For the first time in its history, toymaker Hasbro has passed rival Mattel in sales, snagging $5 billion in annual revenues thanks to its highly profitable “Princess” and “Frozen” franchises from Disney.
The company is expected to maintain its momentum with the release of toys connected to upcoming movie blockbusters, including “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Transformers,” “Thor,” and “Spiderman.”
Keith Snyder, an equity analyst at research firm CFRA, noted that mobile devices and other technology has allowed toymakers to monetize franchises beyond what’s traditionally possible with action figures.
“They’re playing with the Star Wars figures, watching the Star Wars movie, seeing the Clone Wars cartoon and then playing Star Wars on their mobile phone,” Snyder said. “Keeping them tied into Star Wars drives more sales.”
On the other hand, Mattel’s movie-linked toy lines, which include “Cars 3” and “Wonder Woman,” are not as lucrative, analysts say.
Sales of the Barbie line of toys has been in a slump for a few years now, only gaining a seven percent rise in sales last year to just nearly $1 billion.
Mattel is expected to focus more on integrating technology with its toys when it named Google’s Americas president Margaret Georgiadis as its new chief executive early this year.
Georgiadis is expected to present her strategy for turning Mattel around at a June 14 analyst day in New York.