‘Black Panther’: Hasbro was ‘excited’ before box office hit

Disappointed by fourth-quarter sales of toys related to the Star Wars movies, Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) has high hopes for tie-ins to the Marvel movies from Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) including “Black Panther,” which dominated the box office this weekend with sales of $192 million.

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“We’re very excited about Black Panther,” Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said Feb. 7 on a conference call explaining earnings, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “The global excitement around that brand is palpable. And we're very excited to add that to the already powerful line-up from Marvel that's coming for 2018.”

“Black Panther” blew past expectations to become the fifth-highest-grossing debut ever, not adjusting for inflation, following only "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," ''Star Wars: The Last Jedi," ''Jurassic World" and "The Avengers."

A couple of weeks before the Toy Fair trade show at New York’s Javits Center, which ends Tuesday, Hasbro revealed that a Black Panther helmet for adults will be available this fall for $100, Nerdist.com reported. Available now is an array of toys including a Black Panther “slash-and-strike” action figure for $29.99 and a Black Panther mask with light effects for $19.99.

“In partnership [with] Disney, Hasbro has created a movie-inspired toy line that brings the incredible Black Panther story to life,” Nicole Agnello, a spokeswoman at Hasbro, told FOX Business in an emailed response to questions.

Hasbro reported that fourth-quarter revenue dropped 2.1% to $1.6 billion, citing the gap between a September merchandising event and the December release of “Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi.”  Earnings for Hasbro, excluding the effect of the U.S. tax overhaul, of $2.30 per share beat the $1.80 consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The stock of Hasbro has more than doubled in the past five years to almost $99 per share, while shares of rival toymaker Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) have lost more than half their value during that time. The Wall Street Journal reported last November that Hasbro had made a takeover offer for Mattel.

Here are some other Hasbro toys related to the “Black Panther” movie:

1. Marvel Black Panther Nerf Vibranium Strike Gauntlet. It’s shaped like the head of the Black Panther and has two Nerf projectiles to fire. $20

2. Marvel Black Panther 2-in-1 panther jet vehicle. Six-inch scale figures (not included) can drive the vehicle into action or fly into battle. $19.99

3. Nakia 6-inch action figure. She‘s an undercover spy and ex-lover of  T'Challa (the Black Panther). The action figure comes with two accessories. $19.99

4. Black Panther slash claw. Kids (or adults) can pretend to slash at adversaries just like the Black Panther. $9.99

5. N'Jadaka/Erik "Killmonger" Stevens 6-inch action figure. T'Challa’s antagonist comes with five accessories including a pair of snap-on claws. $9.99