Our expert for quality analyses of quantitative data, StatManDan, has listened to the complete recording of the Hasbro presentation at the NYC Toy Fair, and has compiled an interpretation of the statistical data that they revealed about My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop.
Also significantly, he could not find the quote that a Hasbro executive was rumored to have said that My Little Pony (people took this to mean Friendship is Magic) was to continue for another five years. There is little doubt that the show will continue for a while given its financial success, but the exact quote has to be considered unconfirmed until someone can find it again.
Telofy gave a brief description of the MLP portion of the Hasbro Toy Fair presentation for investors on Friday in New York City. This is a look inside some of the numbers given for both My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop both in terms of the merchandise and the shows.
Let’s start with MLP which had a banner year to say the least. Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said, “My Little Pony has expanded its reach across all dimensions reaching a broader audience than ever before.” Hasbro’s Senior Vice President for Global Brand Strategy and Marketing Samantha Lomow said MLP had “its best year ever” in terms of sales. Since the launch of G4 in 2010, revenue has roughly tripled in North America, Central and South America, and the Europe and Africa regions.
With the IDW comics, nine of the top ten comic titles on iBooks were MLP comics. The comic books as a whole have sold over 1 million copies.
“Equestria Girls” also enjoyed tremendous success according to Lomow. They showed a video of the sequel, “Rainbow Rocks,” to the investors at the Toy Fair (not on the webcast). They also mentioned that during the week of Christmas (December 22-28, 2013), Equestria Girls were the #1 Fashion Dollls according to US NPD. That is a pretty big week to be #1.
While growth and expansion were the themes of the MLP portion of the presentation, the theme for the LPS portion was “Re-invention.” LPS was the only one of the seven franchise brands (MLP, Nerf, Transformers, Play-Doh, Monopoly, and Magic the Gathering being the others) not to experience growth in 2013. Hasbro is planning a “Full Blueprint Execution” of the LPS brand which includes a new logo and emphasizing the motto of “Be who you want to be” as in the line from the theme song. Lomow stated that 50% of all LPS sales were outside the United States.
While both MLP and LPS are under the Girls’ Division at Hasbro (even though three of the main pets on LPS are male), it’s clear that the Ponies are doing far better than the Pets. Of course, the Ponies had a three-year head start. That said, LPS going through a “re-invention” just 15 months after its reboot launch suggests that brand needs improvement and is underperforming.
If you listen to the webcast, there was noticeably more enthusiasm for MLP than for LPS. Applause followed the two videos for MLP vs. none for the one video displaying LPS’s strategy for 2014. So while MLP continues to be a Hasbro darling, LPS is struggling for attention and hopes a “Re-invention” will lead to being at least on par with the rest of the Girls’ Division in terms of growth.
The “Five Years” quote is currently not heard in the webcast. Therefore, I cannot definitively comment on what that means. It would be nice if MLP (at least the show) would continue for at least five years as long as it does not suffer in quality. Having said that, those will bridges to cross when we get to them. For now, it’s MLP currently ruling the roost.
For a recording, some more confirmed quotes, and a gallery of relevant slides, see my own post on the NYC Toy Fair presentation.