaging design principles.
“Reimagining and redesigning packaging across our brand portfolio is a complex undertaking, but we believe it’s important and our teams are up for the challenge,” said John Frascotti, President and Chief Operating Officer, Hasbro. “We know consumers share our commitment to protecting the environment, and we want families to feel good knowing that our packaging will be virtually plastic-free, and our products can be easily recycled through our Toy Recycling Program with TerraCycle*.”
Hasbro’s Toy Recycling Program enables consumers to send well-loved Hasbro toys and games to TerraCycle, a global leader in product recycling, who will recycle them into materials to be used in the construction of play spaces, flowerpots, park benches, and other innovative uses. Hasbro recently announced the expansion of the program to France, Germany and Brazil, and plans to expand the program to additional markets with the goal of ensuring all Hasbro toys and games are recyclable in the major markets where it does business.
To learn more about Hasbro's sustainability efforts, visit http://www.hasbro.com/csr and read our CSR Report, Playing with Purpose."
You are never getting that G1 Jetfire reissue, ever. For those unaware, while almost everything to do with Transformers is owned by Hasbro/Takara Tomy, the designs for the Jetfire toy is not, nor is the use of that specific Macross design appearing in media. Outside of Japan, that design is owned by Harmony Gold, a media holding company that is dealing more with real estate at the moment.
They have sued Hasbro on occasion before all in relation to Hasbro (or Hasbro license holders) releasing Jetfire products. Their contract was going to be finished in 2021 so nobody knew what would happen after that. Well, now we do, thanks to an article by Den of Geek who posted the following announcement:
HOLLYWOOD, CA, July 5 – Harmony Gold USA, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Japanese anime studio, Tatsunoko Productions, Co., to extend the worldwide, co-copyright ownership and exclusive management, excluding Japan, for its landmark anime series Robotech (including Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada). This agreement was achieved after a lengthy negotiation and allows Harmony Gold to continue to exploit the animated Robotech franchise well into the future.
Tommy Yune, President of Animation at Harmony Gold, had the following to say:
“It’s an extension of all the current agreements [that were made public in 2017]. It’s a renewal but actually it’s an extension for lack of a better term. We renewed but we decided as part of our renewal to extend the agreement.”
“Harmony Gold and Tatsunko [have been] partners in this whole thing. For future product that we’re working on, the IP is going to be jointly shared by both companies.”
Frank Agrama, Chairman of Harmony Gold added, "Over the past 35 years we have been blessed to work with our friends at Tatsunoko on developing one the world’s greatest entertainment franchises. With our extension we look forward to the next 35 years of working with Tatsunoko and world class business partners on Robotech.”
Since Harmony Gold has solidified their claim to the Robotech/Macross IP, that at least means that there is no ambiguity in the long term ownership of the brand helping their partnership with Sony for a Robotech film.
This year is a big year for the Transformers brand, as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the brand as a whole! This anniversary brings with it a new and different type of celebration for the brand involving people who work or have worked closely with the brand in its 35 years. This celebration is call the More Than Meets The Eye Call to Action, and it involves showcasing members of the Transformers brand and something that makes them unique, such as a hidden talent, a charitable action or something that celebrates individuality; Anything that embodies the notion that individuals have the strength to become something MORE than what others expect.
Today, we feature John Warden, the Senior Hasbro Designer. John Warden's More Than Meets The Eye Call to Action involves goats, as Warden volunteers on weekends as a Youth volunteer and he loves to hang out with both the kids and the goats.
You can watch his short video below, and let us know what you think of this initiative below!
Greetings fellow Seibertronians! So, Bumblebee did kind of well at the box office, did you hear? So well in fact that although not even the power of the Matrix itself could put its sibling company Paramount in the black, it nonetheless was able to provide Viacom with a considerable earnings boost! According to the Hollywood Reporter Viacom CEO Bob Bakish points to the studio’s new management’s schedule of movies such as Bumblebee which, he notes, was a step in a new direction "It's a better movie, the characters are better, the story is better, it's done in a more fiscally responsible way, and we're making nice money on it,".
The information was presented last Tuesday at the J.P. Morgan Technology, Media, and Communications Conference in Boston. He also discussed Bumblebee along with other projects and mergers to be the beginning steps in revitalizing Paramount Pictures. Viacom posted adjusted earnings of $383 million, or 95 cents per share, compared with $371 million, or 92 cents per share, as was posted in the year prior. Wall Street had estimated Viacom would only average 81 cents per share.
He was also presented with the current issue of trade talks between the U.S. and China and if he foresaw that impacting Viacom and other Hollywood studios. “Clearly there’s a lot of noise about China, creating some uncertainty…I don’t anticipate any long-term problem here, but we will have to see how the negotiations play out,” he said.
Viacom posted adjusted operating income of $29 million, compared to last years figure of just $9 million. There is currently estimated to be a loss of $20 million amid a 3.5 percent revenue decline, but spillover from Bumblebee supplementing the offset of theatrical decreases versus home video revenue declines.
In conclusion he stated “This quarter we executed strongly on our strategic priorities and made significant progress in advancing our evolution. We grew viewership share at our flagship networks, accelerated our Advanced Marketing Solutions and continued our momentum at Paramount Pictures. As the media landscape continues to segment across price points, we’re confident in our strategy, strong results and the opportunities ahead as we continue to position Viacom for the future”
Hasbro has a question for you. To celebrate the Transformers franchise's 35th anniversary Hasbro is launching a year-long campaign asking fans how they are "More than Meets the Eye". To kick off the celebration they have a special video from Angela Bassett (Shatter in Bumblebee) where she explains how she's "More" and is asking fans to do the same across social media using #MorethanMeetstheEye.
HASBRO REVEALS ‘MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE’ CAMPAIGN IN CELEBRATION OF TRANSFORMERS 35TH ANNIVERSARY
Angela Bassett Kicks-Off Campaign - Activating Fans, Celebrities and Creatives
to Showcase How They’re MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
PAWTUCKET, RI – April 29, 2019 – In honor of the 35th anniversary of the TRANSFORMERS franchise, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) today revealed a new brand campaign that celebrates how we’re all MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE. The MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE campaign will activate fans, celebrities and the creative minds behind the TRANSFORMERS franchise to embrace and showcase how they are MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE through videos. For 35 years MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE has been associated with the TRANSFORMERS brand and is reinforced across all elements of the franchise.
To kick off the campaign, a video featuring Angela Bassett, who starred in 2018’s critically acclaimed BUMBLEBEE film, debuted revealing how she is MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE. In the video, Bassett mentions that besides being a Golden Globe Award recipient, she is also a graduate of Yale College and Yale University. In BUMBLEBEE, Bassett voiced the Decepticon character SHATTER.
The MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE video campaign will be promoted throughout 2019 – with new videos dropping every month. Fans can expect to see familiar faces – both new and old – who have greatly impacted the franchise over the last 35 years. From individuals involved in the creation of the 1986 Transformers animated movie, to Transformers game designers and comic book creators, a wide variety of people have been tapped to contribute to this campaign.
Each video that is part of this campaign will feature the same call to action – “how are you MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE.” Using #MorethanMeetstheEye, we’re asking fans to post videos to social networks that showcase how they are MORE. Whether it’s a hidden talent, a charitable passion, or a hobby, we’re looking to hear how they are MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE.
About Hasbro Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World's Best Play Experiences. From toys and games to television, movies, digital gaming and consumer products, Hasbro offers a variety of ways for audiences to experience its iconic brands, including NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, BABY ALIVE and MAGIC: THE GATHERING, as well as premier partner brands. Through its entertainment labels, Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation, the Company is building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Hasbro is committed to making the world a better place for children and their families through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. Hasbro ranked No. 5 on the 2018 100 Best Corporate Citizens list by CR Magazine, and has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere Institute for the past seven years. Learn more at http://www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
Below are the results for Hasbro's first quarter in 2019. The main brands bringing in revenue are Play Doh, Monopoly and Transformers. Read more below.
First quarter 2019 revenues increased 2% to $732.5 million; Absent a negative $24.3 million impact of foreign exchange, first quarter 2019 revenues grew 6%
Revenues increased 1% in the U.S. and Canada segment and 24% in the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment; International segment revenues declined 2%, but increased 6% absent a negative $23.4 million impact of foreign exchange
Franchise Brands revenue increased 9%; Hasbro Gaming up 2%; Emerging Brands up 22%; and Partner Brand revenues declined 14%
Operating profit increased to $36.1 million or 4.9% of revenues
Net earnings increased to $26.7 million or $0.21 per diluted share
Quarter ending cash of $1.2 billion; Returned $128.5 million to shareholders including $79.3 million in cash dividends and $49.2 million in share repurchases
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today reported financial results for the first quarter 2019. Net revenues for the first quarter 2019 increased 2% to $732.5 million compared to $716.3 million in 2018. Absent a negative $24.3 million impact of foreign exchange, first quarter 2019 revenues grew 6%.
Net earnings for the first quarter were $26.7 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, versus a net loss for the first quarter 2018 of $112.5 million, or $0.90 per diluted share. The 2018 reported net loss includes after-tax expenses of $61.4 million, primarily bad debt, associated with Toys“R”Us; $15.7 million of severance costs associated with the Company’s commercial organization transformation; and a net charge of $47.8 million related to U.S. tax reform (the “Non-GAAP Adjustments”). Excluding the Non-GAAP Adjustments, adjusted net earnings for the first quarter 2018 were $12.4 million or $0.10 per diluted share.
“The global Hasbro team is executing very well and delivered a good start to the year,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Our long-term investments in new platforms provided a meaningful contribution from our digital and e-sports initiative, Magic: The Gathering Arena, as well as growth in MAGIC: THE GATHERING tabletop revenues. In addition, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH and TRANSFORMERS were among the brands posting revenue gains this quarter. We are beginning to see improvement in our commercial markets, notably in the U.S. and Europe, and operating profit was driven by high margin revenue growth and our cost savings activities. With most of the year ahead of us, we remain on track to deliver profitable growth for the full-year 2019.”
“In addition to executing on the top-line, our team remains focused on implementing the cost savings initiatives we announced last year,” said Deborah Thomas, Hasbro’s chief financial officer. “We continue to expect full-year net cost savings of $50-$55 million, as we announced in February. Our balance sheet is strong and we continue investing in areas intended to drive long-term profitable growth.”
The Entertainment and Licensing segment is now the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment. For the quarter ended April 1, 2018, Wizards of the Coast digital gaming revenues of $10.4 million, and operating profit of $3.2 million, were reclassified from the U.S. and Canada Segment to the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment. The full-year 2018 revenue reclassification is expected to be approximately $58 million.
2Please see the attached table, Supplemental Financial Data Reconciliation of As Reported to Adjusted Operating Results, for a reconciliation of as reported to adjusted operating profit.
First quarter 2019 U.S. and Canada segment net revenues increased 1% to $357.9 million compared to $353.9 million in 2018. Revenue growth in Franchise Brands, Hasbro Gaming and Emerging Brands was partially offset by a decline in Partner Brands. The segment reported operating profit of $13.5 million versus an operating loss of $26.6 million and an adjusted operating profit of $25.7 million in 2018. The segment’s operating profit in 2019 was adversely impacted by product mix, higher intangible amortization associated with the POWER RANGERS acquisition and start-up expenses associated with a new Midwest U.S. warehouse.
International segment net revenues for the first quarter 2019 declined 2% to $282.6 million compared to $287.9 million in 2018. Excluding a negative $23.4 million impact of foreign exchange, International segment revenues increased 6%.
International segment revenue growth in Hasbro Gaming and Emerging Brands was more than offset by a decline in Partner Brands. Franchise Brands revenue was flat to a year ago. Absent foreign exchange, Franchise Brands revenue grew in the quarter. The International segment reported an operating loss of $30.4 million compared to an operating loss of $56.1 million and an adjusted operating loss of $44.9 million in 2018. Higher sales volume, cost savings, lower royalties and favorable cost translation rates, all partially offset by higher intangible amortization, drove the improvement in operating profit for the segment.
Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment net revenues increased 24% to $92.0 million compared to $74.4 million in 2018. Revenue growth was driven by Magic: The Gathering Arena and consumer products licensing revenue. Operating profit increased 75% to $30.0 million, or 32.6% of net revenues, versus $17.1 million, or 23.0% of net revenues in 2018. Operating profit gains were driven by higher revenues and lower program production amortization, partially offset by investments in advertising and product development for MAGIC: THE GATHERING digital gaming initiatives.
Hasbro’s total gaming category, including all gaming revenue, most notably MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY, which are included in Franchise Brands in the table above, totaled $243.4 million for the first quarter 2019, up 20%, versus $203.5 million for the first quarter 2018. Hasbro believes its gaming portfolio is a competitive differentiator and views it in its entirety.
Franchise Brands revenue increased 9% to $393.6 million. MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH and TRANSFORMERS revenues increased in the quarter. Franchise Brands revenue grew in the U.S. and Canada and Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segments, and were flat in the International segment.
Partner Brand revenues declined 14% to $172.0 million. Revenue growth continued in BEYBLADE and we had initial shipments of UGLYDOLLS. These revenue gains were more than offset by declines in several other brands, based on the timing of new entertainment initiatives coming into the market this year. Partner Brand revenues declined in the U.S. and Canada and International segments.
Hasbro Gaming revenue increased 2% to $107.6 million. DUEL MASTERS, CONNECT 4 and TWISTER were among the games contributing to revenue growth for the category. Hasbro Gaming revenues increased in the U.S. and Canada and International segments, but declined in the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment. Hasbro’s total gaming category increased 20% to $243.4 million.
Emerging Brands revenue increased 22% to $59.4 million behind revenue for quick strike collectibles, revenue growth in SUPERSOAKER and FURREAL FRIENDS and initial shipments of POWER RANGERS in North America. Emerging Brands revenue grew in the U.S. and Canada and International segments, but declined in the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment.
Dividend and Share Repurchase
The Company paid $79.3 million in cash dividends to shareholders during the first quarter 2019. The next quarterly cash dividend payment of $0.68 per common share is scheduled for May 15, 2019 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 1, 2019.
During the first quarter, Hasbro repurchased 579,174 shares of common stock at a total cost of $49.2 million and an average price of $84.90 per share. At quarter-end, $378.8 million remained available in the current share repurchase authorization.
The Toysrus bankruptcy of last year is still a very sour spot for fans as well as Hasbro's CEOs and fellow investors, where it monopolizes shareholder meetings even in the latest quarterly discussions. However, I thought it would be fun to look at how well Toysrus is doing in the places where it is still thriving, in the wake of the international stores fully separating themselves from the original American company with a look at Canada and the Philippines.
In the Philippines, the store in Robinsons Galleria now has a giant Cybertron/Galaxy Force Optimus Prime tearing through the Transformers display. This works perfectly with the upcoming leader class figure.
In Canada, Toysrus is making sure kids have something to do for March break (next week) with activities every day. They can be seen below. This was posted on their Facebook page along with a video showing them keeping a yearly tradition. They had a contest to find the next Chief Play Officer. The announcement happened to take place at your fellow editor's local Toysrus store.
After months of searching, we are pleased to announce our newest Chief Play Officer, 11 year old Méganne Dagenais!! We surprised Méganne at her local Toys “R” Us Canada store in LaSalle, Quebec, to announce she had won the coveted role to be our brand ambassador. Check out the video to see! #CPO #Play
And here are the March Break activities:
Dragon Trainers Unite!
Five years have passed since Hiccup and Toothless united the dragons and Vikings of Berk.
Join “Us” for a puzzle make and take and tote bag giveaway to celebrate their return!
Max. 70 per store.
Design & Create a Bracelet
Spin up some fun with the KumiKreator™ from Spin Master! Your child and their bestie can enjoy an interactive product demo that will have them and our product expert spinning up a unique bracelet!
Max. 100 per store.
It's Morphin' Time!
Your kids can become a certified Ranger. Take part in our Power Rangers training activities and learn to think, act and dress like a Ranger. PLUS free swag!
Max. 50 per store.
Build a LEGO® City Dragster
Ready, Set, Go! Join the racing crowd at this awesome LEGO® make and take activity!
Max. 100 per store.
Express Yourself with Beads
Spell it out and express your individuality with the Alphabet Bead DIY activity! Kids can create a unique bracelet or keychain and take it home!
Max. 100 per store.
Special news today, fellow Seibertronians, for there appears to be a vacancy in Hasbro’s Allspark Studios for a Narrative Director Position! Also known as the “Creative Steward”, the job listing went up yesterday out of Hasbro headquarters in Burbank, California, and as of writing has received a total of 35 applications.
For those unaware, The Narrative Director is expected to help develop the brand over several forms of media by aiding Franchise Brand teams in Writing, Editing, and various other duties, though a more thorough description is provided in the listing itself. The job is full-time and of Mid-Senior Seniority. It is suggested applicants have a Bachelor's degree in English, Creative Writing or Journalism, as well as 5-7 years experience in comparable fields. If you are interested and happen to fit into these requirements, perhaps this could be your chance to involve yourself with the Transformers brand at a level higher than most.
You'll recall we recently wrote about Machinima shutting down sources to all of their videos including their series of Prime Wars Trilogy animations. Now after some recent events we seem to have a better understanding as to why. Thanks to various news outlets such as the the Hollywood Reporter and Variety we've learned that Machinima has officially begun closing down as of this month.
Apparently this has been a long time in coming. In 2016 Machinima was bought by Warner Bros. Digital Networks which was in turn bought by AT&T in 2018. This past December AT&T began a restructuring process that reorganized many of their media outlets under their own Otter Media (Crunchyroll, VRV, Rooster Teeth, Fullscreen Media, Gunpowder & Sky, and Hello Sunshine) while Machinima is being absorbed into Fullscreen. As a result 81 of Machinima's 100 employees have been laid off as part of an overall 10% reduction in AT&T staff.
Fullscreen calls their work "high-intensity marketing for the social-first generation" which probably does describe the Transformers Prime Wars animations fairly accurately. Most likely once they've ironed out new license agreements we'll see Machinima's videos return online in one way or another, but for now everything is up in the air. Whether or not we see a War for Cybertron animated trilogy has yet to be seen.
So what do you think? Is this a crushing blow to Transformers animations or no great loss in disposable media? Sound off in the Energon Pub forums below!
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