Reuters is reporting that Mattel Inc. has won the right to make toys based on key Warner Bros. characters including Superman, Batman, Looney Tunes, and the Justice League.  Mattel's license will last four years and commence in January, 2003, when the license of rival toy conglomerate Hasbro expires.  The agreement, which allows Mattel to create action figures, vehicles, games, dolls, and collectibles for all world markets except Asia, was estimated to be worth between $200 and $600 over the life of the license.  The license grants Mattel the rights to make toys based on the characters and related theatrical releases or television programs.


Hasbro, which has held the Batman license since 1989, fielded a miniscule Batman Action Figure line this year (see 'Licensing is Back At Hasbro').  However Hasbro is losing out to its arch rival on the very day that Warner Brothers Studio announced that Director Wolfgang Peterson was set to direct a Batman vs. Superman film (see 'Batman vs. Superman Is On'), that is due out in 2004, and which could make a huge difference in the value of the license.  Turnabout is fair play for Mattel, which recently lost its Disney license to Hasbro.


However Hasbro hasn't lost all its Warner licenses -- the company's Wizards of the Coast division will still produce Harry Potter trading cards and trading card games, since Mattel has no equivalent of WOTC -- and Hasbro will retain its license for other Warner properties including Scooby Doo and the Powerpuff Girls.