Hasbro, Inc. Type Public company Traded as NASDAQ: HAS Industry Toys, games, media and entertainment Founded 1923 Headquarters Pawtucket, Rhode Island, US Key people Alfred J. Verrecchia
(President and CEO)
Revenue US$4.07 billion (FY 2009) Operating income US$922 million (FY 2009) Net income US$375 million (FY 2009) Total assets US$3.90 billion (FY 2009) Total equity US$1.39 billion (FY 2008) Employees 5,800 (2009) Website Hasbro.com
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a multinational toy and boardgame company from the United States of America. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States. The majority of its products are manufactured in East Asia.
In 1923, two brothers—Henry and Helal Hassenfeld—founded Hassenfeld Brothers, a textile remnant company in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. Over the next two decades, the company expanded to produce pencil cases and school supplies.
In the 1940s, Hassenfeld Brothers produced doctor and nurse kits, its first toys. Hassenfeld Brothers' first toy hit was Mr. Potato Head, which the company purchased from inventor George Lerner in 1952. The toy was a smash success. In 1964, Hassenfeld Brothers produced the G.I. Joe toy, which they termed an "action figure" in order to market the toy to boys who wouldn't want to play with "dolls." The company shortened its name to Hasbro Industries in 1968. The company's promotional efforts included the catchphrase "Boy Oh Boy! It's A Hasbro Toy!" in television commercials and prints ads. In 1969 Hasbro bought Romper Room, Inc. and re-branded it as Claster Television Productions.
In 1982, Hasbro produced another successful toy franchise, My Little Pony. The company acquired the Milton Bradley Company in 1984 (and operated under the name "Hasbro Bradley" until 1986), bringing The Game of Life, Candy Land, Twister, Chutes and Ladders and Yahtzee into the Hasbro fold, and found continued success in 1984 with the release of the first Transformers toys. The Transformers Jumpstarters toys were the subject of a lawsuit by Hasbro in 1985 where they sued a toy manufacturer for selling toys based on their design. Hasbro won the suit.
In 1985, CBS Toys (including the Child Guidance label) was purchased. In 1986, Hasbro acquired Playskool, which purchased Mr. Potato Head from Hasbro that year. Parker Brothers was purchased by Hasbro in 1991, and with it Monopoly, the most successful commercial board game of all time.
Hasbro, Inc. is now the parent company of several subsidiaries. The toys and games produced by these companies retain their brand identity, which is an important advertising consideration. Many of Hasbro's games have been around so long that they have entered into popular culture. In 1998 Hasbro bought Avalon Hill for $6 million and in 1999 Wizards of the Coast was bought in a deal worth $325 million. Wizards of the Coast is now a subsidiary of Hasbro and has Avalon Hill as its division. In 2001 money-losing Hasbro Interactive, a subsidiary formed in 1995, was sold to French software concern Infogrames for $100 million.
Some of the Hasbro-owned subsidiaries are/were:
- Avalon Hill (an imprint of Wizards of the Coast, see below)
- Cap Candy
- CBS Toys
- Child Guidance
- Claster Television, Inc.
- Milton Bradley
- Parker Brothers
- Selchow and Righter
- Tiger Electronics
- Wizards of the Coast
- TSR, Inc.
The largest subsidiary of Hasbro was probably Kenner (in Cincinnati, Ohio). Kenner was the toy company that was behind the success of the Star Wars, Play-Doh, Super Powers, M.A.S.K., Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears toy lines. When Tonka and then later Hasbro acquired Kenner, the Kenner location became the foremost producer for Hasbro "boys toys", leading production on the high-profile lines of 12" G.I. Joe releases of the nineties, and the Transformers, Batman and Star Wars toys. However, after sales declined in 2000 after the Star Wars toy market saturation implosion, Hasbro faced a difficult decision in cutting back its spending in order to continue to cater to their primary buyers. They decided to close the entire Cincinnati plant, relocating about 100 employees and laying off over 400. This decision, while good for Hasbro, created a ripple effect on the Cincinnati job market which continued to push businesses out of Cincinnati, which, with Procter & Gamble and Hasbro, had managed to be the midwest city for corporate advertising and graphic design.
In the early 21st century, Hasbro allowed for the use of Mr. Potato Head in a community art project similar to those with cows in Chicago and pigs in Cincinnati. Painted and reoutfitted versions of Mr. Potato Head by various artists sprouted up all over Rhode Island and were welcome additions in front of businesses and buildings (including a New England staple, Dunkin' Donuts) for the duration of the project.
In 2007, the Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company acquired Cap Candy from Hasbro.
Hasbro Studios is the Los Angeles-based production division of Hasbro, Inc.. The "virtual" studio develops and produces shows based on Hasbro's brands, including Transformers, My Little Pony and G.I. Joe. It also delivers new branded content and produces programs from third-party content creators.
Hasbro is collaborating with Discovery Communications on The Hub, a new cable network which began on October 10, 2010. Hasbro will also produce Marvel Comics toys until 2017. The Walt Disney Company's purchase of Marvel in 2009 came as a blow to Hasbro, as it is likely Disney will give the Marvel license to their rival Mattel. Hasbro had also hoped their collaboration with Marvel would pad out their channel's schedule with Marvel cartoons.
Over the years Hasbro has outsourced the manufacture of its products to third-party companies, mostly in China. At the Chinese factories, which Hasbro does not directly own or operate, migrant workers are compensated with meager salaries for their labor. At one such factory, in Dongguan, China, basic assembly line jobs pay a little over one hundred US dollars per month, China's minimum wage.
In 2007, a workers' rights group investigated several of Hasbro's Chinese suppliers and found that, in one instance, a toy factory in China's Guangxi Province had hired 1000 junior high school students. The same group discovered other widespread labor violations, including unsafe working conditions, mandatory overtime, verbal abuse and sexual harassment of employees. Hasbro issued a statement, saying that it would "act swiftly and decisively in making any necessary changes" and had "increased the intensity of [its] ongoing safety review efforts." Critics counter that, as Hasbro has no official regulatory control of these factories, it responds to such investigations by acquiring independent auditors, who make unannounced visits to the East Asian subcontractors. Factory managers are then "coached" in how to fool the auditors.
Outside Asia, Hasbro owns and operates only two manufacturing facilities, one in Waterford, Ireland, the other in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, USA. In recent years, the company has cut jobs at both plants in response to increasing competition from lower cost locations in China. At the end of 2006, for example, Hasbro's Irish division laid off more than one third of its workforce.
Toys and games
Hasbro has several brands of toys and games aimed at different demographics. Some of its better-known toy lines (past and present) are:
- Battle Beasts
- Cabbage Patch Kids (1989–1994)
- Easy-Bake Oven
- FurReal Friends (Furry Frenzies)
- G.I. Joe
- Sesame Street
- Jurassic Park
- Lincoln Logs
- Mr. Potato Head
- My Little Pony
- Pokémon (1998–2005)
- Star Wars
- Talk 'n Play
Hasbro is the largest producer of board games in the world as a result of its component brands, such as Parker Brothers, Waddingtons, Milton Bradley, Wizards of the Coast, and Avalon Hill (all acquisitions since the 1980s). As a result it has well known and top selling games such as:
- Axis and Allies
- Candy Land
- Clue (Cluedo)
- Dungeons & Dragons (role-playing game)
- The Game of Life
- Magic: The Gathering (Hasbro's top-selling brand)
- Duel Masters Trading Card Game
- Monopoly (best selling board game ever according to the Guinness Book of World Records)
- Trivial Pursuit
- Mirror-Mirror (Winner of ITV1's 'Design a Board Game Competition')
Hasbro also produces many variations of most of their games. For example, in addition to original Scrabble, the game is also available as "Scrabble Deluxe Edition", "Scrabble Deluxe Travel Edition","Scrabble Junior", and "Scrabble Onyx Edition".
Hasbro also offers games of physical skill such as:
Hasbro began a short-lived video game development and publishing venture called Hasbro Interactive in the 1990s, but disbanded it in late 1999. Now Hasbro develops video games based on its brands through third-party developers and licensing strategies, notably with major American companies such as Activision, Electronic Arts and THQ.
On February 25, 2005, Hasbro announced that it would be introducing a musical toothbrush to the market. The Tooth Tunes, released in early 2007, transmits music from the jawbone to the ear when the bristles touch the teeth.
- Transformers (2007)
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
- Battleship (2012)
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2012)
- ^ a b History of Hasbro from Hasbro's official website
- ^ a b c Hasbro (HAS) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
- ^ a b Hasbro (HAS) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
- ^ HASBRO BRADLEY, INC. v. SPARKLE TOYS, INC., 780 F.2d 189 (2nd Cir. 1985) from Cornell University Law School
- ^ The Fall of Avalon Hill from Academic Gaming Review
- ^ Hasbro Buys Pokemon Cards from BNET.com
- ^ Hasbro to Acquire Wizards of the Coast from About.com
- ^ Company News; Hasbro Completes Sale Of Interactive Business from The New York Times
- ^ "Hasbro Acquires Cranium". Boardgames.about.com. January 4, 2008. http://boardgames.about.com/od/companies/a/hasbro_cranium.htm. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- ^ ""Hasbro Announces Agreement to Acquire Cranium, Inc." press release". Phx.corporate-ir.net. January 4, 2008. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=68329&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1091567&highlight=. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
- ^ No brainer: Hasbro buys Cranium from MSNBC
- ^ "Disney-Marvel deal casts web of issues for toymakers". Reuters. August 31, 2009. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE57U63C20090831. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- ^ "Workers riot at Chinese factory producing Nerf toys for Hasbro" from USA Today
- ^ "U.S. Group Accuses Chinese Toy Factories of Labor Abuses" from The New York Times
- ^ "‘Painful and difficult’ decision as 140 jobs lost" from The Munster Express
- ^ "Transformers 3 release date". Michael Bay. March 17, 2009. http://michaelbay.com/newsblog/files/3f197617a57cc2502d459e79ffb5ec42-262.html. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
- Official website
- MonkeyBarTV, Hasbro children's entertainment website
- CPSC Lead Paint Recall on Cranium Cadoo
Superhero Toy Lines MarvelCaptain America: The First Avenger · Hulk Classics · Iron Man: Armored Adventures · Iron Man: The Armored Avenger · Iron Man 2 · Marvel Legends · Marvel Legends Showdown · Marvel Minimates · Marvel Select · Marvel Super Hero Squad · Marvel Universe · Mega Morphs · Secret Wars · Spider-Man and Friends · Lego Spider-Man · Spider-Man Classics · Spider-Man Origins · Thor: The Mighty Avenger · Wolverine and the X-Men · X-Men Classics · X-Men Origins: Wolverine DCBatman · Batman action figures · Batman: Total Justice · DC Direct · DC Minimates · DC Superheroes · DC Universe · DC Universe All-Stars · DC Universe Classics · DC Universe Infinite Heroes · Justice League Unlimited · Lego Batman · Movie Masters · Sgt. Rock · Superman: Man of Steel · Super Powers Collection · Swamp Thing · Warlord · Wonder Woman Other Manufacturers Designers News Monopoly: The Classic Real Estate Game Overall history Game designers &
Related games Hasbro Monopoly
Modern variants Spin-off gamesBoard/dice gamesCard games See also
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