Hasbro ( ) is a U.S.-based, multinational toy and boardgame
It is one of the largest toy makers in the world.
corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode
Island, United States.
The majority of its
products, however, are manufactured overseas.
In 1923, two brothers—Henry and Helal Hassenfeld—founded Hassenfeld
Brothers, a textile remnant company. Over the next two decades, the
company expanded to produce pencil boxes and school supplies. In
the 1940s, Hassenfeld Brothers produced doctor and nurse kits, its
first toys. Hassenfeld Brothers' first toy hit was Mr. Potato Head
, which the company purchased
from inventor George Lerner
The toy was a smash success. In 1964, Hassenfeld Brothers produced
the G.I. Joe
which they termed an "action figure
in order to market the toy to boys who wouldn't want to play with
". The company shortened its name to
Hasbro Industries in 1968. In 1983, Hasbro produced another
successful toy franchise, My Little
. The company acquired the Milton Bradley Company
bringing The Game of Life
, Chutes and Ladders
into the Hasbro fold; they purchased
in 1991, and with it
, the most successful
commercial board game of all time. Hasbro continued its success in
1984 with the release of the first Transformers
The Transformers Jumpstarters toys were the subject of a lawsuit by
Hasbro in 1985 where they sued a toy manufacturer for selling toys
based on their design. Hasbro won the suit.
In 1986, Hasbro acquired Playskool
purchased Mr. Potato Head from Hasbro that year.
Hasbro, Inc. is now the parent company of several subsidiaries
. The toys and games produced by
these companies retain their brand
which is an important advertising
consideration. Many of Hasbro's games have been around so long that
they have entered into popular
. In 1998 Hasbro bought Avalon Hill for $6 million and in 1999 Wizards of the
Coast was bought in a deal worth $325 million.
Wizards of the
Coast is now a subsidiary of Hasbro and has Avalon Hill
as its division.
In 2001 money-losing Hasbro Interactive
, a subsidiary formed
in 1995, was sold to French software concern Infogrames
for $100 million.
Some of the Hasbro-owned subsidiaries are/were:
largest subsidiary of Hasbro was probably Kenner (in Cincinnati, Ohio).
Kenner was the toy company that was behind
the success of the Star Wars
, Super Powers
, Strawberry Shortcake
and Care Bears
toy lines. When Tonka
and then later Hasbro acquired Kenner
, the Kenner location became the foremost
producer for Hasbro "boys toys", leading production on the
high-profile lines of 12" G.I. Joe
releases of the nineties, and the Transformers
and Star Wars
toys. However, after
sales declined in 2000 after the Star Wars
saturation implosion, Hasbro faced a difficult decision in cutting
back its spending in order to continue to cater to their primary
buyers. They decided to close the entire Cincinnati plant,
relocating about 100 employees and laying off over 400. This
decision, while good for Hasbro, created a ripple effect on the
Cincinnati job market which continued to push businesses out of
Cincinnati, which, with Procter
and Hasbro, had managed to be the midwest
city for corporate advertising
and graphic design
early 21st century, Hasbro allowed for the use of Mr. Potato Head
in a community art project similar to those with cows in Chicago and pigs in
Cincinnati. Painted and reoutfitted versions of Mr.
Potato Head by various artists sprouted up all over Rhode Island and were welcome additions in front of businesses
and buildings (including a New England staple, Dunkin Donuts)
for the duration of the project.
Hasbro would be the largest toy and game publisher in the world if
it were not for Mattel's Barbie
In 2008, Hasbro acquired game maker Cranium, Inc.
for $77.5 million. The deal was
announced on January 4 and closed on January 25.
Hasbro is collaborating with Discovery Communications
on a new
channel, and will produce Marvel
toys until 2017. The
Walt Disney Company
's purchase of Marvel in 2009 came as a blow
to Hasbro, as it is likely Disney will give the Marvel license to
their rival Mattel. Hasbro had also hoped their collaboration with
Marvel would pad out their channel's schedule with Marvel
years, Hasbro has outsourced the
manufacture of its products to third-party companies, mostly in
At the Chinese factories, which Hasbro does
not directly own or operate, migrant
are compensated with meager salaries for their labor.
such factory, in Dongguan, China, basic assembly line jobs pay a little over
one hundred US dollars per month.
In 2007, a workers' rights group investigated several of Hasbro's
Chinese suppliers and found that, in one instance, a toy factory in
China's Guangxi Province
1000 junior high school
The same group discovered other widespread labor violations
, including unsafe working
conditions, mandatory overtime, verbal
and sexual harassment
employees. Hasbro issued a statement, saying that it would "act
swiftly and decisively in making any necessary changes" and had
"increased the intensity of [its] ongoing safety review efforts."
Critics counter that, as Hasbro has no official regulatory control
of these factories, it responds to such investigations by acquiring
independent auditors, who make unannounced visits to the East Asian
subcontractors. Factory managers are
then "coached" in how to fool the auditors.
Asia, Hasbro owns and operates only two manufacturing facilities,
one in Waterford, Ireland, the other in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, USA.
In recent years, the company has cut
jobs at both plants in response to increasing competition from
lower cost locations in China. At the end of 2006, for example,
Hasbro's Irish division laid off more than one third of its
Toys and games
Hasbro has several brands of toys and games aimed at different
demographics. Some of its better-known toy lines are:
the largest producer of board games in
the world as a result of its component brands, such as Parker Brothers, Waddingtons, Milton Bradley, Wizards of the
Coast, and Avalon Hill (all
acquisitions since the 1980s).
As a result it has well known
and top selling games such as:
Hasbro also produces many variations of most of their games. For
example, in addition to original Scrabble
the game is also available as "Scrabble Deluxe Edition", "Scrabble
Deluxe Travel Edition","Scrabble Junior", and "Scrabble Onyx
Hasbro also offers games of
Hasbro began a short-lived computer
and video game development
venture called Hasbro Interactive
in the 1990s, but
disbanded it in late 1999. Now Hasbro develops video games based on
its brands through third-party
and licensing strategies.
On February 25, 2005, Hasbro announced that it would be introducing
a musical toothbrush
to the market. The
, released in early
2007, transmits music from the jawbone
when the bristles touch the teeth.
Under the supervision of Lorenzo
, Hasbro has been involved in developing big
budget live-action film adaptations
based on their toy
- HASBRO BRADLEY, INC. v. SPARKLE TOYS, INC., 780
F.2d 189 (2nd Cir. 1985) from Cornell University Law
Fall of Avalon Hill from Academic Gaming Review
- Hasbro Buys Pokemon Cards from BNET.com
- Hasbro to Acquire Wizards of the Coast from
- Company News; Hasbro Completes Sale Of Interactive
Business from The New York Times
- Hasbro Acquires Cranium
- "Hasbro Announces Agreement to Acquire Cranium,
Inc." press release
- No brainer: Hasbro buys Cranium from MSNBC
- "Workers riot at Chinese factory producing Nerf
toys for Hasbro" from USA Today
- "U.S. Group Accuses Chinese Toy Factories of Labor
Abuses" from The New York Times
- "‘Painful and difficult’ decision as 140 jobs
lost" from The Munster Express