Category: My Little Pony

Inside the Numbers: Hasbro’s 2018 Q2 Earnings

On Monday, Hasbro announced their earnings for the second quarter. While they beat Wall Street Estimates, they were still off from the previous year in large part due to the liquidation of Toys R Us. Hasbro is also looking at a “rapidly evolving European retail environment in Europe”.

Revenue was down 7% from Q2 last year and Franchise Brands were down 8% with growth in Baby Alive, Monopoly, and Magic: The Gathering offset by losses in the other four franchise brands (MLP, Transformers, Nerf, and Play-Doh).

When asked how the MLP brand was doing and whether they still see benefits to the franchise following the Movie, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner had this to say as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

“The MY LITTLE PONY brand has certainly benefited from the movie home entertainment windows and now the movies move from home entertainment into a lot of the streaming services, its performing quite well and we continue to see in markets around the world where the streaming is taking place and the brand continues to hold up quite well and the POS is good. Revenues were down a little bit in the quarter, but again, POS is quite strong as we move to the disruption and the liquidation at Toys“R”Us,” said Goldner.

“Interestingly, as we’ve now gotten our TV series on the air on CCTV which is Chinese Television, we’re seeing some great growth of MY LITTLE PONY in the China market behind that and you should expect to continue to see momentum in our brand as we’ve just launched the season eight in television and that will roll out around the world. And then again in the future we would expect to do another MY LITTLE PONY animated feature film, because again it contributed quite nicely and it’s also a great way to tell story around that brand.”

Goldner also provided insight as to the economics of the Movie.

“The way the movie worked was we produced this movie with third-party studio. We had it distributed by Lionsgate. They took a distribution fee. We then created a toy and game line and we participated in the toys and games sales and earnings from the toys and games. The consumer products where we had hundreds of licensees and the royalty income that came from that, as well as from the movie after paying the distribution fee and allowing for recruitment of the marketing, so that the total economic value was positive for our company and continues to be positive as the content continues to run through home entertainment which actually performed even better than our expectation and now is what is streaming on a number of different platforms and we’ll continue to be a story asset that will run through different territories.

“And of course this really raised halo for the brand. And then of course we’re using beyond that using the television series now that’s airing around the world including with CCTV in China based on a growing relationship with them across TRANSFORMERS and MY LITTLE PONY and that’s also beneficial.”

Goldner also attributed MLP’s decline in the quarter “a bit” due to the loss of Toys R Us.

StatManDan

For the first time since May 6, 2011 (Best Night Ever), a new episode aired on a Friday. That’s about the only significant thing there is about this episode. In the episode, Pinkie Pie begins playing a new instrument called a yovidaphone. Much like every bagpipe gag in every Warner Brothers cartoon there is one, Pinkie is not that good at it.

Her friends tell her to stop playing and she does. Pinkie is fully deflated she loved that instrument so much in this episode. She is so deflated that she cannot be cheered up in Ponyville and moves to Yakyakistan to hear the yovidaphone fo happiness. That doesn’t work, but her friends coaxing her to play once again despite her not being good at it (so everypony thinks) does.

This episode may have been better served if the lesson were “practice makes perfect” or if Pinkie really did get better by the end of the episode instead of what we saw. It’s a gag as old as time where a character is poor at an instrument and/or singing and his or her friends try to go end around with being honest. This show usually does a good job of supplying something fresh to something cliche, but not in this case.

It needed to take a better tack knowing how Pinkie can easily get depressed if she feels rejection and also minus points for Twilight suggesting something similar to what she tried in “Horse Play”. In short, this was not a good episode.

GRADE:  D

StatManDan

My Little Pony 818 – Yakity-Sax Episode Guide

[source]

818 – “Yakity-Sax”

Written by: Michael P Fox, Wil Fox
Pinkie Pie has a bew hobby that she absolutely loves – playing the Zenithrash; when her friends discourage her from playing due to her lack of skill, it causes a series of events leading Pinkie Pie possibly leaving Ponyville forever.

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  • 818
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[source]

“Equestria Girls – Rollercoaster of Friendship”

Written by: Nick Confalone
When Rarity and Applejack apply to work at the new Equestria World theme park, a rift forms between them when only Rarity gets hired.

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“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.”
—To A Mouse, by Robert Burns

While the Mane Six and Starlight go on a retreat near the Tree of Harmony, Chrysalis plans to clone versions of the Mane Six to steal the Elements of Harmony—and get revenge on Starlight which she swore to do in the end of “To Where and Back Again”. Things go awry straight away when the clones are more in line from the Discorded Six we saw in “The Return of Harmony.” The Fake Twilight proves to be even more devious when she plans to betray Chrysalis once she and the other clones get the elements.

We go through the standard interactions between real and fake Mane 6 and before the Fake Six go after the Elements and the real Mane Six and Starlight make-up thinking that they were giving each other a hard time. However, the Fake Twilight betrays Chrysalis, but in a twist, the Tree of Harmony grabs the fakes and turns them back into the clumps of wood they were originally. In other words, the Tree knows fakes when it sees them, and Chrysalis flies off in disgust.

Note that the Mane Six and Starlight and Chrysalis do not meet each other (or at least realized it was Chrysalis in disguise at the beginning taking photos and hair samples). So the Mane Six have literally no idea that Chrysalis was around. Chrysalis simply did not think this plan through from not realizing that her clones would embody the opposite of the personalities of the ponies she is cloning. I do give the episode credit for giving the clone Twilight some depth as well. There’s already a meme that she is/was the most competent villain the show has had.

The only bad spot is that the interactions/mix-ups with the real and fake Mane Six get to be a bit tedious throughout the second act. I do like that Twilight stops her group’s bickering by admitting she got carried away with her schedule. It’s not the best of Season Eight, but it is in line with the more recent episodes of the season making that in the higher end of Season Eight.

GRADE: A-

So that is the first half of the season. If I were to rank this episode among the other Episode 13’s of previous seasons, here’s how it would go (I exclude Season Three since that was only 13 episodes):

1. The Perfect Pear (S7)
2. Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep (S5)
3. Stranger Than Fan Fiction (S6)
4. The Mean 6 (S8)
5. Simple Ways (S4)
6. Fall-Weather Friends (S1)
7. Baby Cakes (S2)

StatManDan

[source]

813 – “The Mean 6”

Written by: Michael Vogel

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The Cutie Mark Crusaders, bored of the Ponyville School, wants to enroll in Twilight’s School of Friendship. They can’t though because they are overqualified and they are bad actors in trying to convince the Mane Six that they need more lessons in friendship.

The CMC come across a pegasus pony named Cozy Glow (who has a rook for a cutie mark) who needs help with her friendship lessons. The CMC help her to good effect and in preparation for an exam. Everything seems OK, but Cozy Glow failed the test and Twilight blames the CMC for deliberately giving her bad lessons.

Enter guidance counselor Starlight Glimmer. Cozy Glow tells Starlight that she intentionally failed the test because, in her words, she wanted to help the CMC get in the school. Starlight straightens everything out, now that she has something to do, and the CMC become on-staff tudors with honorary degrees.

Well, we were wondering how the Ponyville school we’ve know since the start of the show was going to factor in all of this. Of course, it’s similar to Arthur when there’s Mr. Ratburn’s class and Ms. Sweetwater’s class. This episode is much better for the CMC to be in and you have them doing what they have been doing since Season Six only now they have a role in Twilight’s school.

But it is Starlight who really completes the episode as she apparently had nothing to do for a while (and she hasn’t been seen since “The Parent Map”). She quickly became the funniest and best part of this episode.

The last few episodes have been much better from the show and make the school look more functionable for Season Eight.

Of course on a side, if you have read ahead on the synopses for the next 14 episodes of the season and/or saw the leaked episodes, do a favor for those who have kept away from any and all spoilers of that nature and not ruin it for them.

GRADE: A

StatManDan