After years of growth Funko reported a relatively weak 1st quarter of 2020. Net sales are down 18% compared to Q1/2019 and Funko reported a loss of $5.7 million for the first quarter. The company attributes the decline to the current Covid-19 pandemic that caused lockdowns all around the globe. But Funko’s earnings report also has a few tidbits about Star Wars that are quite interesting! And there is also some news about Hasbro’s Star Wars toyline, and it’s all positive! So click through for a more detailed look at Funko Pops and Star Wars toys in general!
Funko Pops are usually not discussed very often on the much more action figure centric fansites. Funko Pops with their cutesy aesthetics and close to zero articulation may be far removed from the typical super articulated action figure, but Funko has been nothing but a huge success story in the past few years with tremendous annual growth. They almost tripled their net sales in the past 5 years.
But now the Covid-19 crisis has put an end to that growth. At least for the time being.
While Funko still reports $137 million net sales in the first quarter, this is $30 million less than one year ago. It may come as no surprise that sales are down in light of closed stores everywhere, and lockdowns in place in many countries across the globe.
But let’s focus on something else, the performance of Funko’s various licenses! Funko seemingly has every license on the planet. The sheer range of available licenses is impressive. So where is Star Wars? As it turns out, it’s not all too bad, it’s actually quite good, even very good at times. Funko broke down the performance of their various licenses in their earnings presentation:
As you can see Funko differentiates between “Star Wars” (what would be an “evergreen” property) and then “The Rise of Skywalker” Funkos and Mandalorian Funkos.
Throughout 2019 Avengers, Harry Potter and Fortnite topped the sales charts, Frozen 2 outsold The Rise of Skywalker in the holiday season, but then in the first quarter Star Wars (the evergreen line, not the Rise of Skywalker line!) took the top spot, with Mandalorian Funkos in 3rd place. It’s certainly interesting that following the release of The Rise of Skywalker the toys disappeared from the top 10 completely, but the evergreen line and the all new Mandalorian line are top performers instead.
So Star Wars is still on the radar, even if it was never able to take the top spot in 2019, despite the new movie. However, it’s still among the top performers for most of the year, with Q2/2019 the only exception.
It’s also interesting to see that Harry Potter is still going strong after all these years. It’s been in the top 5 of Funko licenses for the past year.
What you can also see is that even the top performers only account for about 4-10% of net sales. Funko’s huge variety of licenses means they are not dependent on any one license, i.e. if one license fails it will not mean too much lost business. So when Fortnite becomes less popular Funko will not suffer very much from it, other licenses take over.
So what is the takeaway here?
Star Wars toys are still relevant. And even while The Rise of Skywalker toys may not be the most popular items, dropping out of the top 10 in the quarter following the movie release, other Star Wars movies and series like The Mandalorian still prove to be very popular. That’s certainly encouraging and might mean that other things like TVC and TBS will still perform relatively strong in 2020, despite the current crisis.
And indeed, Hasbro actually reported growing Star Wars toy sales for the first quarter of 2020 (despite early Covid-19 effects across the globe in March, especially in Europe and Asia). So it seems that after years of declining sales the toys are getting back on track! And even if the second quarter of 2020 may be brutal, Star Wars may well turn out to be still a top performer, even if on a lower level than could have been without the pandemic.
So it’s not all doom and gloom, Star Wars toys can and do still sell. More good things are still coming in 2020 with The Mandalorian season 2 and The Empire Strikes Back 40th anniversary toys.
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