About two weeks ago Todd McFarlane gave an hourlong interview to YouTube action figure reviewer Shartimus Prime. And while it’s not really about Star Wars at all, McFarlane Toys has no Star Wars license of course, it’s still a very interesting interview, since McFarlane provides some insight into the industry. So anyone interested in the business of making toys should definitely check out the interview and take the time to listen to it. Among other things McFarlane talks about how insane shipping prices became in 2021, from $2,000 for one container to $20,000. And he also talks in detail about the difference between a privately owned company like McFarlane Toys and the big players who are all publically traded companies with responsibilities to their shareholders. But what made a lot of waves are McFarlane’s comments about female action figures, namely his statement that female action figures simply don’t sell as well as male hero characters and that boys simply prefer the male heroes, even over the villains, and even more so over the female characters and that it would be a bad idea to make a female centric action figure wave, because it would not sell as well. It didn’t take long for the attacks to start, as usual on Twitter, but sites like Bleeding Cool also chimed in and disputed McFarlane’s statements. So today I want to ask you if you are happy with the female characters we have in the Star Wars action figure lines and if you’d like more female characters or think the number we have right now is ok. Click through for the discussion!
Earlier this week, on Monday, Hasbro presented its numbers for the fourth quarter of 2021 and the full year. To make things short: Hasbro presented some pretty strong numbers, the company is doing extremely well.
Overall revenue was up by an impressive 17% to 6.42 billion USD for the full year. And upcoming new CEO Chris Cocks even talked about Star Wars in the earnings call following the presentation! And here Hasbro finally reveals what its profit margins for things like Star Wars are (spoiler: they are terrible). The statements in the earnings call explain everything that has been going on with the Star Wars toylines in recent years, and it’s nothing you will probably like to hear. So even if numbers usually bore you, you should read this, because it will tell you why things are what they are and why it’s not going to change. Click through for more details!
It’s that time of the year again when companies report their quarterly earnings. Hasbro did so a little more than two weeks ago, Disney followed this week. So how are things? Don’t expect all that many details, especially regarding Star Wars, as usual, no numbers are given, but we have some statements at least that tell us how the brand is doing. So click through for a brief overview!
Funko released their Q4 2020 earnings report yesterday. Net sales for the full year are down compared to 2019 for apparent reasons, however, Q4 earnings were up year over year. Also, sales for Funko Pops grew in 2020 by 1% worldwide and 12% in the US. Funko’s domestic US sales were the strongest yet, however the pandemic did affect global sales. But let’s not dwell on the numbers too much. More interesting is what Funko’s bestsellers were. Contrary to many other toy companies Funko do provide a detailed breakdown of their top selling licenses in their earnings presentation. And here it is more good news for Star Wars toy sales! Click through for more details!
Funko and Hasbro both released their earnings reports for the 3rd quarter a short while ago. And things continue to look pretty good for Star Wars toys. After years of dwindling sales Star Wars toys are more in demand again. This trend started in 2019 and The Mandalorian turns out to be one of the key factors behind that new success. Click through for some more info!
A few days ago Funko presented their Q2 earnings. And things are as expected, Funko’s revenue in Q2 declined by almost 49%. But Star Wars is still a top performer and even bucks the trend! Click through for some more details!
Hasbro released their numbers for Q2/2020 earlier this week. And while things are mostly as expected, revenue is down by almost 30%, Star Wars bucked the trend! Click through for more!
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!
The NPD Group, which tracks toy sales across 13 major markets, released their 2019 toy market numbers a while ago. And while toy sales were down 3% overall across all the tracked markets, it’s not all bad news. One toy supercategory saw very healthy growth even in 2019. Can you guess which one? Click through for the answer!
The wait is finally over, after months and months of speculation Hasbro and Disney finally announced that both companies will extend their partnership and that Hasbro will continue to make toys for both Star Wars and Marvel! This is a multi-year deal and covers both theatrical releases and shows on Disney+!
Not much else is known at the moment, i.e. how much was paid, if royalty rates are more reasonable now or when the new agreement will expire. We will update this article once we learn more!
What are your thoughts now? Are you happy that Hasbro will keep making Star Wars toys (and Marvel Legends, of course)? In my opinion Hasbro was and is still the best partner for Disney. Leave your own thoughts in the comments!
Target reported yesterday that toy sales for the 2019 holiday season disappointed and didn’t meet expectations. Toy sales were basically flat compared to 2018. Click through for more!
CNN Business released an article about our favorite toymaker and according to CNN Business Hasbro “really, really needs you to buy ‘Frozen 2’ and ‘Star Wars’ toys this holiday season”. While the article goes in detail about Frozen merchandise, which shall not concern us here, it also talks at length about Star Wars toys and lack of sales and why it really needs to change this holiday season. So click through to learn more about what a toy industry analyst from BMO Capital Markets thinks about the state of Star Wars toys, the challenges this holiday season and why Baby Yoda could be a huge help!
The Trump Administration has announced to suspend the planned tariffs for “list 4” goods made in China – at least for the time being. Tariffs would have been 25% and “List 4” goods would have included toys and video games (including consoles). Several representatives of the toy industry made trips to Washington in recent times in order to change the opinion of President Trump. It seems to have worked for now. So fans of action figures or video games and consoles can relax a bit. Star Wars action figures will not get more expensive any time soon, or at least not because of tariffs.
Read the full story on io9.
USAopoly, a board game company that, among other things, makes licensed Game of Thrones games such as a chess set, Risk or a GoT themed Clue game, has struck a license deal with Disney Consumer Products UK. USAopoly will release several new Star Wars board and tabletop games, and their first release will be a light strategy tabletop game. USAopoly only has the license for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, which probably means Hasbro still has the exclusive license to make Star Wars themed board games such as Escape from Death Star in the US and elsewhere. Still, it’s interesting to see that Disney is diversifying their Star Wars licensees, especially in light of the Star Wars master license which will expire in late 2020. Are you interested in Star Wars board games and is that something you look forward to? Unfortunately, anyone in the US will have to import these new games by USAopoly from Europe.
Hasbro released their numbers for the 1st quarter of 2019 and overall the quarter was alright for the company. Hasbro reported revenues of $732.5 million and net earnings of $26.7 million. But what about Star Wars? Click through for more info!
Today LEGO released its annual report for 2018. And while 2017 was not a good year for the Danish company, 2018 saw LEGO back on track. LEGO could buck the overall trend in the toy industry, which shrank in several key markets around the globe, and both market share and revenue grew in 2018. Much of this growth came from the Chinese Toy Market, but LEGO also grew in the USA and Western Europe. Revenue was up 4% in 2018, to 36.4 billion DKK (about 5.5 billion USD). The operating profit of 10.8 billion DKK ($1.65 billion USD) was also up 4%. It seems LEGO managed to deal much better with TRU’s demise, in contrast to Hasbro or Mattel. What is of special interest to Star Wars fans is that LEGO named these themes as their top sellers in 2018 (in no particular order): LEGO City, LEGO Technic, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Friends and LEGO NINJAGO. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that Star Wars grew in 2018, but it was most certainly still a top performing theme for LEGO! With these numbers LEGO easily outperformed Hasbro in 2018.
Diamond Select Toys is about to finalize the purchase of several Gentle Giant assets. DST will take on all the existing licensed toylines, they will also take over manufacturing and distribution for most of Gentle Giant’s lines. Gentle Giant’s collector club will continue operations. You can read more details about the deal on the official Gentle Giant Ltd. website!
Earlier today Hasbro released their numbers for Q4/2018 and the full year 2018. The results are not great. Hasbro faced some serious headwind in the past year. Click through for all the relevant numbers and results!
Earlier today Disney released their Q1 2019 numbers. Disney’s fiscal year begins at the end of September, so their Q1 2019 numbers are actually for the 2018 holiday season. I will just make this quick, no detailed charts etc since Hasbro is due to release their numbers this Friday and I will go more in depth here. Star Wars was brought up in the Disney earnings report and please click through for the details. And yes, it’s always the darkest just before dawn.
Good news everyone! Despite the absence of Toys R Us and what some analysts feared would lead to a double digit decline in toy sales in the USA, the toy market in the USA merely saw a decline of 2% in 2018. According to the NPD Group the toy market in the USA was 21.6 billion USD in 2018, in 2017 sales were somewhat higher with 22 billion USD. But it’s getting even better! Action figure sales were up 10% in 2018! What, you have a frowny face? Why is that? You want to know about Star Wars? Well, click through to learn some more!
The Kids License Monitor is released every three months and gives insight into the popularity of licensed toys among kids in three European core markets: the UK, France and Germany. These three countries are also the core legacy markets for Star Wars in Europe, where Star Wars has always been very popular. JTA had an article about the previous License Monitor. But now the report for the fourth quarter of 2018 has been released. Time to look at how and if things have changed. Where does Star Wars rank among kids aged 4-12 in the UK, France and Germany? Click through for more details!
The NPD Group released some numbers for the UK toy market in 2018. And things are quite disappointing. Year on year the toy market in the UK shrank by 7%. According to the NPD Group the toy markets in the USA, France, Spain and Australia also saw a decline. Click through for some more details!
Update: article updated with more data and charts for better visualization.
While we are still a few weeks away before Hasbro will release their numbers for the 4th quarter and full year there are already some early numbers and estimates that paint a rather grim picture for Hasbro, especially when it comes to action figures and here especially Star Wars. Click through for some very interesting numbers that may be reason for concern.
US toy company Mattel suffered quite a loss earlier this week. Warner Brothers decided not to extend the DC Comics boys’ action toys license with Mattel and instead gave the license to Canadian toy manufacturer Spin Master, beginning in 2020. Spin Master is a much smaller company compared to Mattel, their revenue in 2017 was 1.55 billion USD compared to Mattel’s 4.88 billion USD (Hasbro made 5.21 billion USD). You may know Spin Master from toys such as Air Hogs (there were a few Star Wars Air Hogs) and the more recent Hatchimals. Now, why exactly is Mattel losing most of its DC Comics license news on a Star Wars website? Let’s click through for a discussion and also for some speculation!
Each quarter the iconkids & youth GmbH publishes its “Kid’s License Monitor” in Europe, which monitors the popularity of various toy licenses in three of the European key toy markets: the UK, France and Germany. Kids ages 4-12 are the target of this survey. So, how much do they like Star Wars toys? Click through to find out!
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