Autobots, it’s morphin’ time. Hasbro, the toy company that owns nostalgic franchises like G.I. Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony, and recently acquired all things Power Rangers from Saban, has confirmed it intends to produce a Power Rangers movie, presumably under its film subsidiary Hasbro Studios.
On Thursday, Hasbro Inc. CEO Brian Goldner spoke about the acquisition of Power Rangers to attendees at the Bernstein Thirty-Fourth Strategic Decisions Conference in New York (via TokuNet). There’s a lot of corporate speak in his speech, but Goldner boils down the Power Rangers franchise as something with equal potential to its other brands like G.I. Joe and Transformers. In addition to toys, that also means producing new “motion pictures in the future.”
“We’ve now announced the acquisition of Power Rangers,” Goldner said, adding that Hasbro intends to “plug and play that right into our strategy where we activate it in entertainment, motion pictures in the future and then of course across toys and games and consumer products and do so globally.”
Added Goldner: “We felt the brand was very under leveraged and undervalued. We feel we can exploit it to a much greater extent and it was a great opportunity to acquire the brand.”
From 2011 until last February, all things Power Rangers were operated by former owner Saban (after a ten-year run by Disney, which barely acknowledged it owned the thing). Saban’s new ownership saw a revitalization of the Power Rangers brand not seen since the ‘90s, with a TV series on Nickelodeon and a PG-13 reboot film co-produced by Lionsgate. There has also been a successful ongoing comic book series published by BOOM! Studios.
But ratings of the series haven’t been above average, and the movie came and went with middling reviews and a lukewarm box office performance. Saban’s Power Rangers lost to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in its opening weekend.
It is unknown exactly how Hasbro intends to approach Power Rangers beyond making toys and keeping the TV series on the air (a new series, Power Rangers Beast Morphers is slated to hit next year). It’s even less clear what Hasbro’s Power Rangers movie could look like, whether it means yet another reboot or a sequel to the Lionsgate film. Hasbro is also attempting to create a cinematic universe with its franchises. There’s possibility for crossover, though Hasbro will presumably won’t want to rush bashing its new toys together so fast.