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Winners & Losers: Hasbro freezes out Mattel, Air Canada talks dirty

Trouble in the toy aisle



Frozen’s Elsa holding hands with Optimus Prime while Barbie gives them serious side-eye

The toy company secured a licensing deal with Walt Disney Co. to produce dolls from its Disney Princess line, including characters from the Oscar-winning film “Frozen.” Better yet, Hasbro snatched the rights away from its archrival Mattel, which currently sells merchandise based on “Frozen.” The deal doesn’t take effect until 2016, but it means hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue will flow to Hasbro in the future. One analyst estimates the line generated US$500 million for Mattel last year. As for Hasbro, the company is excited because the deal expands its toy offerings for girls. The company is primarily known for toys geared toward boys, like G.I. Joe and Transformers. (And yes, the industry still maintains a heavily gendered worldview. Hasn’t Hasbro learned anything from the legions of bronies that flock to its My Little Pony line?) Mattel will definitely feel the loss of “Frozen”, especially since the company has been struggling to boost sales of Barbie, its premiere product. CEO Bryan Stockton was said to take the news hard, retreating to a snowy, windswept mountain and mumbling to himself, “I’ll rise like the break of dawn. Let it go, let it go. That perfect girl is gone.”

 Air Canada

Porno for pilots

Air Canada plane. Speech bubble from cockpit sarcastically asks whether the pilot is reading the magazine for the articles.

The country’s flagship carrier has a problem with “explicit material” in the cockpit, finally answering the question of why so many Air Canada flights are delayed. CBC News obtained an internal memo circulated by the airline last year telling flight crews to stop hiding “suggestive images” in company aircraft, and warning employees they could be fired or face criminal charges if they don’t comply. The author of the memo, Air Canada’s chief pilot and director of fleet operations and training, wrote: “I am disappointed to have to raise this issue once again but unfortunately we have some people that have yet to understand the message.” Indeed, after this memo was sent last year, more explicit material was found in a flight deck this past February. But soon Air Canada won’t have to worry so much about its pilots stashing pornography in aircraft like shame-faced teenagers; it’s currently equipping 160 planes with Wi-Fi.