On Friday, Hasbro made their presentation to investors at Toy Fair 2016 in New York City. This is where a more detailed view of things can be measured as well as previewing some of the upcoming toys and tie-ins.
When it comes to My Little Pony, it continues to be a “billion-dollar franchise at retail. The global growth of the core brand continues upward including FX according to Franchise Leader Tyla Bucher including 17% in North American and 43% in the Asia-Pacific region. Friendship is Magic is now being seen in over 190 territories. There were 15 million new app users to the MLP app bringing its global user total to 50 million. There was also a 22% growth in Consumer Products growth (aka licensing) and a 32% increase in PR and Social Media impression.
Season 6 is set to start in May on Discovery Family with the theme of “Explore Equestria” which might prove to be a segue to the upcoming movie on November 3rd, 2017. Speaking of the movie, it was announced that actress Emily Blunt (Sicario) will voice a character in the movie.
The fourth Equestria Girls movie will be titled, “Legends of Everfree” where the girls will go camping. It will stream on Netflix in the Fall prior to airing on Discovery Family. The first ten minutes of the film will be released in Summer on YouTube.
As far as toys are concerned, Hasbro previewed the new Baby Flurry Heart and Guardians of Harmony lines both set to debut in Fall.
When asked about potential challenges in marketing MLP as it is “limited” to the girls’ aisle, Hasbro Brands President John Frascotti had this response:
“It’s all about “Friendship is Magic”, said Frascotti. “As we look at expanding that across audiences, what we find is that the brand has a credible authenticity. Last year in out licenses which we now call Consumer Products, [MLP] was one of our fastest growing opportunities in all types of aisles from apparel to consumables. As we look to expanding to Preschool and “Guardians of Harmony,” I don’t think we should think about Pony as being ‘limited’ to the girls’ aisle. In fact, we look at viewership in the United States, over 30% of viewership is actually boys.
“So the brand is evolving into an all-inclusive gender brand. And while it traditionally started as a girls’ brand, it really has the legs to go just about anywhere.”
Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner added that social media reception to Guardians of Harmony has been “altogether positive” and that they will work with retailers on how to market the line.
MLP had 18 slides in the 232-slide presentation. Play-Doh which experienced another record year with 47% revenue growth absent FX, had the most slides with 20. Play-Doh celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Nerf became Hasbro’s largest brand in 2015 also experiencing a record year with its various array of blasters. Transformers will have three movies coming up starting from 2017 with the fifth movie in the main series. The 2018 movie will focus on Bumblebee. Unfortunately, there were no slides devoted to Littlest Pet Shop.