Tag: Hasbro

Inside the Numbers: Hasbro’s Q2 Earnings

It was another strong quarter for Hasbro, though not a strong enough quarter in the eyes of some investors. As a result, Hasbro’s stock price (NASDAQ:  HAS) fell $11.01 a share to $104.94/share. Hasbro’s stock had been at or near a record high the last few days.

Franchise brands were up 21% in Q2 with the growth coming from TransformersMagic: The GatheringNerf (consistent performer), and Monopoly. The hurt came from the Partner brands (i.e. Star Wars, Disney Princess, Trolls, etc). which was up just 1% and Emerging brands down 14%.

When it comes to MLP, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said it was “off just a bit for the quarter,” but remains highly optimistic that things will pick up considerable as the movie approaches in October. The official launch of merchandise is after Friendship Day on Sunday, July 30th, though Movie merchandise is already hitting stores such as Target and Wal-Mart as well as online where sales are very strong.

“The My Little Pony franchise is well positioned for the October 6 of My Little Pony: The Movie,” said Goldner as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.  “Consumer engagement with the franchise remains high and global retailers are providing cross category support for our innovative new line and expensive consumer products program.”

That may not be truly evident until the fourth quarter as it was noted that consumer products royalties from brands such as MLP and Transformers comes in the quarter after the sales occur. Meaning merchandise sold in August for example. may not be reflected until the fourth quarter presentation.

This is concurrent with the restart of Season Seven and all of the MLP action going on at Hascon in September. So everything looks to be towards the second half of the year for MLP and what a second half it will be.

StatManDan

The Toy Fair Report

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On Friday, Hasbro made their annual presentation at Toy Fair NYC for investors and shareholders. In regards to My Little Pony, apart from the new toys coming,  it’s all about the movie for 2017. The movie, due to be released on October 6th, is billed to be a “whole new entry point” for people who are not already familiar to the franchise in its current form. According to MLP franchise lead, Tyla Bucher, the promotion of the movie will begin with Friendship Day sometime in July and then a product launch in August. Promotional partners are expected to take the brand to “unexpected places.”

Hasbro’s Head of Storytelling Meghan McCarthy was on hand to give a brief description of the new characters to be introduced in the movie:
• Capper – Con Artist Cat, turned hero  (Taye Diggs)
• Tempest – A Unicorn Who’s broken horn speaks to a troubled past (Emily Blunt)
• Songbird Serenade – The Hottest musical act in Equestria (Sia)
• Grubber – Hilarious bumbling side kick to The Storm King (Michael Peña)
• The Storm King – Big Bad Villain of the Movie (Liev Schreiber)
• Captain Caelano – Dynamic Leader of the Parrot Pirate Crew (Zoe Saldana)
• Qyeen Novo – Regal Ruler of the Sea Ponies (Uzo Aduba)
• Skystar – Energetic Daughter of Queen Novo (Kristen Chenoweth)

In addition, Blunt, Sia, Chenoweth, and Diggs will take part in five of the seven songs for the movie.

Perhaps the bigger story was a slide indicating that “The Magic Continues” in 2018. Many will speculate that means an eighth season of Friendship is Magic. We shall see for certain as Season Seven is set to begin this Spring. Whatever way you look at it, My Little Pony is not going anywhere soon and the movie is billed as “just the beginning” as it enters a new phase (not necessarily a new generation).

There was a brief mention of the reboot of Littlest Pet Shop during the presentation which is said to be in its early stages. LPS fans can expect digital  shorts in the Fall and a new animated series set for 2018.

StatManDan

Inside the Numbers: Hasbro’s 2016 Q4 Earnings

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Hasbro continues to be buoyed by Partner Brands such as Star Wars, Disney Princess, Disney’s Frozen, and DreamWorks’ Trolls. Hasbro was up 11% in Q4 compared to this time last year while revenues were up 13% for the year and topped $5 billion for the first time in company history.

Nerf continued its winning streak in Q4 and the year as a whole among franchise brands. Transformers experienced ‘double-digit growth’ in the second half the year according to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner and is set up nicely for their next movie coming out in June. For the quarter, Transformers, Nerf, and Monopoly grew. For the year as a whole, it was Nerf, Play-Doh, and Magic: The Gathering.

As for My Little Pony, it was down for the year domestically, but up internationally.

My Little Pony revenues declined last year, but grew in the International segment,” said Goldner in the Earnings Conference Call as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. Brand engagement continues to build through multi-screen storytelling, and we have an innovative and robust line with new characters and worlds. Retailers and consumer products licensees are significantly supporting both [Transformers and MLP] films. The MLP movie comes out in October.

We are going to know a lot more about MLP around February 18th when Toy Fair NYC begins. It has been a main source for upcoming MLP projects in the past and with the movie and Season 7 coming up, things should be no different. This year was a bit of an off year for the MLP franchise, but Hasbro is expected to pick things up with the ponies this year.

StatManDan

Hasbro Releases 2017 MLP Plans

The press releases are fast and furious this Tuesday. After announcing HASCON for September, Hasbro issued a press release detailing that MLP Season 7 will indeed air on Discovery Family starting next Spring in addition to three Equestria Girl specials (each 22 minutes in length) on the channel that follows the event of “Legend of Everfree”. Also, the full list of guest voices for My Little Pony: The Movie set to come out onOctober 6th, 2017.

Below is the full press release:

Hasbro Announces My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 7 and New My Little Pony: Equestria GirlsSpecials for 2017

PAWTUCKET, R.I., OCT 18, 2016 – Today Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), a global play and entertainment company, announces the 2017 return of two of the company’s most popular series – My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic andMy Little Pony: Equestria Girls.

The franchise’s iconic ‘Mane 6’ ponies will experience their most exciting adventures yet in Season 7 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The series will return to Discovery Family Channel in Spring 2017.

The spirited teens of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls will also return with three brand new TV specials in 2017. These brand new 22-minute specials will follow this year’s popular “Legends of Everfree” TV movie with more fun, fashion and friendship than ever before.

Both of these renewals will help drive excitement for Hasbro’s previously announced animated feature film My Little Pony: The Movie, which will premiere worldwide on October 6, 2017. The film features the voices of some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including nominated actress Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), winning actress Emily Blunt (Into the Woods, Gnomeo & Juliet), winning actress Kristen Chenoweth (Rio 2, The Peanuts Movie), Taye Diggs (Murder in the First and Best Man Holiday), Michael Pena (Ant-Man, The Martian), nominated actor Liev Schrieber (Ray Donovan and Spotlight) and pop super star Sia.

“2017 will be the biggest year in the history of the My Little Pony franchise, including new and exciting stories that will air across television, various digital platforms and movie screens,” said Stephen Davis, EVP and Chief Content Officer of Hasbro. “The characters and humor of the My Little Pony brand appeals to audiences of all ages and demographics, and we think Pony fans are going love what’s in store in the coming year.”

INSIGHT:  Consistent with the belief that Hasbro is ramping up things in 2017 for MLP, this is proof positive that everything will be building up to the movie. Of course, it is unclear at present whether Season 7 will consist of 26 episodes or not. Regardless, the show is all but certain to reach the 150-episode milestone. It will be interesting how EqG will translate into three TV specials vs. one 66-minute feature and surely some intrigue follows after the adventures at Camp Everfree. The list of celebrity voices for the movie are all that were announced previously. We’ve only received bit and pieces for a couple (Schrieber and Blunt) while we know what kind of pony Sia will play.

It is suffice to say that after a relatively low-key 2016 for MLP, 2017 will be anything but in Equestria.

StatManDan

HASCON Announced for September 2017

HasCon LogoHasbro has announced the creation of HASCON, it’s official “fan and family convention” for September 8-10, 2017, at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI. The three-day event is billed “featuring a celebration of Hasbro’s powerful characters and stories, including live interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, panels and much more.” In addition to My Little Pony, other Hasbro brands such as Transformers, G. I. Joe, Magic:  The Gathering, Nerf, Play-Doh, and Monopoly will also be featured in stage performances, previews of movies and TV shows, panels, meet-and-greets, and other interactive experiences.

“Hasbro is home to many of the world’s most recognizable brands, each of them with their own group of passionate and engaged fans,” said John Frascotti, President of Hasbro Brands, in the press release. “HASCON will deliver an extraordinary peek behind the curtain of our brands, storytelling, and iconic characters while giving us the opportunity to invite fans and families to our hometown for the most memorable, unified Hasbro experience ever.”

As of now, HASCON is the same weekend as Equestria LA is scheduled to return. This year, both BronyCon in Baltimore and the Hasbro-sponsored My Little Pony Fair in Schaumburg, IL were held on the same weekend this past July, but the effect that had for either conventions attendance is questionable given other factors such as renovation of the Baltimore Convention Center scheduled in August and attendance at MLP Fair was capped this year after both conventions experienced record crowds in 2015. MLP Fair is expected to occur in 2017, but reportedly with attendance capped at 1,000.

Transformers had their own Hasbro-sponsored convention in the form of Botcon which ran from 1994 to 2016. However, it was announced at Botcon 2016 in Louisville that it would be the last “in its current format,” possible an indication of HASCON at the time.

It will be fascinating to see what happens in 2017 with this new venture from Hasbro as there are also upcoming movies for both MLP and TF as well as big projects for the rest of their franchise brands in the future. There will still be plenty of Brony conventions in 2017, including a new one in Las Vegas set for the weekend of the MLP Movie release.

Whatever way you look at things, the year 2017 promises to be an interesting one for MLP and the rest of Hasbro’s franchise brands.

StatManDan

 

 

Origins of the MLP G4 Fandom: The Two Tribes

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For the record, the following rambling editorial is a recount of the very early days of the fandom.  I call it a rambling editorial as its over 3000 words and was written in a not so sober state.  While the spelling has been checked, there may be plenty of other mistakes lurking around that didn’t appear during my quick review of it.

This editorial covers the early days of the fandom, from its start on 10/10/10 with the show and the six months that followed.  These months of course were very critical to the development of the community, its when the stage was set.  While the title of the article sounds like fanfic, I discuss one topic of interest of mine with the community, namely the evolution of it all.

So in celebration, here is a boring essay on the early days of the fandom.

Read more →

Inside the Numbers: Hasbro’s 2016 Q2 Earnings

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Hasbro continued to be spearheaded by its licensing deals with Star Wars and Disney Princess an Disney Frozen. Revenues overall grew 10% for the second quarter and operating profit grew 12%. The Boys segment was up 4% led by double-digit growth in Nerf, but there were issues with declines for Transformers and Jurassic World which cause a near $6 decline in the company’s stock today. Games was up 8% led by Pie-Face , Duel Masters, and Yahtzee. Preschool was up 5% and led by double-digit growth in Play-Doh. Girls was up 35% and led by Disney Princess and Disney Frozen.

MLP was hardly mentioned in the earnings call which went under 50 minutes. Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said on the conference call that while revenues for MLP were slightly off in the quarter, there are things to look forward to in the second half of the year and leading up to the 2017 movie.

“MY LITTLE PONY declined slightly in the quarter as we transition elements of our toy line,” said Goldner. “Over the past five years, content and innovation has propelled this brand in both games and toys and consumer products.

“MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC season six is currently airing around the world and our fall product line features the core cast inspired by the locations they visit. MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS mini dolls have performed very well, exceeding our expectations, and are helping offset difficult comparisons to a year ago.

“This leads us to next year, when on October 6, 2017, MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE will hit theatres with an all-star cast and global distribution from Lionsgate. The film introduces new characters, new worlds and new play experiences for the MY LITTLE PONY fan.”

A lot of what Hasbro is doing is indeed back-ended and that back end starts with San Diego Comic Con starting Thursday. There are a pair ofTransformers initiatives coming up this year and there’s a 2017 movie. Of course, revenues for Transformers usually face headwinds when there isn’t a movie and we’re currently two years removed from one.

Back to MLP, there is “Legends of Everfree” this Fall and the second half of Season Six starting on July 30th and the first half coming to Netflix the same day. So while this was, given its recent past, and off quarter, there is still plenty to look forward to with an emphasis on the 2017 movie.

StatManDan