Hasbro shifts digital content to Vimeo

Vimeo logo

Hasbro animated series are coming to Vimeo!

As reported yesterday by Wired.com, Hasbro Inc announced yesterday that they were partnering with video sharing site Vimeo to be the exclusive online host for many of the toy-maker’s animated series.   Currently available are Transformers (Generation 1) and Jem & the Holograms with other series including G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and My Little Pony to follow later this year.

Per the announcement, episodes of the Hasbro series will be $.99 to rent for 24 hours or $1.99 to purchase individually.  Entire series may be purchased for $40.00.

Is this a good move for the Pawtucket-based Hasbro, Inc?  By the numbers, it means that Hasbro’s animated properties will be delivered to a significantly smaller audience.  As of Q1 2015, subscription-based Netflix had an audience of just over 60 million global subscribers. As of December 2013, Vimeo was sitting at 22 million subscribers.  It’s not a strict apples-to-apples comparison as far as the dates go but it indicates that Vimeo doesn’t quite have the reach that content posted on Netflix does.

There’s also the issue of the the pricing model.  Increasingly, more and more digital content has gone “pay-to-play” requiring viewers to either rent or purchase episodes on a platform-to-platform basis.  Vimeo follows that model meaning that fans will have to pay around $40 to own a full season of their favorite nostalgic series.  This puts it on par with the cost of owning the content on DVD and Blu-Ray from retailers such as Amazon.com but it leaves casual fans a bit out-of-the-loop.  Rather than being able to randomly browse through a few episodes of a series before getting hooked, viewers will be have to pay to rent or view episodes on an series-by-series basis.  This could limit the Hasbro content’s overall reach when it comes to new viewers rather than diehard fans who most likely already own the content in tangible form anyway.

What do you think?  Is the move to Vimeo better for Hasbro?  Will is help grow the audiences for their animated properties?  Will you be making the jump to the new video-sharing service in order to follow the adventures of your favorite characters?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Joe Con 2015: Hasbro retail two-packs unveiled!

Wow– there’s a lot to report for Joe Con 2015!

The Hasbro panel was yesterday and Derryl DePriest and Mark Weber revealed a whole new slate of products that will be exclusive to both Toys R Us and BigBadToyStore.com.  The line is essentially a continuation of the 50th anniversary series and will be available on August 1, 2015. Eagle-eyed fans will recognize some of these figures from previous concept case displays.

Swamp Steam

  • Croc Master & Blowtorch
  • the two announced-but-not-released figures at last

Swamp Steam 2pk
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Joe Con 2015: Hasbro three packs revealed!

The Hasbro panel was yesterday at Joe Con 2015 and Derryl DePriest and Mark Weber revealed a whole new slate of products that will be exclusive to both Toys R Us and BigBadToyStore.com.  The line is essentially a continuation of the 50th anniversary series and will be available on August 1, 2015.  As with previous offerings, it’s a mix of existing parts and pieces that have only been glimpsed in concept cases of previous shows.

Chase for the MASS Device

  • Cobra Commander, Cobra CLAWS Trooper, Duke
  • revisits figures from the elusive final 25th Anniversary DVD pack

Chase for the MASS Device 3pk

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Mark Weber is new G.I. Joe Brand Manager

Meet Mark Weber, the new brand manager for G.I. Joe.

Meet Mark Weber, the new brand manager for G.I. Joe.

It’s a new year and Mark Weber is the new brand manager of G.I. Joe!

The latest G.I. Joe Collector’s Club newsletter is hitting mailboxes now and inside is a short one-page interview with the newest G.I. Joe brand manager.  Eagle-eyed fans will recall the rumors in late 2013/early 2014 that the then-current Joe team at Hasbro had been reassigned to other projects, leaving the brand in a stage of limbo.  Speculation was rampant as to what the future would hold for the brand that helped put Hasbro on the map as a leader in boys toys since 1964.  Now, it seems that our favorite brand might be getting back on track.

Weber, head of the Transformers brand since February 2012, is no stranger to the toy industry with over seven years experience at Todd McFarlane Productions.  However, for the past nearly three years he’s overseen the development of Construct-bots and Transformers Generations.

The newsletter should be arriving any day now to Collector’s Club members but this quote was reprinted over at HISSTank.com which first broke the story:

“For the most part, our biggest plans will be centered around future entertainment – the kind of stuff I can’t talk about just yet. We are finalizing our 2015 plans and expect to deliver a lineup constructively similar to 2014 – with popular characters and vehicles, as well as a few NEW Surprises. If things go as planned, we will have an update to reveal at JoeCon in Springfield.”

We want to have stronger, more consistent dialogue with the collectors and fans. We want collectors to have NEW vehicles and playsets to energize the brand to a new generation of kids and a fantastic new feature film that is faithful to the soul of the brand (action, fun, weapons, vehicles). Two things I want to prioritize right away – I want to enable and simplify army building for Collectors, and I want the file cards to be brilliant for our characters.”

New vehicles? New playsets?  Any form of playset?  More importantly – FILE CARDS that are BRILLIANT?!!  Sign me up!  This just made the Springfield G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention that much more interesting!

Here at JBL we’d like to extend Mark a warm welcome to the G.I. Joe community and hope that his tenure on the brand brings with it a new era of a revitalized Joe!

G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary – Derryl DePriest talks with Bloomberg

Derryl DePriest on Bloomberg

The G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary has received a fair amount of coverage at Toy Fair 2014 by the mainstream media.  Derryl DePriest, Vice President of Boys Marketing for Hasbro and life-long G.I. Joe fan, sits down with Stephanie Ruhle of Bloomberg Television as part of their “Market Makers” series.

(If the embedded video is not working you may view the original interview HERE.)

I have to say that Derryl handled himself well in the face of some pretty direct and pointed questions.  Yes, the “military” question came up but so did some interesting insights in terms of innovation going forward.  (3D printing?  YES!)  So did the question of whether or not G.I. Joe is a good role model today.  While the interviewer tries to take things in a political direction multiple times, Derryl keeps the focus on the strengths of the G.I. Joe brand. and touches on the brand’s origins, the transition to the Adventure Team, and  the focus on Kre-O as a source of innovation.

It’s always a pleasure to listen to Derryl discuss G.I. Joe.  His personal passion for and commitment to the brand is obvious in every word.  It’s good to know that our favorite “Man of Action” has such an able ambassador!

Toy Fair 2014 Recap from The Breaux Show

Breaux Show Toy Fair 2014

Looking for more news from Toy Fair 2014?  Check out this in depth walk-through of Hasbro’s showroom courtesy of good friend of JBL The Breaux Show!

Check out this nearly two hour long recap from this Sunday’s live radio show in which intrepid reporter Mike Breaux walks his audience through the entire Hasbro presentation and tour of all of the product lines shown.  Along with over 250 images he provides insights from the showroom including how the Kre-O Firebat will interact with the Terrordrome playset.

Since this Toy Fair 2014 video might be a bit long for a lunch break, here are some time marks to jump to if you just want to watch certain subjects:

  • 9:30 – My Little Pony
  • 16:45 – Star Wars
  • 35:30 – Marvel (including Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Avengers Infinite, etc)
  • 57:25 – Kre-O (G.I. Joe, Dungeons & Dragons, Transformers)
  • 1:10:00 – Transformers

I’d like to extend a big thanks to Mike for his help with JBL’s Toy Fair 2014 Coverage.

G.I. Joe Kre-O Images and Info from Toy Fair 2014

Kre-O Gung-Ho

When it comes to G.I. Joe and Toy Fair 2014, it was the Kre-O line that truly stood out at yesterday’s Hasbro Brand Entertainment Event in NYC.  The only Joe product shown “on site”, the tiny building block line took everyone by surprise with the sheer diversity of the line showcased.  From 24 new individual figures to some killer boxed sets, Hasbro proved their commitment to Kre-O with a Toys R Us exclusive G.I. Joe line that is sure to please many fans.

Note: You may view JBL’s complete Toy Fair 2014 coverage/info page here.

I’ve recapped the Kre-O information that was posted yesterday and have also added in the “on site” images provided by Mike Breaux of The Breaux Show who was gracious enough to cover the event for JBL.  Now, how do I get my hands on that Gung-Ho again?

Kre-O individual figures (Available March 2014):

  • Air Adventurer (classic Adventure Team)
  • Airborne
  • Atomic Man (aka Mike Power – classic Adventure Team)
  • Budo
  • Chuckles
  • Cobra Air Trooper
  • Cobra Eel
  • Cobra Shock Trooper
  • Cobra Viper
  • Doc
  • Footloose
  • Lady Jaye
  • Low-Light
  • Nemesis Enforcer
  • Night Creeper
  • Night Viper
  • Nunchuck
  • Scrap Iron
  • Snow Serpent
  • Tomax
  • Torch
  • Tripwire
  • Wet Suit
  • Zartan

Did I also spy Alpine in there?!  It’s a solid group of figures– including two additions from the Adventure Team roster although they seem to have lost their flocked hair!

Kre-O Boxed sets (Available March 2014):

  • Outpost Defense with (97 pieces) – includes Cobra Ferret and Outpost Defender, Storm Shadow v2  and Beach Head.
  • Firebat Attack with (292 pieces) – includes  Firebat, Wolverine, Bazooka, Recondo
  • Cobra Terror-Drome (856 pieces) – includes Gung Ho, Hawk, Mainframe, Serpentor, and Xamot

Hasbro’s official press images:

 

Toy Fair 2014 press release copy:

Beginning in March, exciting new KRE-O building sets will let kids and collectors alike build vehicles and environments to play out the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA fantasy. Collectible blind-bagged KREONS of popular G.I. JOE characters will also hit shelves, including characters from both the heroic G.I. JOE team like LADY JAYE and FOOTLOOSE, as well as the villainous COBRA organization like TOMAX and SCRAP IRON. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Hasbro and Toys“R”Us are bringing one of the most popular G.I. JOE vs. COBRA playsets from the 1980s back in KRE-O form with the KRE-O G.I. JOE TERROR DROME Building Set. This iconic set features over 850 pieces and will be available in the fall.

 

Was the G.I. Joe SDCC Exclusive Revealed Today?

Danger at the Docks Comic Con

Okay, it’s been a day of a lot of site updates and image uploads (with much more to come) but one thing jumped out as I was uploading the Hasbro 1:18 scale images a few moments ago.

Danger At the Docks – ComicCon

This moniker was attached to the classic VAMP Mk II / Cobra Night Landing set.  So, is the proverbial feline now out of the bag?  Is this the G.I. Joe SDCC exclusive for 2014?

Only time will tell.

In the meantime, check out JBL’s G.I. Joe Toy Fair 2014 page for updated images and 1:18 set descriptions.

 

G.I. Joe Toy Fair Press Release and Official Images

G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Social Clash

Thanks to the good folks at Hunter Public Relations, we now have the official G.I. Joe Toy Fair press release and images!

HASBRO CELEBRATES THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE G.I. JOE BRAND

The “Original Action Figure” Turns a Half-Century Old with New Toys“R”Us-Exclusive Line, Licensing Program

PAWTUCKET, R.I. – February 15, 2014 – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today unveiled initiatives planned for the 50th anniversary celebration of its iconic G.I. JOE brand at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. The storied property, which invented the “action figure” toy category, celebrates its incredible five-decade history by partnering with Toys“R”Us as the official toy headquarters for the G.I. JOE brand in 2014. Kids and fans can look forward to a special edition 50th anniversary-branded action figure line available only at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com, along with new items in the popular KRE-O G.I. JOE line of building sets from Hasbro, beginning this March through the fall 2014.

Launched at the American International Toy Fair in 1964, the “original action figure” debuted as a 12-inch pose-able soldier toy, G.I. JOE has been a pop-culture phenomenon ever since. The property evolved over the years, from the original 12-inch action figure in the 1960s, the ADVENTURE TEAM in the 1970s and the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA saga which was introduced in the 1980s with a 3.75-inch action figure line, comic book series and legendary animated series G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO. Recently the brand has introduced two blockbuster movies based on the saga including G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA and G.I. JOE RETALIATION from Paramount Pictures.

“The G.I. JOE brand is a pop culture and childhood icon whose cultural relevance, based on its core essence of action, bravery and the compelling characters from G.I. JOE vs. COBRA saga, continues to inspire the imaginations of kids and fans around the world,” said John Frascotti, Chief Marketing Officer, Hasbro, Inc. “From action figures and publishing, to animated series and global blockbuster movies, few properties have the cultural resonance and enduring appeal. In the 50th anniversary year of the G.I. JOE brand Hasbro looks forward to delivering fan-favorite action figures, exciting new publishing ventures and innovative but nostalgic KRE-O building sets to the brands most ardent fans and newest recruits.”

“For generations, Toys“R”Us kids big and small have cherished the G.I. JOE brand and brought its legendary characters to life through play,” said Lisa Harnisch, Senior Vice President and General Merchandising Manager, Toys“R”Us, U.S. “We are proud to partner with Hasbro to help commemorate this golden anniversary, and are eager to bring an exciting assortment of G.I. JOE figures, including classics and new items from the hit KRE-O line, exclusively to Toys“R”Us customers this year.”

Beginning in March, exciting new KRE-O building sets will let kids and collectors alike build vehicles and environments to play out the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA fantasy. Collectible blind-bagged KREONS of popular G.I. JOE characters will also hit shelves, including characters from both the heroic G.I. JOE team like LADY JAYE and FOOTLOOSE, as well as the villainous COBRA organization like TOMAX and SCRAP IRON. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Hasbro and Toys“R”Us are bringing one of the most popular G.I. JOE vs. COBRA playsets from the 1980s back in KRE-O form with the KRE-O G.I. JOE TERROR DROME Building Set. This iconic set features over 850 pieces and will be available in the fall.

Additionally, a collectible 50th anniversary-branded, 3.75-inch scale action figure and vehicle line will debut at Toys“R”Us this fall. The special edition line will be offered in unique 50th anniversary branded packaging and reintroduce classic G.I. JOE vs. COBRA characters and iconic vehicles, including some that have not been available since the 1980s. Fans will be able to purchase classic characters like DESTRO, SNAKE EYES and HAWK, as well as vehicles like the G.I. JOE VAMP MKII and COBRA WOLF VEHICLE with an updated sculpting style and unique deco.

The 50th anniversary year will also continue the G.I. JOE brand’s long tradition of publishing and rich storytelling with exciting new programs from Hasbro’s partners. IDW Publishing’s G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICANHERO will release its landmark 200th issue in March 2014, continuing the story of the original 1980s G.I. JOE comic by original writer Larry Hama. IDW will also launch TRANSFORMERS/G.I. JOE, a series uniting Hasbro’s iconic brands, by acclaimed creators Tom Scioli and John Barber this summer. Additionally, as part of its publishing program, Hasbro is opening the fantasy to fan participation. Amazon Publishing recently announced that Kindle Worlds has reached a licensing agreement with Hasbro to open up a new Kindle World based on the G.I. JOE brand. With the launch of the G.I. JOE Kindle World, writers will be able to publish their own original fiction starring iconic G.I. JOE characters like DUKE, SNAKE EYES, and COBRA COMMANDER and sell their work on Amazon.com. The G.I. JOE Kindle World will open for writers to start publishing stories in the next few months.

This spring, the official G.I. JOE Collector’s Club will host the 21st annual G.I. JOE fan convention, known as “GIJoeCon,” in Dallas from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13. Convention organizers plan on celebrating the 50th anniversary with exclusive action figure sets, special G.I. JOE guests from throughout the brand’s history and the opportunity to meet and interact with other fans of the brand. Fans can learn more about the Hasbro-sponsored convention by visiting www.GIJoeCon.com.

About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company’s world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company’s Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for more than 170 markets around the world, and for the U.S. on Hub Network, part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications(NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Through the company’s deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens.” Learn more at www.hasbro.com.

50th Anniversary:

Kre-O:

Collector’s Club unveils G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Images

G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary VAMP

We’ve got some G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary images– courtesy of the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club Facebook page!  Eagle-eyed fans will recognize some of these figures from the Concept Case from Joe Con 2013.

I’ve mirrored them below but I’d also encourage everyone to stop by their Facebook page and give ’em a “Like” to stay abreast of the latest GIJCC news!

Also, check out the continually updated JBL Toy Fair 2014 Coverage as the day progresses!