In what may be either a very smart or very suicidal business move, Dreamworks Animation has just dropped a $150 million bid to grab up Classic Media and all its artistic properties. CM is currently owner of the rights to such well-known names as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Dick Tracy, He-Man, Archie, Voltron, Gumby, Felix the Cat, Veggie Tales, Lassie, Where’s Waldo and the Lone Ranger.
At first glance, this would seem a bonanza of tried-and-true characters that could make Dreamworks a pile of cash. The purchase, however, is a little more complicated than that, being that none of the titles carry with them their television or film rights.
Classic Media currently makes hundreds-of-millions by licensing these properties. Dreamworks may be looking at holding on to the rights for the express purpose of renting them out later to other companies that wish to turn the titles into movies or television shows (and the subsequent toys or other marketing deals that inevitably follow). Or they could possibly have some other purchases lined up for the future. Either way, the company is dropping some big cash.
At the very least, this puts a spotlight on some old classic media and gives rise to the question of whether we may be looking at a new He-Man flick or a Voltron adaptation in the near future.
Thanks to geektyrant for the heads-up.