It's all fun and games at Hasbro, the #2 toy maker in the US (after Mattel) and the producer of such childhood favorites as G.I. Joe, Play-Doh, Tonka toys, Mr. Potato Head, Nerf balls, and My Little Pony. Besides toys, Hasbro makes board games under its Milton Bradley (Scrabble, Candy Land), Cranium, and Parker Brothers (Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit) brands, as well as trading cards such as Magic: The Gathering (through its Wizards of the Coast unit) and Dungeons & Dragons. Hasbro also makes Star Wars action figures; the company's the licensee of action figures and games for the prequels. Besides Disney and Disney's Marvel Entertainment, Hasbro licenses popular names and characters for toys and games.
Hasbro rings up more than 50% of its sales in North America. Europe is its largest international market, accounting for nearly two-thirds of overseas sales. Other important foreign markets for the toy company include Latin America and the Asia Pacific Region. Hasbro has operations in emerging markets including Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Korea, Peru, and Colombia.
Sales and Marketing
Hasbro relies on a few customers for more than a third of its sales. Wal-Mart (with 17%), Toys R Us (11%), and Target (10%) are its top three major customers. In the US, approximately 64% of the toy maker's net revenue is derived from these top three chains.
Hasbro's sales declined nearly 5% to about $4.1 billion in 2012, compared with nearly $4.3 billion in 2011. Net income declined 13% over the same period. Sales by the company's boys segment -- Hasbro's largest -- fell more than 13% versus 2011, and sales of toys for preschoolers dipped nearly 5%. The company's girls business segment posted a 7% jump in sales primarily due to new initiatives including the introduction of Furby and One Direction products. while game sale rose 2%. Hasbro's entertainment and licensing business posted a 12% uptick in annual sales due to distribution of TV programming, while sales in the US and Canada fell 6% and the international business posted a 4% decline. The strong US dollar took a toll on international sales. In recent years Hasbro has struggled to grow sales and profits consistently, returning relatively flat annual sales comparisons and lackluster profit growth.
To ignite sales growth the toy maker is looking to revitalize its existing brands, while developing new ones on a global scale. In North America the company is looking to entertainment experiences such as movies, TV, publishing, and digital gaming to promote its brands. Beyond North America Hasbro seeks to expand in Eastern Europe and in emerging markets in Asia and Latin and South America.
Hasbro is looking for growth from The Hub, its multi-platform joint venture with cable programming giant Discovery Communications launched in 2010. The children's TV channel offers family and educational programming targeted at children ages 11 and younger based on Hasbro's brands, including G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, and Scrabble. The partners also created a website (hubworld.com) that features related interactive content. To supply its joint venture with content and programming, the company formed Hasbro Studios.
The TV and online venture exemplifies Hasbro's long-term strategy to extended its brands into the digital world via long-term partnerships. To that end, the company teamed up with Electronic Arts (EA) to create video game versions of some of its classic board games, such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and Yahtzee. Titles are available for major platforms, including gaming consoles, mobile phones, and PCs. EA launched a full line-up of games that incorporate the toy maker's classic brands during 2009.
Hasbro also hopes to capitalize on a licensing agreement with Sesame Workshop to make Sesame Street toys and games with the rights to the Elmo, Big Bird, and Cookie Monster names. Hasbro has also been busy enlisting more superheroes to bring rival Mattel and its Barbie down a notch. Via its partnership with Marvel Entertainment, the toy maker has access to some 5,000-odd Marvel characters (such as Fantastic Four, X-Men, Captain America, and Ghost Rider) thanks to a licensing agreement with Marvel (signed in 2006) for the sale of Marvel-branded toys and games through 2017.
Former chairman Alan Hassenfeld, the third generation of Hassenfelds to control the company, owns about 10% of Hasbro.