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Thread: Mattel's recent lack of profits made the news...

  1. #1
    Searchin' My Soul DisneyBoy's Avatar
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    Mattel's recent lack of profits made the news...

    My television was playing in the background today, and did I double-take when I heard Mattel referenced on the news. There was an entire report focused on them, though it was brief. It stated that sales of Barbies are down, and Hot Wheels has plateaued, profit-wise. Do you think the company is hurting, and do you think this will affect their plans for MOTUC, something which seems to be a decent seller?

    There's probably a report online somewhere that goes more into detail about their profits, but I'll leave it to others to locate...

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    Heroic Warrior Ridureyu's Avatar
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    Well, this probably helps explain why they're still cutting Grayskull back to save money.

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    Heroic Warrior karg182's Avatar
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    Kids are too busy reproducing and smoking crack to play with Barbies nowadays
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    HAAAAAAAAAPPYYYYYYYY..... Prince Adam's Dad's Avatar
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    Toys in general are on the downslide with things like tablets becoming commonplace. I'm surprised it took as long as it did to hit dolls and cars. Action figures sales have been suffering for a while now.

    And no, I wouldn't be surprised one bit if they are cutting more from CG. And I can see issues with the line as a whole coming. More cheap plastic, fewer accessories/heads, among other cost cutting measures. I'd be surprised to see the DC sub continuing, as well.

    And no, I'm not 'Chicken Littling' this. If the profits for the company as a whole are down, they will undeniably tighten belts.
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    Heroic Warrior Weasel's Avatar
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    Mattel is still doing very well. They haven't had much growth (if any), but they're still the number one toy company. Now Hasbro and Lego (especially Lego) have been doing well. Actually at the rate Lego has been growing, the think it could have the possibility of surpassing Mattel. Now this is because the have amusements parks, etc. You have to think though. Mattel is a toy company. Toys are not a need, but a want. The economy is in the crap shoot at the moment and families have to cut wants for needs. Of course a toy company is going to be harmed a bit. When the economy straightens up I'm sure Mattel will have a boom in sales again. This is also the dead season. When it gets close to the holiday season their sales will rise again.

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    Casual Fan slackrguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyBoy View Post
    My television was playing in the background today, and did I double-take when I heard Mattel referenced on the news. There was an entire report focused on them, though it was brief. It stated that sales of Barbies are down, and Hot Wheels has plateaued, profit-wise. Do you think the company is hurting, and do you think this will affect their plans for MOTUC, something which seems to be a decent seller?

    There's probably a report online somewhere that goes more into detail about their profits, but I'll leave it to others to locate...
    Eh, it depends on a lot of factors. Are they quarterly results or projections? Is it a reduced net profit or a net loss, is there a net loss but positive cash flow? Are they setting themselves up for an impairment on an inangible by having a negative future expected cash flow?

    I don't fee llike going through their financials at the moment, but there are a lot of things to consider. Most of the external stuff only pertains to capital providers anyway.
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    TWIGGET ENTHUSIAST! Swifty's Avatar
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    IT'S TIME FOR MOTUC TO GO GREEN INCLUDE THE TWIGGETS IN 2015!!!

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    Heroic Warrior Replikor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swifty View Post
    uh oh... well that has me slightly worried.

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    Evil Apologist of Mattel Count Marzo's Avatar
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    The answer is a She-Ra Barbie!!! I'd buy a damn Barbie then!
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    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Time to make Barbie as Scorpia, Octavia, Catra and Entrapta dolls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Marzo View Post
    The answer is a She-Ra Barbie!!! I'd buy a damn Barbie then!
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    Lord of Darkkbricks Darkkosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weasel View Post
    Mattel is still doing very well. They haven't had much growth (if any), but they're still the number one toy company. Now Hasbro and Lego (especially Lego) have been doing well. Actually at the rate Lego has been growing, the think it could have the possibility of surpassing Mattel. Now this is because the have amusements parks, etc. You have to think though.
    I don't know much about Harbro, but LEGO is doing great because they've been doing it right since the early 2000s, better plans, interesting themes, a lot more variety of specialty bricks and colors, better promotions, and still maintaining the high quality LEGO is known for. Also, the LEGO adult/teen thriving communities are pushing the standards of designs and customs perpetually to higher levels by the minute, thus promoting the LEGO brand effortlessly, and indirectly pushing the LEGO Group to accommodate people's demands with better products all the time. Creativity and imagination is what sets LEGO above the rest, even though it's considered an expensive toy for most.
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    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Mattel is a brain dead dinosaur compared to Lego, a forward thinking company with intelligent strategies and vision for the future. Mattel got lucky a long time ago with a doll and a car and have been riding them.

    Mattel's failure to capitalize on the video game and filmmaking industries has hurt them in comparison to Hasbro and Lego (not to mention the theme park issue brought up earlier). If they don't correct this soon, I would expect them to fall below both sooner rather than later. Lego is more popular than when I was kid, and I bet a big part of that is Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, and all the other properties they have built traditional toys and video games off of. Just plain old toys aren't enough. Kids are more sophisticated - you need movies, cartoons, video games to drive the toy sales.

    You need properties with strong story telling vehicles. Mattel has no clue when it comes to developing anything with a storyline. As great as MOTU is, the storytelling in the property has been scattered, incoherent, inconsistent, derivative, and driven by money men rather than creators (ahem TG).

    Mattel's big wigs aren't visionary enough to compete. And they are inept at implementing strategies outside of Barbie and Hot Wheels. There should be at least 2 successful MOTU movies by now. Hot Wheels should be the Madden of car racing video games. Potential wasted - everywhere. Mattel needs to learn from Borders book stores (who are now gone in part because they got in late on the e-reader market and couldn't compete with forward thinking Amazon) and get in on other markets before it's too late. Plastic is more expensive by the day. Labor too.

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    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Hasbro's been doing poorly for a couple years now, which I blame on their unwillingness to run their brands properly. They mismanage GI Joe, ignored MLP's success and splintered the Transformers brand into too many series. I've tried telling this to people but it seems the Hasbro fanboys refuse to hear it. The Joe forums especially have their fingers lodged in their ears about it which is why I refuse to associate with those boards. There was also the fact they spent so much money buying up other toy companies, only to never do anything with them. If Hasbro were to lose Star Wars they'd probably die.

    Mattel's been doing better but MH is starting to taper off a bit now. Stuff like the school playset didn't sell as well as the line used to and I think it's been around long enough that some people are losing interest. It's no longer new enough. Barbie's taken to long to appeal to fans of the new web toon and old Barbie just isn't selling anymore. Matty Collector isn't a store, it's a scalper outfit that can't maintain a real income because they're not a store that sells stock year round.

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    Lord of Darkkbricks Darkkosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibernish View Post
    Mattel is a brain dead dinosaur compared to Lego, a forward thinking company with intelligent strategies and vision for the future. Mattel got lucky a long time ago with a doll and a car and have been riding them.

    Mattel's failure to capitalize on the video game and filmmaking industries has hurt them in comparison to Hasbro and Lego (not to mention the theme park issue brought up earlier). If they don't correct this soon, I would expect them to fall below both sooner rather than later. Lego is more popular than when I was kid, and I bet a big part of that is Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, and all the other properties they have built traditional toys and video games off of. Just plain old toys aren't enough. Kids are more sophisticated - you need movies, cartoons, video games to drive the toy sales.

    You need properties with strong story telling vehicles. Mattel has no clue when it comes to developing anything with a storyline. As great as MOTU is, the storytelling in the property has been scattered, incoherent, inconsistent, derivative, and driven by money men rather than creators (ahem TG).

    Mattel's big wigs aren't visionary enough to compete. And they are inept at implementing strategies outside of Barbie and Hot Wheels. There should be at least 2 successful MOTU movies by now. Hot Wheels should be the Madden of car racing video games. Potential wasted - everywhere. Mattel needs to learn from Borders book stores (who are now gone in part because they got in late on the e-reader market and couldn't compete with forward thinking Amazon) and get in on other markets before it's too late. Plastic is more expensive by the day. Labor too.
    Well said... Too bad that the MOTU brand got stock with that old "profit or nothing" mentality. Even to this day, they're still not doing it right! You gotta spend money to make money, keep cutting corners to justify expenditures will only end you up with a lame product that will meet it's demise sooner or later.
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    Grammer Flunky Shredder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridureyu View Post
    Well, this probably helps explain why they're still cutting Grayskull back to save money.
    more cut backs? Sigh..what now?
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    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkkosis View Post
    Well said... Too bad that the MOTU brand got stock with that old "profit or nothing" mentality. Even to this day, they're still not doing it right! You gotta spend money to make money, keep cutting corners to justify expenditures will only end you up with a lame product that will meet it's demise sooner or later.
    Tell that to the investors and the board of directors. Making money is the only acceptable response, you don't do that and you lose your job and your line gets cut.

    You guys really need to take that Mattel is a corporation run by investors into account to understand their decisions. Its not a business you can just do whatever you want with. It sucks but blame the downtrend in toys overall and the failure of toys to wrestle the death grip away from video games.
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    Lord of Darkkbricks Darkkosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Tell that to the investors and the board of directors. Making money is the only acceptable response, you don't do that and you lose your job and your line gets cut.

    You guys really need to take that Mattel is a corporation run by investors into account to understand their decisions. Its not a business you can just do whatever you want with. It sucks but blame the downtrend in toys overall and the failure of toys to wrestle the death grip away from video games.
    Well, it's up to the company to explain it to the investors on how the formula works. Not every brand should be treated as a cookie cutter product. If Apple treated the iPod, iPhone or the iPad as trendy hits, it would've barely survived the PC market, yet improving on them with all resources available is what made the company among the biggest companies around, Mac laptops and iMac desktops alone couldn't carry the weight alone, and investors understood that.

    MOTU had a great start to become a timeless line/product especially for the male consumer, much like the Star Wars brand, but Mattel took things the other way aound, by preaching profit justifies products, and that's not how things work all the time!
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    Evil Warrior jibernish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Tell that to the investors and the board of directors. Making money is the only acceptable response, you don't do that and you lose your job and your line gets cut.

    You guys really need to take that Mattel is a corporation run by investors into account to understand their decisions. Its not a business you can just do whatever you want with. It sucks but blame the downtrend in toys overall and the failure of toys to wrestle the death grip away from video games.
    absolutely - Mattel has to make a profit or they cease to exist. I think the frustration from some fans is there is a balance between short term profit and long profitability. If you cut too many corners to boost your short term profit, you can wind up hurting yourself in the long run. I think there is a strong case to be made that Mattel is so focused on the short term that it is bad not only for the fans, but for the property too. Declining sub sales is partly because they cut corners a couple of years ago, and it's costing Mattel money now. Now we don't know how much, maybe it's only costing them ten subs, or a thousand subs.

    I also think their focus on short term profitability has kept them from investing in areas that could lead to new profit centers like video games and movies. If that is where their customers are going more and more, it would be wise for them to position themselves to take advantage of that. I know when Amazon.com started, they lost tons and tons and tons of money each year, but they had a vision they bet would pay off. I just don't see much evidence of Mattel investing in the long term, and it's sad because I still believe MOTU could be a viable property again, in better hands.
    Last edited by jibernish; July 17, 2013 at 11:09pm.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Angry-Calligar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karg182 View Post
    Kids are too busy reproducing and smoking crack to play with Barbies nowadays

    you forgot about texting, sexting, tweeting, twittering, twaddling, xboxing. who has time to watch cartoons and collect toys anymore?

  20. #20
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibernish View Post
    absolutely - Mattel has to make a profit or they cease to exist. I think the frustration from some fans is there is a balance between short term profit and long profitability. If you cut too many corners to boost your short term profit, you can wind up hurting yourself in the long run. I think there is a strong case to be made that Mattel is so focused on the short term that it is bad not only for the fans, but for the property too. Declining sub sales is partly because they cut corners a couple of years ago, and it's costing Mattel money now. Now we don't know how much, maybe it's only costing them ten subs, or a thousand subs.
    This is a very important point, and why Mattel is slipping while Lego is doing well. There's diferent kinds of profit, and Mattel has, for more than a decade, seemed to focus on the short term rather than anything resembling a vision. Hasbro might be slipping, but the have maintained and promoted their brands for many years, and I seriously doubt they are going under any time soon, because they have long term plans. They pushed their products into movies, have a network (yes, it's sputtering at the moment in a crowded field, but it's still out there), and their most well known products are still on the pegs. Mattel, on the other hand, is going around begging a studio to make their MOTU movie while ignoring the mess Mattel made of its rights to the property over the years.

    Mattel is lurching from one thing to another, looking only at what can bring in some money tomorrow and the heck with next month. They got lucky with Monster High, but it sounds like that may be a flash in the pan rather than a long term success. The big problem with Mattel is they are not a leader, but a follower. They don't initiate trends anymore. Look at how they followed suit, albeit too late, with things like the Action League (Super Hero Squad was already fading after a good run), the Rescue Heroes type figures (again, long after the train had left). Heck, even DCUC and MOTUC are simply Marvel Legends translated into different properties years after the fact. Even Monster High is an idea that has been around for years (apparently someoneat Mattel picked up a copy of "Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School"). Mattel has not lead the way with a truly innovative product in any area I'm aware of in a long time, and its apparently showing in their bottom line.

    It's sad, and I wish it weren't so. Once upon a time, Mattel WAS a leader, and earned its place as the #1 toy company, and it wasn't just Barbie and Hot Wheels. Major Matt Mason was one of the first real action figure lines, and some of the ingenious features they came up with back during the 60's still pop up in toys today (I still maintain it is one of the most innovative and brilliant action figure lines ever, doing things never done before on a regular basis when it was in production). And our beloved Masters basically re-invigorated a flagging action figure market that had become almost entirely dependent on movie and TV licenses, paving the way for a golden age of action figures in the 80's that hasn't been rivaled since. I've been buying Mattel action figures since they first started making them, and I am truly disheartened to see just how far they have fallen these days...
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    Court Magician MrBear's Avatar
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    MOTUC is such a small portion of Mattel's sales that I wonder if it would affect anything in this case?

    Short term decisions based on maximum profit are the norm now.

  22. #22
    Drinking Innocence TheDeviot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibernish View Post
    Mattel's failure to capitalize on the video game and filmmaking industries has hurt them in comparison to Hasbro and Lego (not to mention the theme park issue brought up earlier). If they don't correct this soon, I would expect them to fall below both sooner rather than later.
    I do have to raise one point on this part of your comment. Mattel HAS capitalized on gaming for years. I'll grant you nowhere near where they should have, but they have. At one time they actually were
    the #2 platform in NA with the Intellivision, and Intellivision II. After the crash they pulled out, and many moons later allowed some of the console designers to take back the ip, and patents.
    In the UK they bargained with Nintendo to sell the NES there, of course they botched it on their end, and it's one of the markets where Nintendo was a distant #2 (Guru Larry put up a pretty good video a few years
    ago talking about it) partially as a result. Throughout the last 30 years they have been wise enough to license out IP to game developers. How many of us have played a Barbie, Hot Wheels, He-Man game? They weren't always
    very good, but most licensed games aren't. They also beat Hasbro to the punch distributing games in the 90's/00's. Mattel published PC versions of Sega's arcade games, and did some distribution for other publishers.

    So while yes, they should have realized the strength of their IP meant they could have had more pull with publishers (Ie: get them to put better developers on it or even get a more mainstream publisher to do it)
    they HAVE been able to see that video games are indeed competition to their industry, and that they need to move from being a toy company to being more of a entertainment media company with toys as the cornerstone, and
    a commitment to solidify the lines that made them great.

    As Scott was saying, Hasbro while not so favorable with the short sighted investors HAS successfully done this. As horrible (Flame me all you want they suck) as the Transformers, and GiJoe movies are they still made tons of money (Well TF did GiJoe not so much). Like Mattel, Hasbro has made sure their IP's have been in gaming since the era of the C64, and Atari 2600.

    Mattel knows where they have to go, they just can't seem to find the right people to plot a proper course.

    Lets not also forget that despite whatever the news says about the economy it isn't very rosy. A lot of people are still out of work, a lot of companies are going to have to lay people off to keep costs down, and others are cutting employees down to 15-20 hour work weeks. That's going to effect everyone in the business of selling non essential products (ergo anything not food, water, no frills clothing.) Couple that with competition who does have a sound business plan, and it suddenly gets a lot harder for Mattel.
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