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Hasbro's Future With The Marvel License Still Unknown, But Don't Panic

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Hasbro today held their Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call where CEO Brian Goldner spoke to members of the financial media. During the event there was no mention of whether Hasbro had renewed their licenses with Disney for either Star Wars or Marvel. For those not familiar, the current licenses will expire at the end of this year. While Goldner would not commit to any future plans beyond this year for those brands, or their continued releationship with Disney, he did say he remained positive on the prospects of them continuing to work together.

While one would expect some kind of official announcement to come soon from either Disney or Hasbro on the future of the Star Wars and Marvel licenses, it's not terribly surprising that it did not come today. Hasbro will be holding a full Year 2019 Earnings Conference Call and Annual Investor Update at the New York Toy Fair on February 21, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. If there is no announcement at that point about continuing on with these licenses, then fans might want to start panicking.

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I'd be surprised to see hasbro lose the Marvel license as it seems that it has worked out very well for both hasbro and disney.   Dunno about star wars, if i were hasbro i might be willing to let that one go, although the black series figures are very high quality for mass retail imo... probably 2nd best after ML.  But maybe from Disney's perspective they would prefer one company to handle both licenses, in which case i'd take Star Wars to keep marvel, and just hope that future star wars projects are good enough for merchandise to sell. Certainly the mandalorean can be milked for a lot of figures/toys.

I guess i just feel like the black series have a much smaller retail presence than they used to.  My local WM have either nothing at all or a bunch of Award Ceremony Luke, and Target also has pretty much nothing but the leftover Moloch deluxe figures. And while i could be wrong, feels like they aren't just selling thru cases quickly.. rather its been, get one case in, it slowly sells and then nothing. Whereas with ML there seem to be constant new waves of figures or replentishing of stock.  But again, the Black series figures themselves are pretty high quality.

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54 minutes ago, bashpics99 said:

I guess i just feel like the black series have a much smaller retail presence than they used to.  My local WM have either nothing at all or a bunch of Award Ceremony Luke, and Target also has pretty much nothing but the leftover Moloch deluxe figures. And while i could be wrong, feels like they aren't just selling thru cases quickly.. rather its been, get one case in, it slowly sells and then nothing. Whereas with ML there seem to be constant new waves of figures or replentishing of stock.  But again, the Black series figures themselves are pretty high quality.

I've brought up the issue of what seems like waning sales on Star Wars figures before, on this forum and others, but the fan base, which I am admittedly not one of, swears it's because they sell out almost immediately and what is usually left are only the over produced figures that no one wants. I personally find it hard to believe, but hey, it's not my thing. I do know that pretty much every figure gets a unique sculpt and if they continue to fund the backing for all unique sculpts there must be some kind of positive profit being generated.

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I mean Jesse Falcon said “Can’t wait for you all to see what’s in store for 2020 and beyond! Happy new year everyone!!!!” in ML Community on FB

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3 minutes ago, nWoWolfpack said:

I mean Jesse Falcon said “Can’t wait for you all to see what’s in store for 2020 and beyond! Happy new year everyone!!!!” in ML Community on FB

That doesn't necessarily mean much.  Unless you already KNOW you're losing a license you continue operating as though you're going to keep it.  It's not like Hasbro's going to stop designing/producing Marvel and Star Wars toys for half a year to "wait and see" and then if the license WAS renewed at the last minute they have no product for the first half of next year.

Which is also why Toy Fair is pretty much the cutoff point for news.  Hasbro probably has to get a fair bit of advance notice so they don't end up spending a bunch of money producing stuff that they're then not allowed to sell.

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Jmacq1 said:

That doesn't necessarily mean much.  Unless you already KNOW you're losing a license you continue operating as though you're going to keep it.  It's not like Hasbro's going to stop designing/producing Marvel and Star Wars toys for half a year to "wait and see" and then if the license WAS renewed at the last minute they have no product for the first half of next year.

Which is also why Toy Fair is pretty much the cutoff point for news.  Hasbro probably has to get a fair bit of advance notice so they don't end up spending a bunch of money producing stuff that they're then not allowed to sell.

Yeah, if any of you remember the way Falcon carried on back in the Dark Days of ML, he was constantly being put out front to put a positive face on the future of the line. They were producing all kinds of BS computer generated mock ups and prototypes for convention (which most of never got produced, BTW) and constantly talking about the future and the health of the line, right before it became very clear that the intention was to discontinue the line in favor of the MU line. That's all water under the bridge and the ML line and ML fans persevered, but what it shows you is Jessie is really good at towing the company line. It's actually more disturbing and troubling to me when he starts talking about the future rather than when he just keeps his mouth shut.

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2 hours ago, JayC said:

Hasbro today held their Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call where CEO Brian Goldner spoke to members of the financial media. During the event there was no mention of whether Hasbro had renewed their licenses with Disney for either Star Wars or Marvel. For those not familiar, the current licenses will expire at the end of this year. While Goldner would not commit to any future plans beyond this year for those brands, or their continued releationship with Disney, he did say he remained positive on the prospects of them continuing to work together.

While one would expect some kind of official announcement to come soon from either Disney or Hasbro on the future of the Star Wars and Marvel licenses, it's not terribly surprising that it did not come today. Hasbro will be holding a full Year 2019 Earnings Conference Call and Annual Investor Update at the New York Toy Fair on February 21, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. If there is no announcement at that point about continuing on with these licenses, then fans might want to start panicking.

Disney-Hasbro.jpeg

Hopefully something is worked out.

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There is no reason to worry at all. Hasbro Marvel legends is the leader in action figure sales(Pretty Accurate Guess-timation). Hasbro has the license for Star Wars. There is no logical reason, unless Hasbro has been shorting marvel... that they would leave Hasbro. While Marvel and Star wars are the 2 largest franchises. There is no way Hasbro will let the monopoly slip away. 

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11 minutes ago, EUPHORICVIKING said:

There is no reason to worry at all. Hasbro Marvel legends is the leader in action figure sales(Pretty Accurate Guess-timation). Hasbro has the license for Star Wars. There is no logical reason, unless Hasbro has been shorting marvel... that they would leave Hasbro. While Marvel and Star wars are the 2 larges franchises. There is no way Hasbro will let the monopoly slip away. 

Normally I would agree, but Disney doesn't always work in such a straightforward fashion when it comes to their licensees.  They seem to like pulling the rug out from under them from time-to-time to make them "compete harder" and remind them who's really holding the cards.

I suspect coming at Disney with a "you need us" approach is a good way to lose your contract really quick.  They don't care what you've done, they want to know what you're going to do to help push their intellectual property while paying through the nose for the privilege to do so.

And Hasbro's recent moves in the media arena may be a major sticking point for Disney as well.  Hasbro's poising themselves as a potential competitor (in the future) rather than a partner.

All that said I DO suspect the licenses will get renewed, but I wouldn't ever take it for granted with Disney involved.

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My hope would be Disney would have at least taken notice of the actual bungle Mattel did with the DC license and realize what they have with Hasbro is for the best.

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I don't think we have anything to worry about. They are probably going to wait until the thay reveal all of this year's products first, before mentioning the future

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20 minutes ago, Jmacq1 said:

Normally I would agree, but Disney doesn't always work in such a straightforward fashion when it comes to their licensees.  They seem to like pulling the rug out from under them from time-to-time to make them "compete harder" and remind them who's really holding the cards.

I suspect coming at Disney with a "you need us" approach is a good way to lose your contract really quick.  They don't care what you've done, they want to know what you're going to do to help push their intellectual property while paying through the nose for the privilege to do so.

And Hasbro's recent moves in the media arena may be a major sticking point for Disney as well.  Hasbro's poising themselves as a potential competitor (in the future) rather than a partner.

All that said I DO suspect the licenses will get renewed, but I wouldn't ever take it for granted with Disney involved.

I hear you there. But honestly, Transformers was in the movie arena before Marvel made "Iron Man". G.I. Joe and power rangers were a movie duds. (The potential is there tho). I could see Disney eventually buying Hasbro or a Merger.

      Also, If Marvel "Legends" goes anywhere else, I'll likely have to cap my collection. McFarlane does terrible  7" figures (Not about to rescale everything). In Dave Vonners hands with Mattel (Maybe, I'd have to wait). 

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There are days I wish I wasn't so "Okay" with the idea of some more of my collections getting capped.  I'm done with DC and MOTUC barring a couple characters.  I might be done with GI Joe depending on what 4" offerings are available and how they look.  I'm pretty much done with Star Wars though some of the new stuff does still entice (but i've switched to mostly 6" figures on that franchise too, and don't buy nearly as many as I did 3.75"). 

Marvel is about the only thing I'm consistently still collecting these days.  The rest is dribs and drabs. 

EDIT:  Well that's not entirely true - I buy a lot of Marauder Task Force stuff but that doesn't so much feel like "collecting" in the same way.

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36 minutes ago, EUPHORICVIKING said:

I hear you there. But honestly, Transformers was in the movie arena before Marvel made "Iron Man". G.I. Joe and power rangers were a movie duds. (The potential is there tho). I could see Disney eventually buying Hasbro or a Merger.

      Also, If Marvel "Legends" goes anywhere else, I'll likely have to cap my collection. McFarlane does terrible  7" figures (Not about to rescale everything). In Dave Vonners hands with Mattel (Maybe, I'd have to wait). 

Hasbro already was a technically a competitor since they have the comic licences to all their properties to IDW and not Marvel. Even so Hasbro can still make loads of money with all own Brands which Disney would have to try and find someone else to make Star Wars and Marvel figures which are just as good as Hasbro's standard

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I'm sure I speak for many people when i say: If Hasbro leaves Marvel is time for me and my bookshelves (and wallet) to retire.

I cant handle a new company doing exactly the same characters (iron man, spiderman, deadpool) over and over again just to show that their balls are bigger. I can see what is happening with the re-scale of DC and Mc Falarne toys and I would be sad to see all my cool figures doesn't fitting anymore with the new ones. 

So, let's just wait!

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24 minutes ago, Legender said:

I'm sure I speak for many people when i say: If Hasbro leaves Marvel is time for me and my bookshelves (and wallet) to retire.

I cant handle a new company doing exactly the same characters (iron man, spiderman, deadpool) over and over again just to show that their balls are bigger. I can see what is happening with the re-scale of DC and Mc Falarne toys and I would be sad to see all my cool figures doesn't fit anymore with the new ones. 

So, let's just wait!

i second that.

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53 minutes ago, Legender said:

I'm sure I speak for many people when i say: If Hasbro leaves Marvel is time for me and my bookshelves (and wallet) to retire.

I cant handle a new company doing exactly the same characters (iron man, spiderman, deadpool) over and over again just to show that their balls are bigger. I can see what is happening with the re-scale of DC and Mc Falarne toys and I would be sad to see all my cool figures doesn't fit anymore with the new ones. 

So, let's just wait!

Yep agreed, I had already said it. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, leokearon said:

Hasbro already was a technically a competitor since they have the comic licences to all their properties to IDW and not Marvel. Even so Hasbro can still make loads of money with all own Brands which Disney would have to try and find someone else to make Star Wars and Marvel figures which are just as good as Hasbro's standard

Thing is, Disney doesn't need someone to make them "just as good."  All they need is someone to pay them the licensing fees they ask for and not screw the properties up so bad that it actually damages them overall (which is very hard to do to the point that a contract gets voided).

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Watch Disney buy Hasbro or something.

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Hmm very interesting. While I see it highly unlikely for them to not renew a deal let’s think of the possibilities. 
 

If they do renew, things will continue as before and us loyal collectors that are still interested in the franchises will still collect the awesome figures coming our way and will hopefully give Hasbro more ideas to fully suit our collections and make them continue growing. 
 

On the other hand, if they don’t renew that means that someone else will get the license. This a new company will be making their own style of figures of the same characters, which probably won’t fit the same design style as Hasbro. (Start all over again boys) 

Which doesn’t seem like the best idea. I mean sure other companies have did it, but after collecting a line so long, what collector would want to change design styles, and collect the same characters all over again? 
 

For me I think of the power rangers legacy line. Bandai was starting off and making some -okay- figures, but they were finally giving us what we sort of wanted form power rangers all along. Then Hasbro gets the rights and gives us superior figures. This making the old Bandai figures obsolete really. 

This was to our benefit because the Bandai figures barely had any start. This scenario would be flipped in the other case, since Hasbro Legends have such a long standing run and they know the line. It’d be crazy to switch. Just look at the latest DC dogs ugggghhhh. 
 

So if Disney knows what’s good for them then they will renew. Case-closed. 

 

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3 hours ago, Legender said:

I'm sure I speak for many people when i say: If Hasbro leaves Marvel is time for me and my bookshelves (and wallet) to retire.

I cant handle a new company doing exactly the same characters (iron man, spiderman, deadpool) over and over again just to show that their balls are bigger. I can see what is happening with the re-scale of DC and Mc Falarne toys and I would be sad to see all my cool figures doesn't fitting anymore with the new ones. 

So, let's just wait!

I third this. 

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After such amazing streak with Marvel legends It would be heart breaking if Hasbro lost the license, I think Hasbro became better as company due to Marvel legends license, before they couldn’t even make figures as detailed as they can do now, it was indeed mutually beneficial cooperation, would be terrible to see it end, so fingers crossed. 

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I'll hang it up as far as collecting Marvel based 6' scale action figures if Disney were to be stupid enough to end their relationship with Hasbro. I will not, under any circumstances, begin collecting the ML line all over again as you just know that the new company will wanna add their own "look" to the brand. I'm not rich & only collect the comic based figures as is & only those that I'm a fan of.

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Yeah the blow back of some new company getting the license will be felt the hardest by long time collectors. In many cases we are just a few figures away from defining lineups then to have to start over and have no other option but to buy Brand Xs new version of the same characters is deflating at best and a nightmare at worst.

I was hopeful when I heard McFarlane was getting the DC license ( despite Mattel stepping up their game for the most part) but once the actual product came out it was a huge disappointment. Guess McFarlane would not conform to the 6" standard and so my DC collection ends with Mattels last offering.

as others have mentioned, none of us are rich, and we collect what we can but the monetary investment ( I'm personally in well over thousands of dollars, between Legends and Universe) is to great to restart a Marvel collection again. They got me back once, as I had shifted to MU 3 3/4 figures when that was the only option. And I loved my Universe collection, but once they brought Legends back I had to decide if I was going to recommit to the six inch scale. I did and my  old ToyBiz Legends are now " non-canon". I really don't think I can match my enthusiasm for my current collection to starting over again. It all seems too daunting so let's hope Hasbro hangs on to the Marvel license 

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