After finishing strong in a difficult 2020, Mattel is continuing that positive momentum in 2021. The LA-based toyco reported US$874 million in net sales for Q1—a 47% increase over the same period last year.
In Mattel’s quarterly earnings report, CEO Ynon Kreiz stated that this Q1 performance represents the company’s highest quarterly growth in more than 25 years. It also marks Mattel’s third consecutive quarter of market share growth, according to market research firm NPD Group.
The toymaker’s doll segment made the biggest gains in Q1, with worldwide gross billings up 69% to US$381 million. Barbie contributed the most significantly to this lift, with gross billings up 86%. The launch of equestrian brand Spirit (pictured) and a 22% bump for American Girl were also important factors. (Gross billings is the total amount invoiced compared to net sales, which is total sales after returned/damaged goods and discounts are taken into account.)
In the action figures, building sets, games and other segment, Mattel reported gross billings of US$199 million—a 69% increase over Q1 2020. Action figures were the hero of the quarter, with products from Jurassic World, WWE and Masters of the Universe up 101%. Halo, Pokémon and a wider distribution of MEGA products helped in the building sets category, which was up by 46%. And Uno contributed to a 25% bump in games.
The infant, toddler and preschool segment is up by 31% to US$183 million, thanks to Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends. And the toyco’s vehicle category grew by 15%.
Regionally, the biggest gains happened in North America, where gross billings are up 67% to US$512 million. EMEA was next in line with gross billings of US$291 million—up 35%. Latin America and Asia Pacific grew by 10% and 26%, respectively.
Content is expected to continue to be key for growth. Mattel recently announced a film based on Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em; and ViewMaster and Hot Wheels features are in the works, along with TV series based on Uno and Whack-A-Mole.