Since 2001, Disney has owned the popular Power Rangers franchise, originally adapted from a Japanese television series for American audiences by Saban Entertainment. Today it was announced that Disney has now sold the Power Rangers back to Haim Saban.
Disney first purchased the franchise from Saban as part of a deal that also included the Fox Family Channel (now ABC Family) for $5.2 billion ($1.5 billion of which went to Saban). The amount Disney has now sold the Power Rangers for has not been disclosed, nor have the terms of the sale.
What is known is that Saban has established a deal with Nickelodeon and Nicktoons to develop new television episodes and begin rerunning older catalog episodes on Nicktoons. There are also talks about creating new Power Rangers feature-length films. Until December, “Power Rangers” episodes had been appearing on the Disney XD channel.
It is unknown at this point if or when the Power Rangers street shows and character meet-and-greets will end at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.
Update (5/13/10): Disney spokeswoman Zoraya Suarez told me that August 7, 2010, will be the final day for the Power Rangers character meet and greets at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. She also emphasized the new character meet and greets in the park: Lotso from Toy Story 3, along with Stitch, Winnie the Pooh, and Piglet.