Peppa Pig is A Key Focus for Hasbro’s Expansion in Emerging Markets
Peppa Pig is A Key Focus for Hasbro’s Expansion in Emerging Markets

Hasbro Inc., the American multinational conglomerate, is planning expansions for Location Based Experience (LBE) zones for Peppa Pig Parks along with other portfolio brands to grow its consumer products business. With a strong presence in Asia, the Middle East, and India, Hasbro is broadening its reach in various formats to enhance its brand growth.

A recent Euromonitor report revealed that Hasbro continues to lead the Indian market with top brands like Nerf, Monopoly, and Play-Doh, all dominating their categories and increasing market share. My Little Pony remains the sole branded pony/unicorn in the market, attracting a strong following among girls.

According to Hasbro Inc.'s financial reports for Q1 2024, net revenue was $757.3 million as of March 31, 2024, compared to $1,001 million on April 2, 2023. Hasbro’s revenue from consumer products stood at $413 million in Q1 2024. Royalties paid amounted to $50.9 million as of March 31, 2024, compared to $69 million by April 2, 2023. Globally, the arts and crafts and games segments have shown growth compared to consumer products and other revenue streams.

Growing Footprint

Tim Kilpin, President of Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment at Hasbro Inc., in an exclusive interview with Ritu Marya, Editor-in-Chief of Retailer Media and Entrepreneur Media India and APAC, discussed the brand’s growth and expansion strategies in India, the Middle East, and Asia at the Licensing expo Las Vegas.

Discussing business growth in the Middle East and SEA region, Kilpin said, “We have a huge footprint across these regions. One of the things we try to do is understand the consumer and retail perspective. We aim to identify which of our brands resonate most with consumers.”

Kilpin further explained, “In some markets, we are not as well-established as we are in the US and Western Europe. We prioritize multiple factors, and we try to prioritize Peppa Pig as a key property in these regions.”

Kilpin elaborated, “Peppa resonates wonderfully with younger children, helping them understand the world around them as they grow. It's an important message and learning element. We ensure our storytelling and product lines reinforce this for consumers in those markets.”

Regarding My Little Pony, Kilpin said, “My Little Pony performs well in the market, connecting storytelling, products, and consumer products footprint. This strategy has worked well for us. My Little Pony appeals to multiple age groups, so we cover our bases from both a product and licensing standpoint.”

Transformers and Its Global Demand

Transformers, the media franchise that began in 1984 with the Transformers toy line, comprising transforming mecha toys from Takara's Diaclone and Micro Change toylines rebranded for Western markets has been an iconic brand for Hasbro Inc. globally. 

Kilpin said, “Transformers has performed incredibly well in these markets globally. It appeals to both adult collectors and children. We engage with these audiences differently, bringing the brand to life through storytelling.”

He continued, “We innovate our storytelling and consumer product process to meet the expectations of our long-time fans who seek unique content and products. We ensure that our product and storytelling processes stay fresh and engaging.”

When asked about product distribution in the region, Kilpin replied, “Yes, but I can't speak about every brand in India. One challenge we face is local distribution and manufacturing. We are expanding our local manufacturing footprint to gain better market access.”

Retail Footprint of Hasbro

When asked about adopting a retail strategy, Kilpin said, “We are not planning retail stores at this time. However, we have a direct-to-consumer website and Hasbro Pulse, our fan-focused platform. We are expanding this footprint globally but are not launching retail stores in these regions. Our location-based experiences often include retail components, like Hasbro City in Latin America.”

Regarding launching location-based experiences in Asia, Kilpin said, “Yes, we are planning to launch in Asia but are seeking the right partners. We need partners committed to investing in these footprints. We intend to bring these platforms worldwide.”

He added, “Location-based experiences are family-friendly attractions. We've done this for Peppa Pig in the UK and Germany, and we are expanding these experiences for Nerf and Peppa. Specific experiences depend on regional opportunities and brand resonance.”

When asked about the Middle East market's strength, Kilpin said, “It's not a large market for us. We work with distributors there rather than selling directly. Some brands, like Monopoly, have a footprint, but it's not a significant part of our business today.”

Digital Expansion Plans

Hasbro Inc has collaborated with multiple gaming platforms and creators to enhance fan experience digitally. Elaborating on this further, Kilpin said, “Digital gaming is strategically important, starting with our Wizards of the Coast brands like Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, which have strong digital footprints. We also have digital licenses with partners creating games, including Peppa Pig. The Peppa Pig digital game engages kids within that world, and we are doing similar collaborations for other brands like Transformers.”

He further said, “We collaborate with platforms like Roblox to create brand experiences in digital gaming. We recently announced a My Little Pony game with Outright Games called Zephyr Heights. We also relaunched Littlest Pet Shop with a Roblox experience.”

Hasbro’s Publishing Business

Regarding Hasbro’s books and comics in India, Kilpin said, “The Dungeons & Dragons brand has a strong heritage in publishing, built on its rule books like the Player's Handbook. We refresh these regularly and have traditional publishing programs for Peppa Pig, Transformers, and My Little Pony. Our comic books for Transformers are very popular.”

He added, “We engage fans through digital gaming, storytelling, traditional publishing, linear television, and digital content on platforms like YouTube. For Dungeons & Dragons, we even have a cocktail book.”

Recently, Hasbro announced its collaboration with Audible for Peppa Pig’s Play-A-Long Podcast. Kilpin said, “We will have a couple of podcasts with them, the first available in July. These initiatives reach children where they are, making Audible an exciting partner for us.”

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