In a major steal, Hasbro today announced a deal between Saban Brands that will install the toy company as the sole, global master licensee for Power Rangers. The news comes ahead of the New York Toy Fair, which is taking place this upcoming weekend. The previous licensee was Bandai, which produced toys for the property since the long-running franchise first started in the United States in 1993.
Power Rangers is currently in its twenty-fifth season, Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel. Based on the Super Sentai tokusatsu franchise from Japan, the American series recently had a live-action feature film from Lionsgate premiere in theaters last year. The franchises has experienced multiple changing of the hands, first created by Saban Entertainment and airing on Fox, before being bought by Disney in 2001; soon after, Saban bought the series back in 2010, now airing it on Nickelodeon. Meanwhile, Hasbro has overseen the Marvel Legends line of action figures, producing toys based on Marvel comics, films and television shows. Also included in the company's product line are G.I. Joe, Transformers and My Little Pony.
According to a press release from Hasbro, the company will "design, produce and bring to market a wide variety of toys, games and role play items inspired by the franchise and its entertainment properties." The deal will be in effect by April 1, 2019. The top executives from Hasbro and Saban say in their respective statements:
“We are honored to create a world of play experiences for such an iconic action brand,” said Brian Goldner, Chairman and CEO of Hasbro. “Saban’s Power Rangers are universally recognized and their hallmark attributes of teamwork and inclusivity perfectly align with our core values at Hasbro.”
“Hasbro leads the way in brand storytelling and creating engaging experiences across its exceptional portfolio of blockbuster and partner brands,” said Haim Saban, founder of Saban Brands and creator of Power Rangers. “Quality, innovation and a focus on designing dynamic products for fans of all ages makes Hasbro a great partner for Power Rangers.”
Along with the news came a brand new logo, replacing the standard Power Rangers logo used for over two decades.
Curiously, the press release ends by saying: "In recognition of this investment, during a period of time after Hasbro becomes the master toy licensee, the arrangement between the parties provides Saban Brands and Hasbro with the opportunity to initiate Hasbro’s purchase of the Power Rangers property." The possibility of Hasbro owning the property outright is fascinating, and would be another behemoth franchise in Hasbro's already robust portfolio.
The news also coincides with Hasbro's planned "reset" of their Transformers film franchise, making it wholly possible that Hasbro might have Power Rangers in their sights as their next big film franchise. No official word yet on a sequel to the 2017 film, but its stars remain hopeful.