On Thursday, Mattel exceeded expectations by not having as sharp a decline in revenue as feared compared to this time last year. On Monday, Hasbro exceeded expectations with an increase in first quarter revenues by 5% overall and a 25% increase in operating profit. The seven franchise brands (Littlest Pet Shop, Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly, My Little Pony, Nerf, Play-Doh, Transformers) grew 20% over this time last year.
The Boys category shot up 10% buoyed by Transformers, Marvel tie-ins, and initial shipments of Jurassic World. Games was up 7% on the strength on Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly which offset declines in several other brands such as Angry Birds. Play-Doh and Transformers: Rescue Bots helped lead the Preschool category to a 22% uptick in revenue. The Girls category as a whole was one of the few sore spots as revenue dropped 16% mainly to due to declining sales of Furby, Furreal Friends, and Easy Bake products. Littlest Pet Shop and Play-Doh’s “Doh-Vinci” are noted for helping partially offset those declines.
Where MLP comes in is the increase in Entertainment and Licensing Segment. Along with Transformers, they helped contribute to a 74% increase in net revenues which also includes a multi-year streaming deal for Hasbro Studios television shows. Operating profit grew 174%.
There wasn’t much mention of MLP in the conference call, but Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner has this to say when asked about their first quarter performance as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.
“MY LITTLE PONY continues to perform quite well for us globally,” said Goldner. “It certainly benefits from revenues in several different categories. It goes back to the idea of being a franchise brand, and having licensed product as well as our own toy and game product. We are gearing up for the fifth season of MY LITTLE PONY is just breaking now and will break throughout the year.
So brand-new product lineup around the fifth season that comes in second, third, and fourth quarters. But MY LITTLE PONY performed well, its POS was in the PONY business, the core PONY business was quite good for the quarter, double-digit POS increase there. And again, it’s a small first quarter. And we’re gearing up for the rest of the year, but MY LITTLE PONY continued to grow in the quarter.”
It’s going to be in quarter two through four where we will start to see if Season Five will add to the hot streak that MLP is on in terms of growth. As for this quarter, the news was well-received on Wall Street to say the least. Shares in Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) went up $8.27 a share to $74.16. That was enough to once again pass Mattel in terms of market cap if only temporary.
Howdy, fellow pony-watchers! As convention season gets into full swing, we here at Nightmare Nights Dallas (NMND) are pleased to kick things off for 2015.
Announcing Marÿke Hendrikse!
We’re pleased to announce our first (of many) Guests of Honor for 2015: the talented Marÿke Hendrikse! Known to pony fans for her work as Gilda the Griffon and Sonata Dusk—and to old pony fans as Brights Brightly—please come help us show Marÿke what Nightmare Nights is all about: bingeing on steak and making fun of Foalpapers.
NMND Website Goes Live!
You can now keep track of the latest 2015 news at www.NightmareNights.net.
Ticket sales Now Live!
Attending ($40) and Sponsor ($100) badges are now for sale! Our (very) limited Premium Sponsor ($250) and Celestial Sponsor ($500) badges will go on sale at 12 PM Eastern on April 25th. You know, right after New Ponies. Make sure your F5 key is in good working order. We’re delaying the higher tier tickets a week so you can sell off any excess organs if you need to.
You can purchase tickets on EventZilla.
Vendor Applications Now Live!
Since we know people need to plan these things well in advance, we’re opening vendor applications earlier and for a longer period of time this year. The vendor application is available here, and will remain open until June 20th. Vendors will be selected and informed by July 4th. The vendor hall will be slightly larger than last year’s and will be a single room as well.
When I first read the synopsis of this episode, you could presume that Princess Luna will make an appearance somewhere down the line. More on that later.
The CMC are having a meeting and Apple Bloom informs Sweetie Bell and Scootaloo that Babs Seed has got her cutie mark. It’s a pair of scissors which potentially means that she could be a stylist down the line (in addition to being good at cutting things). However, it leads to a few issues: