NECA/Wizkids Buys Hastings

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An announcement of a planned merger between National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) and Hastings started an investigation on behalf of shareholders for “acting in their best interest.”  Joel Weinshanker is the founder and CEO of NECA, who is the parent company of WizKids.  Hastings Entertainment is a multimedia retail chain with 126 stores throughout the United States.  NECA is an entertainment and collectible supplier with some pretty awesome stuff such as the The Flasher Gremlin.  They have all sorts of collectible goodies.

Mergers are a long process and it was reported at the beginning of June that it was halted due to a restraining order.  The suit “alleges that the price being paid for Hastings, $3 per share, is insufficient (it represented a 57% increase over Hastings’ stock price on the day before the deal was announced).”  By the end of June, the injunction was denied and the merger sent to the shareholder meeting for approval, which was just approved on July 15.

As reported by ICv2, “In a statement, Weinshanker gave a nod to the founding Marmaduke family, which has exited the company as a result of the acquisition (see “Hastings CEO, CFO Out”).  ‘It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to be part of the next chapter of such an important American retailer as Hastings,’ he said.  ‘We will continue to run the business with the same ethical standards and values that the Marmadukes founded and built the chain on.'”

Weinshanker, also a designer, worked with Mike Elliot on a puzzle building platform and game combining strategy, Connecting with Pieces.  Connecting with Pieces takes a jigsaw puzzle and adds a gaming element.  The active player has one minute to add pieces to the puzzle and scoring points.  During that time, the other players are selecting pieces from the box for their turn.  Weinshanker has designed two Lord of the Rings themed games and a Hunger Games themed puzzle.