Hasbro lucked out with Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise. The blockbuster ‘bot movies have generated billions of dollars at the box office, as well as untold revenue from additional merchandise. In that same fashion, the toy manufacturer is teaming up with Paramount again to construct a whole new cinematic universe based around more of its eighties brands.
Together with Hasbro’s film division Allspark Pictures, Paramount is plotting to unite G.I. Joe, Micronauts, M.A.S.K., Visionairies and ROM in an “interconnected, cross-property onscreen universe.” How many films are planned is unknown at this point in the deal, but the way in which the movies will develop is expected to follow the same model as the Transformers universe. Allspark is engineering a writer’s room, including an assembly of top scribes to cook up a batch of fresh movies built around those five brands.
Choosing to base a new venture on a framework popularised by the likes of Marvel is a go-to strategy for many major studios at the moment. Can Hasbro pull it off with so many B-list toy brands? Sure, the toy king has had a couple of duds of late. Battleship and Jem and the Holograms underperformed at the box office, so it’s easy to write this off too. Except no-one thought Ouija would explode at the box office, did they?