Source: Mattel

Mattel kicked off 2021 in a big way with net sales spiking 47% over last year. Net sales hit $874 million in Q1.

“This was another record quarter for the company, with truly exceptional results reflecting the success of the turnaround, as we continue to drive transformational improvements and acceleration in our business,” says Mattel Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz. “Following the third consecutive quarter of growing market share, we are strengthening our position as a consistent leader in the toy industry. We believe we are very well-positioned to improve profitability and accelerate topline growth in 2021 and beyond.”

In Q1, Mattel experienced a 67% spike in overall North American net sales and gross billings.  Global gross billings for dolls, including Barbie and Spirit was up 68%; the company charted a 31% gain in infant, toddler, and preschool, including Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends; 16% growth in vehicles, including Hot Wheels and Matchbox; and 69% growth in the combined action figures, building sets, games, other categories led by Masters of the Universe, Jurassic World, plush, MEGA Brands, and games, including UNO. American Girl increased by 22% in gross billings and net sales.

Net Sales in the International segment increased 30%.

Mattel says that sales of Hot Wheels were up 16% across all segments and that Barbie spiked a massive 86% with POS showing a 66% increase. The Fisher-Price core business was up 36% with a 24% boom in infant and newborn. Thomas & Friends was up 8%. Action figures are up 101%, driven by sales of Jurassic World, WWE, and Masters of the Universe. Games are up 25% year-over-year with strong growth in UNO. Building and construction sets are up 46% due to increased distribution for MEGA Construx products, particularly Pokémon and Halo.

E-commerce sales grew 58% in Q1.

On the quarterly earnings call with investors and analysts, Kreiz noted that net sales in Q1 increased 27% over 2019, a strong showing against the pre-COVID-19 era. Kreiz also says that Mattel updated its 2021 guidance to reflect an anticipated 6-8% growth in sales.

The company notes that its operating income was $31 million, an increase of $181 million and the first positive Q1 since 2014.

Related: From Shelf to Screen: The Dramatic Evolution from Toymakers to Entertainment Companies

Entertainment continues to be a big focus for Mattel looking ahead.

Mattel Films has 12 features in various stages of development, including titles based on American Girl, BarbieBarneyHot WheelsMagic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, UNOView-Master, and Wishbone. Additionally, Mattel Television has nearly 20 shows and specials in production with more than 25 in development, including The UNO Game Show and the recently announced Barbie Fashion Battle and Whac-A-Mole.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.