) is signing back-to-back deals with several mobile gaming
companies in order to cater to the increasing demand for digital
toys. Recently, Hasbro acquired a 70% stake in Boulder,
Colo.-based Backflip Studios for $112 million in an all-cash
deal. Hasbro anticipates the transaction to be neutral to
slightly accretive to its 2013 financial results.
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Founded in 2009, Backflip Studios develops some of the most
sought-after mobile games including DragonVale, NinJump, Paper
Toss, Ragdoll Blaster, Army of Darkness Defense and OutWorded.
Backflip Studios, one of the most profitable and fast growing
game studios, boasts more than 300 million downloads of its
popular games. Following the acquisition, Backflip will carry on
with the development of its own IP and create mobile versions of
some of Hasbro's popular brands.
The Backflip takeover is in line with Hasbro's policy of
venturing into different games and gaming formats. Hasbro
has been working hard to shift its focus from traditional board
games/toys to digital solutions to cope with recent trends.
Actually, toy manufacturers have been negatively impacted by age
"compression" as children are growing up faster with an exposure
to alternative modes of entertainment including video games, MP3
players, tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices.
Earlier this month, Hasbro extended its deal with
Electronic Arts Inc.
) to develop mobile compatible versions of some of Hasbro's
popular games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Game of Life, Battleship,
Boggle, Clue, Risk and Yahtzee.
Hasbro has been highly active in signing gaming deals. Some of
Hasbro's recent associations include partnerships with Callaway
Digital Arts; PopCap Games, which is an operating unit of
Electronic Arts and The Tetris Company, which is one of the
world's most successful video game development companies. Apart
from these, in 2012, Hasbro launched a new line of gaming
products in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada in collaboration
with the world's largest social game developer -
Hasbro currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). One toy company
that is currently performing well is
Jakks Pacific Inc.
) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).