Mattel hails boy power

Batman and more sets up boys market surge for Mattel this year with the Number one spot a clear target. Mattel is targeting its biggest ever year in the boys sector, expecting to build on...
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Batman and more sets up boys market surge for Mattel this year with the Number one spot a clear target. Mattel is targeting its biggest ever year in the boys sector, expecting to build on growth over the past two years that has seen it move up the league table for the category.

Whilst admitting that the well reported challenges in its traditional Barbie-dominated girls business left their mark on the company's overall sales last year, Mattel has been encouraged by its progress in both boys and pre-school/infant.

But boys products are set for a particularly stellar year this year, according to UK general manager Jean-Christophe Pean "It's true we have lost a lot on girls, but we're still number one, with a bigger total sector share than anyone else," he told ToyNews. "But, to the end of October, we had also moved up to number two on boys. "Last year we were fourth behind Hasbro, Vivid and Lego. Now it is Hasbro then us. Our boys business was up 15 per cent going into the last two months of 2004, and this growth has come without the kind of ammunition we have for 2005."

That firepower includes lines tied into new blockbuster movies such as Batman, Cars, Robots and Harry Potter, plus a Yu-Gi-Oh DVD release. "Yu-Gi-Oh has been great for us and will have wider retail distribution this year," added UK marketing director Jackie Jordan. "It wasn't 100 per cent listed in 2004. The brand has done brilliantly and we have to give a huge amount of credit to Upper Deck. They have re-ignited excitement around the core Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards, giving us a hot brand to work with."

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