Losing It or Letting Go? Hasbro Licenses Rumored to Depart IDW


Here’s a new rumor that was alleged to have been circulating at SDCC Special Edition 2021 last week. According to a scoop by uncle Rich, IDW Publishing’s license to print Hasbro comics, which include Transformers and G.I. Joe, could potentially expire next year. This could be another serious blow to the struggling publisher, since this is not the only horse to recently depart IDW’s stable. Licenses for both Marvel and Star Wars also left for greener pastures earlier this year.


Wes Daugherity weighs in on the rumor and takes a look at IDW’s sales numbers:


IDW Lose Hasbro License…Transformers, G.I. Joe, More Leaving


Since 2005, IDW has been banking heavily on Hasbro’s Transformers, so much so that one could argue the two brands are nearly synonymous. But when it comes to the comics side of franchise, the print industry is seriously losing ground to anything streaming these days. At five bucks or more per issue and fewer and fewer pages every issue, comicbooks are simply no longer as exciting as they once were. And even though they brought Larry Hama back to take over the G.I. Joe series, some fans feel like he’s been wrecking the property with new continuity and unwelcome changes. Some don’t even consider his IDW run canon anymore.


Perhaps the company is simply not renewing the license rather than “losing it”.  IDW has been struggling for years and their G.I. Joe, Transformers, and R.O.M. comics, etc, have not been selling very well.  This may only be a financial decision on the part of IDW if they feel they’ve exhausted every approach they can come up with to push the Robots in Disguise after 16 years. Does that mean another publisher is waiting to pick it up?  Could Hasbro have persuaded Marvel Comics to take the license back, or maybe even take it over to BOOM! Studios, who have had some success with Power Rangers, to take the licenses? 


Hasbro still hasn’t confirmed this rumor, but it certainly rings true. However, there were two new series just announced, one for G.I. Joe Saturday Morning cartoons comic, and then Transformers: War’s End.   So until it’s announced by IDW, or the trades, or the new licensor, this is still just a rumor.


No matter the outcome, perhaps now will be the time to see more original content from the team working with Mark Doyle, who was brought in earlier this year to help develop their original line.  Let’s see what happens next.

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John Pallister

I'm all about having fun in geek culture, but keeping my family safe!