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JayC

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

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I was heartbroken when Toy Biz lost the license to Hasbro originally - and that immediately led to cheaper plastic and far less articulation. Now, over the years Hasbro has really upped their games by greatly improving their product slowly over time. It still doesn't have that Toy Biz articulation that drew me to the line in the first place, but their design and paint apps have now easily surpassed most of what Toy Biz did. Once we broke them of the thought that the 3 3/4" figures were going to be the future of the line instead of the 6", at least.

I also collected the Mattel DC Universe line and it has been great. The first release of the McFarlane product has been abysmal and the change from the 6" to 7" scale will kill me giving them any further consideration unless they switch back to 6". I went ahead and bought the McFarlane Batman Who Laughs and the Bat-Raptor, but they're terribly out of scale with the Mattel figures. I can't imagine that I'll be buying any more if they don't change the scale. Now, if Hasbro did ever lose the license, I do trust that Mattel could put out a quality product as well!

Honestly, though - I'd be shocked if Disney replaced Hasbro for their lines. I agree with other posters that it's actually much more likely that Disney would just buy Hasbro. LOL!

 

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OH NO! My drivers license expires next year!!! 

Wait.

It DOESN'T mean I'll never drive again? It just means I'll get it renewed? You say nobody would worry about that unless they put to much stock in low-rent tabloid-esque internet articles written for no other reason than to serve as quick and easy click-bait?

That makes sense.

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1 hour ago, mako said:

OH NO! My drivers license expires next year!!! 

Wait.

It DOESN'T mean I'll never drive again? It just means I'll get it renewed? You say nobody would worry about that unless they put to much stock in low-rent tabloid-esque internet articles written for no other reason than to serve as quick and easy click-bait?

That makes sense.

Why are you even here? It constantly feels like you don't even enjoy being part of this forum. 

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1 hour ago, memocromatico said:

Why are you even here? It constantly feels like you don't even enjoy being part of this forum. 

Trolls gonna troll ... 🤷‍♂️

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12 hours 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.

^^^THIS.

Hasbro has been doing its best over the past couple of years to acquire big licenses like Power Rangers and beefing up some of their owned brands of Transformers (Netflix deal), Magic the Gathering (Netflix deal), and Dungeons & Dragons (surging on multiple fronts). It doesn't help predict anything since it goes hand in hand with both becoming a more appealing acquisition to Disney and being better prepared to possibly lose Star Wars and Marvel. Just because Hasbro has a proven track record and fan base doesn't hold much weight in this instance, Disney may just be ready to risk it all for a bigger bid and can still have a new deal set up in time for the next big phase of the MCU and a brand new Star Wars series. Disney has already made some awkward licensing choices with Marvel/Star Wars in the recent past (one of the most prominent being their exclusive 10 year Star Wars video game deal with EA that has sputtered along with only 3 releases and multiple cancellations. Not only has EA had the Star Wars gaming license locked down so no one else can make Star Wars games, they've done it while launching their own sci-fi intellectual properties in Apex Legends and Anthem). Disney also isn't afraid to toy with the market using tactics like "the vault" with their movie releases to control sales and force demand. They have no problem locking things away for years on end if the deal doesn't seem right for them. At the end of the day, the mouse will make its money. Hasbro may not be able to afford the license if they play hardball or open this up to bids.

Like the original post said, it's not quite time to start panicking, but I wish I'd started collecting Marvel Legends a few years earlier so I could feel a bit more satisfied with my collection if this truly is the end.

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13 hours ago, Jmacq1 said:

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).

They would if they want to keep the buyers happy.

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4 hours ago, leokearon said:

They would if they want to keep the buyers happy.

Which "buyers?"

Disney doesn't make it's licensing money from us or from the retail buyers, it makes it's money from the licensing fees.  How much or how little product sells after that is irrelevant:  Disney gonna get paid regardless.  So they have no real incentive to care how happy we (or the retail buyers) are beyond "How are our brands being represented?"

And as an additional bonus the "buyers" tend to blame the manufacturer (Hasbro) for problems, not the licensor (Disney) or the property itself.

So basically, Disney has very little reason to care about "buyers being happy."  As long as their licensing fees are getting paid.  Of course there's a little more nuance to that, but we're operating with the belief that whoever wins the license is at least going to make a sincere effort to sell stuff.  Either way "keeping the buyers happy" becomes Hasbro/the licensee's job, not Disney's.

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12 minutes ago, Jmacq1 said:

Which "buyers?"

Disney doesn't make it's licensing money from us or from the retail buyers, it makes it's money from the licensing fees.  How much or how little product sells after that is irrelevant:  Disney gonna get paid regardless.  So they have no real incentive to care how happy we (or the retail buyers) are beyond "How are our brands being represented?"

And as an additional bonus the "buyers" tend to blame the manufacturer (Hasbro) for problems, not the licensor (Disney) or the property itself.

So basically, Disney has very little reason to care about "buyers being happy."  As long as their licensing fees are getting paid.  Of course there's a little more nuance to that, but we're operating with the belief that whoever wins the license is at least going to make a sincere effort to sell stuff.  Either way "keeping the buyers happy" becomes Hasbro/the licensee's job, not Disney's.

This is all true, but Disney did pull its Disney Princess Barbie-esque dolls from Mattel a few years back, solely on the basis that Mattel was phoning it in, so they're definitely paying some attention beyond just making sure licensing fees are paid.

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41 minutes ago, Benn said:

This is all true, but Disney did pull its Disney Princess Barbie-esque dolls from Mattel a few years back, solely on the basis that Mattel was phoning it in, so they're definitely paying some attention beyond just making sure licensing fees are paid.

And now the dolls are also being made At Hasbro. Seems like Disney and Marvel have a pretty good relationship.

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2 hours ago, EUPHORICVIKING said:

And now the dolls are also being made At Hasbro. Seems like Disney and Marvel have a pretty good relationship.

and hopefully it will stay that way

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If one of the two license left Hasbro, my guess is it would be Star Wars. Not saying it will nor do I really think it will because after all SW is very much an evergreen property and the PR alone if Hasbro lost it likely would not bode well for the stockholders. That all being said I think SW has been very much in a rut these past few years. SW has always been primarily a 4" line and 4" just doesn't do that well these days at retail. The movies have not been strong performers and even though we do have a slew of Disney+ programing coming, the license I am sure costs a premium. Again my overall feeling is Hasbro will retain both licenses, but if one were to leave my guess is it would be SW.

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7 minutes ago, JayC said:

If one of the two license left Hasbro, my guess is it would be Star Wars. Not saying it will nor do I really think it will because after all SW is very much an evergreen property and the PR alone if Hasbro lost it likely would not bode well for the stockholders. That all being said I think SW has been very much in a rut these past few years. SW has always been primarily a 4" line and 4" just doesn't do that well these days at retail. The movies have not been strong performers and even though we do have a slew of Disney+ programing coming, the license I am sure costs a premium. Again my overall feeling is Hasbro will retain both licenses, but if one were to leave my guess is it would be SW.

Yeah SW isn't doing well at the moment, like seriously no 3.75 line for Rise of Skywalter, but some new 5 inch line? It doesn't help over here, most Star Wars toys are very hard to find now.

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5 hours ago, JayC said:

The movies have not been strong performers

Using what metrics? Every movie made in the Disney era has made at least a billion at the box office, except Solo (which was admittedly a flop, despite being a solid movie), and Force Awakens made over two billion. People definitely seem to have Star Wars fatigue, and the new trilogy could definitely have been better, but I hesitate to call those kinds of numbers "weak performances" (Solo notwithstanding).

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Hasbro has done a good job with Marvel Legends and I would hate to see that change. I think the SW 6" line and license could learn to allow for head and hand swaps compatible with ML. That would be a game changer for me.

I started with getting certain MU characters to blend in with SW, but I guess that was a limited opportunity.

I'm a huge SW TVC 3.75" collector. I have been collecting POTF2 up through present including Jabba's Barge in the 3.75" scale. My SW soul belongs in 3.75" land. But I've been spending my money on ML instead because there is so little happening in TVC. I keep buying troopers and ordered the new Imperial Transport (will get more on sale). Half the fun of SW are the vehicles and that does not work at the 6" scale. The 3.75" scale also allows for more variety of figures to be released.

I think Hasbro really blows it outside of 3.75" and 6" scales. I just see a waste of plastic, opportunity, and shelf space. It would be nice if they would invest in environment (playsets)/accessories and plus keep product on the shelf. Adjust cases quicker and buy back the low demand peg chokers.

I'm jealous that Barbie gets so many playsets, vehicles, and accessories. However Mattel cannot be trusted as DC looks so bad right now. I'm a die-hard Harley Quinn fan, but she looks terrible with most products.

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2 hours ago, Benn said:

Using what metrics? Every movie made in the Disney era has made at least a billion at the box office, except Solo (which was admittedly a flop, despite being a solid movie), and Force Awakens made over two billion. People definitely seem to have Star Wars fatigue, and the new trilogy could definitely have been better, but I hesitate to call those kinds of numbers "weak performances" (Solo notwithstanding).

Yeah i think the movies have performed pretty well (solo aside). its just that kids aren't much into action figures and the new characters haven't caught on as much with adult collectors, who have a lot of nostalgia for either the OT characters or the prequels (in some case both).  Plus marvel legends can just suck up most of collector's figure budget with new wave after new wave, with more colorful figures that tend to draw more attention (imo).   A lot of of the main characters in star wars have relatively bland costumes compared to ML, and they tend to get the most figures compared to the droids and weird aliens.  Can't deny that black series has very high quality figures, though.. not hasbro's fault if sales aren't where they should be, again imo.  But of course there's a lot of potential for Mandalorean-related figures.

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54 minutes ago, bashpics99 said:

Yeah i think the movies have performed pretty well (solo aside). its just that kids aren't much into action figures and the new characters haven't caught on as much with adult collectors, who have a lot of nostalgia for either the OT characters or the prequels (in some case both).  Plus marvel legends can just suck up most of collector's figure budget with new wave after new wave, with more colorful figures that tend to draw more attention (imo).   A lot of of the main characters in star wars have relatively bland costumes compared to ML, and they tend to get the most figures compared to the droids and weird aliens.  Can't deny that black series has very high quality figures, though.. not hasbro's fault if sales aren't where they should be, again imo.  But of course there's a lot of potential for Mandalorean-related figures.

Yeah, I agree with most of that. The original and prequel trilogy figures definitely resonate with more people, and tend to sell a lot better. Now that we won't be seeing another movie for a few years, Hasbro has a great opportunity to really plug away at those earlier properties (which they seem to be doing), sprinkling in newer characters and TV/comic characters only occasionally. After how poorly the figures did for the Last Jedi, Rogue One, and Solo, they definitely seemed to scale back for Rise of Skywalker, so it seems like they get it.

Either way, Black Series is definitely my secondary collection after Legends, and there really aren't many Star Wars figures left for Hasbro to make that I feel like my collection needs, so I'd only be a little disappointed if they lost that license. Legends has note-able holes that need filling yet...

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Considering the big things coming in Phase 4 and 5 of the MCU (the Fantastic 4, X-Men), I really hope Hasbro holds Marvel. I'm sure they will considering, like many people said, they have the license to a ton of other Disney properties, but there's gonna be that bit of worry. I stopped collecting WWE when Mattel took over, the McFarlane DC stuff has been lackluster and way too big, scalewise. I think the next couple years for an MCU collector is gonna be great, now that movie waves won't be built on Iron Man and Cap. It's a chance for Hasbro to hit the refresh button on the whole line.

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On 2/12/2020 at 12:14 PM, leokearon said:

Yeah SW isn't doing well at the moment, like seriously no 3.75 line for Rise of Skywalter, but some new 5 inch line? It doesn't help over here, most Star Wars toys are very hard to find now.

There is a 3.75" line for Rise of Skywalker, though it's pretty small in scope so far, and apparently not being sold overseas.

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1 hour ago, Jmacq1 said:

There is a 3.75" line for Rise of Skywalker, though it's pretty small in scope so far, and apparently not being sold overseas.

I know there are figures in the Vintage line, but I didn't think there's a dedicated line

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4 hours ago, leokearon said:

I know there are figures in the Vintage line, but I didn't think there's a dedicated line

No, there's no specific "Rise of Skywalker" line in any scale.  All of their assortments currently mix eras/movies/shows/games.

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