“Power Rangers”, the TV franchise created by Haim Saban and his entertainment company, was a surprise hit with its target audience and even periphery demographics following the release of its first series in 1993. Somehow, the adaptation and localization of a Japanese-made live-action show by adding scenes with western actors alongside the suited stunt fights became a recipe for success, seeing Power Rangers endure as a brand for decades. In the doing however, the franchise changed hands several times. From 2002 to 2009 it was under Disney/Jetix, before returning to Saban’s control. But now, another company has acquired it wholly.
The Hollywood Reporter has it that Hasbro, arguably the third largest toy brand in the world, is buying the “Power Rangers” franchise from Saban Brands for $229.75 in cash. This comes shortly after the initial announcement just this February that Saban Brands has transferred the toy license for “Power Rangers” to Hasbro from Bandai, which had been manufacturing merchandise for the show ever since it started back in 1993. Hasbro chairman and CEO Brian Goldner issued a statement about the acquisition describing “Power Rangers” as “An iconic brand built on a heritage of great storytelling and merchandising with tremendous upside potential when fully executed across Hasbro’s brand blueprint.”
For his part, Haim Saban spoke on behalf of Saban Brands saying, “25 years after launching Power Rangers, I believe the future for this brand has never been greater,” in reference to the acquisition by Hasbro of the decades-old TV show he created, first by adapting an installment of the long-running Japanese franchise “Super Sentai” series from Toei Company, and following up by localizing almost every subsequent entry ever since. At present, following the reacquisition of “Power Rangers” by Saban from Disney, it has been airing new seasons on kid’s channel Nickelodeon.
Hasbro’s bid for “Power Rangers” is only one of a whole slew of franchise acquisitions recently done by the global toy brand that brought the world toys like “Transformers” and G.I. Joe”, both of which have been given live-action adaptations on the big screen. Other properties soon to come under Hasbro’s umbrella with “Power Rangers” include My Pet Monster, Popples, Julius Jr., Luna Petunia and Treehouse Detectives; all franchises come with a $270 million issue of common stock from Hasbro. This is seen as a sign pointing to the brand evolving past toys and venturing more into the entertainment industry.
The latest “Power Rangers” series, subtitled “Ninja Steel”, is currently airing its second season on Nickelodeon. There has been no word on what the media arrangements would be next, following Hasbro getting the rights. A feature-length remake of the initial “Mighty Morphin” season was released by Lionsgate on cinemas 2017.
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