October solicitations are now here! More details on what’s coming after the break.
Hasbro continued to be spearheaded by its licensing deals with Star Wars and Disney Princess an Disney Frozen. Revenues overall grew 10% for the second quarter and operating profit grew 12%. The Boys segment was up 4% led by double-digit growth in Nerf, but there were issues with declines for Transformers and Jurassic World which cause a near $6 decline in the company’s stock today. Games was up 8% led by Pie-Face , Duel Masters, and Yahtzee. Preschool was up 5% and led by double-digit growth in Play-Doh. Girls was up 35% and led by Disney Princess and Disney Frozen.
MLP was hardly mentioned in the earnings call which went under 50 minutes. Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said on the conference call that while revenues for MLP were slightly off in the quarter, there are things to look forward to in the second half of the year and leading up to the 2017 movie.
“MY LITTLE PONY declined slightly in the quarter as we transition elements of our toy line,” said Goldner. “Over the past five years, content and innovation has propelled this brand in both games and toys and consumer products.
“MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC season six is currently airing around the world and our fall product line features the core cast inspired by the locations they visit. MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS mini dolls have performed very well, exceeding our expectations, and are helping offset difficult comparisons to a year ago.
“This leads us to next year, when on October 6, 2017, MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE will hit theatres with an all-star cast and global distribution from Lionsgate. The film introduces new characters, new worlds and new play experiences for the MY LITTLE PONY fan.”
A lot of what Hasbro is doing is indeed back-ended and that back end starts with San Diego Comic Con starting Thursday. There are a pair ofTransformers initiatives coming up this year and there’s a 2017 movie. Of course, revenues for Transformers usually face headwinds when there isn’t a movie and we’re currently two years removed from one.
Back to MLP, there is “Legends of Everfree” this Fall and the second half of Season Six starting on July 30th and the first half coming to Netflix the same day. So while this was, given its recent past, and off quarter, there is still plenty to look forward to with an emphasis on the 2017 movie.
The promo for the second half of season 6 has begun airing on Discovery Family. Take a look after the break for 30 seconds of new scenes.
“As one of the largest independent studios producing animation in Hollywood, the time is right for Hasbro to acquire its own animation studio, allowing us to expand our animation and storytelling capabilities even further,” said Hasbro Studios President Steven David whom Boulder’s staff will now report to.
It is expected that Boulder will take on some of Hasbro’s properties across various platforms in the future, though it was not elaborated on as to which ones in particular. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is animated by both DHX Media in Vancouver and Top Draw Animation in the Philippines as is Transformers: Rescue Bots. Transformers: Robots in Disguise is animated by Polygon Pictures in Japan.
Speaking of Top Draw, it was purchased by Grom Holdings based out of New York City on Wednesday. According to Animation Magazine, the acquisition is the latest step in Grom’s aggressive growth strategy for its “by kids for kids” social network. Grom Social intends to ramp up production for its growing video library for its website and mobile applications, as well as continue to service Top Draw’s clients. CEO and Founder Wayne Dearing will continue to run Top Draw and oversee its animation production.
“The opportunity to join Grom Social and become a part of its growth was a compelling one,” said Dearing in the article. “Transforming our company into a major player in digital media has been the focal point of our strategy to grow our business. By joining forces with Grom Social, we will achieve that goal and set the stage for strong growth within both the traditional television animation sector and new animated content for digital media. I can’t imagine a better fit for us than Grom Social.”
It is way too early to speculate how, if at all, any of this affects MLP. DHX is already working on the show, the Equestria Girls movies, and the main movie itself for Hasbro. We’ll get to know at least what’s coming with two of the three a week from Friday in San Diego as well as Hasbro’s Q2 Earnings Report set for Monday. What is for certain in the case of Hasbro is that they are going all out with their storytelling blueprint and now has an animation studio to help tell some of those stories.
Patton Oswalt is no stranger to the cartoon and comics world. He’s performed roles in Gravity Falls, We Bare Bears, BoJack Horseman, Archer, Bob’s Burgers, Rick and Morty, Axe Cop and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the mid-season comic-themed premiere of FiM, he shows up as a pony named “Quibble Pants” (supposedly a Daring Do cosplayer as the above image suggests).
The casting is not so spontaneous, as Oswalt has chatted about watching MLP with his daughter before. This also comes after a spiel about the My Little Pony universe as seen in his 2016 stand-up act, Talking for Clapping.
Patton Oswalt is going to be horsing around more than ever for his new role. The comedian will voice a quarrelsome pony named Quibble Pants in the mid-season premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
The episode, entitled “Stranger Than Fan Fiction,” will have a Comic-Con theme. The enthusiatic Rainbow Dash will attend a convention for her favorite adventure hero Daring Do, at which she will go head-to-head with Quibble Pants, a Daring Do hater.
The Comic-Con episode will air a week after San Diego Comic-Con, at which the cast and crew of the hit children’s series will preview the rest of the show’s current sixth season as well as the upcoming movie My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree. The My Little Pony Comic-Con panel will take place on Friday, July 22 at 10:30 a.m.
Directly ahead of the new episode, Discovery Family will air three episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic voted on by fans as being the best of the series so far. Starting on Monday, July 18, fans can vote on their favorite episodes through Discovery Family’s website and help select the three that will precede the mid-season premiere.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic returns with “Stranger Than Fan Fiction” on Saturday, July 30 at 11:30 a.m. ET on Discovery Family.