Hasbro’s new line of interactive Telepods may be launching just in time. The Rhode Island-based toy company saw its earnings fall by 16% during the second quarter of this year, due largely to a 35% drop in boys physical toy sales.
Sales for the quarter were US$766.3 million, a 6% decline compared to US$811.5 million during the same period last year. Earnings were US$36.5 million, compared to US$43.4 million in 2012.
Hasbro’s Entertainment and Licensing segment experienced an 18% drop in net sales to US$35.3 million. The company’s Girls, Games and Preschool categories all experienced growth during the quarter, up 43%, 19% and 4%, respectively. Furby and My Little Pony were particular drivers within the Girls category. The gains were offset by a 35% decline in Boys revenues, which dropped from US$389.1 million in 2012 to US253.7 million this year. The Nerf brand was up in sales, however, brands included Marvel and Beyblade saw marked declines.
The second-quarter results come amid Disney extending Hasbro’s merchandising rights to Marvel characters for an additional two years, to 2020, which is the same year Hasbro’s rights to Disney’s Star Wars characters will expire. In its statement, Hasbro said it is currently developing comprehensive lines for both film and television entertainment in the coming years, including Transformers 4 in 2014.
Of course, Hasbro is also taking measures to become more immersed in the interactive space. Aside from launching its mobile-integrated line of Telepods with the help of the Angry Birds brand this fall, the company significantly expanded its digital gaming potential by recently acquiring a 70% stake in mobile developer Backflip Studios. The toyco isn’t the only one putting more into mobile, as competitors Mattel – which is experiencing its own problems with girls - and Jakks Pacific both reported sales below expectation during their second quarters this year.