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Hasbro, Mattel Say Toy Boom Isn’t a One-Off

Hasbro, Mattel Say Toy Boom Isn’t a One-Off

Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc. enjoyed a boost during the Covid-19 pandemic as lockdowns spurred parents to spend on everything from board games to Barb

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Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc. enjoyed a boost during the Covid-19 pandemic as lockdowns spurred parents to spend on everything from board games to Barbie dolls for their children.

Now the toy makers are trying to determine whether new habits such as game night and playtime will remain once the pandemic subsides. They join others, from the makers of Purell hand sanitizer to Peloton bikes, in assessing their businesses.

Widespread lockdowns and a lack of social interaction boosted U.S. toy sales 16% last year to more than $25 billion, according to research firm NPD Group Inc. Parents diverted spending on canceled vacations and summer camps to in-home diversions. Stimulus payments helped the industry too.

Hasbro Chief Executive Brian Goldner said there is a good chance households that became interested in board games during the pandemic will buy more games, which is what families that already played board games did during lockdown.

“We brought in these new families who may have had some prior experience with gaming, but it wasn’t really top of mind,” Mr. Goldner said in an interview. “We saw dedicated families certainly bought more deeply too.”

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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