Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) New Line of Toys Had Solid Debut


Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) had a disappointing first quarter its net loss having widened on the loss of a valuable Walt Disney license. A slowdown in Barbie sales, which has acted as a reliable source of revenue, has all but underscored the need for a change of strategy on how the company operates. The toy maker has since launched a new line of toys as it looks to clamp down on a further slump in sales.

Slowing Sales

Barbie, Monster High, and American girl have not been forthcoming in terms sales, a move that has plunged the stock’s sentiments on the street to all-time lows. Shares of the toy maker fell by as much as 9% as investors reacted angrily to the company’s waning prospects.

Barbie sales were up by 11% in the recent quarter but a slump of 7% internationally all but erased a good chunk of the gains. Net sales were down by 6% for the first quarter compared to the same period last year. A loss of a lucrative $300 million Disney license deal remains the talk of the Street as the same had a huge impact on total sales.

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) posted a net loss of $73 million in the recent quarter up from $58 million reported the same quarter last year. Undeterred by the loss the company has set its sights on the future as it looks to bolster its sentiments on the street.

Focusing On Girls Toys

Hasbro has already felt the wrath of consumers for failing to sell a female character of Rey, from Star Wars, alongside its male counterparts. The company also excluded the Heroine Black Widow on recreating a scene from Avengers. Mattel, Inc.(NASDAQ:MAT) is now looking to take advantage of its rival’s deficiency as it looks to revitalize its prospects that have been dealt a big blow in the recent past.

DC Super Hero Girls is the new line of toys that Mattel is banking on as it looks to offset weakness in other segments. The new figures feature female super heroes recast as high school students a design the company is banking on to evoke strong demand.

First quarter sales have already shown that girls are as much attracted to action figures as boys. Sales for the new toys, which began in March and exclusive on Target were encouraging. Chief Operating Officer Richard Dickson has since echoed his support for the new toys which he says have the potential to take Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) to another level. Focus now shifts to making them widely available as the toy maker looks to reduce its reliance on the giant retailer.

Culture Change

Mattel and Target are already ramping up support for the new toys stating they are the first ever action role-play toys for girls. DC Super Hero Girls is not the only product line that the toy maker is banking as it seeks to bolster its growth prospects.

The company is also aggressively trying to stop a further slump in sales in its other two girl’s brands Monster High and American Girl. The new plan is part of a bigger turnaround plan that seeks to shake off the bureaucratic culture that saw Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) focus more on toys for boys. Creativity on new product lines was as result stifled leading to the crippling of sales.

Bottom Line

DC Super Hero Girls is not in way positioned as a replacement for Barbie, which is a $1 billion, a year product line. However, Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) paying attention on girl’s toys underscores its willingness to listen to customers and respond to market needs of the time.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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