Hasbro Inc.’s popular fantasy card game featuring wizard duels and mythical creatures is about to go more mainstream. The toymaker is teaming up with a pair of producers known for their work on two “Avengers” films to create an animated series for Netflix.
The series “Magic: The Gathering” will feature a new storyline that expands on the game’s power-wielding heroes, called Planeswalkers. The “Magic” franchise was launched more than two decades ago by publisher Wizards of the Coast, a company started out of a Seattle basement and later acquired by Hasbro. The trading card game has expanded into a digital format, a novel and a comic series.
The Netflix series will be produced by a comic book nerd’s dream team: Joe and Anthony Russo of “Avengers: Endgame” and “Infinity War” fame, who have said they are “huge fans and players” of the game. And for the lead writers, Hasbro has hired Henry Gilroy of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and Jose Molina of “The Tick.”
Since the June 2 announcement, Hasbro shares have posted the best two-day climb in more than a month. Wall Street is mostly bullish on Hasbro, with nine buy ratings, seven holds and zero sells. One of those bulls is MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler, who praised the project’s ability to attract big Hollywood names.
“We believe ‘Magic: The Gathering’ has significant revenue and above average profit margin potential for Hasbro,” he said. “The franchise brand for Hasbro appears on a meaningful path for growth over the next 3-5 years.”
Meanwhile today, peer Mattel Inc. climbed as much as 11% after signing an international licensing agreement with Sanrio Inc. to develop toys and products inspired by long-time favorite Hello Kitty & Friends and other characters in Sanrio’s portfolio.