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Tuesday, October 18 2016 09:46

Hasbro Officially Announces HASCON...

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It's been discussed for awhile now, but today it's official: Hasbro is getting into the "event" space with HASCON, their first-ever "fan and family convention," set to be held in Providence at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin Donuts Center from September 8-10, 2017. The Hasbro crew promises that HASCON "will treat attendees to three unforgettable days featuring a celebration of Hasbro’s powerful characters and stories, including live interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, panels and much more." Check out some additional details from this morning's announcement...

From the Official Announcement: From bringing the first action figure to life with G.I. JOE, to creating a world where robots are truly ‘more than meets the eye’ with TRANSFORMERS, Hasbro’s brands have always overflowed with rich stories and dynamic, multi-faceted characters, providing an incredible platform to capture the imaginations of fans of all ages. The premiere HASCON event will bring the magic of decades of storytelling under one roof for the ultimate, immersive Hasbro fan and family experience. Hasbro’s top properties, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MAGIC THE GATHERING, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, G.I. JOE and many others will be reimagined through dynamic stage performances and unique opportunities for fans to engage with their favorite characters. In addition to interactive experiences designed to offer attendees a glimpse into Hasbro’s imaginative storytelling in action, visitors will have the chance to see first-look previews of Hasbro’s biggest television and movie series, attend panels and meet-and-greets with celebrities and creative talent associated with Hasbro brands, take part in Hasbro Gaming competitions and purchase special limited-edition Hasbro products.

“Hasbro is home to many of the world’s most recognizable brands, each of them with their own group of passionate and engaged fans,” said John Frascotti, President of Hasbro Brands. “HASCON will deliver an extraordinary peek behind the curtain of our brands, storytelling, and iconic characters while giving us the opportunity to invite fans and families to our hometown for the most memorable, unified Hasbro experience ever.”

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What's immediately glaring on the surface here is two notable omissions from the Hasbro portfolio, STAR WARS and MARVEL. Additionally, since there's no mention of the Disney Princess Line (which they officially started marketing this year), I'm assuming that there might be some kind of friction since Disney has its own fan event - D23 - and that STAR WARS has the long-running STAR WARS CELEBRATION. While Hasbro is a major licensee, the lack of these brands in the announcement is definitely worth noting, as the HASCON focus seems to be on original Hasbro creations, rather than licensed properties. There's also some question as to whether or not having their own event will lessen Hasbro's involvement in some other things - like San Diego Comic-Con International, where many Hasbro Exclusives have been traditionally offered. There's also the issue of the annual BotCon and GI Joe conventions which have been rumored to be closing. Looks like HASCON will be the source for all things Hasbro.

Stay tuned for more info as I have it...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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