My Little Pony, meet Tupac Shakur
Toymaker Hasbro has acquired gangster rap label Death Row Records — which counts Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists — as part of a bid to grow its stable of family-friendly entertainment.
The worldwide toymaker announced the $4 billion deal Thursday to buy British company Entertainment One, which produces animated kids shows such as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” but also owns the rap label.
Hasbro, which owns the rights to My Little Pony, Monopoly and Mr. Potato Head, has said the company was looking to expand “family brands” and television production with the purchase.
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,” Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement.
Though Hasbro was aiming for more family-friendly programming, the toymaker ended up with Death Row Records, a division of Entertainment One purchased in 2013, Rolling Stone reported.
Death Row — which was founded in 1991 by Suge Knight, The D.O.C., and Dr. Dre — was one of hip-hop’s most influential labels, signing some of the biggest names on the West Coast.
The iconic label, however, filed for bankruptcy in 2006 after a series of lawsuits and the imprisonment of Knight. It has since changed hands several times, ending up with Entertainment One when it was bought for $280 million, according to Rolling Stone.
A Toy Company Now Owns Death Row Records – Rolling Stone
Hasbro, the corporation known for Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony, and Power Rangers, bought Entertainment One, owner of Death Row Records
Hasbro, a massive toy company that is the source of countless hours of childhood joy — thanks to Mr. Potato Head, Monopoly, G.I. Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony, Power Rangers, and much, much more — announced on Thursday that it will join forces with Death Row Records, a label synonymous with West Coast gangster rap thanks to artists like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac.
More precisely, Hasbro purchased Entertainment One, a multimedia company that owns the children’s franchises Peppa Pig and PJ Masks (these are apparently popular among the youth, though they surely pale in comparison with Mr. Potato Head). Entertainment One also has a music division, which happens to be one of the biggest independent labels in the industry — it took in more than $30 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2019. And back in 2013, eOne acquired the catalog of Death Row, which had previously been forced to declare bankruptcy in 2006.
The cross-branding opportunities here basically write themselves, but there is no word on whether a Death Row Records-themed Monopoly game is forthcoming. There are, however, “$130 million in cost synergies” available to both companies if they pass Go by 2022, according to Deadline.
In a statement, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner celebrated his purchase. “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,” he said.