Mattel has unveiled its plans to expand its presence into other segments such as consumer products, digital gaming and filmmaking. According to chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz, in a pre-taped 2022 virtual analyst presentation, Mattel has seen an eight to 10% net sales growth in constant currency this year and has, in turn, raised the forecasted a high single-growth for the company next year. This comes as the toy industry continues to grow despite supply chain disruptions, with a 11% and 9% growth recorded in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
"In addition to our own IP, we now have a formidable lineup of evergreen properties, from Microsoft, Nickelodeon, Nintendo and Universal, WWE and Disney," Kriez said.
According to CNBC, Mattel aims to continue innovating the Barbie brand by producing a live-action film starring Margot Robbie and helmed by Greta Gerwig.
At the same time, it will release animated Barbie specials and bring new, non-toy merchandise to stores and the digital realm. Additionally, Kriez said that it is in the works of launching a live-action series in collaboration with Nickelodeon, fashioned after its Monster High collection.
Disney princesses join the foray
Mattel kicked off the year on a high note when it embarked on a multi-year global licensing agreement for the Disney Princess and Frozen franchises. As part of the agreement, Mattel will have the global licensing rights to develop lines of toys for Disney consumer products, games and publishing, including fashion dolls, small dolls, and figures. The collection is expected to launch at retailers around the globe at the beginning of 2023.
Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer, Mattel, said that the company is incredibly proud to welcome back the Disney Princess and Frozen lines. “As the worldwide leader in dolls, we look forward to bringing our unique Mattel Playbook approach to brand management, product and marketing expertise, and unrelenting attention to detail and quality to create innovative and inspiring lines for these iconic stories and characters," he added.
Despite working with Disney since the 1950s, Mattel had lost the license to the franchises to Hasbro in 2016. According to multiple media reports, the loss of the franchises led to a period of financial troubles and an active turnover in the C-suite at Mattel. Following Mattel's reclamation of Disney Princess and Frozen, Mattel's stock rose to over 6% in premarket trading that day, while Hasbro's was down by more that 1%, CNBC reported.
Separately, Mattel partnered with French luxury fashion label, Balmain to release an imminent collection and a series of exclusive NFTs. According to Mattel, the collection was developed as a celebration of both Barbie and Balmain’s combined impact on fashion and greater culture. This collaboration also marks Barbie's first debut in the digital art world, with three one-of-a-kind NFTs of Barbie and Ken avatars. The avatars are styled on complete looks from Balmain's designs and are each accompanied by a one-of-a-kind bespoke set of Barbie-sized Balmain pieces, creating a unique digital and physical art collection.
More recently, Mattel revealed its 2022 Girl of the Year for the American Girl brand, Corinne Tan last month, amidst anti-Asian sentiments. According to Mattel, Corinne must find her balance as she adjusts to her new blended family and the courage to speak up when faced with xenophobic comments. The brand added that through Corinne’s stories, young readers can learn that home means being surrounded by the people they love and to be proud of who they are, while advocating for positive change.
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