The Death of Toys R Us May Devastate These Beloved Toy Brands
The demise of 70-year-old iconic toy chain Toys R Us sent millions of kids and former kids into mourning across America. Toy makers were already feeling the burn, with stocks dropping 10% and 3.8% at Mattel and Hasbro respectively soon before the chain’s liquidation announcement.
Like with other products disappearing from brick-and-mortar stores, consumers may have to only buy their toys online. Walmart and Target sell toys, of course, but their few aisles pale in comparison to the 20,000-50,000 square-foot size of a Toys R Us. (And good news if you still want to buy toys the old-fashioned way: KB Toys pop-ups are expected for the 2018 holiday season.)
Here we’ll take a look at some of the most popular toys whose sales could suffer from Toys R Us stores closing.
Running into a store to replenish your stock of Nerf darts may get a lot harder with the demise of Toys R Us. This Hasbro-made toy has seen annual revenues of $400 million. In addition to the traditional neon-colored foam sports balls, the guns and blasters are popular among kids. Nerf products were best-sellers among toys in 2017.
Hasbro, which owns Nerf products as well as other lines, expects an industry-wide sales decline between 2.5% and 5.5% in 2018 due to Toys R Us closing, U.S. News reported.
Next: These colorful ponies have been favorites for decades.
2. My Little Pony
The days are dwindling when kids can walk up and down an aisle, picking up My Little Pony dolls to see which color they’d like to take home. Hasbro, which sells 10% of its toys through Toys R Us, may need to rely more on its website and Amazon. So, kids can still choose between Magic Rainbow Dash and Magic Glamour Glow ponies, but they just may have to do so online.
Next: This toy franchise is a favorite among collectors.
3. Star Wars toys
Since the Star Wars phenomenon started four decades ago, kids and adults alike have eagerly collected action figures for all the characters. That being said, sales of Star Wars merchandise (also including helmets, voice changers, and lightsabers) were down in 2017 despite a new film in December. Some call it Star Wars burnout or movie fatigue, but it’s bad for sales — as will be Toys R Us closing its doors.
Next: Popular dolls Toys R Us started selling in 2016
4. American Girl
More than 30 million American Girl dolls have been sold since 1986. The Mattel-owned company gives each doll a different facial shape, skin tone, hair color, and eye color in an effort to appeal to all girls. Some Toys R Us stores began selling the dolls in 2016. Revenue from the line, owned by Mattel, fell 30% in the third quarter of 2017. The brand will likely see even more sales drop once Toys R Us is gone.
Next: A popular international company
The Toys R Us bankruptcy has impacted many privately-held companies. The maker of Lego bricks recently reported its first sales drop in 13 years. Toys R Us owes the company around $32 million. However, Lego is better prepared to handle the loss of the chain than its competitors are, thanks to its success with its Star Wars line of toys and Lego Movie.
Next: A must-have holiday toy
Hatchimals were the must-have toy for the 2016 holiday season. The furry toy critters hatch from eggs while lighting up and making noises. Toys R Us offered exclusive versions of the toy. Leading up to the megastore’s closing, shares of Hatchimals maker Spin Master were down 3% on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The closing chain currently owes the company $33 million.
Next: A Barbie world without Toys R Us
Birthday Barbie or Ballet Barbie? As a child, you may have made that difficult decision holding the boxes side-by-side in the Barbie aisle — like many kids did since the dolls debuted in 1959. As for Barbie, Mattel has sought to revitalize the struggling brand by creating the dolls in a variety of skin tones and body shapes. Now, more kids will have to select theirs online.
Next: A brand that has spanned generations
One of Fisher-Price’s best-known lines is Little People toys, with its people and animal figures and playsets like farms, houses, schools, and vehicles. The Mattel company also makes Mega Bloks, Bob the Builder, and Thomas & Friends products. Fisher-Price revenues were down 11% in 2017, so the impending loss of Toys R Us-generated sales could drag things down even further.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!