Not surprisingly, Star Wars, Disney’s Frozen, and Disney Princesses led the way for Hasbro as they reported a 16% increase in revenue over this time last year. Revenues in the Boys segment were up 24% and up 41% in the Girls segment. In the case of the latter, that ends a five-quarter skid for the Girls segment as a whole.
The Franchise Brands (Littlest Pet Shop, Monopoly, My Little Pony, Magic: The Gathering, Play-Doh, Nerf, and Transformers) were up 9% in terms of actual sales of toys and games and 1% (+4% absent foreign exchange) in terms of overall revenue. The drawback was that Entertainment and Licensing revenue dropped 30% as last year’s quarter included revenue from a digital streaming deal that included Transformers, LPS, and MLP. Both Nerf and Play-Doh record double-digit gains in revenue while Transformers was again in “difficult comparison” territory as last year, that franchise was coming off a movie.
As far as MLP goes, according to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner—as transcribed by Seeking Alpha—MLP grew in the US and Canada segment and absent FX in the international segment.
“We continue to deliver innovative new product, strong licensing programs and compelling entertainment, including the sixth season of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, which began airing March 26th,” said Goldner.
“In addition, the launch of the new Equestria Girls Mini Dolls! segment is off to a strong start. We are working through some retail inventory within Equestria Girls but we are optimistic about the initial consumer reaction to our new offering and the overall outlook for My Little Pony globally.”
Asked about how he views the MLP brand going forward during the earnings call, Mr. Goldner, said that the company has very robust plans over this and next year.
“My Little Pony‘s next season is just launching now and rolling out around the world, it’s the sixth season for the brand. And the theme this year is all about exploring Equestria and it ties together with lots of the initiatives that we have across the Company. We have very robust plans in multi categories for My Little Pony throughout this year, brand new toys and games products but also I’ve seen some really wonderful product in our consumer products licensing business and apparel that’s out internationally in the UK, very strong results in several categories of products setting all around the world in tune with that theme and that will roll into 2017. And then as you know for fall of 2017 November, we have our first animated feature film that will be distributed by Lionsgate in the My Little Pony movie.
So, we’ll have television entertainment, streaming entertainment across a number of different over the top providers. Kids can find entertainment, both short form and long form. And then they can also find entertainment on digital games with some new digital games that we’ll launch including one new My Little Pony digital game launching from BlackFoot studios; we continue to have a game from Gameloft throughout the year so story telling across a number of different dimensions and continue to feel very good about the brand. And as I’ve mentioned, the new Equestria Girls line and launch is and going off quite well with the new Mini Dolls! segment.”
Goldner also mentioned that MLP’s 12% increase in sales is for both the core brand and for Equestria Girls.
As with last year, there should be plenty to do with MLP in the next three quarters and into 2017. By all indications, it is still full steam ahead with My Little Pony.