Edmonton

Buzz at the mall: Hasbro, WEM writing a new toy story for Galaxyland amusement park

My Little Pony was just a yearling when West Edmonton Mall opened its indoor amusement park in 1983. Now the prancing plaything will be one of many products featured at the first Hasbro-themed amusement park in Canada.
The Galaxyland Amusement Park at West Edmonton Mall will feature popular Hasbro brands following a transformation that will begin this month and end in winter 2020. (Submitted by West Edmonton Mall)

My Little Pony was just a yearling when West Edmonton Mall opened its indoor amusement park in 1983. 

Now the prancing plaything will be one of many products featured at the mall's Galaxyland attraction as part of a new licensing agreement to develop the first Hasbro-themed amusement park in Canada.

"We're really excited to be partnering with a company like Hasbro that shares the same values we do as far as creating a dynamic and fun family environment," West Edmonton Mall's general manager Danielle Woo said Thursday. "And we're just really excited for the guest to experience the transformation as it progresses."

Hasbro, a global company that owns trademarks for the likes of Kenner, Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley, has what Woo called a "multi-generational portfolio" — brands and characters familiar to everyone from children to grandparents.

In addition to Pinkie Pie and her pony friends, some of its popular brands include Nerf, G.I. Joe, Mr. Potato Head (including the Buzz Lightyear-themed Spud Lightyear) as well as games like Monopoly, Battleship and Operation.

Characters hailing from Hasbro's line of toys and games will be featured throughout West Edmonton Mall's Galaxyland. The park's current theme goes back to 1995. (Travis McEwan / CBC News)

According to a news release, the 165,000-square-foot park will be transformed (Transformers are another Hasbro brand) with its products featured on 25 existing rides, games and attractions, as well as themed food service outlets.

The park will remain open throughout. Woo said the rides will be closed down for short periods of time to be "rethemed."

She added, "We're trying to have as little disruption as possible."

The construction will begin this month and take about a year. The name of the reopened park will be "Galaxyland powered by Hasbro."

This isn't the first rebranding of the park, which features the Mindbender and the Space shot —  respectively the world's longest and tallest among similar indoor rides.

When the park opened in 1983, it was called Fantasyland, a name that had been used for more than 30 years by Disneyland in California.

Disney sued the mall and, in 1994, a final appeal ruling agreed WEM had to change the name of its amusement park. Galaxyland was chosen as the new name in 1995.

"When 'Galaxyland powered by Hasbro' officially opens, we're sure that fans and families will get to experience their favourite brands like never before," Matt Proulx, Hasbro's vice-president of location-based entertainment, said in the news release

Some of the toy company's other forays into this area include a Transformers ride at Universal Studios, a Monopoly-themed hotel in Kuala Lumpur, and Nerf family entertainment centres across the Asia Pacific.