As the dust settles on Steven Bomb #3, the Crewniverse and Ms. Sugar have announced that new episodes will begin again August 6th. Being that this is a Thursday when new weekly episodes premiere, its a safe bet that the show will return to singular weekly episodes. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the bombs though.
Currently only the next three episodes are known, and its unknown what order they will play in.
“Super Watermelon Island” – Steven finds the watermelon Stevens he created in the episode “Watermelon Steven”
“Gem Drill” – Steven travels underground.
“Barn Mates” – Steven aids a pair of friends in getting along at a barn.
So for now, we wait.
On Monday, Hasbro released their second quarter earnings for 2015. Hasbro beat street estimated by reporting $797.7 million dollars in revenue for the quarter whereas analysts expected somewhere closer to $775M. That former number is actually off 4% from this time last year, but would’ve been up 5% absent a negative $71.5M foreign currency exchange impact in the quarter. An example of this was that the Canadian Dollar was $0.82 USD back on April 20th. As of July 20th, it is down to $0.77 USD. The Euro was worth about $1.20 USD on New Year’s Day. It is now $1.08 USD as of July 20th. Hasbro was very much buoyed by sales from toys tying into Jurassic World, Marvel, and the upcoming Star Wars movie.
It was that FX impact that negatively impacted certain segments. The seven franchise brands (Littlest Pet Shop, Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly, My Little Pony, Nerf, Play-Doh, and Transformers) as a whole were down for the second quarter, though up for the first half. Again excluding the FX impact, five of the seven brands—including LPS and MLP—were up in the period. As expected Transformers (no movie) and Magic: The Gathering (release shift) declined in the quarter.
The Girls’ department fell 22% in the quarter again with Furby the main culprit. The Boys’ department went up 1% on the aforementioned properties and Nerf. Games declined 6%. And Preschool, led by Play-Doh, jumped 14%.
It was Play-Doh, Nerf, Monopoly, and LPS that were up individually despite the FX impact for both the second quarter and first half of the year. Magic: The Gathering was up overall for the first half as well. Transformers’ decline in both half and quarter was anticipated.
With MLP, there’s a bit of a mixed bag. According to Hasbro CEO Brain Goldner, sales declined for the second quarter and first half compared to this time last year (ending a long streak of quarterly gains going back to before 2012), but absent the FX impact, MLP actually gained grew in these periods. Goldner also stated that point-of-sale increased ‘meaningfully in nearly every country they track’ and that the “Cutie Mark Magic” theme is off to a great start and is optimistic about the Equestria Girls movie “Friendship Games” coming out in September. Both MLP and LPS grew in the US and Canada for the quarter.
During the earnings release, there was a question regarding the upcoming Jem and the Hollograms movie to Mr. Goldner, and part of the response included some tidbits about the upcoming MLP movie set for a 2017 release.
The question from Drew E. Crum of Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. was regarding any updates on Jem regarding release date, product initiatives, and the pipeline of content for Allspark Productions (Hasbro’s movie wing).
“The date is October 23 for [Jem],” said Goldner. “We’ve already gotten some very positive feedback from audiences. As you know, early you get feedback and make sure you’re on the right track. We’re feeling very excited about the movie and we’ll have a range of licensed product and some collector-oriented toys during the launch of the film, a great program from Sephora and several other licensees. But it’s really our first step in reintroducing JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS to audiences around the world and we’ll build momentum around product, particularly toy product, as we move beyond the film, so not for this year but into the next couple of years.
“And as you look at Allspark, the next major production is the MY LITTLE PONY animated film, which will come out in 2017. We’ll announce a distributor shortly for that film. And again, we are able to make that movie for more of a nominal cost than a traditional animated film given all of our experience and expertise in animated television production, although this certainly will be on scale with all the other animated films you’ve seen in terms of quality and the look and the feel of the movie. The music as well as the cast is quite good but I won’t steal the team’s thunder. They’ll announce some of that shortly. And that will be the next project from Allspark.”
Hasbro’s stock price on Monday rose $4.90 to $83.15/share, which nearly quadruple’s rival Mattel’s stock price which now stands at $24.31/share. Hasbro’s market cap now stands at over $10.35 billion compared to Mattel’s $8.12B. Last Thursday, Mattel posted favorable earnings, though sales of Barbie fell by 19%.
INSIGHT: Hasbro has every reason to be bullish about the future with the new Star Wars movie coming up and getting the Disney Princess line in 2016 to compliment the Marvel partnership. LPS continues to quietly show growth in sales, while the company remains optimistic on MLP for the future and expect big things in the Fall with both “Friendship Games” and likely the second half of Season Five. It’s just that foreign exchange rates were quite unfavorable for the quarter and first half of the year.
108 – “Blood Moon Ball; Fortune Cookies”
Written by: Dominic Bisignano, Aaron Hammersley; Carrie Liao, Mike Mullen
“Star accepts her ex-boyfriends Tom’s invitation to Demon Prom; Marco convinces Star that fortune cookies contain magical prophecies.“