Toy market news

Mattel sales spiked 19% in 2021 powered by dolls, action figures, vehicles

Iconic toy brands fueled a big year for Mattel as the company managed to grow sales and income despite global supply chain challenges

The company reported its fourth quarter and full-year earnings for 2021 reflecting net sales of $5.46 billion for the year - a 19% increase - $1.8 billion of which arrived during Q4. The sales success was accompanied by improvements in operating income and net income for the year, though gross margin took a slight hit attributed to inflation and supply chain issues, partially offset by pricing changes.

In the toy department, Mattel’s net sales and gross billings spiked 22% for the year in North America. Meanwhile, global growth was fueled by gross billings increases across its top categories.

Gross billings for the combined action figures, building sets, games, and other category grew 32%, driven by action figures - including Masters of the Universe, WWE, and Jurassic World - plush, and building sets from MEGA Bloks and MEGA Construx. The doll category grew 22% for the year, driven by demand for Barbie, Spirit, and Polly Pocket while vehicles spiked 13%, driven primarily by strong growth in Hot Wheels and Matchbox. Finally, gross billings for the infant, toddler, and preschool category grew 6% with increased demand for Fisher-Price, Thomas & Friends, and Power Wheels products.

While it took a 6% dip in Q4 running up against strong comps from 2020, the American Girl brand finished the year with a 5% gain in net sales and a 4% increase in gross billings.

Looking ahead, the company raised its guidance for 2022 anticipating an 8-10% increase in net sales, and raised guidance for 2023 with net sales gains of the high single digits expected.

Mattel EMEA was the fastest growing region. In Q4, gross sales were up 18% (570 Mio. US-Dollar) and POS was up in the mid-single digits. For the full year, gross sales were up 20% and POS was up in the low double digits. In the NPD ranking, Mattel EMEA was the fastest growing manufacturer in the top 5 for 2021.


Press release