Hasbro in Licensing Talks for Diana Toys


Hasbro Inc., the nation's No. 2 toy maker, is in negotiations to produce a number of products that would bear the likeness of the late Princess Diana.

The Rhode Island-based company would not give any details other than to say that it is discussing a number of possibilities with trustees of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

In recent months, the Diana fund was in discussions with El Segundo-based Mattel Inc. to produce an "elegant, very limited edition doll that would have appealed to adult collectors," said Mattel spokesman Glenn Bozarth. Bozarth said similar dolls in Mattel's $200-million adult-collector line sell for between $50 and $100.

The discussions broke down "when it became clear that the trust [fund] was interested in something broader," Bozarth said.

A spokesman for the fund, which oversees licensing agreements covering the use of Diana's likeness, could not be reached for comment.

Since Diana was killed in a car crash last August in Paris, her image has been reproduced in dolls, collector plates and other items, leading some to express concern about commercialization.

Wayne Charness, a spokesman for Hasbro, which also owns the Parker Bros. and Milton Bradley brands, indicated that those involved in the discussion are sensitive to those concerns.

"I can assure you that anything we would do, with the fund's blessing, would be in the best possible taste," he said.

Charness would not say how much a Hasbro Diana collectible doll might sell for, but he said that collectible dolls of Bob Hope and retired Gen. Colin L. Powell sell in the $30-to-$40 range.

Charness also would not say how much revenue he would anticipate a line of Diana toys would generate for Hasbro, which this week announced lower-than-expected first-quarter sales.

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