Hasbro Sells Animated Series to Canada's Corus Television, Previews 'Battleship' Film

TV deal includes 'Transformers Prime' and 'G.I. Joe Renegades.'

Corus Television has acquired a slate of Hasbro Studios’ animated series, including Transformers Prime and G.I Joe Renegades, for its Canadian kids-themed TV networks.

Hasbro’s announcement Tuesday coincided with the company’s Investor Day presentation in Rhode Island, where Bennett Schneir, managing director of motion pictures for Hasbro, showed scenes of Peter Berg’s Universal film Battleship, due May 18, 2012.

“You’re the commander of a group of ships on the high seas and you are under attack by an enemy you cannot see,” Schneir said in describing the movie’s plot to Wall Street analysts. “It’s not brawn but brains that wins the day.”

Battleship, the board game, was introduced in 1967 and has since sold 100 million units.

Schneir also said Hasbro will sign a director for its movie based on the Ouija board in the next couple of weeks.

Hasbro has 1,500 brands of toys and games, and movie deals are in place for only 10 of them, so the company has “only begun to scratch the surface,” he said.

Stephen Davis, president of Hasbro Studios, touted the success of its cable joint venture with Discovery Communications called the Hub. He was especially enthusiastic about Family Game Night, the channel’s most popular show with kids.

CEO Brian Goldner said he’d be open to Hub-like TV partnerships all over the world.

Concerning the Corus deal, the toymaker’s media production and distribution arm also licensed to the Toronto-based company Pound Puppies, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and The Adventures of Chuck and Friends.

Terms of the animation programming deal were not disclosed.

The shows, produced by Hasbro Studios, will air on Corus’ YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon Canada, Teletoon and Teletoon Retro networks.

“Corus Television marks the first of many international distribution agreements that are designed to create Hasbro’s immersive brand experiences around the world,” Davis said.

Etan Vlessing reported from Toronto; Paul Bond reported from Los Angeles.

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