We are sad to report the passing of Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, a beloved figure within the merchandising world who expanded Star Wars figures to reach the highs that they are at today. Goldner resigned on Sunday. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter, and entire family.
Hasbro expanded into licensing deals for popular franchises, and oversaw the deal to adopt the galaxy far, far away after the rights transitioned from their originators at Kenner Toys. Goldner joined the company in 2000, shortly following an unprecedented merchandise push for the company in 1999 with the release of The Phantom Menace.
Under Goldner’s leadership, Hasbro’s Star Wars line continued to expand throughout the release of the prequel trilogy. Beyond 3 ¾ action figures, Goldner saw the transitioned Star Wars’ Unleashed, Galactic Heroes, Jedi Force, Battlers, Custom, Mighty Muggs, and FX Lightsaber Blade Lines. Goldner also saw the crossovers between Star Wars and the franchise he’d just launched in Hollywood: Transformers.
Goldner helped retain Hasbro’s hold on Star Wars, as well as Marvel, as the rights were sold to Disney. The success of the Black Series and the products throughout the sequel trilogy era came thanks to Goldner.
In addition to his leadership within Hasbro, Goldner was also a passionate advocate for opioid awareness. The Direct Relief
organization provides information, charitable opportunities, and ongoing relief efforts for those struggling with opioid addiction.