The world’s largest toymaker, Hasbro, reported a double-digit surge in sales in 2020 tied to the spectacular performance of its Star Wars merchandise.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Sijoitusrahastot, the company posted an increase of 70% in its Star Wars merchandise sales. This was in spite of the fact that 2020 was the first year since 2014 that Disney did not have a Star Wars theatre release.
In a bid to make up for that loss, Disney+ streamed The Mandalorian series. Grogu, formerly known as Baby Yoda, was among the top hits for the Star Wars segment. Hasbro had a hard time meeting the high demand for products featuring the little green alien.
Overall, Hasbro’s holiday quarter revenue shot up by 4% year-over-year (YoY) to $1.7 billion, with a 27% uptick in the gaming segment and a 20% increase in the TV/film/entertainment segment. Sales in the US and Canada shot up by 16% during the period.
For its gaming segment, Magic: The Gathering was a significant variable in its record performance. It was the gaming brand’s best year ever in its 27-year history, as it shot up by 27% YoY to $581.2 million.
Hasbro’s eCommerce sales for the full year surpassed $1 billion and accounted for a 25% share of total revenue.
Hasbro has benefitted from its relationship with Disney for a while now. In 2019, it posted a 24% revenue increase to $1.22 billion for its partner brands. It attributed its stunning performance to strong sales of Star Wars, Frozen 2, Spider-Man and Avengers merchandise.
Barbie Sales Shot Up by 19% in Q4 2020, 16% Full-Year 2020
For Mattel, Hasbro’s rival, Q4 2020 was the strongest quarter in 15 years for holiday sales.
Mattel’s sales for the period shot up by 10% to $1.63 billion, bringing the year’s total revenue to $4.58 billion, up by 2% YoY. The Q4 revenue figure outperformed analysts’ expectations of $1.58 billion according to Refinitiv.
Net income for the year amounted to $127 million, marking the first profitable year for the toymaker since 2016. Adjusted earnings per share rose (EPS) from 11 cents in Q4 2019 to 40 cents in Q4 2020.
Of all its product lines, Barbie had the strongest growth, reporting a 16% upsurge in sales for the full year. During the fourth quarter, Barbie sales rose by 19%. Hot Wheels was another top-performing category in Q4 2020, with sales shooting up by 13%.
For the first time in four years, the American Girl brand posted an increase in sales, jumping by 12% in Q4 2020. In Q4 2019, the brand had reported a 20% sales decline, which brought down the entire doll segment to a 6% YoY drop. In contrast, Q4 2020 saw doll sales spike by 13% YoY.
Mattel saw an uptick in Barbie sales particularly during H2 2020 as the easing of lockdown measures led to restocked toy stores. Though the company anticipates strong performance during the first half of 2021, it points out that comparison to H2 2020 could make that a challenge.
US Toy Industry Sales Soared by 16% to $25 Billion in 2020
Both Mattel and Hasbro were dealt a massive blow by the pandemic as both stocks plummeted by more than 50% during the March 2020 sell-off.
However, both have recovered significantly. From its lowest point, Mattel’s and Hasbro’s stock had gained more than 100% as of February 16, 2021.
The Q4 2020 and full-year results of the two toy giants were consistent with a report released by research firm NPD Group. According to the report, 2020 was a record year for the toy industry, with retail sales rising by 16% YoY in the US to reach $25.1 billion.
The growth was largely attributed to pandemic-related school closures and lockdowns, as well as disposable income diverted from other forms of entertainment to toys.
Sales growth for the period between January and mid-March 2020 was flat compared to a similar period in 2019. May 2020 was the strongest month as it saw sales grow by 38% YoY, followed by October 2020 which peaked at 33%. Online toy sales, in particular, grew remarkably, surging 75% YoY during the first nine months of the year.
The top five properties during the year were L.O.L Surprise!, Barbie, Star Wars, Pokemon and Marvel Universe. Cumulatively, the five accounted for 13% of all toy sales in 2020.
Top dollar growth sub-segments such as fashion dolls and accessories grew by 56% and sports toys shot up by 31%. Games posted a 29% upsurge, building sets by 26% and summer seasonal toys by 24%.