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Hasbro toys with William Morris

Toy company switches agencies

Hasbro is picking up its toys and taking them over to the William Morris Agency.

The Pawtucket, R.I.-based company, which has been repped by CAA for the past four years, is switching tenpercenteries just as “Transformers,” a movie based on one of its most popular toy lines, is gearing up to stomp into theaters July 3.

William Morris will work on contemporizing Hasbro’s brands, which include Monopoly, Ouija, Candy Land, Clue and Trivial Pursuit, and turn them into movies, TV shows or videogames.

The agency’s already started packaging its writer, director and producer clients with Hasbro’s brands.

“Our focus is on creating immersive brand experiences for Hasbro’s brands,” said Brian Goldner, the toymaker’s chief operating officer, who is also an exec producer on “Transformers.” “We felt our partnership with William Morris would enable us to activate our brands in the right entertainment forms and create those experiences over time.”

In one of William Morris’ initial moves with regard to the new relationship, it reupped Hasbro’s deal with Paramount Pictures to turn “G.I. Joe” into a live-action feature with Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce. An initial pact had expired.

Move to WMA resulted, in part, from the close relationship Hasbro’s execs formed with William Morris agents during the development and production of “Transformers.”

WMA reps director Michael Bay, producer Tom DeSanto and General Motors, whose vehicles portray many of the film’s shape-shifting robots.

Hasbro sees itself as another potential Marvel — a company with a stable of brands that could easily translate into entertainment properties that could help its bottom line.

“We’ve always believed in the power of our brands,” Goldner said. “Many of the folks creating entertainment are now realizing that our toys and games have great histories and generations of people playing with our products and have a certain power and opportunity.”

In addition to setting up “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe,” CAA had brokered content deals for Tiger Electronics’ VideoNow player and paired up Hasbro’s sports brands such as Nerf and Lazer Tag with the Vans Warped Tour. Steven Spielberg, a producer on “Transformers,” is repped by CAA.

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