Toy manufacturer geobra Brandstätter Stiftung (Zirndorf / Germany; www.playmobil.de
) had what could be described as a challenging financial year in 2020: Sales of the Playmobil brand fell by 2.5%, compared to 2019 with EUR 659m, although there were significant geographical differences. Whereas Germany, the UK and the US saw increased turnover, France, Spain and Portugal experienced considerable declines. A company spokesperson did not, however, give any precise figures.
Overall, the year of the coronavirus pandemic ended up well below expectations for Playmobil. We have not yet been able to exploit the full potential connected with our brand, and that needs to change over the course of this year, said a company spokesperson in response to a PIE query. Turnover figures for the Lechuza division, which specialises in plastic plant pots and garden furniture, are apparently not reported separately.
Because the traditional international toy fair in Nuremberg / Germany did not take place at the end of January 2021 as originally planned it has been delayed until July 2021 due to the pandemic Playmobil has been presenting this years new products online, since 8 February. In these presentations, they included models of the famous Volkswagen Bulli van and the legendary Beetle, which have been created through a cooperation with Volkswagen and are targeted primarily at kidults. Two iconic Porsche models are also among the new products. Successful licensed ranges such as Back to the Future and Scooby-Doo! are also being supplemented with some new toy sets for children of all age groups. In addition, the Knights of Novelmore have set out for two new mystical worlds. In the case of the new Dino Rise series, children can experience the story and its characters ahead of the product launch in an animated series on YouTube and YouTube Kids.
With the decline in sales, geobra Brandstätter is well below the industry average. According to provisional figures, the Handelsverband Spielwaren (BVS) expects sales for the German market in 2020 of EUR 3.7 bn, an increase of 8%. Two lockdowns and limited leisure activities have meant that the German population spent significantly more money on games, handicrafts etc. last year, says Steffen Kahnt, managing director of BVS.