Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:MVL), announced today a license under which Marvel has granted Hasbro toy and game rights to its renowned Super Hero universe that includes franchises such as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men and Captain America. Through the agreement, Hasbro has obtained the rights to develop products based on Marvel’s globally-known universe of over 5,000 characters in a wide range of toy and game categories -- including action figures, role play and preschool toys, board games and puzzles. The agreement covers both the “classic” comic book look of the characters as well as product lines inspired by Marvel-themed movies.
The five-year license gives Hasbro the rights to bring Marvel Entertainment-based toy products to retail beginning January 1, 2007. Hasbro’s first full line of products based on Marvel properties is expected to center on Ghost Rider and the highly-anticipated movie event, Spider-Man 3, scheduled for release on May 4, 2007. Marvel has also agreed to provide services to Hasbro in connection with the licensed toys. The license guarantees Marvel $205 million in royalty and service fee payments, of which $70 million would be payable on the theatrical release of Spider-Man 3 and $35 million upon the theatrical release of Spider-Man 4. In addition, the license can be extended past the five year term, dependent on the number of other entertainment properties released during that timeframe.
“We are particularly pleased with this arrangement as it fits strategically into our plan to continually develop our home-grown core brands while aligning ourselves selectively with the best licenses in the business,” Alfred J. Verrecchia, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hasbro, Inc. said.
“Hasbro’s multi-year agreement with Marvel provides Hasbro with proven properties in categories where we have been long-time industry leaders,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s President, U.S. Toy Segment. “Marvel’s properties are a ‘who’s-who’ in children’s and family entertainment and provide Hasbro with many exciting opportunities in the years ahead.”
Tim Rothwell, Worldwide President, Consumer Media Group, Marvel Entertainment, added, “Hasbro is renowned in the toy arena. It supports its key brands with heavy promotional and advertising campaigns and their innovation provides consumers with an unmatched retail experience. We believe aligning with Hasbro as our master toy and game partner sets the stage for us to further extend the global and domestic reach and image of the overall Marvel brand.”
Bruno Maglione, President, Marvel International, commented, "As we continue the process of developing our brands through a heightened mix of coordinated multi-media and product activity it was important to engage with a partner who understands how to leverage and optimize that sort of evergreen franchise approach. Hasbro brings that experience to the table, and with it, the ability and reach to execute globally. It’s a perfect match."
David Hargreaves, Chief Financial Officer of Hasbro, Inc, said, “We are very pleased with this deal as it provides Hasbro with incremental revenues in high margin categories and allows us to maintain an appropriate balance in our portfolio of core brands and strategic licenses.”
Juli Boylan, Sr Vice President, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, the limited partner in Spider-Man Merchandising LP, stated, "We are thrilled to have Hasbro develop toys and games for Spider-Man 3. We are very proud of the Spider-Man film franchise and feel Hasbro will play a pivotal role in its continued success."
The license is conditioned on its clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.