In surprising news, Hasbro, Inc. announced recently that it had acquired the merchandising and intellectual rights to the Power Rangers franchise from Saban Entertainment. The toy giant acquired the rights to the multi-colored superheroes for $522 million in cash and stock. Hasbro’s move comes in the wake of major losses following the bankruptcy of legendary toy store Toys R Us earlier this year. Famous for its Monopoly, Transformers, and G.I. Joe products, Hasbro expects to begin producing Power Rangers toys next year. The deal transfers the rights of other Saban properties to Hasbro as well, including My Pet Monster, Treehouse Detectives, and many others.
In addition to toys, Hasbro is also expected make full use of the Power Rangers film rights. Last year’s Dean Israelite directed film Power Rangers made a respectable $142 million at the box office and received a great deal of praise from long-time fans of the franchise. Many insiders speculate that Hasbro will attempt to follow the model of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and crossover many of its franchises. In this case, Power Rangers could be set in the same cinematic universe as the Transformers and G.I. Joe films. While the deal will surely make fans of the movie franchise happy, the fate of the Power Rangers comic book series is currently unknown. Presently, Power Rangers has two comic book series with publisher Boom Studios, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Go Go Power Rangers.
Power Rangers premiered in 1993 with the first incarnation of its television series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. An icon of 90s television series, the franchise has gone through many iterations over its 25-year history, including Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Dino Thunder, and Power Rangers Ninja Steel, the most recent series in the franchise. The Hasbro acquisition is not the first time Saban has sold the franchise. In 2001, the rights to Power Rangers were sold to Disney before being bought back by Saban in 2010. Haim Saban, founder of Saban Entertainment and creator of the Power Rangers franchise, spoke excitedly of the Hasbro deal, saying in a written statement, “Hasbro’s leadership in innovation, storytelling and brand stewardship make it the perfect company to further develop the global reach and appeal of the Power Rangers property.”