About a month ago, we reported on several of the DVD releases coming out around the world, namely the German DVD and audio play release, and the region 4 DVD set. Much interest went into the region 4 DVDs due to the fact that the company producing them is providing basically a box set. There are three volumes coming out, and volume 1 has the option (for about an extra 10 dollars) to include a box, which will hold all three DVDs. About five days that this information hit the pony newsstands, it was then reported that the pre-order sales on EzyDVD had caused the product to sky-rocket into the top 5 sales list for pre-orders.
To note the Madman set is region 4, which covers Mexico, South and Central America, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Oceania Region. That means you need a region 4 player, so people in places like the UK, US, Canada, and such are SOL. But as I noted in the previous article, I’m sure that with a little free time and some research, your computer is probably more than capable of playing them (but don’t quote me on that).
A recent article that appeared yesterday (right before the finale) shows that Madman is well aware of internet culture, namely the fact that our community exists. Nothing against Shout Factory, I think they kind of realized what kind of bee-hive they stepped into after the first release (plus there is always the restriction of business; retailers decide on the product at least over here in the US). The article above talks about the recent licensing deal between Madman products and Hasbro, which includes the yang to ponies, Transformers.
They speak with Hugh Davis, Madman Product Manager, and when asked about their first releases, he explains that it’ll be Transformers and My Little Pony. For Transformers: Prime fans, they are getting the full length feature Darkness Rising, and notes that fans are saying this is the best Transformers since the original series (key note: listening to the fans). As for My Little Pony, they’ve dubbed the box set “The Brony Box,” and that it has been specifically created with the “older” fans in mind.
Still at this moment in time it’s unknown if there will be any extras included with the DVDs. I don’t think Madman has said if there are any either way.
A text transcript of the entire article behind the page break (pardon any spelling or grammar errors).
(Note: Volume 3 isn’t up for pre-order yet).
Madman strengthen toy tie-in cred with new Hasbro deal
Collectible content including Transformers, G.I. Joe and My Little Pony part of Madman’s new working arrangement with Hasbro, the toy industry’s most iconic brand. Ben Sheehan talks to Madman Product Manager Hugh Davies to get the story behind the deal.
How did Hasbro partnership come about, was it seeded by virtue of your affiliation with toy company Fantastic, or through your long time association with Hasbro’s original Transformers cartoon series?
Hugh Davis: Madman has had great success with previous Transformers releases, due in no small part to the passion we have for the band and I’m sure Hasbro took this into account when making their decision. Great consideration was also given to our earlier and ongoing efforts with other toy brands, like Ben 10.
What will be your first releases as a result of the new partnership?
We’re starting with the big guns: Transformers: Prime, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
In June, we’ll be releasing Transformers: Prime – Darkness Rising, a feature-length release that introduces the Prime series. Fans are saying this is the best Transformers release since the original series. Character design is comparable to the hugely successful movies and the same creative team is involved but the crucial difference is that while the movies were adult focussed, Prime is kid friendly so the key demographic of boys 5 to 10 as well as older fans can enjoy the first rate animation and smart scripts.
We also have three other june releases. For My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, we will be releasing volume 1 and volume 2 simultaneously, as well as a collector’s box that contains volume 1 and gift. The collector’s box, called a “Brony Box”, as been specially created for older fans of the show called Bronies. If you’ve spent any time on websites like Reddit, Buzzfeed or 9gag recently you’ll know these fans are as passionate about MLP as the key demographic of girls 3 to 8.
“Hasbro are very actively engaged with developing entertaining kids’ entertainment…”
Are there plans to broaden the list of Hasbro properties within your catalogue?
Absolutely. Hasbro are very actively engaged with developing entertaining kids’ entertainment around their numberous well known toy brands, so the sky’s the limit. The company has great product, it is engaged with its customers and they are a pleasure to work with.
There’s a very rich history of successful toy lines / cartoon tie ins dating right back to the 1980s, and Hasbro has been in that space from the word go. How has the landscape changed though in recent times with the arrival of the nostalgia market, and the fracturing of traditional media?
Transformers and My Little Pony have been around for about 30 years and over the past 10 years we’ve seen the first wave of nostalgia around these brands. About 5 years ago, Madman worked closely with Jay-Jays to create a hugely successful Transformers ’retro’ range of apparel. As well as a great venture in its own right, that collaboration has a flown-on effect to home video giving the brand a publicity boost. We pride ourselves on exploiting cross-promotional opportunities like that.
Regarding the fractured market, some brands are popular enough to generate cut-through and thrive even in a challenging media landscape. My Little Pony, for instance, has 98% global brand awareness and has been around entertaining girls for generations so explaining the product to people is not neccessary. It’s a big advantage knowing that our job is to promote releases we have in as many locations we as possible without having to explain what the product actually is.
Has Hasbro indicated what their plans for the new animation studio will be over coming years in terms of volume of releases?
Not at this stage as the ink is still fresh on our agreement, but all in time. We’re working closely with the local office and are directly communicating with Hasbro Studio.