Hasbro makes big gains on rival Mattel, pursues toy tech innovations
Toy licensing is proving to be a major wealth-building tool for Hasbro as it strives for dominance in the toy industry. Last September, the company was awarded a merchandising contract through Disney Consumer Products to begin manufacturing dolls based on Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) entertainment properties like Frozen and Beauty and the Beast. Hasbro was able to wrest this contract from the control of Mattel, which may have earned as much as $500 million last year from sales of these toys, mainly on sales of Disney princess characters. Hasbro already had licenses in place to develop toys based upon Disney’s Star Wars, Jurassic World and X-Men franchises, each of which has either released or is soon releasing major motion pictures.