Toca Life World

Digital games bolster Spin Master’s 2020

After several difficult quarters, the toyco's revenue ended up relatively steady in fiscal 2020, thanks to gaming brands like Toca Life World.
March 2, 2021

The strength of its digital games business helped Spin Master weather a difficult fiscal 2020. The Toronto-based toy and entertainment company’s revenue remained relatively steady at US$1.57 billion for the full year (a decline of 0.7%).

Annual revenue for the company’s “other” segment was US$37.1 million, a 31.5% year-over-year increase. This growth was driven by strength in digital games, where revenue increased by 193.1% to US$76.8 million during fiscal 2020, thanks to Toca Life World (pictured) and Sago Mini.

But this growth was offset by Spin Master’s entertainment and licensing segment, which saw revenue decline 14.7% to US$78.2 million.

Revenue for the toymaker’s activities, games, puzzles and plush category increased by 11.7% to US$511.2 million, driven by the performance of crafting brands like Kinetic Sand, Rainbow Jellies and Orbeez.

Boys action and construction category revenue grew 6.2% to US$352.1 million, thanks to DC licensed products, and the outdoor category was up by 5.2% to US$91.1 million.

The remote control and interactive characters category (down 32.5% to US$202.1 million) and the preschool and girls category (down 9.5% to US$467.2 million) both saw revenue declines in fiscal 2020. Hatchimals contributed to the drop in remote control and interactive characters, while the soft performance of brands like Twisty Petz, Candylocks and PAW Patrol was at play in the preschool and girls business.

Gross product sales declined 4% to US$1.62 billion for the full fiscal year. Gross product sales grew by 4.8% in Europe, but was down in North America (4.2%) and the rest of the world (19.3%).

In Q4 2020 specifically, Spin Master reported US$490.6 million in total revenue—a 3.6% increase compared to the previous year. Gross product sales for the quarter dropped by 7.1% to US$511.8 million, driven by a decline in the remote control and interactive characters segment.

This growth, as well as a strong Q3 2020, followed several difficult quarters driven by factors related to the pandemic.

Overall, toymakers have had mixed results in the year of COVID-19. Fellow toycos Hasbro and Jakks Pacific both reported declines for the full year, while Mattel saw positive growth in fiscal 2020.

Last year also resulted in significant leadership changes for Spin Master, with global president and COO Ben Gadbois and EVP of global operations Bill Hess both stepping down. Max Rangel was appointed as the company’s new global president, and will add CEO responsibilities to his remit in April.

Despite ongoing global lockdowns and retail disruptions, Spin Master anticipates growth in fiscal 2021, and will focus on its digital gaming business. The company anticipates that its revenue for fiscal 2021 will increase by mid to high single digits compared to 2020.

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