Mattel kicked off 2021 with a bang with net sales up 47% over last year. Net sales reached $874 million in the first quarter.
“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 the acceleration of our business,” said Mattel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ynon Kreiz. “After 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 top line growth in 2021 and beyond. “
In the first quarter, Mattel saw a 67% increase in net sales and gross billings in North America. Worldwide gross billings for dolls, including Barbie and Spirit, increased 68%; the company saw a 31% gain in infants, toddlers and preschoolers, including Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends; 16% vehicle growth, including Hot Wheels and Matchbox; and 69% growth in 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 gross billings and net sales by 22%.
International segment net sales increased by 30%.
Mattel says Hot Wheels sales increased 16% across all segments and Barbie soared 86%, with outlets showing a 66% increase. Fisher-Price’s core business is up 36% with a 24% boom in infants and newborns. Thomas & Friends is 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 UNO growth. Building and building sets are up 46% due to increased distribution of MEGA Construx products, particularly Pokémon and Halo.
E-commerce sales increased 58% in the first quarter.
During the quarterly earnings call with investors and analysts, Kreiz noted that net sales in the first quarter were up 27% from 2019, a strong performance compared to the pre-COVID-19 era. . Kreiz also says Mattel updated its guidance for 2021 to reflect expected 6-8% sales growth.
The company notes that its operating profit was $31 million, an increase of $181 million and the first positive Q1 since 2014.
Entertainment continues to be a high priority for Mattel going forward.
Mattel Films has 12 feature films in various stages of development, including titles based on American Girl, Barbie, Barney, Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, UNO, View-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 recently announced Barbie Fashion Battle and Whac-A-Mole.