Frozen blow for Mattel as Hasbro wins rights for Princess Elsa doll in toy war

Hasbro secures exclusive rights for Frozen merchandise starting 2016

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This is a battle Hasbro won't let go.

The toy giant known for its GI Joe and Transformers merchandise has secured the rights to make Disney's Frozen movie dolls starting in 2016 in a major coup against Barbie-maker Mattel.

Hasbro, traditionally seen as a toy maker for boys, has been trying to cement its position in the doll business aimed at girls. By securing the rights to sell Frozen's merchandise, the company is well placed to compete against rivals given Princess Elsa's popularity in the toy aisle.

Disney's global hit about a queen with magical powers who accidentally freezes her entire kingdom while embarking on a journey of self-discovery has become the highest-grossing animated film ever, beating the iconic Lion King. "The entire Hasbro team is looking forward to providing consumers with inventive new play experiences based on the beloved Disney Princess and Frozen characters and stories," Hasbro chief executive Brian Goldner said in a statement.

Meanwhile, rival Mattel, which recently described the Frozen brand as the "star of the portfolio" played down the impact of the deal, noting that it will continue to hold the exclusive rights for the next two years, including the all-important Christmas period, hinting that Princess Elsa will probably run out of steam by then.

Little girls around the world will make that call and, by the looks of it, the Frozen avalanche is far from over.