During the pandemic, toy companies have not been able to capitalize as much on sales of new toys and merchandise related to major movie releases, as many movies have been significantly delayed.
We learn more this week about the overall picture of toy companies. Hasbro released its quarterly results on Monday, beating revenue and profit expectations. Mattel is due to report on Tuesday.
Big new movie releases often mean new licensed toys. Toy Association President and CEO Steve Pasierb said that in recent years this has accounted for a good chunk of the toy industry’s sales.
“This year it was either stable or down slightly due to the lack of major theatrical releases,” Pasierb said.
There were, however, licensed toys linked to legacy franchises, like “Star Wars,” which sold well in 2020, he said.
“Like ‘The Mandalorian,’ streaming, it worked extremely well and spawned ‘the child’, which was a big-selling toy,” Pasierb said.
Overall, 2020 has been a solid year for the toy industry. Sales were up 16%, according to NPD Group, and that’s “despite the lack of entertainment schedule we usually have,” said Jaime Katz, analyst at Morningstar.
Katz said it was because people were buying a lot of other kinds of toys.
“Fashion dolls have done really well this year,” she said. “The sports toy category is doing pretty well.
With so much less money to travel and eat out, Katz said, many parents had a lot more to spend on toys.