Hasbro acquires Power Rangers: The Why, the How, and the What If?
This past Toy Fair, Hasbro shocked everyone within the toy community by announcing they would oversee the production of Power Rangers merchandise in all non-Asian territories starting on the first of April, 2019. This morning, the toy giant garnered even more attention by announcing an expansion of the deal from a licensing agreement into a full purchase of the Power Rangers brand.
In February, Hasbro had made an initial payment to Saban Brands of $22.25 million as part of their licensing agreement. That initial payment is being credited to the purchase price, which is also being paid for with $229.75 million in cash and $270 million in Hasbro common stock, for a total price of $522 million. Additionally, the deal also means Hasbro will acquire some of Saban's lesser known brands, like My Pet Monster and Luna Petunia. CEO Haim Saban will be working with Hasbro after the acquisition in an advisory capacity.
The ramifications of this deal are huge and mark the latest in a series of moves by Hasbro to shift beyond a toy company into a full-on media giant. The acquisition of Saban Brands assets follows the two-year acquisition of Irish animation studio Boulder Media, and a year after the hiring of Greg Moradian to the position of President of their film department Allspark Pictures.
The toy company intends to adjust their plans to incorporate Power Rangers in massive ways. But the question remains, how much will plans change to accommodate this new intellectual property? Will Power Rangers now be incorporated into the long-rumored Hasbro Cinematic Universe? And what does this mean for fan-favorite projects like the comic adaptation produced by Boom! Studios? Will they soon be shelved so that the company can publish new books through IDW Publishing, who Hasbro has a longstanding relationship with? Power Rangers expert and Den of Geek writer Shamus Kelly certainly thinks so, speculating as much on his Twitter feed.
This would make a lot of sense, especially considering Hasbro has decided to dissolve its current continuity at IDW, and might even explain the promotion of longstanding Hasbro writer and editor John Barber. The idea of a shared universe inhabited by the characters from Transformers, Power Rangers, and GI Joe, all at one narrative home, is an exciting one rife with potential, especially considering the individual teams within Power Rangers' 25-year history means an incredible variety of the type of stories that could be told in a shared universe. Image Rom soaring the cosmos alongside the Power Rangers in Space team. Or the Rangers from Time Force travel to Microspace with the Micronauts to unlock the secrets of the Time Travelers. If handled well, this new universe could provide exciting stories to fans, even if it does come at the cost of the respective, previously established universes.
What do you think? Could this deal lead to new exciting opportunities for fans? Or is it a cash grab that will lead to mediocrity? Let You Don't Read Comments know in the comments below.