January 31, 2014 |
If there was a winner among the piles of gifts given to children this Christmas, Barbie certainly wasn't it. The fashion doll - possibly the best-known player in Mattel Inc.'s stable of products - endured a 13% sales slide during the company's fourth quarter. "We just didn't sell enough Barbie dolls," Mattel Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said Friday in a conference call with analysts. Several other brands from the El Segundo toy maker also fared poorly. Fisher-Price, whose lineup focuses on infants and young children, also suffered a 13% revenue plunge.
January 13, 2014 |
The feud between fashion doll giants MGA Entertainment Inc. and Mattel Inc. got another infusion of legal juice on Monday, when Bratz maker MGA sued Mattel over allegations that the Barbie maker filched trade secrets at toy industry conventions. Van Nuys-based MGA accuses Mattel of sending corporate spies armed with fake business cards and a “how to steal” manual into private MGA showrooms from 1992 through at least 2009. There, the agents pilfered MGA price lists, advertising plans and covert product attributes, giving El Segundo-based Mattel “an unfair and illegal advantage in the market” and costing MGA “tens of millions of dollars in damages,” according to MGA's complaint.
October 16, 2013 |
Mattel Inc., the nation's largest toy company, and Barbie, likely its best-known product, are heading into Christmas looking up. The El Segundo-based company reported net income of $422.8 million, or $1.21 a share, for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. That's a 16% increase from the year-earlier period, when profit was $365.9 million, or $1.04 a share. Mattel's revenue also surged 6% to $2.2 billion, from $2.1 billion. Both the sales and profit measures beat Wall Street expectations.
September 15, 2013 |
For the last 18 years, Jakks Pacific Inc. has been a player in the ultra-competitive Southern California toy-making business, up against the likes of giant Mattel Inc. in El Segundo and others. But Jakks' roster of toys - including the Smurfs, Monsuno action figures and Winx Club fairy dolls - have not been pulling in the fun for investors. Sales have declined five straight years. In the most recent quarter, revenue fell 27% and the Malibu company lost $46.9 million compared with net income of $214,000 a year earlier.
July 19, 2013 |
Disturbing news this week for Barbie: Mattel reported that revenue from the doll fell 12% in the second quarter that ended June 30. That's Barbie's fourth straight quarterly sales slide. It's tough to be a middle-aged female entertainer, and Barbie, at 54, is no different. Over the years, she has tried to rebrand herself -- Dentist Barbie, Astronaut Barbie -- but she's still struggling to keep a strong fan base. Mutating into the meme of the moment doesn't seem to work for her. Becoming Hip Hop Barbie won't make her a cult figure again.
July 17, 2013 |
Barbie seems to be losing ground as the queen bee of doll-dom, as sales of the Mattel Inc. figurine slipped for the fourth straight quarter. Revenue from the fashion toy sank 12% in the second quarter, which ended June 30, the El Segundo-based company said Wednesday. During the same period, other girl brands such as Monster High surged up 23%, the company said. Mattel's American Girl line got a 14% boost. The Fisher-Price product category took a 3% hit, while Hot Wheels tumbled 1%. Overall, sales at the nation's largest toymaker were up 1% to $1.17 billion, though revenue from North America softened 2%. The company is doing heady business abroad, where a growing middle class helped sales swell 4%. Emerging-growth markets such as China, Russia and India “continue to prove to be fertile ground,” with revenue surging by double digits, Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said in a conference call with analysts.