Hasbro Toys With Mattel
Walt Disney’s signature is industry-shifting. On Friday, toymaker Hasbro sealed a coveted extension to its Mouse House merchandise license, keeping rival Mattel locked out of selling branded princess dolls and playthings.
The year following Disney’s record number of billion-dollar box office hits, it’s no surprise that Hasbro considers these merch rights bragging rights. The entertainment franchise is “top toy property,” according to the toymaker, and Mattel, famous for ken dolls and Barbie girls, didn’t even get a look-in.
Except for a deal with Pixar, Mattel’s not held Disney licenses for six years. It was the target of a hostile takeover bid from Hasbro in 2017, and with sales tanking, the company literally needed a Marvel hero to save it. The contract extension news will come as a blow to long-term investors, but when one door closes, another opens!
Mattel has been in talks with Tesla to make two remote control versions of the Cybertruck! A three-inch Hot Wheels Cybertruck and a 1:10 scale big boys toy are both going on sale for $20 and $400, respectively. So, if you can’t afford the actual truck but you still want a piece of the action, “pre-orders welcome!” The “bulletproof” RC cars even come with cracked window stickers!
The customer is the child, Mattel insists. It’s not the parent. However, by that thinking, the toy business is not in good shape. Digital gaming has eaten into younger and younger markets, making some investors wary that Mattel’s turnaround efforts are all about cost-cutting with no remedy to a stagnant top-line. Deals with Netflix and now Tesla sum up the company’s response. Mattel is back launching an offense!