Although the Transformers movies are a 21st century phenomenon, Hasbro introduced Transformer toys nearly thirty years ago! And Hasbro has been able to sustain the popularity of this toy line for decades — which means that they are now appealing to a new generation of fans. Of course, the toys have been redesigned to keep up with the times — and the advances in technology.
As Gregory Schmidt reports for the New York Times: “To Hasbro, no one is too young or too old to play with a Transformers robot, watch a Transformers television show, or play a Transformers video game. The toy maker started the Transformers franchise with a Japanese partner in 1984. The concept — robots disguised as everyday objects — was originally aimed at 5-year-old boys. But as those boys have grown up and had children and even grandchildren, Hasbro has expanded the brand into other media and added new toy lines to appeal to everyone from toddlers to adults. When buying toys and games for their children, parents often look to favorites from their own childhood. Their nostalgia for beloved toys from their past helps create a bonding experience with their little ones. Toy makers have long tried to build enduring brands that can be passed down to the next generation. Those intellectual properties are cheaper to develop because the toy companies do not have to pay a licensing fee to an outside partner. They also bring in added revenue through licensing fees paid by other companies, like makers of apparel and school accessories. In Transformers, Hasbro has one of the most valuable brands among toy makers. In 2011, the year the third Transformers movie was released, Hasbro recorded $960 million in sales from products related to Transformers and Beyblade, a spinning top game, according to the company’s latest annual earnings report.”
Click the image to read more from Schmidt.
Photo by Marcus Yam for the New York Times