It’s been a long, weird week for Hasbro. Not only did the company behind Furby, My Little Pony, and the Power Rangers face a backlash over its tone-deaf Monopoly Socialism edition, but it also announced it was getting rid of excess plastic packaging (but not plastic toys). And now this: Hasbro is buying Peppa Pig.
The U.S. toymaker announced that it has reached an agreement to buy Entertainment One, the parent company of Peppa Pig, for $4 billion. As CNN notes, Hasbro has been trying to recover from the loss of Toys R Us, the toy store that peddled its products to kids for years, and a fresh injection of kid-friendly brand equity just might help. Peppa Pig is a wildly popular little preschool program, which has been translated into more than 40 languages and broadcast in over 180 territories. It is particularly popular in China, where the little pig has developed a reputation as a gangster after it was first exported in the early 2000s.
Without the world’s largest toy store to sell its toys, the world’s largest toymaker (by market capitalization) has been forced to look for new and different ways to get kids interested in its many, many brands. If Socialism Monopoly doesn’t do the trick, perhaps the new line of Peppa Pig toys will, and if not that, perhaps Hasbro’s upcoming Netflix series based on the “Magic: The Gathering” trading card game will win the kids over.
While the kids might be excited about more Peppa, Wall Street seems to hate the idea. Hasbro’s stock dropped more than 7% on the news. What does Wall Street have against a seven-foot-tall anthropomorphic British petty pig who rakes in more than $1 billion annually and counts Iggy Azalea among her enemies, anyway?