Hasbro Licensing team up with Best-in-Class Publishers

Hasbro Licensing team up with Best-in-Class Publishers

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 6:07pm CDT

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Hasbro Licensing Division Teams with Best-in-Class Publishers to Reach the Readers with More Than 25 Hasbro Brands Imprinted on 55 Million Titles Across All Publishing Formats

PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HPG, the licensing division of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), has signed a broad array of licensing deals with top tier global publishers that have significantly expanded Hasbro’s already robust publishing program, converting more than 25 Hasbro game and toy brands, such as LITTLEST PET SHOP, TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL and MONOPOLY, onto 55 million book titles for adults and children since 2001. These new deals, paired with Hasbro’s many existing agreements, will begin to fill retail shelves worldwide this fall with an assortment of books, from novels to comic books and activity sets.

“We set an aggressive goal for ourselves four years ago to significantly expand our publishing program with a global focus and to place Hasbro brands in many locations where books are sold,” said Tom Klusaritz, vice president of licensing and retail development for HPG. “Through agreements with Sterling Publishing, Scholastic, HarperCollins, Random House, IDW and others we are certainly on our way to bringing Hasbro brands to consumers in a meaningful way through various publishing formats, from puzzle and trivia books to novels, comics and parenting guides.

HASBRO OFFERS FUN & LEARNING FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY

HPG has inked a five-year deal with Sterling Publishing, under which the preeminent games book publisher will release up to 24 puzzle and trivia books per year based on 22 Hasbro toy and game brands. To launch the program, Sterling will release 14 titles this fall with another 12 titles due in spring 2008. Some of the brands in this global agreement that cover the English-speaking countries include: MONOPOLY, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, BOGGLE, YAHTZEE, and PLAY-DOH.

In a pending deal with Simon & Schuster, the company would bring PLAYSKOOL-branded children’s books to market in 2008. The pending agreement would build upon the successful summer 2007 launch of four parenting guides from Sourcebooks, Inc. In addition to strong placement in the U.S. market, the PLAYSKOOL Parenting Guides are being translated into multiple languages for a variety of territories. Sourcebooks will continue to expand the PLAYSKOOL Parenting Guides line, with three new titles available in 6,500 retail outlets throughout the U.S. in fall 2007 with an additional two titles planned for spring 2008.

KIDS ‘HIT THE BOOKS’ WITH TRANSFORMERS AND LITTLEST PET SHOP

The TRANSFORMERS and LITTLEST PET SHOP brands have both achieved great success on the bookshelf. The LITTLEST PET SHOP property’s ranking as one of the fastest growing brands among girls in the toy industry and the TRANSFORMERS movie’s blockbuster success at the box office this summer have translated into similar successes for publishers. TRANSFORMERS: The Junior Novel by HarperCollins enjoyed seven weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, peaking as high as No. 5, as well as four weeks on USA Today’s Top 150 Best Sellers. For the older fans, TRANSFORMERS by Alan Dean Foster of Del Rey, also spent four weeks on USA Today’s Top 150 Best Sellers, and was a top ten title in the Sci-Fi genre for two months.

For the comic fan, IDW Publishing has committed to publishing multiple TRANSFORMERS movie-based comic book series over the next two years including more than 10 titles alone in 2007. The Target-exclusive TRANSFORMERS movie prequel from IDW was one of the highest performing movie titles at the mass merchant retailer in summer 2007.

On the international front, HarperCollins and Dorling Kindersley will bring 10 TRANSFORMERS titles to market in the U.K., and Titan will publish more than a dozen TRANSFORMERS Movie Magazines throughout Europe. Additional licensees including Editions Hemma, Pocket Jeunesse, New Links, Paramon Ediciones and Grupo SM are working on TRANSFORMERS movie-related titles and Norma and Panini Comics are adapting the IDW-developed comic books for various international markets.

The LITTLEST PET SHOP property has a groundswell of support behind it with several new publishing deals covering multiple titles and activity kits that will roll out in 2007 and 2008.

Scholastic Publishing has inked a three-year deal to publish a wide variety of books under the LITTLEST PET SHOP brand. Launched in fall 2006 with three titles, the program has expanded with five new titles in spring 2007, and eight additional titles shipping in fall 2007. The agreement includes novelty, activity, sticker and handbooks that will continue to roll out through 2008 and are targeted at 6- to- 9-year-old girls. Reader’s Digest is also on board to publish three novelty formats based on the LITTLEST PET SHOP brand, and ASL Publishing has tentatively agreed to develop activity kits for holiday 2007. Meantime, Bendon Publishing has released four color activity titles and is slated to publish an additional four LITTLEST PET SHOP-themed color activity books, which will be available this fall. Additional color activity and novelty books are in the works and will hit store shelves in spring 2008. Phidal Publishing, Inc. also plans to release two books in 2008 with additional titles to follow. In the U.K., a deal is pending with Penguin Group to bring to market sticker, activity and story books in 2008.

MY LITTLE PONY AND TONKA ENTERTAIN MILLIONS OF YOUNG CHILDREN AROUND THE GLOBE

Hasbro’s MY LITTLE PONY and TONKA brands remain strong on bookshelves as well. Since its re-launch in 2003, the MY LITTLE PONY brand has sold more than 18 million books in the U.S. Internationally, two million MY LITTLE PONY books have been sold throughout Europe through a variety of publishing agreements with Egmont, Big Balloon, Editions Hemma, Mon Journal, Saldana, Edicart, New Links, and Modern Times. The TONKA publishing program also continues to grow, and by year-end 2007, there will be close to 100 titles in print in a variety of formats from board and activity books to young readers and flash cards.

FANTASY-BASED BOOKS AND COMICS CONTINUE TO BE BIG SELLERS

Based on Hasbro’s Wizard of the Coast properties, HPG has enlisted a team of publishers to bring the fantasy-based characters, environments and adventures to life on novel and comic book pages. A Dungeons & Dragons comic book series from Devil’s Due is already in the U.S. market, while Compupress, Norma and 25 Editions will be distributing the series throughout Europe. An additional 280 novels are in-the-works across multiple international regions by Timun Mas, Altaya, Aremenia, Fleuve Noir and Bibliotheque Interdite, and Anubis.

ABOUT HPG

HPG, the licensing division of Hasbro, Inc., (NYSE:HAS), translates one of the industry's richest portfolios of brands into a world of fun and excitement for children and adults globally. Through a host of publishing, digital media, lifestyle and entertainment platforms, HPG is able to surround fans worldwide with consumer products that expand Hasbro's core brands, such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, MY LITTLE PONY, MONOPOLY, G.I. JOE, TONKA and PLAYSKOOL.

ABOUT HASBRO

Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

Credit(s): tformers.com, Hasbro


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Re: Hasbro Licensing team up with Best-in-Class Publishers (396117)
Posted by Liege Evilmus on October 11th, 2007 @ 9:05pm CDT
R.I.F

this is a good thing
Re: Hasbro Licensing team up with Best-in-Class Publishers (397231)
Posted by Susinko on October 12th, 2007 @ 10:17am CDT
This is the best news I have heard in a while. I'm so amped at this.

For my daughter, reading is very difficult because of medical difficulites and the sheer not wanting to do something because she's not good at it. She doesn't like to do it, but has to thirty minutes a day. A Littlest Pet Shop book on her level took her an hour to read. A Transformer book from the movie on the exact same level took her ten minutes. Why? Because she loves Transformers! So, bring on the Transformers books!

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