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Hasbro buys Irish animation firm

US toyco Hasbro has acquired Irish animation studio Boulder Media to produce series based on its brands, which include My Little Pony and Transformers.

My Little Pony

My Little Pony

Founded in 2000 by Robert Cullen, Dublin-based Boulder Media is one of the fastest growing animation studios in Ireland with about 150 full-time employees.

It has produced a variety of series for broadcasters such as Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney and the BBC, including Danger Mouse, which was recently commissioned by CBBC for a second season.

Terms of the transaction, which closed yesterday, were not revealed. Ireland currently has a booming animation industry thanks in part to a generous tax credit for film and TV animation.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Hasbro, Boulder will retain its brand and continue to produce animated series on behalf of third-party clients, in addition to producing animation projects based on Hasbro brands.

Hasbro’s most successful TV series to date has been My Little Pony, while other brands in its stable include Littlest Pet Shop, Monopoly, Nerf and Play-Doh.

Boulder will report into Stephen Davis, who leads Hasbro’s entertainment and consumer products licensing division as executive VP and chief content officer.

“As one of the largest independent studios producing animation in Hollywood, the time is right for Hasbro to acquire its own animation studio, allowing us to expand our animation and storytelling capabilities even further,” said Davis.

“With Boulder, we will deliver the highest quality animation that will engage our audiences with deep storytelling and great characters in a very cost-efficient manner,” Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chairman, president and CEO.

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