Hassenfeld, Mattel, Hasbro discussed on Business Wars
In the last episode mattel got caught playing make believe with its accounts while hasbro struggled to survive the seventies. Now it's the early eighties and mattel's back on track. It's shaken off. Its books cooking scandal and plugged into the new video game craze. It's home video games console. The television is delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in sales every year. Hasbro chief stephen hassenfeld. Canadian watch with envy. Hasbro can afford to get into video games so instead. He's hunting for a toy that can revive his company's fortunes. This is episode for resurrection. Joe the hasbro voice team is back in front of hassenfeld after two weeks scrambled a redo their botched. Gi joe pitch. They know today is their final chance to revive the company's iconic soldier doll hassenfeld settles in his chair and signals for them to start the team. Dims the lights. But today there are no theatrics just advertising chief job mccalla slide projector. You're right we don't have a movie. We have something. Better he clicks to the first slide a mockup of a gi joe comic book. We've got a marvel comic. It will tell the story of gi. Joe and elite peacekeeping force that defends the world from the terrorist group cobra. We're going to give marvel the entire gi joe ad budget so they can promote the comic using animated tv ads. The comic in those commercials will reach way more kids than star wars because kids can only see star wars when it's in theaters. That's our hook. The team waits for hassenfeld response. But he says nothing so they turn out the light hassenfeld at the back of the room. Are those tears. Welling up in his is finally he speaks. I wish my father was alive to see this. I'm going to the cemetery. I need to tell him. Gi joes back and without hassenfeld leaves the room. But hasbro's not the only toymaker plotting to take on star wars three thousand miles away in los angeles mattel's also preparing an assault on the action. Figure market for mattel challenging star. Wars isn't just about money. It's about pride to in one thousand nine hundred ninety seven. The company turned down the rights to star wars. Half a million dollars to make toys for a no name. Movie from a little known director. Sounded like a really dumb idea back then. The company's been ruing that decision ever sense. But now mattel thinks it has a star wars killer a line of fantastic action. Figures called the masters of the universe. But mattel wants to be sure about its new idea before starting production. And that's why it's invited toys r. us to it's l. A. headquarters for a preview as the toys r. Us buyer watches. Mattel vice-president marc ellis introduces the figures lined up on the meeting rooms table. Each one is locked in a ready to fight pose. He grabs an improbably muscular barbarian with blonde hair. This is he man. he's the hero and the most powerful man in the universe next. Ls grabs a blue skinned beefcake with a skull face understood. And this is he. Man's archenemy the evil steeler tar. Now let me show you. What makes them really special after placing the two figures nose to nose on the table. He pulls back man's right arm causing the figures torso swivel round then. Ls let's go and how he meant snaps back into place in his clenched fist slams into skeletal sending the evil one flying. That's the power patch. Kids will go nuts for this next. Ls hands the buyer a pocket sized comic book two weeks ago. This didn't exist. But after their first toy buyer complained there was nothing to explain the characters. Mattel quickly created this illustrated guide. Every figure will come with these comics which will tell the masters of the universe story. The buyer looks puzzled. Thought you said these were for five year olds well. Five year olds. Don't read what use is a comic. Ls fields a surge. Panic toys r. Us can't reject masters of the universe. There too big of a chain so he improvises. I forgot to mention the animated tv. Show the man from toys r. Us leaves happy. But now mattel's got a tv show to make it teams up with the cartoon studio but the animated series won't be ready for almost two years until then he man's going to have to battle gi joe without tv backup in early. Nineteen eighty-two hasbro in mattel's rival action figures arrive in stores and both the new lines sell fast mattel's muscle bound figures gross almost forty million dollars that year. Double what the company expected. But they're no match for hasbro's. Josh joe with the help of the tie in marvel comic it rakes in fifty million dollars but then.