These Toy Companies Are Struggling, and It May End Up Breaking Your Kid’s Heart

As Toys ‘R’ Us declares bankruptcy and kids continue to focus more and more on digital-native play, some toy companies find themselves in a tough spot. If your kids still love digging into the toy box, some of these toy companies struggling might hit them hard. Does your child’s favorite toy find itself on the chopping block? Read on to find out.

1. Mattel really misses Toys ‘R’ Us kids

Shopping at Toys R Us

Toys ‘R’ Us is dearly missed by toy companies. | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Popular toy brand Mattel fell on hard times recently. It subsequently blamed Toys ‘R’ Us for lackluster sales, as the retail behemoth also brought in poor numbers. Before its recent closures, Toys ‘R’ Us held for 15-20% of Mattel’s U.S. sales and 11% of its total global sales. Only WalMart sells more Mattel products.

Next: These particular toys might save the brand.

2. Barbie and Hot Wheels remain strong

Hot wheels cars

Hot Wheels are still doing well. | awiekupo/iStock/Getty Images

According to analyst Linda Weiser, two of the most popular toys could keep Mattel afloat. “Barbie and Hot Wheels are on solid ground … but Fisher-Price and American Girl still need strategies,” Weiser explained. “We think the turnaround could be susceptible to set-backs and we hesitate to become more constructive until we see evidence in the financial results that the plan is gaining traction.”

Next: The following company’s issues spell bad news for builders.

3. Everything is not awesome at Lego

Children play with Lego blocks during the opening of the brand's first certified store

LEGO is doing really well. | Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images

Lego saw a drop in profits for the first time in a decade in 2017, leading it to cut 1,400 of its 18,200 employees. While the company has diversified into film and video games, the building blocks remain, well, the building block of the company. “The brick is the heart of our business and children of all ages love it,” said executive chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp. “We will find more opportunities to engage with kids and parents including innovative ways to blend physical building and digital experiences.”

Next: However, Lego still does better than these popular brands.

4. Your yellow-headed friends still beat out these big sellers

The LEGO Ninjago Movie

The movie no-doubt boosted sales. | Warner Bros.

Lego sales still hold strong at $2.38 billion, winning out against My Little Pony’s Hasbro and Barbie’s Mattel. Those two companies did $1.82 billion and $1.71 billion, respectively in 2017. That may come as a result of the huge debt Toys ‘R’ Us owes Mattel. That comes to the tune of $135 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Next: Brand fatigue could contribute to this line’s lagging.

5. Star Wars toys might lose this battle

Star Wars Themed toys

The Star Wars toys aren’t doing as well as one would think. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Despite the huge popularity of the Star Wars films, retail orders fell 47% in 2017. The Hollywood Reporter thinks toy sellers want to look at the long-range popularity of the toys before investing. That said, the brand did rank as the top seller of 2016, with nearly $760 million in sales, as well as in 2015. Experts point to brand fatigue for the downturn — kids can only see so many Star Wars before they get sick of the concept. Parents, you already know how quickly their attention wanes.

Next: If your child loves these dolls, we have bad news for you.

6. American Girl dolls might not smile quite as wide soon

Molly American Girl doll

The popular dolls are in decline. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

In 2017, the hugely popular American Girl dolls joined toy companies that are struggling, taking Mattel stock down with it. Mattel’s American Girl sales represented some of the biggest declines, the company reported. Those resulted largely from higher expenses for the New York-based flagship store and employee costs, as well as generally decreased interest in the dolls.

Next: Younger kids may feel the pain if this brand goes under.

7. Fisher Price sales came in as “little” as its consumers

Fisher Price Toy Line

Fisher-Price went down 15%. | Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Sales for Mattel’s Fisher-Price Brands division fell 15%, riding on declines in the Thomas & Friends and infant divisions, according to Market Watch. Construction toys and arts & crafts also fell. Mattel sells Mega Bloks and RoseArt Crayons, both which tanked 29%. That doesn’t bode well for kids, since creative play like construction and drawing can help your kid reach a host of developmental milestones.

Next: This iconic brand also ran into issues, for a predictable reason.

8. Barbie might not live in the dream house much longer

Barbie Dolls

Barbie is trying to keep up with Disney. | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

While the brand does not look like it will go anywhere anytime soon, analysts at Goldman Sachs said a turnaround seems unlikely. “We remain cautious on the sustainability of a Barbie recovery, given heightened competition from Disney Princess,” they said. Lots of little girls love princesses, and Disney carries huge brand recognition and the funds to match. That spells bad news for Barbie.

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