You might have missed it among all the news of Disney gobbling up former rivals in the entertainment world, but another recent corporate merger has resulted in a situation that’s just as incongruous as Disney now owning It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hasbro, the toy brand known for such product lines as Transformers, My Little Pony, and Mr. Potato Head, has purchased entertainment company Entertainment One, also known as eOne, which means that among other things it now owns the entirety of Death Row Records.
The defunct record label that in its heyday housed such artists as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac was probably not the primary attraction of eOne for Hasbro, since the company also holds popular children’s franchises like Peppa Pig and PJ Masks under its umbrella. So while it’s unlikely that you’re going to see a special edition G-Funk Mr. Potato Head any time soon, it’s also not something you should rule out completely, as the acquisition’s accompanying press release includes some enthusiastic words from Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner on the eOne catalog:
“The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro’s portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling.”
Entertainment One acquired the Death Row Records catalog in 2013 for a reported sum of $280 million, several years after the label was forced into bankruptcy. Hasbro, in turn, spent $4 billion on what Deadline called “an all-cash transaction” to purchase Entertainment One.
It’s a safe bet that Hasbro is hoping to replicate the success it’s had adapting toy lines like Transformers to film and television with new properties that are popular among today’s kids, but only time will tell exactly what Hasbro has in mind for its new box of toys. Theoretically, that includes whether or not any Death Row material will fit into any of those plans.
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