Hasbro struggles with Toys ‘R’ Us liquidation, while Mattel’s stock rose 23% in Q4

As Toys ‘R’ Us continues it liquidation process, manufacturers like Hasbro were forced to take a hit during the holiday season.


February 11, 2019

As Toys ‘R’ Us readies to officially put the nail in the toy chest, US toymakers like Hasbro continue to struggle as the fallen giraffe continues its liquidation process.

Holiday sales usually account for nearly half of all toy manufacturers’ business. But after Toys ‘R’ Us blew up in Q4, Hasbro’s projected holiday sales in 2018 were turned to mincemeat — dropping 13% — as brands like Nerf and My Little Pony underperformed.  

But Mattel, on the other hand, is killing it. Sales dropped 5%, sure, but better-than-expected results from its Barbie and Hot Wheels brands caused the company’s stock price to jump 23%.

So similar, yet so different

To the layman, Hasbro and Mattel have long been interchangeable as premiere US toy manufacturers. But, their business models are different.

Nerf and My Little Pony are a small fraction of Hasbro’s bread and butter. Its financial success relies mainly on Disney’s movie slate, and no Star Wars or Disney princess movies were released during the 2018 holiday season.

In contrast, Mattel relies on its core franchises to bring home the bacon, which helped the company avoid the holiday hit.

Hasbro isn’t panicking yet

Luckily for Hasbro, Disney’s a pretty solid company, and while movie-franchise mania may have been considered Disney-light in 2018, the Disney toy closet is jam-full in 2019.

Disney’s 2019 movie release calendar is red hot, including Captain Marvel, Avengers: Engame, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and the untitled Star Wars: Episode IX, and Hasbro is licking its chops.

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