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.”

Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering extend licensed products portfolio with WizKids

Hobby and tabletop gaming fans can immerse themselves deeper within the lore of the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and the strategy card game Magic: The Gathering thanks to a raft of new products courtesy of WizKids.

WizKids is recognised as the premier manufacturer of premium pre-painted miniatures and tabletop games, but will now introduce an arsenal of new game accessories and lifestyle products for fans wishing to show their affinity to their beloved brands. Debut product categories include action figures, prop replicas, apparel, and game accessories such as maps, battle mats, bags, carrying cases, and more.

“As players and fans of these two popular games, we are thrilled to be creating dynamic products that will enhance the play experience for enthusiasts of these long-admired franchises,” said Justin Ziran, president at WizKids.

WizKids will also offer branded, high-quality paints and paint supplies as a companion to its successful Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures line – designed for all levels of painting experience. Additionally, WizKids is adding high quality, unpainted, sprue miniatures for intermediate and veteran miniature painters.

“We are excited to expand our strategic partnership with WizKids to encompass both D&D and Magic. By increasing the variety of products available in key categories, we will further enhance our fans’ experience around the gaming table and offer new collectibles and lifestyle products that allow them to show off their fandom with friends and family,” said Ann Earp, director of licensing at Wizards of the Coast.

“The product quality of WizKids and their ability to tap into what fans are really looking for has grown our business exponentially for D&D, and we look forward to them bringing that same success with Magic: The Gathering products and accessories.”

Expanded categories include Dungeons and Dragons sprue miniatures, action figures, an official paint line, artifacts and prop replicas for both Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons and Dragons battle mats, maps, bags, and a carrying case.

These new product categories will join the previously announced papercraft and 2D miniatures lines.

Online shopping and gaming surge helps Hasbro hit $1bn ecommerce revenue in 2020

Online shopping and the world’s lean into family gaming throughout the pandemic have helped global entertainment company, Hasbro maintain a steady ship on 2020’s waters as the firm hit $1bn in ecommerce revenue for the first time last year.

Increased revenue across Hasbro Gaming and Hasbro entire gaming catalogue, including Wizards of the Coast and Dungeons of Dragons, have helped the toy maker maintain an even keel over the course of what’s been billed ‘a most challenging year.’

The pandemic has forced a year of changes most notably across the physical retail space and the TV and film sector. It comes as no surprise then, that in its full year 2020 financials, Hasbro has reported a decrease in film and TV revenues through its eOne segment, as well as lower Family Brands revenue due to retail disruption.

However, the global business did see a marked uptick in its ecommerce business that, for the first time in its history, hit the $1bn mark as shoppers have turned to online purchasing in response to lockdown restrictions.

Meanwhile, Revenues in Hasbro Gaming grew 21 per cent while revenues across its total gaming category picked up 20 per cent, and while net revenues for the full year 2020 dipped eight per cent year on year, the surge in ecommerce witnessed an increase of 43 per cent to hit the $1bn mark.

Hasbro bosses have credited the team’s resilience, tenacity, creativity, flexibility, and empathy’ for seeing it through what CEO Brian Goldner called ‘a most challenging year.’

“Our teams successfully drove demand for several product categories across our portfolio including our entire gaming portfolio from Wizards of the Coast brands to face-to-face gaming,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“They found ways to reach the global consumer despite retail closures throughout the year, delivering over $1bn in ecommerce revenues for the first time. We leveraged our global supply chain capabilities and our evolving geographic manufacturing supplier base to get products made and distributed.

“We integrated our acquisition of eOne and while live-action TV and film production was limited, we made substantial progress developing Hasbro IP for storytelling that we believe will lead to enhanced revenues and earnings power from Hasbro brands from multiple income streams.

“We developed toy and game lines for valuable pre-school brands Peppa Pig and PJ Masks to launch later this year. We concentrated on managing expenses and cash, growing adjusted operating profit margins and finishing the year with $1.45bn in cash on our balance sheet.”

Fourth quarter 2020 revenues four per cent which included growth across its franchise brands such as Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly, and Nerf, as well as products for the Star Wars and The Mandalorian franchises, and Hasbro Gaming. Dungeons and Dragons also saw a standout year.

Deborah Thomas, Hasbro’s chief financial officer, added: “Throughout 2020, the global Hasbro team did an excellent job executing in a challenging environment. In the fourth quarter, we grew revenues and adjusted operating profit, overcoming tough comparisons within the Partner Brand category and last year’s theatrical releases.

“Our focus on working capital and expense management delivered $976.3 million in operating cash flow for the year, and as part of our commitment to paying down our debt, we repaid $123 million of the debt we raised to finance the eOne acquisition.

“We continue to see strong retail, consumer and audience support for our brands and content as we look to the coming year. Global points of sale increased last year, despite lockdowns and retail disruption, and 2021 is starting with a strong year-over-year momentum.”

AMC’s The Walking Dead invades Magic: The Gathering in limited edition Secret Lair crossover

Wizards of the Coast’s globally revered Magic: The Gathering has struck upon a ‘one-of-a-kind crossover with AMC’s The Walking Dead, to bring a super-limited-edition drop to the strategy card gaming franchise called The Walking Dead Secret Lair.

The drop will include an all-premium foil set of cards, with all but one of them being revealed in the coming weeks, and the last in the series being kept a secret for players to discover.

AMC’s The Walking Dead Secret Lair series will be open for pre-order for a limited time between October 4th and October 12th this year, coinciding with AMC’s We are The Walking Dead Weekend that will kick off with The Walking Dead Special Event: The Whisperer War Final Showdown. This will be followed by the premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and ending with a special episode of The Walking Dead in which fans can anticipate an unboxing and preview of the cards.

“Wizards of the Coast is thrilled to collaborate with AMC to bring these iconic characters to the greatest strategy card game,” said Bill Rose, SVP of Magic: The Gathering design and development, Wizards of the Coast.

“We can’t wait for fans of both Magic: The Gathering and AMC’s The Walking Dead to discover fun new ways to play when they add this Secret Lair drop to their collection.”

Clayton Neuman, VP of games for AMC, added: “Magic: The Gathering is one of the most seminal works in the history of gaming. So, we were beyond thrilled to work with Wizards to pair it with one of the most beloved series in the history of television.

“These cards are a perfect blend of the two universes, and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on them and discover all the tricks we’ve hidden up our sleeves.”

The cards included in this very special Secret Lair drop will be completely new to Magic: The Gathering, depicting the iconic characters of the long-running and critically acclaimed TV Series. The included cards have never been seen before in Magic: The Gathering and bring unique gameplay and text different from any other printed cards, which will only be legal in Legacy, Vintage, and Commander.

Magic: The Gathering’s Secret Lair is a collection of curated, limited-edition releases featuring some of the most exciting artists working today. The most recent drop celebrated a fan-favorite Magic character with Yargle Day on September 3rd, having previously launched other drops with varied themes, such as supporting International Women’s day, collaborating with Wizard of Barge for an oozing, all-slime crossover, or getting involved with International Dog day.

Wizards of the Coast brings Godzilla to Magic: The Gathering in groundbreaking deal with Toho Co

Wizards of the Coast has struck a groundbreaking new collaboration with Toho Co that will see the King of Monsters, Godzilla, make its debut in Magic: The Gathering this year.

Godzilla will be joined by the other iconic monsters from the franchise, marking a special feature of the upcoming premiere card set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths.

“Magic: The Gathering’s rich and engaging multiverse offers such unique opportunities to explore new worlds like Ikoria, filled with incredible monsters that are larger than life,” said Kyoko Yoshida, senior manager, Japan sales and marketing, Wizards of the Coast.

“Collaborating with Toho Co to bring the Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah and more onto the same world to battle with Magic’s Planeswalkers and new creatures for a first-of-its-kind collaboration is an extraordinary experience that we can’t wait for players to enjoy.”

 Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is the spring 2020 premier card set for Magic: The Gathering and introduces players to a new world full of incredible monsters and the humans that bond with them. The set introduces players to Lukka, a proud member of the Coppercoats, the military unit that protects the city of Drannith from Ikoria’s savage monsters.

Lukka’s world is forever changed when he forms a connection with a ferocious, winged cat. Such bonds are treasonous in Drannith, forcing Lukka to flee from the very home he was sworn to protect. Now an outcast monster “bonder,” Lukka must survive the wilds of Ikoria with the help of planeswaker Vivien Reid.

Each Godzilla Monster Series card will feature a monster from the pantheon of the Godzilla franchise as a Magic card from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. There will be a total of 16 Godzilla Series Monster cards available in English, with three more available only in Japanese.

Anguirus – Armoured Killer, Babygodzilla – Ruin Reborn, Biollante – Plant Beast Form, and Bio-Quartz Spacegodzilla will feature alongside Destoroyah – Perfect Lifeform, Dorat – the Perfect Pet, Ghidorah – King of the Cosmos, and Gigan –  Cyberclaw Terror.

The line up will be completed by Godzilla – Doom Inevitable, Godzilla – King of the Monsters, Godzilla – Primeval Champion, King Caesar – Ancient Guardian, King Caesar – Awoken Titan, Mothra – Supersonic Queen, Rodan -Titan of Winged Fury, and Spacegodzilla – Void Invader.

Fans will only be able to obtain Godzilla, King of the Monsters (while supplies last) by purchasing a draft booster pack display through a Wizards Play Network store. Each sealed draft booster pack display will contain a random Godzilla Series Monster card.

The Godzilla Series Monster cards will also appear in Magic: The Gathering Arena as card styles. Players will receive the card styles as a special bonus when purchasing Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths bundles of six or more booster packs inside the Magic: The Gathering Arena client.