Hasbro, the world’s third biggest toy company, has purchased the Power Rangers brand from Saban.
It was already known that Hasbro had taken the toy licence for Power Rangers from Bandai, the company that had manufactured the toys since the TV series’ inception — but no-one expected Hasbro to then go and buy the property outright for $520 million. Saban launched the series and has licensed the merchandise rights since 1993, since when it has gone on to be one of the most successful and long-running toy lines ever released.
This demonstrates a continued shift by Hasbro into entertainment as well as toys, with the company taking the view that producing the content on which the toys are then based will allow it to survive in an increasingly competitive industry. The strategy can already be seen in the Transformers movie franchise and with the My Little Pony TV series.
The LEGO Group has been finding success with its movies and TV content in recent years, with The LEGO Movie a commercial and critical success. NINJAGO has also been extremely popular on television, and helped to drive the theme to ever better sales.
Saban’s sale of the franchise to Hasbro has also put to bed any hope of the LEGO Group producing sets based on Power Rangers, something that has been speculated on a few times over the years.