Mattel has been the number one toy manufacturer for years, with Hasbro (a sometimes distant) second. But according to BMO Capitol’s Gerrick Johnson, by way of Richard Gottlieb’s Global Toy News, things are shaking up at the top.
According to Johnson’s analysis, Lego did $4.137 billion in sales in 2012 to Hasbro’s $4.08 billing, beating them by about $53 million and making them the number 2 company. What’s interesting is that when net income is tallied up, Lego actually beats both Mattel and Hasbro by about $215 million and $656 million respectively, making it number 1.
It’s not hard to see Hasbro taking a big hit last year, even if their Star Wars line is just one aspect of their business, we all know how badly it fared. Missteps with the G.I. Joe movie being postponed, Kre-O seemingly doing poorly enough that it’s now a Toys-R-Us exclusive, and even The Avengers line, which sold quickly initially, had trouble finding its way to retail when it came to the later waves.
It’s been our stance that Lego is probably the best overall toy line on the market today and it would seem others agree. We spent more on Lego in 2012 than the previous three or four years combined. The Collectible Minifigure line sucked us in but we stayed for Star Wars, City, Harry Potter and the new Galaxy Squad lines. And maybe some Dino mixed in! Ninjago has seemingly been a hot seller for Lego and the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit sets have been getting a lot of buzz. The new Friends line has also taken off. Having both Marvel and DC in their superheroes line, at a time when both companies have successful movie franchises, doesn’t hurt.
Lego have been increasing sales for nearly a decade and if they continue, could they permanently surpass Hasbro? With heavy hitting Marvel movies coming for the foreseeable future, and new Star Wars films on the horizon, Hasbro is well positioned to do great things, but they definitely need to change up their formula, because even huge hits like the Avengers and the Transformers movies, don’t seem to have been getting it done.