Ahead of New York Toy Fair, Canadian toy and entertainment company Spin Master has reported record preliminary gross product sales of US$1.3 billion for fiscal 2018, representing a 3.1% lift over 2017.
The growth was largely driven by increases across the three of the company’s key business segments —activities, games & puzzles & plush; preschool and girls; and boys action and high-tech construction.
Activities, games & puzzles & plush rose 24.7% to US$68 million, mostly due to strong sales of Gund plush products, as well as higher sales for Kumi Creator, Kinetic Sand and Spin Master’s games and puzzles portfolio, which includes Cardinal. The lift was partially offset by declines in Bunchems, Sew Cool, Pottery Cool and Marshmallow furniture.
The toyco’s preschool and girls segment jumped 5% to US$18.4 million driven by sales of Twisty Petz and Party Popteenies, and offset by lower sales of PAW Patrol and ZhuZhu Pets.
Boys action and high-tech construction, meanwhile, went up 18.7% to US$15.8 million. Boxer, Fugglers, and initial shipments of DreamWorks Dragons, Bakugan and Monster Jam (pictured) all factored into the sales bump, which was offset by drops in Meccano, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean licensed products, and Spy Gear.
Spin Master’s 2018 gross product sales were offset by a 14.8% decline to US$66.5 million in its remote control and interactive characters segment. This result was primarily due to underwhelming sales of Hatchimals large eggs, though Hatchimals Colleggtibles, Air Hogs and Zoomer all saw increased sales, as did Luvabella.
Looking at the toyco’s prelim Q4 results, revenue decreased US$13.9 million to US$351.7 million, or 3.8%. This was mostly due to a 45.7% decline to US$68.6 million in the remote control and interactive characters segment. Spin Master is scheduled to report its full financial results for Q4 and full-year 2018 after the close of business on March 6, 2019.
The company’s prelim fiscal 2018 and Q4 results follow a disappointing year for rival Hasbro, which reported a double-digit decline to US$4.58 billion in net revenue for its fiscal 2018 last week. Mattel, meanwhile, delivered better-than-expected Q4 2018 earnings, primarily driven by aggressive cost-cutting measures and record earnings for its Hot Wheels and Barbie brands.
The major toycos’ earnings reports come as Toys “R” Us mounts a comeback following its bankruptcy protection filing in September 2017 and the shuttering of its US operations in March 2018. Earlier this week, the company changed its name to Tru Kids and tapped a new CEO, CFO, EVP of global license management, and SVP of global sourcing and brands.