Both Hasbro and Mattel have reported a growth in sales this month due to profits from products that skew pink. For Hasbro, that means Furby and My Little Pony. For Mattel, that means American Girl dolls and the ever-present Barbie doll.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Hasbro has often made most of their money off of products marketed to boys like G.I. Joe, but as they've attempted a move into the female market, their sales have risen, while sales of products for boys have fallen:
Boys' products sales, the biggest category by revenue, fell 17% in the latest quarter to $392 million. The games category's sales improved 5.9% to $387.5 million, while sales in the girls' category climbed 29% to $388.7 million.
29% is a huge jump for one quarter, but it's also interesting to note the slight gain in "games," which is generally thought of as a more gender-neutral category. Hasbo has engaged with their consumers before over the issues that come up when they promote their products for girls versus boys, as has Mattel: you basically can't be a successful toy company and not have fallen into the trap of breaking down your consumer base into predictable and archaic categories. But it's not as though these choices are made without research: toy companies do tons of work to figure out what people will buy before they put products out for sale. That secret data set would probably an enlightening read.
Image via Hasbro