Wizards of the Coast and consumer products drive ‘excellent Q2’ for Hasbro as sales surge 54 per cent

Hasbro has seen record releases across its Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming segment, as well as increased sales within its consumer products division fuel the global entertainment through a stellar second quarter this year.

Sales have surged by 54 per cent on Q2 2020, and nine per cent pro forma 2019 to hit $1.32 billion throughout what Hasbro boss, Brian Goldner has billed as ‘an excellent quarter’ for the toy firm. Its consumer products segment saw revenues increase 33 per cent.

Meanwhile, Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming sement more than doubled, fuelled by ‘record releases’ in Q2 in Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven and the second installment of its Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons narrative, Modern Horizons 2.

Chairman and chief executive officer, Goldner, said: “Hasbro delivered an excellent second quarter, with revenues up 54 per cent versus the second quarter of last year, and nine per cent versus pro forma second quarter 2019.

“Wizards continued to generate outstanding results behind a compelling analog and digital release schedule for Magic: The Gathering. Consumer products revenue increased as demand remains robust for Hasbro toys and games and entertainment revenue grew as we are producing entertainment with strong deliveries.”

The CEO praised the Hasbro team and its high level of performance as it ‘tracks to its target of double digit revenue growth for the full year.’

The quarter’s strong results have been reflected in each Brand Portfolio category under the Hasbro business, with gains witnessed across Magic: The Gathering, NERF, Transformers, Play-Doh, Baby Alive, and My Little Pony. Partner brands revenue increased behind growth in Hasbro products for the Marvel portfolio, Lucasfilm’s Star Wars and The Mandalorian, Disney Princess and Beyblade.

Meanwhile, Hasbro Gaming saw revenue increase on 2020 and 2019, led by Dungeons & Dragons and Duel Masters, as well as a the launch of Foosketball.

In the consumer products segment, revenue and operating profit grew in Hasbro Franchise Brands NERF, Transformers, and Play-Doh, as well as products for Marvel and Star Wars. Point of sale for toys increased, but was off-set by a decline in games point of sale compared to the sector’s strong performance on Q2 2020.

Elsewhere, and it was in the Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming segment in which records were set. Wizards had two record releases in Q2 in Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven and Modern Horizons 2.

Deborah Thomas, Hasbro’s chief financial officer, said: “Strength across Hasbro’s brands and business backed by strong execution from the entire team drove superb results for our second quarter.

“As we invest to unlock value from our brands across the blueprint, we are on track to reach our objectives for the year while expanding the reach of our business, reducing debt, and paying our dividend. The discipline in our business is evident from the $1.2 billion in cash we had on hand at quarter end, reporting the lowest days sales outstanding in our recent history, and repaying $250 million in debt.”

Lifestyle brand HYPE partners with Hasbro to launch exclusive NERF capsule collection and accessories

The popular lifestyle brand, HYPE. is continuing its collaborative efforts with global toy players, this time with the launch of a new capsule collection and line of limited edition blasters with Hasbro’s NERF franchise.

The 40-piece apparel and accessory kidswear collection boasts ‘all-over prints, reflective detailing, and unisex shapes for kids aged four to 14’ in a range that is designed for all genders while utilising NERF’s core colour palette of orange and blue. It’s a range that according to the firm, ‘cements NERF’s position in the fashion and lifestyle space.’

“We are delighted to be partnering with Hype on this much-anticipated fashion collaboration which supports our strategy to elevate NERF into a true lifestyle brand, for all genders,” saidSally Carnota, UK licensing director at Hasbro. “The collection showcases a blend of the Hype signature design with key NERF iconography and we are so excited for the launch.”

The range highlights HYPE.’s signature camouflage print with numerous NERF references, while boasting host of a graffiti-spray, galaxy space and gradient effects in t-shirts, crop tees, long-sleeved tees, hoodies, joggers, tracksuits, leggings and shorts. Meanwhile, the collection’s featured heat map print nods to thermal vision, displaying the inspiration behind the collection combined with additional features such as MA1 pockets, rip stop panels and pocket overlays.

In the accessories range, kids can stay hydrated with the reusable metal water bottles, designed with the collaboration’s core prints, with matching backpacks in HYPE.’s traditional shape and lunch boxes, finished with dart storage holders.

Alongside the collection, HYPE. x NERF have come together to gift a limited number of blasters designed in the heat map and graffiti prints, complete with co-branded darts to influencers and competition winners. These will not be available at retail.

The collaboration collection launches exclusively via HYPE.’s Shopping App, available on Android and Apple on May 27th 2021 and online at www.justhype.com and retailers around the world on May 28th 2021.

Manchester’s Trafford Centre prepares for a £4.5m Nerf laser combat attraction

Plans have been put in place to launch the first official Nerf Action Experience attraction in Manchester’s Trafford Centre shopping destination through a partnership between Hasbro and Rocafella Leisure Group.

The £4.5 million attraction will mark the first of its kind Britain, mirroring a similar attraction already open in Singapore called Nerf Xperience. The news has been reported following plans to change 25,000 square feet of units at Barton Square were placed with Trafford Council.

According to Manchester Evening News, the application reveals that three first floor units will be combined to create the space to accommodate the adventure attraction. A 4,000 sq ft mezzanine floor is also planned, with room for a café and a viewing platform.

The application states that Nerf is a ‘family entertainment leisure experience, incorporating laser guns and virtual interactions and is a market leading attraction with 20 attractions across Europe’.

“Nerf’s occupancy at Barton Square will be their first UK destination,” it adds.

It is expected that the new Nerf Action Xperience will create somewhere around 50 new jobs.

Word of the partnership between Hasbro and Rocafella Leisure Group was first announced when the event company’s chief operating officer issued a social media statement detailing the launch of the experience at the Trafford Centre “in early 2021.”

“Taking UK family Entertainment Centres top the next level with the first of its kind. A huge thank you to @Hasbro and their dedicated team,” he said.

World’s most valuable toy brands could lose up to $3bn in brand value to Covid-19, says Brand Finance report

The world’s top 25 most valuable toy brands – a list that includes the likes of LEGO, Barbie, and Bandai – could lose up to $3 billion worth of brand value as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest report to emerge from the independent brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance.

Analysis by the firm shows that the toys sector is a heavily impacted industry globally and could face as much as a 20 per cent loss in brand value. Looking beyond the toys sector, the value of the 500 most valuable brands in the world, ranked in the Brand Finance Global 500 2020 league table, could fall by an estimated $1 trillion as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Brand Finance has assessed the impact of Covid-19 based on the effect of the outbreak on enterprise value, compared to what it was on 1st January 2020. The likely impact on brand value was estimated for each sector. The industries have been classified into three categories – limited impact (minimal brand value loss or potential brand value growth), moderate impact (up to 10 per cent brand value loss), and heavy impact (up to 20 per cent brand value loss.

While according to the analysts, the toys industry is predicted to suffer a heavy impact to its brand value, it has highlighted a few clear leaders in the sector. One such is LEGO, whose strong marketing strategy and customer loyalty may allow Covid-19 to be an opportunity for the brand to reach new customers who are looking for ways to stay busy at home, states the firm.

“However, marketing and brand awareness campaigns will only take the brand so far, as it is most likely to be faced by manufacturing and distribution issues heavily impacting both the toys and retail sectors,” said Richard Haigh, managing director, Brand Finance.

In fact, the report suggests that LEGO remains the world’s most valuable toy brand by a long way, despite its brand value dropping marginally by 3 per cent to $6.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Nerf has been billed as the fastest growing toy brand this year, following an impressive 43 per cent brand value growth to $587 million. Nerf has made strong progress with its new product lines including Nerf Fortnite and Nerf Ultra. New product launches, paired with greater innovation across the brand, are supporting Nerf in rising to the challenge of increased competition in the sector.

In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. According to these criteria, My Little Pony is the world’s strongest toy brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.8 out of 100 and a corresponding elite AAA+ brand strength rating.

My Little Pony has celebrated an impressive 20 per cent brand value increase to $302 million. The brand’s cartoon series hit the headlines last year as it featured the show’s first same-sex couple, with the episode airing on US television in time for Pride Week.

Following delays in the production of the 2021 My Little Pony feature film, due to Coronavirus, animation work has restarted on the movie, which is being created under Hasbro’s global entertainment studio, eOne. The 2017 My Little Pony: The Movie grossed over US$61 billion in the box office globally.

The Top 10 Most Valuable Toy Brands, according to Brand Finance:

Hasbro joins Festival of Licensing with new Peppa Pig content, PJ Masks toy plans and more

Hasbro will be joining the Festival of Licensing virtual event – the four-week digital event that will run throughout October and replace Brand Licensing Europe this year – to present the latest opportunities across its portfolio of brands including Nerf, My Little Pony, Play-Doh, Monopoly, Transformers, and Power Rangers.

Also being showcased under Hasbro this year will be the 2020 acquisition of Entertainment One and its popular pre-school numbers Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, and Ricky Zoom.

The licensor will look to highlight its continued efforts to innovate and expand the ways it brings brands to life through music, publishing, promotions, digital and location-based entertainment alongside an array of consumer products spanning key categories, including toys and games, fashion and lifestyle, homewares, health and beauty, FMCG and gifts, and increasingly, personalised products.

Milestone anniversaries, including the 35th anniversary of Transformers in 2021 and the 85th anniversary of Monopoly commencing Q4 2020, give cause for timely celebration and will be leveraged with exciting collaborations, consumer promotions and retail activations.

Meanwhile, it’s game on for Nerf  as the property is on target for rapid expansion across multiple categories. Hasbro continues to cement its position as an active lifestyle and sports brand with cross-generational appeal and huge consumer relevance as health and wellbeing trends prevail.

Next up, the world of Equestria is expanding to introduce a new generation of ponies to a new generation of fans. With more humor, heart, and music than ever before, Hasbro hopes that audiences will be swept away by the new cast of ponies and the incredible adventure that awaits them. Fall in love with My Little Pony all over again when the all-new, computer-animated theatrical feature hits theaters everywhere in September 2021.

It’s still ‘Go Go Power Rangers’ in 2021 as Season 28 of the enduring hit show debuts. Power Rangers: Dino Fury journeys back to the core roots of the brand with the action being led by the original five rangers. The popularity of the show, beloved by so many kids for so many years, is driven by Hasbro’s commitment to new content but also the vast back catalogue which is streamed on Netflix and therefore continually accessed by a huge worldwide audience.

A new global brand theme for Peppa Pig entitled Peppa’s Adventures is kicking off in 2021, as a celebration of all the places that Peppa, her family and friends have visited since the show began. With trips to the USA lined up in the future, combined with a library of existing content, Peppa’s Adventures is a way for fans to explore and discover the world around them.

New series premieres will be rolling out for Ricky Zoom throughout the year and excitement for the expansion of the brand’s consumer products programme – driven by the strength and reach of best-in-class broadcast partners across the region – will follow the phased roll-out of toys in all key markets in 2020, as secondary categories will be available from SS21.

Finally, a robust plan is in place for PJ Masks which will be boosted by Series 4, set to launch this Q4, the Disney+ roll out in multiple territories, and Series 5 global launch coming in 2021. In a first for the company, Hasbro will be launching its first toy range for the brand with a core range of exciting new products hitting retail for AW21.