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View Full Version : Hasbro to buy back Lucas' shares



JediTricks
05-10-2007, 03:34 PM
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index.php?categoryid=13&p2_articleid=823

That floored me, Lucas has around 10% of the company and Hasbro has enough cash-on-hand to buy that back now.

stillakid
05-10-2007, 03:58 PM
Hasbro has just incurred his wrath. They learned nothing from the lesson of Universal or 20th Century Fox. Lucas will now seek out a UK toy maker to fulfill his every whim at a fraction of the cost. If he can't find one, he will create a toy shop, not unlike Santa's workshop, and he will call it LucasToys. And he shall be happy.

Jargo
05-10-2007, 04:57 PM
hmmmmm. intriguing.



brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.


oh really? I beg to differ.

stillakid
05-10-2007, 04:58 PM
hmmmmm. intriguing.


brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

oh really? I beg to differ.

Yeah, I thought that was Cheetah's in Vegas.

Kidhuman
05-10-2007, 08:08 PM
That is freakin bizarre I dont think anyone knew Lucas had that much control, but its all gone now. That might be any hope of 1/2 the back ground characters we get.

pbarnard
05-10-2007, 09:14 PM
Probably had to do with the license fee Hasbro posted for SW. They finally profited enough to buy it back, doubtful anything will change. But it will make for an interesting quarterly summary.

Phantom-like Menace
05-10-2007, 11:09 PM
I just can't believe Lucas is relinquishing control on anything labeled "Star Wars." He seemed to be making a conscious effort for the longest time to put every possible product under the control of companies and subsidiaries he had some control over.

bigbarada
05-10-2007, 11:31 PM
Sooooo, can someone explain what this means in plain English for those of us who really have no clue what this article is talking about?:stupid:

jedi master sal
05-11-2007, 07:34 AM
Sooooo, can someone explain what this means in plain English for those of us who really have no clue what this article is talking about?:stupid:

It means it's the end of the line for Star Wars....

Okay maybe not, but without control, Hasbro may be more free to do what they want with the line. Though reading this, I still come away with the feeling that Hasbro will still have to get LFL's approval on sculpts and such. But instead of having to adhere to what gets released when, well, that's probably going to go. So who knows, this could be a good thing in the short term.

Bah, whatever the case, I don't have much more collecting in me, so this doesn't impact me whatsoever.

El Chuxter
05-11-2007, 09:00 AM
Get ready for the 500 Best Vader Figures Not Yet Made!!

Droid
05-11-2007, 09:43 AM
I already posted this in another thread:

I really don't take this to mean that we will see a change in anything. Just because Lucas has been bought out by Hasbro doesn't mean they wouldn't have to comply with the licensing agreement they have with him. I'm sure they still have to have all product approved by Lucasfilm. I am sure that the Tonnika problems still exist, if they are even true.

I don't think this will change anything for Hasbro as far as Star Wars is concerned. I am sure that they just had enough money from Star Wars, Spider-Man, and what they think will be a good Transformers year to make their move now.

I don't think people should characterize this as Hasbro's way to stop making Star Wars or to limit the characters made. I don't think Lucas was telling Hasbro, "You better make Hermi Odle. My fans demand it!" I think he could care less what figures are made or not. I think that has been Hasbro's call for some time.

Jargo
05-11-2007, 10:12 AM
it's possible that lucas bought shares to up the appeal hasbro shares had with other share buyers thus boosting the profile hasbro has. now that they're presumably rolling in the money they no longer need that support and can pay back lucas for his favour. it won't affect the license, all the approvals will still need to go through LFL hands same as always. and whatever hasbro star wars wants to do is always subject to what hasbro as a company wants to do. the guys working on hasbro star wars may want to produce those background fillers we want but the company itself of which hasbro star wars is but a small part has a model of repaints and re-releases and geting as much money for old rope as it can.

for as much as i bark at hasbro I'm barking at the company not the star wars team per se. I'm sure they're as frustrated as we are sometimes. they must have meetings where stuff is bounced around as possible ideas that then get shot down and watered down by the finance guys. "yes you can do a repaint but no you can't have the money for a resculpt" that sort of thing.
and with most factories being in china these days the costs of production must be spiralling because china is fast becoming a rich nation and that money is coming from somewhere. not all from toy production obviously but it must be hard finding cheap factories these days.

as far as certain characters go, star wars is deemed a boys line and as such it will always fall into the stereotyped toy soldiers and army based toys criteria. getting aliens and female characters is a hard push at the best of times unlss it's Padme or Leia. Or the alien is deemed iconic enough.

the maintrouble with hasbro is that it has an old school approach to all the lines it produces. something of a 1970's mentality. which is likely down to the ethos stemming from the top of the company tree. the company has mr. potato head as its mascot, a toy that is ols as the hills and dull as dishwater. so it isn't surprising that the company hasn't progressed much in terms of embracing the true trends of action figure production.it's not surprising that so many of the lines produced by hasbro have quality that would be perfectly camparable to anything around in the 1970's.

what really needs to happen is for the company to separate off certain lines and allow those to breathe freely as a sub company. they have their mainstay lines that fulfill the kids toys criteria but action figures are a different creature now than they were in the days of kenner. people expect a higher standard and a broader range of product. having hasbro star wars trying to pander to both collectors and kids is like having a samurai warrior teach kindergarten. it just doesn't gel. hasbro needs to create a teen toys company and let that blossom to cater to a new set of needs and consumer base that's always been there but not really been addressed.

Old Fossil
05-11-2007, 10:44 AM
Wow, well said, Jargo.

JediTricks
05-11-2007, 06:09 PM
Lucas didn't have those warrants as a favor to Hasbro, they're basically a marker Hasbro gave Lucas in lieu of payment for renewing the license between them - either $200 mil for the license or $220 mil in stock, at the time they didn't have that much liquid cash so it was stock.

I suspect it will affect the brand as a whole, though not individual choices like "make Ponda Baba with or without removable arm" (which Lucas Licensing has to approve of anyway no matter what). I think Lucas' 10% was enough weight to shift the balance of power in larger managerial decisions like "should the brand should ramp up 15% or stay at current levels", and now Hasbro will be in a stronger place to do something in that respect which Lucas might feel differently on.

Of course, maybe Lucas didn't care about any of that and is happy to just get the bread instead, but he's become a lot like his father who was that kind of businessman who needed his hand in everything.


BTW, I disagree that Hasbro is running the line and their business like the '70s, I would say they're right on track for the now, the only other toy company at their level is Mattel who runs things similarly (and their attempt to separate their main action boys lines into younger and older demographics IMO has failed miserably because they can't manage either very well - see: The Batman & their DC in general). At the size of the SW line, niching will only bury the line because the main consumers are the casual consumers while fan-favs like Unleashed struggle and die almost immediately.

Tycho
05-17-2007, 08:59 AM
Both Jargo and JediTricks made really intelligent points above. Nicely done. I don't have much I can add (besides my compliments I just paid).

But I also wonder if Lucas made allowances for the stock options to be paid to help cover Hasbro for any struggles it had with Episode One and a retailer backlash following the 1999 glut? I'm not sure really. AOTC and ROTS seemed to have just as many toys, but they sold better (especially ROTS - quite obviously).

stillakid
05-17-2007, 10:06 AM
hasbro needs to create a teen toys company and let that blossom to cater to a new set of needs and consumer base that's always been there but not really been addressed.

They could name it "Kenner."

JediTricks
05-18-2007, 09:53 PM
But I also wonder if Lucas made allowances for the stock options to be paid to help cover Hasbro for any struggles it had with Episode One and a retailer backlash following the 1999 glut? I'm not sure really. AOTC and ROTS seemed to have just as many toys, but they sold better (especially ROTS - quite obviously).Lucas is rich and isn't in dire need for more cash, so stocks are always going to be the greater reward if the line succeeds because then his payment goes up without costing the licensee more. AOTC had nowhere near as many toys as TPM, not even by a third I'd say, not in volume and not in breadth of choices, and I'd say ROTS was in between the two. But I firmly don't believe Lucas did anything to help Hasbro there, he was content to watch Hasbro suck itself into the grave in '98/'99 when it started buying up all those smaller companies, many of which had SW licenses at the time, and he didn't do anything to help them out in the '00/'01 era when all that buying and TPM mismanagement nearly put them into bankruptcy. Lucas' new deal came 2 years later only well after Hasbro had totally changed their management and development styles, shrunk brand-failure impact so no brand would control more than 10% of company interest, shut down their non-Rhode Island operations and sold off all their old warehoused backstock before closing most of their warehouses.

Droid
05-19-2007, 08:59 AM
I still think those warehouse sales hurt the line because then we all started clearance watching. I have never wanted to pay more than $10 for a vehicle since. It was a lot of fun for us, but the company probably would have been better off burning that merchandise.

JediTricks
05-19-2007, 04:37 PM
I still think those warehouse sales hurt the line because then we all started clearance watching. I have never wanted to pay more than $10 for a vehicle since. It was a lot of fun for us, but the company probably would have been better off burning that merchandise.
That was a 1-time event, basically changing everything about their business model, you won't likely see it again because Hasbro no longer warehouses overstock the same way. That's smart too because warehoused backstock can have taxes levied against it by the IRS after a year I believe, so Hasbro was paying to run warehouses PLUS taxes on backstock that would likely never be sold otherwise.

Tycho
05-19-2007, 07:01 PM
So the government taxes warehouse backstock like actual STOCK holdings in a way? I'm not sure I understand that, but it looks like I'm very close for you to help me make sense of it.

JediTricks
05-20-2007, 07:48 PM
They tax it like you COULD be making money on it even though you're not, they're basically penalizing you for making more than you could sell and then holding onto it, I don't really understand why either but they do.

Tycho
05-20-2007, 09:55 PM
That sucks. That could really force some businesses into bankruptcy if you think about it. Is that a conspiracy's goal?

sith_killer_99
05-20-2007, 10:30 PM
I think the idea behind it is more about preventing a conspiracy.

Look at it like this, Nintendo develops a product and schedules it for a release date close to the holidays. Then they decide to sit on their product to drive up demand during the holidays.

Sure, they still only make "retail" on the sale of a few of their machines.

However, when you look at the bigger picture....

Relatives, Moms and Dads who can't afford eBay prices for the new (limited release) game system, decide to give their kids something else for Christmas. Little Johnny Video Game Addict, gets his new games for the old Nintendo system for Christmas. Then when Nintendo releases all those "New" systems sitting in the warehouse in January-February Mom and Dad run down and buy Johnny the latest video game system for no real reason, other than they feel guilty that they couldn't get it for them on Christmas.

It's a sucker play, but you would be surprised how many people fall for it.

So now, along comes Uncle Sam, who says to Nintendo "Oh you want to play it that way! Well, give us our piece of the pie!"

So they do what governments do, they tax 'em for 2006 AND 2007!:rolleyes:

Then, they tell people that they implemented the tax to ensure fair practices for the "consumer".:rolleyes:

Tycho
05-20-2007, 11:10 PM
Good post Sith-Killer. I like how all the spin-doctoring is always "for the public good."

decadentdave
05-20-2007, 11:20 PM
Anybody else find it more than a little curious that Hasbro forces Lucas out as a shareholder almost concurrent to Master Replicas withdrawing their offer to renew their licensing agreement with Luca$$film? Looks like the Seperatists are imposing a blockade of the Trade Federation. :D

Tycho
05-21-2007, 01:10 AM
I love uncovering conspiracies, but this one I'll actually chalk up to coincidence.

JediTricks
05-21-2007, 04:32 PM
I love uncovering conspiracies, but this one I'll actually chalk up to coincidence.
Yeah, I gotta agree here, it just seems like coincidence to me as well, especially since MR and Hasbro had crossover items indirectly (light up lightsabers) that would make them enemies.

JEDIpartner
05-22-2007, 11:57 AM
I'd love to see a battle between the two companies as their employees went to fight against each other weilding their respective lightsabers!! :D

pbarnard
05-22-2007, 12:18 PM
I'd love to see a battle between the two companies as their employees went to fight against each other weilding their respective lightsabers!! :D

Hasbro won't show up because they'll have outsourced it to China and, if they do, eventually the numbers will overwhelm MR. That's if anyone can afford the price of gas to show up.