I brought the point up on the site earlier this morning, but unfortunately haven’t had much time today to follow up with keeping up with the new addition and all, so I poked around tonight, and discovered a very good article on Reuters talking about the very same concerns I had in regards to the Disney/Marvel merger and how it could end up affecting toy makers, Hasbro in particular.
Reuters brings up some good points, mentioning that current licensing deals will stay intact, “Hasbro’s agreement with Marvel to make toys and games based on the latter’s characters extends through 2017”. However, from there on out, things may get murky, “especially since Disney has a longer history with Hasbro’s arch-rival Mattel Inc.”
Where Hasbro might feel an even bigger pinch, however, is in their recently announced television deal with Discovery Kids. Apparently, thought in industry circles is that Hasbro intended to offer a slate of Marvel related programming on that channel, but obviously with this new move, those programs would more likely drift over to Disney XD instead. Lots of legalese, and a lot of stuff that many of us don’t care about, but regardless, this could get interesting, and even though Hasbro will be cranking out Marvel figures for at least the next 7 years, they may feel the pinch in other areas, and it might be a big one.
Via the New York Times and Topless Robot…
Damn. Long time readers of my site know that back in the day when G.I. Joe news was a bit less constant and frenetic than it is now know that I used to talk quite a bit about Marvel, but mostly in regards to their cartoon and movie endeavors, and not so much about the comics themselves. See, I was a Marvel Comics fan for nearly twenty years until repeated retcons, convoluted stories, and annual massive “EVENTS” took the luster off my love for the medium. But I never lost my love for the characters. Spider-Man, Wolverine, the X-Men, Captain America, Daredevil…they’re all timeless characters that I really love, even if I was growing a bit tired of what was being done to them in the series of 22 pages every month.
And then a funny thing happened…while I was a devout comic fan I laughed and scoffed at the various cartoons, TV elements and movies based on the comic characters. They didn’t match the stories I was reading, they were never mature enough, and often written for the average attention span of a 5 year-old. Recently, though, I’ve done an about-face. While I don’t have the time, energy or inclination to read the monthly Marvel titles, I am a huge fan of the films, the cartoons (Wolverine and the X-Men ROCKS!), the video games, and the characters still ring very true.
So immediately this news hit like a ton of bricks. Is it a good thing? Will some Disney backing ensure more Marvel animated fare or better quality movies? I dunno, Marvel’s been doing a pretty damn good job on their own these days. Will there be any shake up in the Films or Entertainment division? Let’s hope not.
This is an interesting move that could prove to be very good for the future of the Marvel Comics enterprise, or could it also suddenly offer a frustrating series of legal impasses similar to how Warner and DC go about their Hollywood endeavors?
How will this also impact the toy world? Mattel is a long-standing Disney licensee for many of their toy offerings, while Hasbro has the license for all Marvel related action figures and associated toys. Will this offer any sort of conflict between the two?
Time will tell.