Could IDW lose the rights to Hasbro properties for its comic books at the end of 2018?

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dth1971

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Sep 19, 2003
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#1
Is there a rumor recently that IDW Publishing may lose the rights to publish comic books of the Hasbro owned properties - Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem, and even My Little Pony - at the end of 2018? If this happens. What are the chances these other comic companies - Boom Studios, Dynamite Comics, Valiant Comics, Image Comics, and/or Dark Horse Comics (Sorry, the troubled Archie Comics is not on the list) - may pick up the comic book rights to the Hasbro properties?

Meantime, IDW's Sega licenced Sonic the Hedgehog comic book incarnation begins April 4, 2018 with 4 weekly issues in April then monthly issues thereafter,
 

JoeMabbon

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#2
The credible part of the rumor is driven by two things:
  1. An across the board slump that hit all the Hasbro books in 2016, Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe being the notable exception.
  2. The upcoming Unicron event that will end the Transformers IDW line, the longest ongoing continuity in the franchise’s history as well as Hasbro’s oldest partnership with the imprint.
I’m not convinced. If Hasbro were to leave, where would they go? Of the indies, Image is the only company bigger than IDW and they’re focused on creator-owned titles. The only other option, besides staying with IDW, is to start their own imprint. Bring over some IDW people (Larry Hama, Andy Price, Alex Milne, etc.) and produce some tie-in books. Maybe even set up an exclusive deal with ComiXology. But I don’t think the company is positioned to do that right now. Maybe a few years from now, but not this year.

Meantime, IDW's Sega licenced Sonic the Hedgehog comic book incarnation begins April 4, 2018 with 4 weekly issues in April then monthly issues thereafter,
...Why is this here?
 

dth1971

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#3
I don't mind Hasbro starting a comic book line self-published by the toy company, remember Topps - famous for Bazooka Bubble Gum, Push Pops, and many trading card lines (baseball, Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids, etc.) one did its own comic book publishing company itself?

Too bad Mattel never had a comic book division (Mattel once owned Western Publishing, which owned the old Gold Key and Whitman comic book lines).
 

hobbyfan

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#4
I'd say Dynamite or Dark Horse, except those two also trade mostly in licensed titles, some in the short term, others in the long term.

As for Mattel/Western Publishing, I don't know when the two came together, but Western was actually linked with Whitman. I used to have a few Big Little Books back in the day.
 

Zeether

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Sep 4, 2010
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#5
The Transformers comics are just starting a new continuity under IDW, not ending entirely. James Roberts confirmed it along with the news of Unicron being the end.
 

SourSweetGone

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#7
Given they just announced the TF Reboot comics for 2019 i'm gonna say no.

I just wish they would expand their all-ages Hasbro titles. Ongoing books for Equestria Girls, LPS: A World of Our Own and the upcoming RescueBots Academy toons would be great IMHO!
 

SourSweetGone

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#9
With the exception of My Little Pony, every all-ages Hasbro book has flopped.
Eh, not really, most have just been mini series, the 2012 LPS book was a mini, Hana-Zuki was a Mini, etc. JEM was more for a YA book then a solid all-ages book. I think at this point if they tried a legit push for some more all-ages Hasbro ongoings and marketed them well enough they could pull well enough numbers to justify the production. Wouldn't ever meet the higher teir prime Transformers or MLP numbers but you could probably get a Rescue Bots Academy book to stay at around 3-4k and an Equestria Girls book could match the MLP books at 6-8k. I'd like to at least see them try.

But yea, hope we get more info about the Transformers Reboot at NYCC later this year.
 

JoeMabbon

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#10
Littlest Pet Shop, Stretch Armstrong, Robots in Disguise, and the others were sold as ongoings. They only became minis when the numbers couldn't sustain them. Besides, 4000 seems to be IDW's death threshold anyway.
 

hobbyfan

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#11
I think there's something to be said about the oversaturation of the market, and with the fact that the minimum cover price indie publishers like IDW, Dynamite, Dark Horse, et al stamp on their books is $3.99, you have to consider the consumers and what limits they apply to their budgets.

I'll use my own experience as an example. I live alone, have to maintain a ginormous apartment since my mom passed on, and had to scale back the number of books I buy on a monthly basis. I can't be buying 10-20 books a month anymore. My budget won't allow it, not when I have other bills to pay.
 

SourSweetGone

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#12
Littlest Pet Shop, Stretch Armstrong, Robots in Disguise, and the others were sold as ongoings. They only became minis when the numbers couldn't sustain them. Besides, 4000 seems to be IDW's death threshold anyway.

True. Though at the same time if a publisher is determined enough they can use sales numbers for Trades & Digital to back up keeping an all-ages title around. It's what IDW has done for MLP and Boom for the Adventure Time & Steven Universe comics.

Generally for all ages books even if the comic shop sales are low if kids are buying the trades at book stores, online, etc it balances things out.


But yea even I'll agree the Stretch armstrong comic was a bad idea. It's not nearly well known enough. But given Equestria Girls & Rescue Bots are spin-offs of MLP & Transformers respectively they would probably at least stand a chance as ongoings on the all-ages market. And could possibly stay awhile if trade/digital sells were good.
 

JoeMabbon

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#13
Hearing the writers tell it, ongoings are a suckers game for all-ages books. Georgia Ball went on record saying that Littlest Pet Shop's ongoing numbers were low, but when the series was reprinted and sold as a hardcover to libraries they moved enough to justify making another one-shot. That's probably why the next Transformers all-ages book is eschewing the format altogether and being released as a graphic novel.
 

Fone Bone

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Jan 19, 2004
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#15
Hearing the writers tell it, ongoings are a suckers game for all-ages books.
That is alarming to hear. Publishers NEED to get younger readers into comics, even if they don't sell as well as the adult titles. Because when the current generation of adult readers start dying off, there will be no-one to replace them. Eschewing kiddie books due to crappy sales is why the comic industry is in as much dire straights as it is. They are not playing the long game, and in ten or twenty years, they are gonna be screwed.
 

SourSweetGone

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#16
That is alarming to hear. Publishers NEED to get younger readers into comics, even if they don't sell as well as the adult titles. Because when the current generation of adult readers start dying off, there will be no-one to replace them. Eschewing kiddie books due to crappy sales is why the comic industry is in as much dire straights as it is. They are not playing the long game, and in ten or twenty years, they are gonna be screwed.

This is sad but true. Not a single industry in entertainment thinks about the long game. Not Cinema, Comics, Games or Television. Everybody is too impatient and I agree in the long run that will come back to bite everyone to a degree, ecspecially smaller/niche industries like comics. As they say, children are the future
 

Fone Bone

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#17
This is sad but true. Not a single industry in entertainment thinks about the long game. Not Cinema, Comics, Games or Television. Everybody is too impatient and I agree in the long run that will come back to bite everyone to a degree, ecspecially smaller/niche industries like comics. As they say, children are the future
I've been thinking more about this. Just take the short-term financial hit, comic book industry. You'll still be around in 30 years if you do. They are cutting off their nose to spite their face.
 

JoeMabbon

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#18
I think it's a bit more complicated than that. It's asking small companies to change the media consumption habits of children. Companies which are almost all completely owned or controlled by much larger media empires that have no stake in changing the way things are.

Frankly, they all declared defeat when they left grocery stores.
 

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