Christmas has always been tied to toys. The images of the elaborate layouts of FAO Schwartz of Ralphie from A Christmas Story staring in at the Red Rider BB Gun display are indelibly etched into the Holiday season. So, without further ado, here are some of the biggest publicly traded toy companies in the country.
Mattel, Inc. (MAT)
With a market cap of almost $9.5 billion, Mattel is the biggest pure-play toy company in the world. It's not surprise given the formidable brand portfolio that Mattel brings to the table, producing toys in a variety of lines including Barbie, Hot Wheels, American Girl, and Fisher Price. The company was founded in 1945 by Harold "Matt" Matson and Elliot and Ruth Handler. The name was a combination of "Matt" and "Elliot." Now, Mattel has managed to defy weak markets by posting an over 10 percent gain in its share value year-to-date.
Hasbro, Inc. (HAS)
Hasbro was founded by brothers Henry and Helal Hassenfeld in 1923 (Hassenfeld, brothers, another oh-so-clever name). However, at the time, it was a textile remnant company operating out of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. The company expanded into pencil cases and school supplies over the next 20 years, but it didn't start producing its first toys, doctor and nurse kits, until the 1940s. The company scored a huge hit with Mr. Potato Head in 1952 and was well on its way to becoming one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world. Now, Hasbro has a market cap of over $4 billion and a product line that includes brands like Transformers, Littlest Pet Shop, Nerf, Playskool, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly. Since 1984, Hasbro has also wholly owned Milton Bradley, making it one of the largest makers of board games in the world.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (JAKK)
Jakks Pacific is a much smaller toy company, but it has its fingers in a great many pies, including operations in action figures, electronics, dolls, dress-up, role play, Halloween costumes, kids furniture, vehicles, plush, art activity kits, seasonal products, infant/preschool, construction toys, and pet toys through various brands. The company is also a licensee of many product lines, including Disney, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Pokémon, Star Wars, Hello Kitty, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, Graco, and Cabbage Patch Kids. Founded in 1995, Jakks is relative newcomer to the toy game. The company took a big hit on Monday when it slashed its 2011 sales and profit forecasts, plummeting nearly 20 percent in a single day. The company is now down over 22 percent on the year.
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