Shout Factory, Hasbro in Deal for More 'My Little Pony' (Exclusive)
The companies grow their home entertainment distribution pact. Also on the way: additional episodes of the “Transformers” animated series.
The Bronies are going to be so happy!
Shout Factory and Hasbro Studios are expanding their relationship with a new multiyear agreement unveiled Tuesday that includes home entertainment distribution of five My Little Pony animated family adventures.
The deal, coming days after Shout released a new direct-to-DVD title, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls -- a big hit at retail -- also includes recent TV seasons of Hasbro’s animated Transformers.
Many of these titles have been out-of-print or unavailable in the home entertainment marketplace.
For the uninitiated, a “brony” is a die-hard fan of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the latest generation of the 30-year-old kids franchise that airs on Hub Network, the cable channel co-owned by Hasbro and Discovery Communications.
Centering on whimsically feisty ponies, the series is written for girls ages 2-11, but older women and males (“brony” is a mashup of “brother” and “pony”) apparently find meaning in the show. According to The Baltimore Sun, more than 7,000 of the faithful flocked to a three-day convention called BronyCon in Baltimore this month.
“It’s beyond crazy,” Shout co-founder and COO Bob Emmer tells The Hollywood Reporter. “These are timeless stories that resonate from generation to generation. Parents and grandparents have grown up on it and embrace the positive images. It’s a phenomenon.”
The My Little Pony tales now being distributed by Shout in the U.S. and Canada are The Princess Promenade, A Very Minty Christmas, Runaway Rainbow, Dancing in the Clouds and Friends Are Never Far Away.
“Demand for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic across all platforms has been quite strong, which has spurred a secondary level of the demand for the brand’s classic titles,” Hasbro Studios president Stephen Davis said.
Shout already distributes the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic series.
Emmer said retail orders for Equestria Girls exceeded 100,000 units, more than any title in the 10-year history of Shout. The 72-minute film had its world premiere in June at the Los Angeles Film Festival and then played in theaters.
The Transformers properties involved in the expanded deal are the series Transformers: Armada, Transformers: Energon, Transformers: Cybertron and Transformers: Animated. All first aired between 2002 and 2009. The brand's 30th anniversary is next year.
Shout Factory and Hasbro have been in business since entering a short-term license agreement in 2009 for properties including Generation 1 of the Transformers series, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure.
In 2011, Shout brought Hasbro’s original production Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless, which premiered as a three-night special on Hub Network, to the home entertainment marketplace.
“Shout Factory has been a remarkable home entertainment partner in maximizing the value of our entertainment content in the kids and family marketplace,” Davis said.