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Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner Admits Rise Of Cobra Toys Were Overpriced And Speaks On The Future

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http://seekingalpha.com/article/187346-hasbro-inc-q4-2009-earnings-call-transcript

Seeking Alpha has posted the transcript for Hasbro's 4th quarter 2009 earnings call, and this transcript provides some interesting information on G.I. Joe. Brian Goldner CEO of Hasbro mentions that G.I. Joe 2 might premiere in 2012, ignoring the pricepoint challenges of G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra toys was a mistake, and the new cartoon may premiere as early as late this year:

 

The total brand performance of Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Nerf delivered double digit growth in 2009 across multiple product categories. G.I. Joe recorded revenue in excess of $125 million and Nerf continued its growth, increasing 25% driven by continued growth in the US and the expansion of the brand internationally.

 

We are working on Transformers animation and would certainly see some Transformers both the opportunity for the classic Transformers as well as some new Transformers episodes to get out some time this year. I will tell you we’re also working on G.I. Joe the second movie and looking at animation whether that’s for late ’10 or ’11, we’ll make some decisions on that. Transformers 3 as a motion picture we’re well underway and working on a script, working with Michael Bay and Paramount.

 

Hayley Wolff - Rochdale Securities

 

Can you give us the split of international versus US for Transformers and G.I. Joe? With Transformers how it compared to ’07?

 

Brian Goldner

 

I don’t know that I have those splits in front of me but typically our product lines are about 60/40 domestic to international. Transformers are probably right along those lines. G.I. Joe a little more weighted towards the US probably 70/30, although the box office was more even.

 

Hayley Wolff - Rochdale Securities

 

Follow on appetite for G.I. Joe in the international markets given the success in the box office?

 

Brian Goldner

 

I think one of the big mistakes we made on G.I. Joe was really just in the price point. It really had less to do with the enjoyment of property. In fact if you look at the DVD sales they were quite strong and property performed really well. At the lower price points G.I. Joe has performed very well, in fact we shipped G.I. Joe product in the fourth quarter and feel very good about, we did some research with consumers and see great consumer appetite for the brand.

 

We’ve begun work on the second film as well as looking at television. For us it was more a matter of probably ignoring some of the price point challenges that are out there from a consumer spending standpoint as we developed the line 18 months ahead of the movie launch.

 

So with this outlook on the G.I. Joe brand, what will the rest of the year have in store for us? We'll find out later this week at Toy Fair.

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hmm a price drop is a little late but would be good

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What I find the most interesting is that he thought the price point was too high on Joe when it's comparable to other same scale Hasbro brands. That to me says that the other brands might be priced to high too. I know that Hasbro doesn't have to pay a licensing fee on Joe, but I can't see the fee they pay for SW or Marvel making up the $3 price difference that you find between Joe's (generally $5 or $6) and Marvel($9) and SW($8).

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Glad someone admitted it!! Toysare overpriced, sure 5 bucks for a lil figure is fine, but not 7 to 8!! I don't care what spin is put on it!! Nothing else has jumped in price that much!!!

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What I find the most interesting is that he thought the price point was too high on Joe when it's comparable to other same scale Hasbro brands. That to me says that the other brands might be priced to high too. I know that Hasbro doesn't have to pay a licensing fee on Joe, but I can't see the fee they pay for SW or Marvel making up the $3 price difference that you find between Joe's (generally $5 or $6) and Marvel($9) and SW($8).

 

we don't know, nor will we ever know what they have to pay per figure. I'm sure it's high though, because another company would be happy to pay for the right to make the figs. Hasbro has to hold on to their near monopoly (and i'll defend that statement, mattel has different areas corner, hasbro has the action figure market, especially now that power rangers are falling) Marvel and Lucas are likely gouging too.

 

That doesn't hold for them though, recently my wal-mart clearenced all marvel (and the few dc figs ) they had for 5 $ a pop. At least hear they peg warmed more than Joe, but t hey were also ordered more than joe.

 

 

I worry this move is too late. Now that i turned mostly away from action figures, me and the wife are both enjoying gaming as our primary hobby, even cheaper prices might not win me back.

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When they first came out I waited for the sales which wasn't long and bought up tons of figures at 5 bucks a pop. I hope they adopt this price in the future which should keep sales rolling!

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