Hasbro Debuts Hascon Fanfest
Hasbro brought its brands under a single banner at the first Hascon this past weekend, drawing fans of all stripes to the Rhode Island Convention Center for a three-day event featuring panel discussions and product showcases.
The show was a mix of Hasbro’s own properties such as My Little Pony, Candyland, Hanazuki, G.I. Joe, Tonka, Magic the Gathering, Transformers and Nerf and a large sampling of licensed IP, including Star Wars, Marvel and Sesame Street. Licensees who took booths included American Greetings (greeting cards) USAopoly (board games, puzzles), Disguise (costumes), Funrise Toys (Tonka toys), Enterplay (playing cards), IDW Publishing (books), along with local retailers and distributors such as TJ Collectibles (retailer from Milford, MA), Heroes in Action and Coolstuffinc.com. The gathering also came as Hasbro prepares for the release of Hasbro Studio’s My Little Pony movie in the U.S. on Oct. 6 under the Allspark Pictures label.
“We have a diversity of brands and have done all the Comic Cons and other shows, but we felt it made sense to bring them together for the first time,” says Hasbro’s Bryony Bouyer. “We also wanted to be able show the breadth of the licensing program we have and the amount and variety of products that can be displayed.”
Among the Hasbro-related news at the show:
- Hasbro expects to launch its first major licensing program for Nerf starting in the spring with party goods and expanding to apparel and sports action products (skateboards, pogo sticks, bicycles), says Bouyer. Hasbro unveiled the programs at Licensing Show in May and has signed several licenses, says Bouyer, who declined to identify the companies. While Hasbro an existing license with Gramercy Products for Nerf pet toys, party goods were chosen as the entry point for a broader program after the company found a growing popularity of Nerf-themed birthday parties, says Bouyer. On Pinterest, “many moms were already showing Nerf-themed parties, so thought there was a great opportunity to do a lot of things in the party goods category.”
- Mobile games publisher D3GO is seeking a new developer for its Magic the Gathering mobile games after previous developer Hibernum closed. Hibernum, which developed “Magic the Gathering: Puzzle Quest” in 2015, was in the process of updating the title when it shut in August, says D3Go’s Michael Cerven. D3GO is working with former Hibernum employees and plans to have the update available in the “next few weeks,” says Cerven.
- With Hasbro Studios harboring plans for films based on a range of Hasbro properties including ROM, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. and Micronauts, IDW Publishing showed comic books and standard books based on the IP, all of which were published this year.
- American Greetings is using Hasbro characters as part of a larger push in licensed digital ecards, says American Greetings’ Katie Gentile. American Greetings demonstrated the ecards, designed for birthdays, invitations and other special events at Hascon using My Little Pony, Mr. Potato Head and others. American Greetings currently has small selection of licensed ecards, including with Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and designs by Kathy Davis. But it also is working toward an agreement with Warner Bros. for some its characters, including Wonder Woman.
- Hasbro’s Monopoly will make its Broadway debut in 2018, says Bouyer. The Monopoly the Musical stage adoption of the popular board game is being done as part of a licensing deal struck in 2016 with production and merchandising company Araca and is part of slate of properties being pitched for theaters, amusement parks, cruise ships and other venues. Araca has said the play will take its inspiration from The Lego Movie in exploring the world of the game. Araca also debuted Clue: On Stage earlier this year during a May 2-20 run at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA.
American Greetings, Katie Gentile, Product Development Dir., 216.252.7300, email@example.com
D3GO, Michael Cervan, Senior Marketing Mgr., 310-231-5848, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hasbro, Bryony Bouyer, SVP Global Category Management, Marketing and Creative, 401-431-8697, email@example.com