Hasbro's publishing activity has increased in the last 18 months from 20 titles based on five brands to more than 100 titles based on 20 brands. In May 1999, the toymaker formed a Properties Group to better exploit its trademarks in entertainment, consumer products and publishing. As part of this initiative, it developed style guides and potential formats, which it presented to publishers at Toy Fair in February 2000.
Current licensees include Scholastic for an expanded Tonka nonfiction line, Tonka Joe and Chuck My Talkin' Truck titles, and books under the My First Games brand; Modern for Tonka coloring and activity books; Golden for "storygames" based on classic board game brands; Houghton Mifflin for Scrabble reading and math activity books; Reader's Digest for book-plus titles; and Millbrook Press for Play-Doh books. Tom Klusaritz, Hasbro's v-p, global publishing and new business development, is working on deals for Playskool (formerly licensed to Dutton), GloWorld, G.I. Joe and Transformers: Robots in Disguise.