The Transforming Toy Industry Mattel And Hasbro Marketing Essay

During the 1700s, a concern would bring forth playthings as a secondary merchandise line – for illustration, cobblers would pare wooden playthings in their downtime. However, as the state moved into the nineteenth century, companies were formed expressly for the industry and sale of playthings. Manufacturers started to experiment with different mediums such as Sn and rubber – the mid-1800s proverb a rush in new and advanced thoughts, such as the authoritative rocking Equus caballus. By 1900, there were over 500 plaything makers in the United States, which jointly employed over 4,000 workers.

The early twentieth century and the Great Depression had a major impact on the plaything industry. Hundreds of makers went out of concern, and those that survived did so by fabricating cheaper plaything and accepting a lower net income border. Toys were designed and marketed to appeal to a less flush market and the plaything soldier was highly popular, in portion due to the looming war in front. Two of today ‘s largest and most popular trade names, Fisher-Price and Playskool, survived this epoch by concentrating their attending on educational playthings for the baby, yearling and pre-school ( ITP ) market.

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The plaything industry began to boom after the terminal of WW II, which coincided with the coming of telecasting. The telecasting consequence had an tremendous impact in the demand for playthings because companies would now be able to appeal straight to their mark market – the kid. No longer did the company have to appeal to the parent by marketing educational or career-minded playthings ( such as Happy Homemaker dolls for immature misss ) . Now companies could make their mark clients through two mediums: 1 – Ad through commercials during telecasting plans and 2 – Licensing the rights to bring forth playthings based on popular telecasting shows, such as the Mickey Mouse Show. It was during the fiftiess that Mattel Inc. broke the cast in footings of advertisement – traditionally, plaything companies purchased publicizing musca volitanss during the Christmas season merely. In an aggressive move, Mattel bought one old ages worth of publicizing musca volitanss on the Mickey Mouse Show, which proved to be a really successful investing as the advertisement improved their gross revenues by 52 % , relatively. After seeing Mattel ‘s success with this type of run, other plaything companies rapidly followed suit. Children responded highly good to this type of advertisement, and parents wanted to do their kids happy.

During the ulterior half of the twentieth century, angry parents began to force back against the plaything companies. The plaything industry was basically unregulated and many playthings were insecure and promoted force and aggression. In the overall war against the plaything industry, these angry parents won one conflict ( safety ) , but lost another ( advertisement. ) In a response to the lobbying by concerned parents, the Federal Government passed the Consumer Product Safety Act in 1972 and updated this act via the Consumer Product Safety Improvement act of 2008. One of the chief dogmas of the original act was to necessitate plaything companies to subject batches of their merchandises to independent research labs for proving. The Act besides established a Consumer Product Safety Commission which retained the authorization to prosecute callbacks on merchandises that were deemed to be insecure. The Improvement Act of 2008 posed stricter proving demands and defined new “ unacceptable ” degrees of certain substances, specifically lead and phthalates. Many industry participants considered the Improvement Act to be controversial because it affected many companies and the costs of implementing the increased testing were plenty to coerce smaller retail merchants out of concern. While an exact figure of wedged concerns has non yet been calculated, it is estimated to be in the 1000s. The parents had won the safety conflict, but they finally lost the advertisement conflict. In 1980, Congress sided with the plaything industry and allowed companies the right to freely publicize their merchandises straight to kids.

Current State of the Toy Industry

Mattel, Inc. ( Mattel ) and Hasbro, Inc. ( Hasbro ) have emerged as the # 1 and # 2 participants in today ‘s competitory plaything industry. Today ‘s plaything landscape is highly competitory and does non endure from a high degree of company/competitor concentration. Per the most recent available informations from the U.S Economic Census, the Concentration Ratios for the plaything industry have ranged from 35-44 ( for the 4 largest companies ) over the past 20 old ages. The Herfindahl-Hirshman Index for the same clip period besides reflects this degree of competition, runing from 410-527 for the same clip period. ( See Exhibit 3 )

5-Forces Analysis

I – Competition among constituted houses: Harmonizing to the economic information as supplied by the US Census, the plaything industry is an highly competitory market. The industry contains a comparatively high figure of companies and the four largest companies historically have controlled less than 40 % of the market. Due to the fact that there is such a high figure of companies, competition among rivals is intense – many companies are viing for the same mark consumer, whether it be the parent or the kid.

Mattel has emerged as the taking maker of kids ‘s playthings, capturing 12 % market portion in 2009. Mattel is behind some of the most popular plaything trade name on today ‘s market – Barbie, American Girl, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, and Matchbox. The direction of Mattel is to the full cognizant of the intense competition of this altering market topographic point, as noted in the 2009 Annual Report, “ Competition among the above companies is escalating due to recent tendencies towards shorter life rhythms for single plaything merchandises, the phenomenon of kids outgrowing plaything at younger ages, and an increasing usage of high engineering in playthings. In add-on, a little figure of retail merchants account for a big part of all plaything gross revenues, command the shelf infinite from which toys are viewed, and have direct contact with parents and kids through in-store purchases, vouchers, and print advertizements. Such retail merchants can and make advance their ain private-label playthings, facilitate the sale of rivals ‘ playthings, and apportion shelf infinite to one type of plaything over another. ”

II – Hazard of entry by possible rivals: The hazard of entry by possible rivals is moderate. The plaything industry has several barriers to entry – economic systems of graduated table, high fixed costs, slow market growing, and a concentration of demanding retail merchants. However, here is small in the manner of authorities ordinances, specific patents, or proprietary cognition. There are many chances for niche markets and with the ability to sell toys via the Internet, entree to distribution channels is non an obstruction.

III – Menace of replacements: The really nature of the plaything industry ‘s mark market ( which is now the kid, instead than the parent ) has minimized the impact of the dainty of replacements. Anyone with a immature kid can state an economic expert that the menace of replacements for most playthings is low – when a kid wants a peculiar doll that looks like their favourite Sesame Street character, no replacement on the market will do. Parents, in bend, have high demand for educational and developmental plaything for which they are non willing to accept replacements.

IV – Dickering power of purchasers: Playthings are by and large sold to retail merchants, who in bend, sell them to the terminal client. In the current economic environment, there is a little group of retail merchants that presently influence the plaything market – Walmart, Target, and Toys R Us. For illustration, these three retail merchants accounted for 40 % of Mattel ‘s 2009 gross. This degree of purchaser concentration means that important control can be exercised by purchasers when monetary value puting. In times of economic recessions, when consumers are passing less of their discretional income on non-essentials, such as playthings, the big retail ironss must take down their monetary values to vie. And the plaything industry has no pick but to assent to the purchaser power if they want to keep positive relationship.

V – Dickering power of providers: Natural stuffs for the plaything industry are available from a assortment of beginnings, none of which are peculiarly concentrated. However, during the past few old ages, there has been an addition in the usage of plastic rosin in the plaything fabrication procedure. A cardinal chemical constituent of plastic rosin is crude oil, hence oil monetary values have a direct impact on net incomes ) .

Market Leaders – Mattel and Hasbro

The unchallenged leaders of today ‘s plaything industry are Mattel ( # 1 ) and Hasbro ( # 2 ) . The two plaything giants jointly owned 23 % market portion, based on 2009 gross revenues. In the mid 90 ‘s, Mattel attempted to buy Hasbro but was met with opposition from Hasbro ‘s senior direction and finally Mattel ‘s command was dropped. More rumours of a possible amalgamation circulated in 2005 when both companies experienced important discounting menaces from their major clients, Walmart and Target. However, the rumours and guess were ne’er founded, and the two plaything giants continue to vie against each other.

Mattel, Inception To Current State

Mattel was started in 1945 by Harold Mattson and Eliot Handler. The company was chiefly focused on fabricating doll-house furniture. Mattson finally sold his ownership portion to Handler and the company went on to fabricate a broad assortment of playthings. In add-on to fabricating playthings, Mattel decided to patronize the Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, which was a pioneering and really successful selling measure which provided direct entree to 1000000s of immature possible clients.

The celebrated Barbie ( named after Eliot Handler ‘s girl ) was brought to market in 1959 and the company went public in 1960. After traveling public, gross gross revenues increased to $ 75 million and the celebrated Hot Wheels line was launched in 1968. Over the following 20 old ages, there was a series of direction and alterations in scheme – the Handlers were forcibly removed from direction in 1074 and the company proceeded to get non-toy concern, such as publication and amusement ( Barnum & A ; Bailey circus ) . By the 1980s, the company had grosss in surplus of $ 1 billion, but a net loss of $ 93 million. In an attempt to recapitalize and avoid bankruptcy, new direction sold all of Mattel ‘s non-toy involvements, cut fabrication capacity by 40 % and terminated 22 % of it ‘s corporate staff.

In 1991, Mattel acquired Fisher-Price, which proved to be instrumental to the success of the company today. The 1990 ‘s besides brought alterations to exceed direction – Jill Barad took over as CEO, throw outing John Amerman and his 10 twelvemonth term of office. Ms. Barad ‘s focal point was to add new life to the Barbie trade name. Additional cardinal acquisitions during this clip were the acquisition of Tyco Toys in 1997 ( Matchbox autos and Tickle Me Elmo ) and the Pleasant Company, which is now knows as American Girl, one of Mattel ‘s most successful trade names. Ms. Barad besides attempted to streamline operations via a 1999 restructuring, shuting several workss and puting off 3,000 employees. vitamin D reconstituting Mattel in 1999, shuting workss and puting off 3,000 workers.

After an unsuccessful journey into the package concern, Ms. Barad resigned as CEO and was replaced by Bob Eckert, who is still presently in this place. Under Mr. Eckert ‘s leading, in 2000 the Fisher-Price subordinate began to capitalise on it ‘s well-known name and announced that it would get down to sell kids ‘s dress and toys on the cyberspace and through direct-mail catalogs. In add-on, at this clip Mattel began to spread out their licensing plans, subscribing an expecially moneymaking trade for playthings and games based on Barney, Television ‘s most lovable violet dinosaur.

2007 was a ambitious twelvemonth for Mattel as the company was under fire for a series of callbacks related to high degrees of lead in toys manufactured in China and potentially risky little magnets in certain playthings. After larning that certain Chinese-made Fisher-Price plaything may incorporate risky degrees of lead pigment, Mattel recalled one million plaything, which included some of Mattel ‘s most popular characters, such as Dora the Explorer, Elmo, and Big Bird. The 2nd callback included 440,000 dice cast playthings from the Cars film and 18 million playthings due to potentially

risky little magnets included in Polly Pocket, Barbie dolls, and Batman action figures. The 3rd callback, in September 2009, pertained to 775,000 Barbie accoutrements that were believed to incorporate insecure degrees of lead pigment. The fiscal toll of these callbacks was extended – the company estimates the impact related to these callbacks to be $ 50 million in merchandise returns and related disbursals. Additionally, Mattel is expecting higher legal measures related to class-action suits filed against the company on behalf of parents seeking payment for medical proving for their kids. In 2009, Mattel paid a $ 2.3 million civil punishment to settle allegations that they wittingly imported and sold playthings that violated a Federal lead pigment prohibition. In a response to the concern and judicial proceeding over the lead content in playthings, Mattel has agreed to take down the acceptable degree of lead in imported playthings to 90 parts per million. 600 parts per million is the current Federal criterion.

2009 marked Barbie ‘s fiftieth birthday, an event that Mattel marked with a yearlong jubilation. However, Mattel lost its Sesame Street licencing concern to Hasbro the same twelvemonth. As a consequence of recent fiscal events – regulative mulcts, higher legal measures, increased disbursals for merchandise testing, higher stuffs and labour costs – Mattel raised their monetary values in June 2009. Management besides cut 1,000 occupations, efficaciously cut downing professional employees by 10 % .

In 2009, the company employed 27,000 employees worldwide and reported gross gross revenues of $ 5.4 billion ( see Exhibit 1 ) . Mattel ‘s major and most recognizable trade names are:

1 – Barbie: manner doll and accoutrements, Barbie is the figurehead trade name for Mattel and one of the most recognizable and controversial trade names in the universe.

2 – Fisher Monetary value: educational playthings for babies and pre-school age kids.

3 – American Girl: line of dolls, books, and accoutrements targeted towards pre-teen misss

Hasbro, Inception To Current State

Hasbro was founded in 1923 as by two brothers – Henry and Helal Hassenfeld. The company, so named Hassenfeld Brothers, was originally founded to administer fabric leftovers, but by 1926 they were fabricating and administering fabric-covered pencil boxes and pencils. In the 1940s, they branched into the plaything industry by presenting fabric-covered boxes that contained nurse and physician kits. The success of this venture enabled the Hassenfeld Brothers to get down a plaything division, which made history when it was the first company to utilize telecasting to advance a plaything – Mr. Potato Head, in 1952.

Hassenfeld Brothers rapidly expanded and in the early 1960s, it introduced the GI Joe doll, which rapidly became it ‘s best marketer. In 1968, the company went public and changed it ‘s name to Hasbro Industries. The plaything division and the pencil division were headed by different household members, who had different company visions. These differences caused the company to divide in 1980 – the plaything division continued to run under the Hasbro name and the pencil division became a separate corporation.

Stephen Hassenfeld became CEO in 1980 and Hasbro expanded rapidly under his direction. Mr. S Hassenfeld wanted to pare down the plaything offerings, preferring to concentrate attempts on developing a line of playthings aimed at specific markets. In order to make this, he made the bold move of cut downing the figure of merchandise offerings by one-third. During this decennary, Hasbro made two cardinal acquisitions – Milton Bradley ( a major board game maker ) and PlaySkool ( a major preschool plaything maker ) ; to boot the wildly successful Transformer line of plaything was released. Mr. S Hassenfeld died in 1989 and was succeeded as Chief executive officer by his brother, Alan Hassenfeld.

In 1996, Hasbro successfully blocked a hostile coup d’etat effort by Mattel and in 1997 was able to procure an sole four twelvemonth trade to bring forth all NLF-related playthings and games. In an attempt to spread out it ‘s presences in the hi-tech plaything niche, Hasbro made several high tech acquisitions in 1998 – Tiger Electronicss, rights to 75 Atari place console game rubrics, MicroProse, and Galoob Toys. Tiger Electronics proved to be a really successful acquisition because is had the “ it ” plaything of the 1998 season – an synergistic speaking doll named Furby. Hasbro besides executed restructuring programs, cutting 20 % of it ‘s work force ( 2,400 occupations ) .

Hasbro has been really successful in it ‘s licensing ventures for films and other signifiers of media. The company paid $ 600 million for the right to do the plaything for the Star Wars prequels. The return on investing was rather positive, as the gross revenues of Star Wars merchandises contributed about 20 % of Hasbro ‘s 2005 gross, or $ 700 million. One of Hasbro ‘s major competitory hurdlings is how to vie with Mattel ‘s Barbie franchise. In order to make so, Hasbro has been licencing extra superheroes – the company has rights to more than 5,000 Marvel characters, such as Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Captain America. The licensing understanding between Hasbro and Marvel Comics is in consequence until 2017. The company besides had rights to dally gross revenues for major theatre blockbusters, such as Ironman and Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen.

Hasbro scored a major putsch by subscribing a trade with Sesame Workshop to do Sesame Street playthings and games for such characters as Elmo, Big Bird, and Cookie Monster. This licensing understanding had been with Mattel for the old decennary. Hasbro plans to convey these new merchandises to market in 2011 through the Playskool unit. Hasbro is besides concentrating on the digital universe of gamers, partnering with Electronic Humanistic disciplines to make video game versions of some of its authoritative board games. Titles are get downing to go available on major platforms, such as bet oning consoles ( Wii, GameBoy ) , nomadic phones, and Personal computers.

In 2009, the company employed 5,800 employees worldwide and reported gross gross revenues of $ 4.1 billion ( see Exhibit 2 ) . Hasbro ‘s major and most recognizable trade names are:

1 – PlaySkool – baby and preschool

2 – Board Games – classics such as Monopoly, Twister, Battleship, Yahtzee, etc.

3 – Boys/Girls toys – Transformers, GI Joe, My Little Pony, Play-Doh, Nerf

Ad and Marketing Strategy

Mattel and Hasbro support their merchandise lines with extended advertisement and consumer publicities, including telecasting and wireless commercials, print and cyberspace ads, in-store shows, sweepstakes, and major events concentrating on links with major media events, such as films. In old ages that the either Mattel or Hasbro would bring forth a important part of its gross from merchandises related to a major gesture image release, publicizing disbursal as a per centum of gross by and large decreases, because it does non take the same degree of advertisement disbursals to back up these merchandises.

During 2009, 2008, and 2007, Mattel incurred disbursals of $ 609.8 million ( 11.2 % of net gross revenues ) , $ 719.2 million ( 12.2 % of net gross revenues ) , and $ 708.8 million ( 11.9 % of net gross revenues ) , severally, for advertisement and publicity. During 2009, 2008, and 2007, Hasbro incurred disbursals of $ 412.6 million ( 10.1 % of net gross revenues ) , $ 454.6 million ( 11.3 % of net gross revenues ) , and $ 434.7 million ( 11.3 % of net gross revenues ) , severally, for advertisement and publicity.

Exhibit 1: Mattel Income Statements

Exhibit ___ : Hasbro Financial Statements

Exhibit 2: US Economic Census Industry Concentration Ratios ; NAICS Code 339931, Doll and Toy Manufacturing


# of companies

Value of Cargos

Concentration Ratios

Herfindahl-Hirshman Index for 50 larges companies

4 largest companies

8 largest companies

20 largest companies

50 largest companies



$ 4.05B








$ 4.76B








$ 4.18B








$ 3.38B








$ 4.48B








$ 2.72B





Not Avail



$ 1.73B





Not Avail

Concentration Ratio = per centum of market portion owned by the largest 4 ( by and large accepted ) houses in the industry. If the CR is less than 40 ( i.e. the top 4 houses own less than 40 % of the market ) , the industry is considered to be really competitory. Conversely, if the CR is higher than 90, this signifies that one house controls more than 90 % of the market, which is efficaciously a monopoly.

Herfindahl – Hirschman Index = provides an extra step of industry concentration. An HHI of less than 1000 signifies a comparatively unconcentrated market ; between 1000-1800 signifies a reasonably concentrated market and above 1800 signifies a extremely concentrated market.

Exhibit 3: Mattel, Worldwide Gross saless of Barbie franchise

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Exhibit 4: Mattel and Hasbro stock monetary value history


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