Christmas is Coming: These Popular Toy Brands Hope to Make it on Consumer Nice Lists
Americans may well be the Jedi Masters of holiday gift-giving, and each year we shower children of all ages with toys and games of every imaginable type. If you doubt this, consider the NPD Group, a leading global information company, reported that U.S. retail sales of toys alone generated $20.9 billion in 2019. With Black Friday upon us, millions of parents are making lists of the must-have toys for this season. And these publicly traded companies are among those that stand to benefit from the holiday rush.
Hasbro Inc. (Tii:HAS)
Ever since The Child -- also affectionately called “Baby Yoda” – appeared in The Mandalorian Disney+ series, consumers have been scrambling to get their hands on this beloved little green fellow. Demand reached such a fevered pitch that it has positively impacted Hasbro’s financial results, contributing to sales of $1.78 billion for its third quarter. While there was a negative impact resulting from COVID-19 (as many others in the industry experienced), revenue grew in its franchise brands, led by MAGIC: THE GATHERING, and Hasbro Gaming, with growth in numerous games properties.
Mattel, Inc. (Tii:MAT)
American Girl dolls have been popular with kids for ages, and the company is expecting that to continue thanks to its recently-unveiled 2020 Girl of the Year, the Joss Kendrick Doll Set. Since Mattel started the line in 1986, the company sold more than 32 million American Girl dolls. Mattel purchased American Girl in 1998, adding it to a portfolio that also includes perennial favorites like Barbie and Fisher-Price. In their most recent quarter, the brand reported a 10% jump in net sales over the same quarter last year, for a total of $1.63 billion. Gross sales in the North America segment increased 13%, primarily driven by growth in dolls (including Barbie), action figures, building sets, games, and others.
Jakks Pacific, Inc. (Tii:JAKK)
Based in Santa Monica, Jakks is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of toys and consumer products sold worldwide. JAKKS Pacific’s popular proprietary brands include Perfectly Cute, X-Power, Disguise, Moose Mountain, Maui, Kids Only! and a wide range of entertainment-inspired products featuring premier licensed properties. While the company’s third-quarter 2020 net sales dropped to $242.3 million compared to $280.1 million last year, management expects good performances over the holiday season. They cite new introductions from Disney Princess, Disney Frozen, Electronic Arts APEX Legends, SEGA Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo Super Mario as contributing factors.
Funko, Inc. (Tii:FNKO)
Many of us know someone obsessed with collecting Funko’s Pop! Bobblehead figures. No doubt this holiday season will result in many of the company’s vast offerings under Christmas trees. Funko manufactures a slew of licensed pop culture collectibles that include vinyl figures, action toys, plush, apparel, board games, housewares and accessories. While net sales for the company decreased 14% to $191.2 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to $223.3 million in the third quarter of 2019, management says they are well-positioned for the holiday season with its most diverse product offering yet and an expanded presence within key retail partners.
Scholastic Corporation (Tii:SCHL)
Is your child pining for the joys of a Scholastic Book Fair? While many schools have had to forego this tradition, the books and toys they’d choose are still available through retail outlets and the company’s e-commerce storefront. The pandemic has hit Scholastic relatively hard because it relied on book fair events to drive sales. In the first fiscal quarter of 2021, the company reported $215.2 million in revenue, a 7% drop compared with $232.6 for the year-ago quarter. However, their most recent financial report announced a $100 million cost-savings program to improve quarterly earnings.
So, as you work on that Christmas to-do list, be sure to find time to research those companies behind the holiday season brands you and your little ones love.