Hasbro has managed to get the lucrative Disney Princess license away from Mattel. Starting in 2016, Hasbro will be the manufacturer of Frozen and other Disney princess lines.
I don't know how Mattel let that happen, but that's a huge blow to the company. Disney Princesses is #3 behind Barbie and Monster High for girls fashion dolls.
What do you think?
From what i'mseeing, it looks like this is a bad year for Mattel. With Barbie sales down, lego taking their top spot as toy manufacterer, MH not making much growth (according to wallstreet journal's online mag) and now this news, their shares have taken a knock and they're gonna be stinging.
It makes sense for Disney to give Hasbro their "girl" franchises though, as they've been producing all the "boy" stuff for decades since buying Kenner (Star Wars) and they've done all the Marvel stuff as well.
Getting Frozen isn't the issue here, it's getting ALL Disney princesses and that has been a really lucrative business for Mattel. Great for Hasbro (it'll be interesting to see if they revive any other doll lines, they used to make a lot of dolls.) but bad for Mattel.
I do wonder if this will result in Mattel taking a few more risks to try to get some buzz going though. I can see a lot of Disney stuff being churned out to try to milk the last of the money out of the franchises they can (and as a rep said, Frozen's biggest popularity is gonna be this seasonso they're gonna really milk the hell out of that). Is this also why we're seeing so much churned out for MH? If MH's sales aren't growing as hoped (if that is true) and with us being at that magical 5 year mark, is this why we're getting a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" approach now? There's no denying Mattel have really ramped up their release schedule to a level that's getting hard to keep up with. Is this less about demand and more about getting as much stuff on shelves as possible? (MGA did something similar when they relaunched Bratz, they flooded shelves with Bratz merch)
Does this mean more risks may be taken because there's less to lose and more to gain? (I can dream about getting all those risky characters they've never made dolls of right?)
Still, Mattel has gotta be miffed. This is a huge deal and it brings Hasbro a lot more solidly into the "doll" market.
I kinda hope this means a revival of Hasbro as a major player in the doll market. They've sorta hung to the edges of it for quite a few years, making little animal figures and similar instead. Equestria Girls aside, have Hasbro even GOT any other fashion doll lines right now?
It's a blow to Mattel's overall bottom line, as Disney Princesses were, pre-MH their second top-selling girls toy line. They only fell to #3 following Monster High's explosion in 2012.
My speculation is that Disney decided to go with Hasbro once their contract came up because a) Hasbro is handling several other Disney properties, including Toy Story and, most notably, Star Wars, and b) Mattel woefully underestimated the popularity of Frozen merchandise following the movie's rollout and essentially left money on the table by not having enough product on shelves to satisfy demand in the Easter/Spring season.
The Disney Princess offerings have been pretty stagnant for the last couple of years. It was a lot of the same sort of things being offered over and over again. How does this impact Monster High?
First of all, it leaves a big gap in Mattel's offerings and cuts into the shelf space they dominate in the toy aisle. The most logical move for Mattel is to double down on their closest equivalent, which is Ever After High, and aggressively expand that line during the transitional year 2015, before Hasbro dolls start hitting shelves in 2016. I predict we see a wider range of EAH products in different price points to try to nudge more shelf space for this property.
Monster High is going to be leaned on heavier as well, as Mattel's #2 line. We may see a greater variety of product offerings with smaller numbers of individual characters, more reused molds and more cutting back on extras and frills to make the line leaner and more profitable. 2015 is going to be a year when Mattel changes some of their business plans and redoubles their efforts on their profitable properties to try to regain lost market share from Hasbro and Lego. They bought Mega Blocks earlier this year and I expect we'll see a LOT of lego-like offerings in 2015 to compete.
Thing is, megablocks will always suck. they don't stick together.. like.. at all. You ever handled megablocks? they fail their primary function. You build something, pick it up and it immediately falls apart. Stupid megablocks. Booo.
Didn't they already roll out Barbie megablocks in an attempt to get some of Lego Friend's money? I don't think it worked too well. Certainly i've not seen much more from Barbie megablocks since initial launch.
More EAH at different price points would be great. Honestly I cannot figure out why they hadn't already done that, making every line deluxe pricing seemed like a massive oversight and completely cut out the "impulse buy" market.
Much as i'm not hugely fond of EAH, I do hope we see more boys (Sparrow damnit, we need sparrow. I need that loser in my life hahaha) because they really are my replacement for Bratz Boyz.
MGA are supposed to be rolling out their revamped Bratz in 2015 as well, possibly end of 2015 into 2016 so it'll be interesting to see if that makes any ripples at all.
More competition I see as a good thing. Competition breeds innovation. Too long Mattel has been the top of the heap and I think they really let themselves get compacent. Look at Barbie in the past 10 years, she steadily become safer, cheaper, lazier in design. I have no doubt they were working on the "she sells anyway so why bother" mentality. Particularly when Bratz was off the shelves. Without any real rivals, there's no reason to really innovate. When you control the three biggest selling doll lines, why put effort in when you know they'll sell becuase there's nothing else on the shelves?
Anyone who wants a doll right now, kinda HAS to buy Mattel.
Having Hasbro and MGA back in the game should be interesting. I hope they both bring their all, because Mattel kinda needed this shakeup to get them thinking.
I'd like to see more risks taken with eah and mh, rather than safe options. Safe options kill a franchise imo. It's why Barbie sales slumped, it's why Disney princesses were so dull. "safe" options were their issue, too dull, too predictable, too generic. I'll take reused shoe/bag moulds if it means we get interesting monsters and more dolls of those backgrounders everyone's wanted for years.
I hope this means we will see more ever after high dolls maybe they could do budget swim and ballerina dolls like they did for disney princess hopeful they won't be static. we might see eah mutipack of 3 to 5 dolls as well. More boys would be great. I'm a little nervous about hasbro getting disney princess equestria girls have become all static they haven't done any new articulated ones. I'm hoping for better quality then eg but I'm not sure if that would happen. I hope they are nice like the old sindy and maxie dolls hasbro used to make.
I haven't actually liked a Hasbro doll since Jem I think.
Mattel needs a little competition though. Forever being on top has made "them" lazy and ideas/quality have suffered.
You have no idea how badly I've wanted to see them leverage their DC License into a "Hero High" doll line, ever since I started collecting.
All the other high school trademarks were abandoned; they were likely only registered to 'hide' Ever After High from their competitors.
I don't suppose there is any chance they would start working on a second Monster High spin-off in addition to refocusing or expanding MH and EAH? I appreciate EAH, but have yet to find any reason to buy any of what they have offered yet for myself. Maybe I'd like a Hopper doll? Anyway, they still hold all of those trademarks for other themed high schools don't they? Unless they've all lapsed. I haven't checked.
MH has evolved in subtle ways every year since it began, so unless this Disney situation brings some very significant changes to Monster High I doubt it would feel any different to me than those usual yearly directional tweaks.
Interesting. I'm curious to see how this will work out for MH, and thanks to everyone sharing thoughts and insights on what could be expected. I honestly wouldn't have a clue what to expect myself, haha, so I'm happy to read these comments :)
GOOD! the latest Mattel Disney dolls have been horrible in my opinion. Cheap ugly crap with plastic bodices, no sleeves, greasy balding heads. Maybe Hasbro will make better dolls, and maybe we'll finally see some Mulan & Pocahontas dolls, who Mattel have decided arent worthy of their time even though they are officially in the line...
How on Earth did they LOSE the license?!!! I remember Mattel doing Disney merchandise since Beauty and the Beast (I know Tyco had done The Little Mermid). I think Beauty and the Beast was one of the first Disney movie Mattel worked with because I distinctly remember that Belle could wear Skipper and her friend Courtney's clothes perfectly and also Belle looked like Courtney.