hot wheels

Hot Wheels drives Mattel’s 40% Q2 sales bump

All categories generated more in gross billings this quarter, but vehicles had the largest increase at 68%, thanks to licensing, NFTs and in-person shopping.
July 28, 2021

Mattel has posted a 40% net sales increase for Q2, thanks to growth in gross billings across all categories, with the vehicle category showing particular strength. Overall, the toyco did US$1.02 billion in sales this past quarter.

Worldwide gross billings for the vehicles segment hit US$266.3 million, a 68% increase compared to the same quarter in 2020, and the highest Q2 increase among all of Mattel’s categories. The Hot Wheels brand alone earned US$227.4 million, a 67% increase over last year.

Classic car brand Matchbox, which launched a new range in March, and a range of Mario-themed vehicles (part of a license deal with Nintendo) also contributed to the category’s growth.

In particular, vehicles made such huge gains due to the resurgence of impulse purchases in stores, said Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz on yesterday’s earnings call.

Mattel has also made moves to expand its vehicle toys beyond shelves this year, launching its first set of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which also played a part in the vehicle category’s performance, added Kreiz. The company rolled out three unique NFTs for Hot Wheels on its Mattel Creations platform in June, and Kriez said it plans to explore other NFT opportunities for its brands throughout the year.

While vehicles came out on top, Mattel saw increases across all of its categories. Dolls, a perennial high earner, was up by 51% to US$394.7 million. Barbie led the way, pulling in US$291.3 million, a 46% increase compared to Q2 2020.

The toyco’s infants, toddler and preschool category was up 15% from the same period in 2020 to US$229.4 million, with Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends doing the heaviest lifting. These two brands collectively generated 18% more worldwide gross billings this quarter, finishing at US$207.8 million. And the action figures, building sets, games and other category climbed 32% to US$258.2 million.

In contrast to its Q2 2021 success, Mattel saw a 15% decline in worldwide gross sales in the second quarter last year, compared to the same period in 2019. Its biggest brands, including Hot Wheels and Thomas & Friends, all contributed to this drop.

In its Q2 2021 report, Mattel reported worldwide gross billings, unlike last year’s focus on gross sales. Gross billings represent amounts invoiced to customers, and does not include the impact of sales adjustments such as trade discounts. Mattel chose to use gross billings to compare its aggregate, brand and geographic results in order to highlight significant trends in its business.

Moving forward, Mattel will be working on producing more content for its brands, including the upcoming Polly Pocket film with MGM and a Barbie feature that’s expected to hit theaters in 2023.

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at



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