Tag: Hasbro

Inside the Numbers: Hasbro’s Q3 Earnings

Whatever way you look at the box office receipts from My Little Pony:  The Movie, one metric in which Hasbro does measure the success of the movie is in toy sales. On that end, it is doing its job. MLP broke its quarterly losing streak in the 3rd quarter as it was listed as one of the franchise brands leading Hasbro’s growth in the quarter alongside Nerf, Transformers, and Monopoly. Franchise Brands increased 7% as a whole while Gaming (which also included Monopoly) rose 22%. Emerging Brands were up 9% led by gains in Furreal Friends and Baby Alive. Partner Brands declined by 2% as gains in Star Wars, Sesame Street, Beyblade, and Disney Descendants were offset by declines in Yokai Watch and Dreamworks’ Trolls.

Hasbro as a whole grew revenues by 7% while operating profit was relatively flat and was negatively impacted by the recent bankruptcy filing of Toys R Us. Hasbro is reported to receive 9% of its revenue from sales at Toys R U and is exposed to $60 million of the toy retailer’s $5 billion debt in terms of unsecured claims for payment.

“My Little Pony revenue increased behind the release of MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE and successfully drove point-of-sale gains around the movie debut,” said Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “Our content to commerce model delivers multiple revenue streams, including entertainment and merchandise and we are well positioned in our investment.

“The film was successful in reinvigorating and energizing our core consumer base and our fan base, while inviting new fans into the brand. The film is yet to be released in a number of international markets and will be followed by the Home Entertainment window, an important element of expanding the audience.”

Goldner also shared that the movie was made on “modest budget” and that Lionsgate pre-sells the film in “substantial part of the global marketplace” and self-distribute in the UK and most of Latin America.

“The rest of the markets they are pre-selling, so you get that recoupment right up front around your production expense,” Goldner continued. “The movie itself, if you take it through the waterfall should be a contributor to the company over time. Obviously, it may not occur in the — by the fourth quarter this year, because obviously our expenses for producing the movie will hit in the fourth quarter this year, but again, remember it’s a modest budget. However, all the streams of income that it’s creating, including consumer products are toys and games business. The digital game that’s performing at a very high-level from Budge Studios and new games that are coming we think it’s a great model for the brand. And of course we continue with the 7th season of the television that’s appearing globally on linear television services as well as in stream services, it’s a very strong performer on Netflix and other services. We see this as a very good model for us go forward.”

Goldner still has belief in the model for MLP going into 2018 and thinks “the team is beginning to think about what our next movie might look like” and that brand will continue to halo strongly. Goldner also stated in the earnings call that revenues for MLP year-to-date are also now on the plus side.

Because of the Toys R Us bankruptcy, Hasbro expects more modest growth in the fourth quarter. However, they also expect MLP to be a big player in the months ahead as MLP heads to video in the near future and the show enters its eighth season in 2018. We are not certain as to interpret Mr. Goldner’s comments about what the ’next movie’ he mentioned will be a new MLP Movie, though fans wouldn’t mind that in the slightest. He feels that there was enough to reinvigorate the core consumer base and fan base, so we’ll see what happens over the next couple of quarters.

StatManDan

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.

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