Shout! Factory Transforms With Hasbro Deal10 Apr, 2009 By: John Latchem
Shout! Factory has signed a multiyear agreement with toymaker Hasbro to bring to DVD several animated properties based on the company’s toy lines. The deal includes episodes of 1980s animated series “The Transformers” and “G.I. Joe.,” as well as the direct-to-DVD animated movie My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure.
“We’ve wanted this for years,” said Shout! Factory president Garson Foos. “These are all iconic pop-culture brands.”
Foos said the “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” lines were especially relevant, since they appeal to both younger fans and older collectors, and both have live-action adaptations hitting theaters this year.
“I think one of the things that attracted Hasbro to us was they knew we could move fast on these DVDs, but not sacrifice quality,” Foos said.
Foos had been with Rhino when it released the original “Transformers” cartoon on DVD years ago, and said the sets sold well beyond expectations.
Shout! Factory’s first release under the agreement will be The Transformers: The Complete First Season — 25th Anniversary Edition. The set is slated for June 16 (prebook May 19), a week before the big-screen debut of the Michael Bay-directed feature film sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, due in theaters June 24.
The $29.99 three-DVD set will include the original broadcast versions of all 16 episodes from the 1984 season in the intended storyline order, with remastered picture and a new stereo soundtrack created from the original audio. The Rhino releases featured incomplete work prints of episodes and modified sound effects.
Tentative extras include the featurette “Triplechanger: From Toy to Comic to Screen: The Origins of the Transformers,” a printable script, rare PSAs, toy commercials and a limited-edition Autobot magnet.
Foos said Shout! Factory would follow the release with special complete-series sets of “The Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” later this summer. In the case of “G.I. Joe,” Rhino lost the rights before completing its release slate, which means many of the episodes will finally be released for the first time.
The Hasbro deal also includes the potential for Shout! Factory to release additional “My Little Pony” movies.