By Jackie Salo
My Little Pony, meet Tupac Shakur.
Toymaker Hasbro has acquired gangster rap label Death Row Records — which counts Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists — as part of a bid to grow its stable of family-friendly entertainment.
The worldwide toymaker announced the $4 billion deal Thursday to buy British company Entertainment One /zigman2/quotes/203732995/delayed UK:ETO -0.18% , which produces animated kids shows such as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” but also owns the rap label.
Hasbro /zigman2/quotes/201249319/composite HAS -0.02% , which owns the rights to My Little Pony, Monopoly and Mr. Potato Head, has said the company was looking to expand “family brands” and television production with the purchase.
“The acquisition of eOne adds beloved story-led global family brands that deliver strong operating returns to Hasbro’s portfolio and provides a pipeline of new brand creation driven by family-oriented storytelling,” Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement.
Though Hasbro was aiming for more family-friendly programming, the toymaker ended up with Death Row Records, a division of Entertainment One purchased in 2013, Rolling Stone reported.
Death Row — which was founded in 1991 by Suge Knight, The D.O.C., and Dr. Dre — was one of hip-hop’s most influential labels, signing some of the biggest names on the West Coast.
The iconic label, however, filed for bankruptcy in 2006 after a series of lawsuits and the imprisonment of Knight. It has since changed hands several times, landing up with Entertainment One when it was bought for $280 million, according to Rolling Stone.