Following a ‘transformational’ year for Mattel, Toy World caught up with Michael Hick, UK & Ireland sales & country manager.
“Mattel went through a massive transformation last year,” Mike told Toy World. “To ensure that we’ve got the right talent in sales, marketing and digital there has been a substantial shakeup of the teams. While we’ve always benefitted from plenty of talent within Mattel, we’ve increased the support in key areas with the particular skill sets we wanted to bring into the business.”
The company also announced a new lead in marketing – Kelly Philp – who has worked for Mattel for a number of years across both marketing and sales. “She’s been a huge part of building the marketing team up, securing the talent that we want for the future,” says Mike.
When asked about the particular bright spots for Mattel in 2018, Mike is quick to draw attention to the standout success of Barbie. With the brand celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Mattel is confident that Barbie’s strong performance will continue into the months to come, driven by a strong pipeline of activations and content.
“In a year when competition has been taking spend from Barbie’s target audience, we’re delighted by the traction she’s got,” enthuses Mike. “Had we mentioned some of the numbers we’re seeing in Nuremberg last year, we’d have been told by our customers to go back and check them, the assumption being that they must have been wrong – we’re talking big, double digit growth.”
Hot Wheels delivered a very positive performance too, with Mike noting that a renewed focus on the iconic die cast element of the brand, and a better distribution spot for the individual cars, helping to drive sales.
Mattel is now preparing to take all its plans, brands and products and carry them forward, aiming for market share gain and “solid, decent growth”. A full year of Harry Potter and Polly Pocket lies ahead, while Toy Story 4 is something both Mattel and Disney Pixar are “hugely excited about”.
Touching on the turbulence of 2018, he adds: “Even with Brexit and the retail turmoil, I know the toy industry can cope with whatever is thrown at it in the coming months.”
To read the full interview with Mike, which was published in the January issue of Toy World, click here.