Define and Defend the Toy Industry Brand; a call to action

HeaderfIStock_000009869846XSmall-Defend-Shield-arrows “Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) has transformed into an entertainment and licensing company as it moves beyond the stigma of being a traditional physical toy firm in this digital age.”

“Hasbro's Fundamental Business Model Shift,” Seeking Alpha March 11, 2015

In recent months, I have been seeing an increasing number of articles questioning the viability of the toy industry.  I have seen nothing, however, like the quote I saw by a stock market analyst, writing for Seeking Alpha,   a subscription service that offers analysis on publicly held companies; and for me on toy and play businesses.  

The author described being affiliated with the toy industry as a “stigma.”  A stigma, the word popped out at me as I read what I thought was an interesting piece on Hasbro’s embrace of entertainment.  Was being affiliated with the toy industry now perceived as such a negative that it was seen as a major negative in determining investment opportunities? 

Here are two other quotes from the article:

“Though concerns over the demise of physical toys may not be completely unfounded in this digital age, Hasbro is less a toy company than it is a licensing firm.”

“The market is finally catching on that Hasbro is no longer only a toy company in the traditional sense.”

“Demise of physical toys;” “no longer only a toy company;” when you read statements of that kind you begin to ask yourself:  “In just how much trouble is the toy industry brand?” What is being done to defend and define the toy industry brand.   And even more to the point:  “Is the toy industry aware that it is a brand?”

I will talk about that in my next posting.

2 thoughts

  1. This is, of course, ludicrous. Mattel in the 1950s was making toy banjos and music boxes. Hasbro was making school supplies, and the long list of companies that no longer exist is seemingly endless. But until children are digits and brains in jars, we will need physical toys, and they’ll love them, too.
    I take huge issue with the characterization of Hasbro. Their lines for the past several years have been better than every BECAUSE they have focused on better physical toys. As we consistently see, digital entertainment has only made the toy box bigger.
    Moreover, toys always–ALWAYS–reflect adult culture. So it’s natural we’ll see more digital stuff. But the traditional toy industry stays about the same in terms of dollars in the U.S., with only slight variations, so this is really a ridiculous contention from someone who doesn’t really know the toy industry at all.

  2. Ok I’m a small online preschool educational toys company called Imagine Play Toys. I find this offensive, this concept of the “demise of physical toys”. Is everything to be virtual? What will kids hold onto, feel on a sensory level, play with outdoors? Not EVERYTHING a child needs is found in technology. For normal childhood development kids need a balanced experience. I realize my toys when I was a child are not going to be my grandchild’s toys, but sheesh! Give us small boutique toy stores a chance!! I only want a small bite of the pie. I want to enrich kid’s lives and aid in their educational and active play growth.

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