Hasbro and Mattel, the leading players in the KSA toy market, dominate as the top toy giants, captivating children and competing fiercely for market dominance. With Hasbro’s revenue of USD 1324.4 Bn and Mattel’s revenue of USD 2312.5 Bn, there exists a substantial difference of approximately USD 980 Bn between the two companies. However, the distinction goes beyond just revenue figures. Examining their market reputation, investment landscape, and analyst preference provides a broader perspective of the industry landscape. Discover more about these toy industry leaders below.
1. A long history of trials & error with KSA: Mattel’s Barbie Backlash and Hasbro’s Safe Play in KSA
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When Hasbro first penetrated KSA’s toy market, Mattle was already on its way up, generating a decent revenue & expanding the market size. On one hand, Mattle has had a bitter-sweet relationship with GCC countries. For instance, Barbie which has been Mattle’s flagship product for over 60 years faced a substantial backlash when it entered the Middle East in 1990s, mainly because of violation of Islamic dress code but the effect on the overall sales was not as much as one would have anticipated.
As per an article published by Arab News, “Even temporary bans — in 1995 and 2003 — have failed to dim her appeal in the Kingdom.” Hasbro on the other side, has adopted the policy of, ‘play safe’ when it comes to KSA but has had other controversies on a global scale.
2. Exploring New Frontiers: Hasbro’s Digital Expansion and Mattel’s Operating Challenges in the Evolving Investment Landscape
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Hasbro and Mattel both have been focused in recent years on diversifying their revenue bases beyond traditional toys. Hasbro has been investing in digital gaming in order to expand its presence & go with the trend.
According to company’s CEO Chris Cocks, “low barrier-entry digital experience is really going to be kind of the flywheel that drives the brand’s growth over the next couple of years,” The company’s first quarter operating profit as per its official website, “amounted to $17.9 Mn and adjusted operating profit of $47.2 Mn.”
The brand has also signed a second licensed agreement with SEVEN to develop the world’s first transformers indoor entertainment center in Saudi Arabia which according to, Zawya, “will offer thrilling and highly immersive experiences for people of all ages.” Mattle on the other hand, recorded an operating Loss of $115 Mn, a decrease of $195 Mn & adjusted Operating Loss of $87 Mn, a decrease of $177 Mn.
The combined viewpoint of the market experts seemed to be the one of dilemma. As per Morningstar analyst Jaime Katz, “Expectations are pretty tepid given that the year (2022) ended in a less favorable-than-anticipated way. I don’t think that this is going to be a banner year for the toy industry by any means.”
3. The Future of Hasbro and Mattel in the KSA Toy Market: A Dynamic Rivalry and Collaborative Potential
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With a series of investments & partnerships with other players such as Al Hokair Group, Hasbro’s future in the kingdom looks decent enough for a robust growth. On the other hand, Mattle definitely has consumer preference when it comes to product quality & its flagship products like Barbie.
The two brands have been in an on-off relationship with each other. For instance, as per an article published by Forbes, “Rivals Mattel and Hasbro, for the first time, have entered into a multi-year licensing agreement to create co-branded toys and games.” Before this, an offer was made by Hasbro to acquire Mattle in 2017 & much before that in 1990s, both of which were rejected by the latter.”
As per our views at Ken Research, both the brands have their own USP’s, the advantage of which is expected to be availed by the other as a result of their new agreement. The rivalry for market dominance in KSA will however continue.