Hasbro’s Fashion Play: Toy Maker Moves Into Apparel

Company is reimagining its brands as inspiration for T-shirts, jeans, jackets and shoes.

A Junk Food Monopoly design for Kitson.

HASBRO’S FASHION PLAY: Hasbro is moving from toys and board games to fashion. The Pawtucket, R.I.-based maker of Transformers robots, Nerf footballs and Ouija boards is reimagining its brands as inspiration for T-shirts, jeans, jackets and shoes. After teaming with Nike to make Nerf-themed sneakers that sold for as much as $1,600 a pair, it is partnering with Junk Food Clothing to launch fashion Ts for the Monopoly game at trendy retailer Kitson in Southern California. Retailing from $32 to $48, the tops will be unveiled on Sunday in Kitson’s storefront windows on Los Angeles’ Robertson Boulevard and in Santa Monica Place. Then on Feb. 15, Junk Food will stage a Monopoly-themed fashion show in New York, highlighting men’s and women’s jersey pieces printed with artwork by Aaron Rose and other artists. “Their whole philosophy is to go into the archives and freshen it up and make it relevant for today,” said Elizabeth Miller, Hasbro’s director of strategic marketing and innovation.

Hasbro plans to introduce more fashion initiatives over the next 18 months, in the same vein of how Walt Disney and Mattel rejuvenated their respective brands, such as Minnie Mouse and Barbie, with high-profile fashion deals. Next up for Hasbro is a capsule collection with Rocawear, which combined rapper Jay-Z’s song titles with images from the Battleship game on men’s sportswear, including jackets, work shirts and jeans, as well as on women’s Ts. The Battleship collection will launch at Macy’s and Rocawear’s flagship in New York this spring, before the May 18 release of the movie of the same name starring Alexander Skarsgård and Rihanna. “We’re not only reigniting our brands, we’re reigniting [people’s] childhood,” said Simon Waters, a senior vice president at Hasbro.

This story first appeared in the January 13, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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