Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call

Transformers News: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 11:29PM CST

Categories: Toy News, People News, Company News
Posted by: william-james88   Views: 9,135

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The transcript for Hasbro's latest Quarterly Investors call is up on Seeking Alpha, as are the presentation slides. In it, we realize a major talking point was how Star Wars toys had under-performed while the Transformers brand was very strong. As a matter of fact, as Brian Goldner states, "TRANSFORMERS in the fourth quarter was in dollar terms, our biggest growing brand".

The slides that accompanied the numbers shown today, which were posted earlier, mention Transformers as a major component of growth in Franchise Brands in 2017 (more than 10% growth in net revenue) while they also particularly call out Star Wars as a loss when it came to partner brands (aka brands Hasbro do not own) that could not be offset by any gain for other partner brands. Please remember that performance is all about percentages and this does not mean that one sold more than the other. It simply means that Transformers sold better than anticipated (and compared to previous years) while Star Wars sold less than anticipated. But of course, since the inventory is linked to the anticipated sales, unsold inventory will translate to losses for the company regardless of how many units did sell.

Goldner spoke specifically about the contrast between the Star Wars and Transformers brand on an international scale.

Goldner about Star Wars

Look, I view it through the lens of the fact that we saw challenges in Europe and we saw challenges particularly in the U.K. that's a major market for properties like STAR WARS. So, I would say that clearly both the paid marketing and earned marketing, the fans in the U.S. really helped to deliver a strong box office here, it also delivered a very strong box office, globally.

But in terms of the retail takeaway and sell-in, was lower in particularly outsized impact in places like Europe and in our international market, just represent more of the line share, the decline in percentage terms. And that's what we've seen.


Followed directly by his comments on the Transformers brand.

So, right. It's a great global property. But by contrast, just to give you an example; TRANSFORMERS international business was incredibly strong; the U.S. business was strong; the brand overall was strong.


There was also a very interesting tidbit about how Hasbro now has a plan in place in case Toysrus no longer exists.

Our team has built a plan for the right sizing of the Toys "R" Us business.

We have continued to grow the number of doors and continued to grow our revenues outside of Toys "R" Us. We continue to be supportive of them but most importantly we continue to manage our risk and inventory as they streamline the amount of inventory they can take. And we are prepared for any eventuality.


Another Transformers related question came about when discussing how the 2018 Bumblebee movie, coming out December 22nd, will have some tough competition with Spider-man, Aquaman, and Star Wars all being out at the same time. The analyst asked if this would make things challenging for Bumblebee.

Brian Goldner was not worried in the least:

No. look, if you look at TRANSFORMERS, I think that we go from strength-to-strength. This year, TRANSFORMERS in the fourth quarter was in dollar terms, our biggest growing brand. And overall for the year grew very strong double-digits. It's because we are perpetually engaged with our audience by demographic and psychographic.

We have a preschool RESCUE BOTS show, we have our Cyberverse focused on our core kid six-to-nine year-old. We continue to run more adult oriented content on Machinima for that fan. Fan business is growing in a very significant manner. And then of course we have our movies. It was a movie year but our products were about the movie but also about all these other dimensions of TRANSFORMERS.

So, this is a brand that's working everywhere globally, it's a brand that's exceedingly strong and getting stronger in China. We'll talk more at Toy Fair about the major global initiatives and in gaming and how this brand comes to life. So, when we talk about our Bumblebee movie, it's really the focal point of an entire blueprint activation that will take place around that time of year.

And we will bring to bear all of the different strengths and power inside the blueprint to bring Bumblebee and TRANSFORMERS to life at that time. So, we know that there is an amazing array of entertainment with the beneficiaries of a lot of that that's in the world today and we think our brand like Bumblebee and TRANSFORMERS holds its own.


Hopefully this last bit about the Bumblebee movie being key to Hasbro's "blueprint" means we will see some reveals from this film at Toyfair, two Saturdays from now, though nothing is really confirmed as to which toys will be shown there.

Transformers News: Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call

Transformers News: Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call

Transformers News: Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call

Transformers News: Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call
Credit(s): seeking alpha
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Re: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call (1936728)
Posted by DMSL on February 8th, 2018 @ 10:35am CST
That's no surprise, their Star Wars toys are horrible. No weathering or much detail on the ships, only 5 points of articulation on the 3.75" figures and distribution to Europe is a disaster.
Re: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call (1936735)
Posted by Rated X on February 8th, 2018 @ 11:13am CST
It doesnt suprise me because transformable robot figures are just way cooler than action figures. (I never considered them the same thing) And "cooler" equals more sales to adult collectors. While the star wars fandom is much larger than Transformers fandom, many star wars fans dont collect toys. Its not uncommon to find hardcore star wars fans who just have the most expensive DVD sets and a few posters. For them its all about the fiction, not toys. However the connection between Transformers fans and toys is much deeper. Most Transformers fans collect at least some toys. Its just not the same mentality. So of course Transformers will out-sell star wars in toy sales.
Re: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call (1936743)
Posted by william-james88 on February 8th, 2018 @ 12:07pm CST
Rated X wrote:So of course Transformers will out-sell star wars in toy sales.

We do not know if Transformers out sold Star Wars toys. I specifically made it clear in the article that they outperformed Star Wars toys along with how that is a big difference. It means that Transformers sold more than anticipated while Star Wars sold less than anticipated (and thus created lots of loss). We do not have the actual sales figures, just the percentages.
Re: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call (1936881)
Posted by Dan14thPrime on February 8th, 2018 @ 6:36pm CST
OK everyone, here is your chance to bitch and whine about Transformers prices and how HasTak is price gouging you. Look at those results! Killing it. I'm happy for the brand. :HASBRO:
Re: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call (1937002)
Posted by Quint on February 9th, 2018 @ 3:57am CST
He really needs to work on his Powerpoint composition. What a mess!
Re: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call (1937058)
Posted by ScottyP on February 9th, 2018 @ 8:58am CST
Quint wrote:He really needs to work on his Powerpoint composition. What a mess!
Found Drew Gulak's Seibertron account :lol:
Re: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Speaks of Transformers Outperforming Star Wars and more at Q4 2017 Earnings Call (1937112)
Posted by DeathReviews on February 9th, 2018 @ 12:13pm CST
Well as lackluster as Star Wars has been lately, that's no surprise....
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