Mattel is roaring this morning about the latest win in its effort to secure rights to make toys and other merchandise tied to hit movies. It picked up the master license for Universal’s Jurassic World. The move from Hasbro takes effect in July 2017, in time for the next film in the franchise due in 2018.
Mattel CEO Chris Sinclair vows to develop “multiple new lines of innovative, engaging toys and products.” The subject likely will come up tomorrow when the company releases its Q2 earnings and speaks to analysts.
NBCUniversal Brand Development President Vince Klaseus calls Jurassic World “a brand that has been reaching consumers for more than twenty years on everything from video games, toys and apparel, to theme park attractions and live events.”
Hasbro chief Brian Goldner foreshadowed today’s announcement yesterday in a call with analysts to discuss his company’s Q2 earnings. He said that “we have made the decision” to drop the Jurassic World line “because we were unable to arrive at a mutually beneficial financial arrangement on that brand.”
Last year, which included a film release, the company saw about $100 million in Jurassic World related retail sales. But that also meant that this year’s sales of merchandise targeted at boys was “down significantly,” Goldner said.
Mattel and NBCUniversal already had a relationship: Last month they agreed to expand their global merchandise plans for Fast & Furious.
Mattel could use a boost as it seeks to revive its mainstay Barbie line. Over the last two years its shares have lost 9.8% of their value while Hasbro appreciated nearly 53%.
In tomorrow’s Q2 report “Barbie could fall a modest 2.5% (versus -19% last year and -3.4% in 1Q16),” MKM Partners’ Eric Handler says. Even so, he believes that the “revamped product line is resonating well with consumers and much of the decline is currency related” — tied to the strength of the U.S. dollar vs foreign currencies.
Last year Mattel lost the rights to the Disney Princess line to Hasbro.
But last week Mattel and Warner Bros. Consumer Products unveiled global expansion plans for their Super Hero Girls line featuring Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee, Poison Ivy, and Katana.