A Challenging 2021 Delivered Big Results For Major Toy Companies!
At one point 2021 was looking decidedly risky for toy companies as we struggled to get products shipped in time for Christmas. Results released this week and recently suggest that globally, the toy business thrived despite the very challenging conditions.
Firstly, NPD Group reported the U.S. toy market up 13% in value from 2020 to 2021. This is incredible, has the U.S. toy business grown by double digits in living memory? It may have done, but certainly not recently! This is all the more impressive since covid waves were still rolling through periodically. As the world’s largest toy market, the U.S. is often the first place to look and is a key barometer of the toy market in general, with so many major toy companies based in North America.
Of those major toy companies, three reported results for FY 2021:
HASBRO reported an impressive 17% uplift in revenues year on year. While that will be a very hard performance to match (let alone beat) in 2022, they do have a number of very strong movie releases coming up with sequels to Black Panther, Dr. Strange & Thor movies. Hasbro will lose the Disney Princess doll business to Mattel from the start of 2023, but that c. $200-300m business should still be there for 2022.
MATTEL reported revenues up 19% year on year in 2021, with Dolls sales up by a whopping 22%. When you look back at Mattel’s last few years, we have to be impressed with their turnaround, especially in their long-time stronghold category of Dolls. The forthcoming Lightyear movie from Pixar should also help Mattel’s topline sales.
SPIN MASTER also had a stellar 2021, due to the success of the Paw Patrol movie. While they don’t have that boost to look forward to in 2022, they do have a sequel coming for 2023 & The Batman should also help to soften the challenge of competing with such an amazing 2021.
Overall then, the toy business seems to have delivered an impressive 2021 in such challenging conditions. Usually, where one of the toy majors is up, another will be down, but that does not appear to be the case in the topsy turvy toy market of 2021. It seems most likely that the toy business will be at best flat, if not down a little in 2022, but it remains as ever vibrant and consumer demand remains strong.
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