Despite slumping sales for key brands like Barbie, Fisher-Price and American Girl, Mattel saw its Q2 global net sales increase 2%, thanks to a 10% rise in the toymaker’s Boys & Girls division, an 8% increase in international net sales, and a 58% jump in its Entertainment business.
Worldwide gross sales for Mattel’s Girls & Boys brands, which include Barbie, went up 10% to US$610 million versus the same period a year ago, although worldwide gross sales of Barbie went down 5%, primarily driven by lower licensing income.
The company’s Entertainment business fared well this quarter after a 27% decline in Q1. The boost was largely driven by Cars 3 toys for characters Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm that launched on May 1 ahead of the film’s June 16 premiere.
Across Mattel’s other brands, worldwide gross sales of American Girl fell by 6% to US$64 million, after dropping by 12% in Q1, while sales of Other Girls brands declined 28%, primarily due to smaller demand for Monster High and Ever After High products.
The Wheels category, meanwhile, also went down 6% after a 4% increase in global gross sales in Q1.
For Fisher-Price, which includes the Fisher-Price Core, Fisher-Price Friends and Power Wheels brands, worldwide gross sales fell by 3% to US$335 million versus last year’s second quarter.
Finishing off sales by brand, Mattel’s Construction and Arts & Crafts Brands, which includes MEGA BLOKS and RoseArt, fell by 27% to US$53 million, primarily driven by fewer MEGA BLOKS licensed products sales.
Regionally, net sales in North America were down 3%, while international sales rose 8%.
Looking at additional selling and administrative expenses, an increase of US$11.7 million was reported, reflecting higher employee-related costs, costs associated with Mattel’s new American Girl flagship store in New York City and investments in China.
In fact, the company’s ongoing expansion into China is part of its recently revealed five-pillar strategic plan,which includes making significant investments in digital content, internet-connected toys and products that promote learning. Mattel’s most recent initiative sees it swinging further into China with Babytree child-focused learning centers. The company also previously entered a joint venture with Shanghai-based investment company Fosun Group to introduce learning and play clubs for children across China.