Tonka vs. Micro Machines? With new Hasbro-Paramount deal, you might need a bigger toy box

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Nov 3, 2017

It’s official: Hasbro and Paramount Pictures are teaming up to create new content based on the toy company’s giant stable of merchandise, a signal that we could soon be seeing big-screen rollouts for some of Hasbro’s most beloved properties. The company’s stacked portfolio includes a bevy of ever-popular classic brands like Micro Machines, Tonka, Monopoly, and My Little Pony, among many more.

The announcement, reported widely Friday, didn’t delve into specific project plans, but it’s a deal that has the potential to set each company’s future screen output within the same creative universe.

Whether that means mash-ups between Paramount properties like Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., and Action Man, on the one hand; and Hasbro brands like Strawberry Shortcake, TinkerToy, A.T.O.M., Battleship, Clue, Nerf, and Playskool, on the other, remains to be seen.

The much-speculated deal expands Paramount’s content reach with the formation of two new Hasbro studios: Allspark Pictures, under the direction of Fox 2000 veteran Greg Mooradian, and Allspark Animation, helmed by Hasbro’s Meghan McCarthy. Mooradian has plenty of background with Paramount properties, having produced films in the G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers series.

The aim of the partnership is to build a brand universe that can vie with industry titans like Marvel Studios for a slice of the content-driven merchandising pie (and vice versa) — and you’d better believe that’s just fine by us. A deal like this one gives both companies a whole new sandbox to play in when it comes to producing fresh content that borrows from, and perhaps even merges, each other’s strongest brands.

Hey, if LEGO can have success with its own Star Wars buildables and figurines, it’s not a leap of the imagination to envision a future that also might accommodate Playskool Transformers or a G.I. Joe-themed Monopoly game.

Dang it! Why’d we have to grow up so soon?