Hasbro details plans for vast growth in pre-school sector… and it doesn’t end with gender neutral Mr Potato Head

Hasbro’s lean into gender neutrality with the launch of the My Potato Family – dropping the ‘Mr’ from the iconic Potato toy – may have caught the attention of the world’s media, but it’s not the only strain to the toymaker’s plan to take on the pre-school sector this year.

In its virtual investor event held this week, the entertainment and toy powerhouse outlined a firm plan to increase its presence across the $7bn pre-school sector with the goal of shifting position from seventh in the world, to a top three performer by 2022.

Hasbro’s Kim Boyd, SVP and general manager of global brands, fashion brands, and pre-school brands, lead the presentation, stating that the firm’s plan encompass its potential to “add four to five points of market share per year,” over the next two years.

New alignments with modern day sensibilities across its pre-school segment lead the charge for the company that used the platform to announce the upcoming launch of My Potato Family this year, a rebranding of the Mr Potato franchise that will ‘keep gender equity and inclusion at its heart.’

Under the rebranding, the range will “celebrate the many faces of the modern family” and “allow kids to create different and unique families” as an example of the firm’s ongoing commitment to “embed diversity and inclusion across its business.”

But the move only speaks of one strain of the firm’s plan to overhaul its pre-school sector, which will also feature a renewed focus on sustainability across its range, as well as the positioning of a new partnership with Amazon for its 90 year old heritage brand, PlaySkool.

Boyd said: “The modern mum has new expectations around what her favourite brands stand for, and play with purpose has never been more important than it is right now. Play with purpose is not only critical to Hasbro but to our consumers.

“We are adding innovation for this modern mum and we are introducing sustainability across the line, fillign a gap in the marketplace for our customers to be more environmentally focuses than ever.”

On top of this, Hasbro has detailed further plans to leverage its eOne unit to position itself as a powerhouse in the field as it prepares to debut two new lines of toys based on its leading pre-school IPs PJ Masks and Peppa Pig.

“We are telling new stories and introducing new themes and characters through all forms of content that we know pre-schoolers will love,” said Boyd.

“With this powerful partnership with eOne, we will take these brands to new heights. Our storytellers are aligning with our toy designers early and often to create innovative ways that stories and characters can come to life in play, just like they do in the entertainment.”

Further new announcements in the pre-school space stretch the to Transformers brand, with Transformers Rescue Bots marking what Boyd calls a “clear entry point into the franchise for our youngest Transformers fans.” The plans include more than 200 episodes of content across Netflix.

“We have a winning portfolio of brands backed by amazing storytelling which we will bring to life in new and innovative ways, bringing more play value to every experience,” continued Boyd. 

“In our global footprint and distribution capabilities gives us access to markets and retailers around the world. We have never been better positioned to grow our business than right now with a powerful combination of Hasbro and eOne,” she concluded.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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