Mattel and Hasbro struggled in the first quarter of 2023. Mattel was down 22%, and Hasbro was down 14% from last year’s numbers. Mattel’s Barbie got hit hard, with revenue decreasing 41% from last year.
What’s the reason? Retailers and consumers are careful with their spending. The cost of goods is up (thank you, inflation), homes and retail backrooms still have inventory, buyers are being cautious, and people are freaking out over a war in Russia, threats to Taiwan from China, and assorted civil wars and political infighting all over the world.
With the two companies reporting weak first quarters, you would think their stock price would suffer. It was the reverse – Hasbro closed today up almost 15%, while Mattel was up 6%.
That’s thanks to the announcement earlier in the week that they would co-brand their licenses. In other words, Hasbro will put Barbie on some of its products, and Mattel will do the same with Transformers. Investors like the idea of both companies picking up incremental licensing and revenue dollars from previously off-limits brands.
By the way, this is not the first time Hasbro and Mattel have shared a brand. Hasbro has the exclusive rights to Scrabble in the U.S. and Canada. Mattel has the rights for the rest of the world.
So, you see, good things happen when we all get along.