Jakks Pacific is levelling up on merch inspired by video games as growth related to brands like Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario contributed to a 26% Q1 net sales increase to US$83.8 million.
Marking the toymaker’s highest year-over-year Q1 jump since 2015, this sales growth follows on the heels of a difficult year for the company. In Q1 2020, Jakks reduced its workforce through layoffs and asked all employees, including the executive team, to take a temporary reduction in pay in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In stark contrast, Q1 2021 saw net sales for toys and consumer products grow by 28%. The boys segment was up 70% to US$16.4 million, due to strength in video game toys including Nintendo, Sonic the Hedgehog and Apex Legends. The girls segment, meanwhile, grew 13% to US$45.2 million, bolstered by sales connected to Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon and Disney Princess.
Net sales in the seasonal segment (which includes outdoor toys like skateboards and ball pits) were up 43% to US$18.3 million, while Disguise costumes were essentially flat compared to Q1 2020, growing by just 1% to US$4 million.
Taking a global view, net sales in North America increased 33% to US$67.6 million, with international sales up by 5% to US$12.2 million. And after a significant surge in its web business last year, Jakks’ online sales for the first quarter have increased by 20% compared Q1 2020.
Moving forward, the toymaker plans to expand its offerings for key video game brands and double down on Disney (including Disney Princess, Raya and the Last Dragon and the upcoming Disney film Encanto). Jakks will focus on basic toy offerings (including dolls and action figures) driven by top licenses in anticipation that categories that saw significant growth in 2020—like puzzles and board games—will face lower demand and sales in 2021.