Big brands contribute to Q2 declines for Mattel

Even though factories are reopened with minimal disruption to operations, this pandemic quarter saw a 15% drop in gross sales.
July 24, 2020

Big brands like Hot Wheels and Thomas & Friends contributed to declines for Mattel in Q2 2020, with Barbie standing out as a source of growth. The California toymaker reported US$815 million in gross sales, a 15% decline compared to the same period in 2019. 

The second quarter saw gross sales decline for Mattel’s vehicles segment, dropping 26% to US$158.7 million. In particular, the Hot Wheels power brand fell 22% to US$136.5 million.

Gross sales for the infant, toddler and preschool segment fell 21% to US$199.8 million, largely due to a 21% gross sales drop for the Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends (pictured) power brand to US$176.3 million.

Mattel’s action figures, building sets, games and other segment also saw gross sales fall 12% to US$195 million, thanks to dips for the Toy Story 4 and MEGA franchises.

The dolls segment reported US$261 million in gross sales, a 5% drop driven by Enchantimals, Polly Pocket and American Girl. But these declines were offset by Q2 growth from Barbie, which saw a 7% increase in gross sales to US$199.3 million.

Regionally, gross sales in North America increased 3% to US$461.5 million, thanks to growth in dolls and action figures, building sets and games. Internationally, however, sales fell 33% to US$323.9 million, with sales in EMEA down 21%, Latin America down 52%, and Asia Pacific down 31%.

Mattel faced retail and manufacturing closures early in Q2 2020, but the company reported its factories are now open with minimal disruption to operations. The toyco saw declines in nearly all of its categories in Q1 2020 after delays related to COVID-19 affected its manufacturing and distribution capacity.

Looking forward, Mattel is focusing on diversity. The toyco launched its Play Fair program in the second quarter to focus on recruiting and developing Black talent, and creating products and experiences centered around diversity.

Barbie was the first brand to announce its Play Fair commitment with a pledge to increase Black representation across products and content, spotlight more Black role models, and dedicate resources to support Black girls. Mattel donated US$250,000 to NAACP youth programs and promised to donate proceeds from future product sales and initiatives (at least US$250,000) to fund educational programs supporting Black girls.

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