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Don’t believe the gripes …it’s the Friday Blog!
Richard Gottlieb -- Toy Industry Expert Richard Gottlieb -- Toy Industry Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Monday, May 1, 2023


Over in the US, it is the start of another ‘earnings season’, with Q1 results starting to be unveiled this week. Before anyone gets too carried away by the inevitable knee-jerk ‘trouble in toytown’ headlines, I think it’s important to offer some sort of perspective – basically, don’t believe the gripes. First and foremost, no-one in the toy community wins or loses the year in Q1 – it would be like Arsenal celebrating winning the Premier League title at Christmas (sorry Gooners, I really did want you to do it, if only to make a change from Man City’s continuing dominance). In practice, true powerhouses tend to come through in the end.

And this year’s Q1 results, especially for US-owned companies, were always going to be a bit brutal, as the US toy industry gets to grips with an underwhelming festive season that saw suppliers and retailers left with significant overstocks. In the end, both Hasbro and Mattel saw double digit declines in Q1 toy sales after retailers tightened inventories, although those numbers felt much more of a ‘blip’ than anything to worry about longer term.

Still, no surprise that Mattel has being doing its best to deflect from its impending results all week by releasing a succession of positive stories about range launches and other developments coming soon. In fairness, I see these as far more important – you get far more of a sense of how confident a company is by looking forward, not back.

In amongst these releases, including the widely praised launch of Mattel’s first-ever Barbie doll based on children with Down’s Syndrome, perhaps the most intriguing was the announcement that Mattel and Hasbro will be collaborating by creating new ranges based on each other’s iconic IP, including Barbie Monopoly as well as Uno and Hot Wheels Transformers ranges.


Richard Gottlieb

Global Toy Experts / Global Toy News

646 675 3019



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