Mattel: The Largest Toy Maker Enjoys Positive Growth

As highlighted in our recent global company profile, Mattel remains the largest traditional toys and games manufacturer in the world focusing across a variety of traditional toys and games categories generating over US$10 billion in sales in 2012. The company recorded growth of 5.3% in 2012 across traditional toys and games.

Three of Mattel’s brands are in the top five in terms of global dolls and accessories brand share and the company is the largest player in this category with a 33% value share. In model vehicles, the top three brands by share globally belong to Mattel in 2012, also making it the largest player in this category with a value share exceeding 28% in 2012. In dolls and accessories, the toy maker’s main properties include the iconic Barbie brand, as well as Monster High and American Girl. In model vehicles, Mattel’s main brands consist of Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Cars.

Mattel has consolidated its 2011 acquisition of HIT Entertainment to strengthen its position in the baby and pre-school categories. The main brand to have contributed to this consolidation was Thomas and Friends, however, this still only commands a small fraction of the categories overall.

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Strategic Evaluation

SWOT: Mattel Inc


  • Mattel shows growth: Barring LEGO, out of the top five traditional toys and games companies globally, Mattel is the only one to have grown its value share over 2009-2012.
  • Brand creation: Mattel has proved that it can consistently create brands that will reinvigorate its categories with the success of Monster High, driving growth in dolls and accessories.


  • Less money to spend: Due to Mattel’s acquisition of HIT Entertainment, there were less funds available in 2012 to make strategic acquisitions.
  • Multi-media franchising: Although Mattel does use multi-media to build its franchise, the company is behind its main competitor, Hasbro, which uses in-house TV and movie facilities to help build bigger brands.


  • Growth in Asia Pacific: After a successful year in 2012 in Asia Pacific with 7% growth recorded, Mattel is well positioned to capitalise further on this region’s forecast growth.
  • HIT Entertainment: With the acquisition of HIT Entertainment now mostly consolidated, Mattel can focus on growing already very well-known brands in order to gain more traction across more categories.


  • Digital gaming: With no clear strategy in digital gaming and most revenue forecast to come from the category over 2012-2017, Mattel may lose out on substantial revenue here.
  • Category stagnation: Mattel has seen brand rejuvenation in some categories such as dolls but with so much of its sales reliant on these categories, if they were to stagnate, Mattel would be under serious threat.