Official Press Release
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (May 19, 2005) * The Hasbro Properties Group (HPG), the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), intends to license its popular TRANSFORMERS brand to IDW Publishing for the introduction of a new line of TRANSFORMERS comic books. Adding to the successful TRANSFORMERS comic book library that currently includes more than 30 titles, IDW would re-launch a much-anticipated new line of TRANSFORMERS comics. The first comic, a special introductory "0" issue, would debut in October 2005. The next comic in the series would debut in January 2006. The comic books are expected to include the classic Generation One (G1) storyline, as well as new plotlines and new series, and would be distributed to a wider audience through comic book outlets, trade bookstores and mass retailers.
"This year, the TRANSFORMERS property will gain greater exposure among both core supporters and new fans of the brand, as the comics are distributed at mass market for the first time," said Tom Klusaritz, vice-president of global publishing for the Hasbro Properties Group. "We're excited that IDW plans to publish the TRANSFORMERS comics, as well as expand upon the storyline by utilizing the best TRANSFORMERS writers and illustrators globally."
IDW Publishing, the publishing arm of Idea and Design Works, LLC, is the comic book licensee of several popular shows, such as CSI (CBS), 24 (FOX), and ANGEL (Fox). IDW is also home to successful adaptations of comics based on the Konami videogames Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania, and movie adaptations from Dawn of the Dead to Shaun of the Dead. In both 2004 and 2005, they were awarded Diamond Comics' Gem Award for "Publisher of the Year." For the TRANSFORMERS series, IDW plans on using a mix of well-known and up-and-coming illustrators, inkers and writers to bring the property to new heights.
"The TRANSFORMERS brand is a great addition to IDW's line of licensed comic books, and we look forward to expanding on an extremely successful property and returning TRANSFORMERS comics to a still-anxious marketplace," said Ted Adams, President/Publisher of IDW Publishing.
The first TRANSFORMERS comic books were introduced to fans of the toy line more than two decades ago. In 2002, HPG re-launched the TRANSFORMERS comic book series.
MORE ABOUT TRANSFORMERS LICENSES IN 2005
TRANSFORMERS, a favorite among kids and collectors alike, has much to celebrate in 2005, starting with the brand's leap to the big screen for its first, worldwide live-action film, slated for release in fall 2006. Dreamworks Pictures and Paramount Pictures will develop the movie, with Steven Spielberg as Executive Producer. The film will bridge all aspects of the TRANSFORMERS brand, from toys to licensed merchandise.
In addition to the pending IDW arrangement, TRANSFORMERS will be available in Readers Digest hard books and chapter books as well as a series of Dorling Kindersley children's books available in the United States. Fans in Europe can enjoy TRANSFORMERS books from Egmont, Red Bird, Titan, Edigamma and Panini.
The TRANSFORMERS brand will continue to expand in 2005 as Paramount Home Entertainment releases three DVDs. The first two, released in February, are "Transformers: Omega Supreme" and "Transformers: Shockblast Unleashed!." The third DVD, yet untitled, will be released in September.
ABOUT IDW PUBLISHING
IDW PUBLISHING is a division of Idea + Design Works, LLC, a revolutionary creative service company with a wide range of clients. Among their best-selling titles are CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Konami's Metal Gear Solid; and GrimJack: Killer Instinct. IDW has films in development at Sony Pictures, Dimension Films, and Paramount Pictures.
ABOUT THE HASBRO PROPERTIES GROUP
The Hasbro Properties Group (HPG), the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc., (NYSE:HAS), translates one of the industry's richest portfolios of brands into a world of fun and excitement for children and adults globally. Through a host of publishing, lifestyle and entertainment platforms, HPG is able to surround fans worldwide with consumer products that expand Hasbro's core brands, such as G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, DUEL MASTERS, MONOPOLY and CANDY LAND, beyond the toy and game aisle, creating rich lifestyle experiences.