No one would accuse Hasbro — makers of the “Transformers,” “My Little Pony” and “GI Joe” toys, films, and animated series — of having an anemic animation presence. But the company did not have an in-house toon facility of its own, until now. The toymaker has acquired Dublin-based Boulder Media, the company behind Disney Channel’s “Wander Over Yonder” and Cartoon Network’s “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“With Boulder, we will deliver the highest quality animation that will engage our audiences with deep storytelling and great characters in a very cost-efficient manner,” said Hasbro chairman-CEO Brian Goldner.
Boulder has about 150 employees, headed up by creative director Robert Cullen, who started the company in 2000. In addition to “Wander Over Yonder” and the late “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” in the U.S., Boulder’s portfolio also includes a rebooted “Danger Mouse” series in the U.K, for the BBC.
Boulder will maintain its name and keep its brand separate from Hasbro. Cullen and his team will report to Hasbro’s chief content officer, Stephen Davis.
“As one of the largest independent studios producing animation in Hollywood, the time is right for Hasbro to acquire its own animation studio, allowing us to expand our animation and storytelling capabilities even further,” Davis said.
The Boulder team will be taking the reins of some of the toy giant’s intellectual property. Hasbro appears to be learning the same lesson most TV networks have learned over the last few years: Owning your shows is the way to go.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring to life the Hasbro stories and characters that mean so much to our team, and join a company that’s emerging as an entertainment powerhouse,” Cullen said.