Toy market news

Mattel crushes estimates to deliver best Q1 earnings on record

The Hot Wheels are revved up, Barbie is headed to the big screen, and the Power of Grayskull is back in a big way as Mattel reported double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2022.

The global toy and entertainment company says that sales spiked 19% in the first three months of the year as it defeated supply chain issues and inflation to chart net sales of $1.04 billion for the quarter. Mattel’s operating income spiked 136% over the same period last year to $80 million while its adjusted EBITDA hit $152 million, a 65% increase.

Back in February, Mattel revealed that 2021 was a banner year for the company as Kreiz declared its turnaround complete. Now, as the company moves forward in growth mode, the previously announced guidance for 2022 and goals for 2023 remain intact. The company is placing short-term focus on keeping new products flowing into retailers while stocking up for the holidays and prepping for the return of licensed business now that theaters are open and tie-in products are back in sync.

Growth in net sales, gross billings

In North America, net sales for toys grew 26% versus Q1 2021 alongside a 25% spike in gross billings for new product shipments. Growth was achieved across nearly all categories, with Hot Wheels, Barbie, Jurassic World, Lightyear, MEGA, Fisher-Price, Thomas & Friends, and Polly Pocket called out as top brands in Q1. One notable drop came from American Girl, which declined 22% versus the same period last year.

Both net sales and gross billings in the international markets spiked 16%, a welcome number given current challenges across Europe and Asia.

Worldwide gross billings for dolls were up 4% while infant, toddler, and preschool saw a 12% spike. Vehicles powered up a 31% gain in gross billings while the combined category of action figures, building sets, games, and other spiked 41%.

Looking ahead, Mattel expects net sales to grow 8-10% in 2022 as a whole.