Hasbro revenue slumps on soft sales of ‘Star Wars’ toys

Earnings


The company said it doesn’t see the fall in sales as “Star Wars fatigue,” but rather a result of the timing of the merchandise release and advertisements. Goldner said that between Force Friday, a September merchandising event, and the release of “The Last Jedi” in December, customers were bombarded with products from other entertainment properties, like “Thor: Ragnorak” and “Justice League.”

“So narrowing those windows so you’re really able to take advantage of the specific marketing and these big marketing campaigns around the brands enables you to do quite a strong job in merchandising those films,” he said.

In 2015, Force Friday lead to monumental sales of “Star Wars” toys ahead of “The Force Awakens,” the first “Star Wars” film in nearly a decade.

“Clearly there was a lot of pent-up up demand across the board,” Goldner said.

Hasbro expects to see a pickup in sales of toys tied to “The Last Jedi” as the film becomes available to the public on home video. It will begin advertising its merchandise for the stand-alone Han Solo film in April, ahead of the film’s release in May.

“We continue to believe it will be that kind of business for us with great visibility to entertainment and great sustainability and frankly some better profitability for us as we go forward as we partner,” Goldner said during an earnings conference call. “Therefore we could have a more valuable brand over the next five years than we’ve had over the period that led up to the 2015 movie those same five years.”

Hasbro gaming, which includes a variety of board games and digital gaming, fell 4 percent in the quarter, and emerging brands, which includes Baby Alive and Furreal Friends toys, fell 5 percent. The company said that Tyler the Tiger was the top toy sold during the holiday period.

Franchise brands, like Nerf, Monopoly and My Little Pony performed well for the company, rising 11 percent in the quarter.

Here’s how the segments performed for the full year:



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