Hasbro, one of the world’s largest toy companies, has poached
George Volanakis from US rival The Ertl Company to become president of
European marketing and sales.
The appointment coincides with Hasbro’s preparations for an aggressive
promotion of its most popular brands in Europe. Alan Hassenfeld,
chairman and CEO at Hasbro, said: ’George’s experience in the industry
makes him the ideal person to drive our strategy for further expansion
in the European market.’
Hasbro’s strategy has been fuelled by rival Mattel’s successful
Hasbro rejected a dollars 5.2bn (pounds 3.2bn) buyout by Mattel in 1996
and is struggling to stay independent.
Volanakis will develop Hasbro’s toy and game brands, including Action
Man, Cindy, Star Wars, and Monopoly, and will also focus on its
Hasbro will concentrate on its Star Wars range this autumn as the hype
begins for the new George Lucas film Stars Wars: Episode One, due out
next year. It will introduce the first action figure based on the film
this autumn, followed by a Star Wars Trivial Pursuit Collectors’
Hasbro also plans to relaunch My Little Pony and promote Hasbro
Transformers in conjunction with McDonald’s Happy Meals.