Dec 13, 2019 Hasbro misses huge holiday toy opportunity with Disney's "Baby Yoda" Read More Furious with you, I am... When the CEO of toy company Hasbro snuggled into his sofa to watch Disney+'s Star Wars-ish The Mandalorian series, he wondered what that adorable miniature Yoda thing was. It was hundreds of millions of should-be dollars for his company.
"Baby Yoda" is 50-years-old (diaper-age for yoda's species) and the cult star of the series.
But Disney kept him a secret until the show launched in November — it didn't even tell top toy-making partner Hasbro.
So parents ended up searching for "Baby Yoda" toys on Amazon over 90K times this past month (and ordered $100K worth of fake/unofficial ones).
Now Hasbro's unveiled a gaggle of Baby Yoda toys... but they won't arrive until May 2020.
This is "Tickle Me Elmo" money... The master of all holiday toys quintupled 1996 sales for its company (Tyco). The current popularity and undeniable cuteness of Baby Yoda could've driven similar holiday pandemonium, but Disney's stealthy self-serving moves were Hasbro's loss.The Takeaway:Hasbro is pretty much a Disney toy store... Hasbro paid big for the rights to be the official toymaker of Disney franchises Star Wars, Marvel, and Frozen. Now those toys are a huge part of its biz — 27% of Hasbro sales last quarter came from "partner brands." That's corporate-speak for Disney's billion-dollar character franchises, from Elsa to the Skywalkers. Aug 27, 2019 Hasbro drops $4B on a kids TV program (and it got some rappers) Read More New play-date for the Power Rangers... This one's with Peppa Pig, the British kids show featuring alliteration-enabled animal characters. Toy icon Hasbro will is paying $4B for the company behind the cartoon, Entertainment One. Fun side fact: In addition to Peppa, Entertainment One also owns Death Row Records, the production company behind Dr. Dre.
Peppa's got a passport for China... (stamped regularly). The Blues Clues-meets-Mary Poppins character is translated into 40 languages. But to Hasbro, she's a "Beachhead to go into China for many years to come.”
She's been in China since the mid 2000s — and was temporarily banned once for "promoting gangster attitudes."
Now she's loved by the People's Liberation Army (they do these military formations in the cartoon's honor).
And she's got a spot on China Central Television (that's the state-owned channel).The Takeaway:"Disneyfication" is the future of entertainment... Hasb-rival Mattel is transforming Barbie from toy-to-franchise with her own real-life movie starring Margot Robbie. Hasbro wants a similar profit ecosystem with Peppa. But Hasbro stock had fallen as investors weighed the hefty price tag for the strategy — turns out Disney paid the same sum to get Star Wars back in 2012 as Hasbro splurged for Peppa. Jul 24, 2019 Hasbro surges 10% (it's not just The Avengers) Read More Save me, Spiderman... Or send Hasbro. The Rhode Island-based toy legend jumped 10% Tuesday after its 2nd quarter earnings. It announced it's shifting some of its toy production to India and Vietnam to avoid tariffs — it aims to reduce the amount made in China from 67% to 50%. But let's talk about its toy collection.
Hasbro's, like, a HUGE Marvel fan... For over 10 years, it's been the exclusive toymaker of Marvel superheroes. The 23 movies made since '08 have helped fill the piggy bank. Now that Avengers: Endgame happened, Marvel has announced "Phase 4" of its superhero content, tailored for Disney+ (which launches in November). Here's a preview of what Hasbro will turn into toys:
Black Widow, a spy/assassin film with Scarlett Johansson.
The Eternals, a movie with Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek about a (wait for it) alien race that protects Earth from annihilation.
Blade, with Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali as a sunglass-loving vampire hunter.
The Takeaway:Hasbro doesn't just borrow Disney's characters... It's expected to extend its Disney deal that includes all Star Wars and Marvel toys (expiring in 2020). But licensing other companies' characters is only 22% of Hasbro's revenue. Its OG characters are actually doing better — franchise sales rose 14% last quarter compared to just 3% for licensed. Give some extra allowance to Play-Doh, Transformers, My Little Pony, and Magic The Gathering. Apr 24, 2019 Hasbro's best day in 20 years is thanks to Play-Doh and Transformers Read More Schedule more playdates... with the Pawtucket, RI-based team over at Hasbro. The 2018 Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy dropped toy sales nationwide 2% last year. But Hasbro stock jumped 14% Tuesday on signs it survived the play-pocalypse.
February 2019: Hasbro revealed its toy sales fell 13% over the holidays (blames Toys 'R' Us).
Yesterday: Hasbro's 1st quarter sales rose 2% — Their first gain in six quarters.
Dust off the top-bunk play box... Hasbro has found new retail shelf-space in grocery and drug stores to replace losses at Toys 'R' Us. But here are the toys heroically headlining its comeback:
Classics: Play-Doh and Monopoly sales rebounded hard.
Hollywood: Transformers got another movie (BumbleBee made $470M @ the box office) and an action figure with big sales.
Virtual: Forget cards. "Magic: The Gathering" now has a very real e-sports competition called "Arena" (and Hasbro's monetized it).The Takeaway:It's all about "The Disney Playbook"... Turn your childhood characters into profit ecosystems. Disney pumps out Star Wars theme parks and toys to complement its films. Hasbro rival Mattel's giving Barbie live-action big screen treatment this year. To keep up, Hasbro needs a movie/event/resort future for its Nerf/Twister/Furby past.