The Holiday toy frenzy may have just ended, but things are just heating up in the toy industry. Christmas came early for the Canadian children’s entertainment company Spin Master when it announced it had landed the licensing deal for DC Comics toy line.

TORONTODec. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – Spin Master Corp. (TSX:, a leading global children’s entertainment company, announced today that it has entered into a three-year global licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP). Beginning Spring 2020, Spin Master will be a new toy licensee for DC in the boy’s action category, remote control and robotic vehicles, water toys and games and puzzles.

“Partnering with an iconic brand like DC is a major milestone for Spin Master and is part of our strategy to invest in successful licenses to further grow and diversify our business,” said Ben Gadbois, Spin Master’s Global President and COO. “Children everywhere have been entertained and inspired by DC Super Heroes™ and Super-Villains™ for more than 80 years and we’re honoured to be a part of that storytelling and imagined play. We are looking forward to bringing Spin Master’s renowned innovation to the toy line and to sharing more details about this exciting partnership in the new year.”

Spin Master continues to build a strong portfolio of licensed products, including its 10-year licensing partnership with FELD Entertainment as the worldwide master toy partner and the soon to be launched line of Monster Jam® trucks. Spin Master was recently recognized for its leadership in licensing by Kidscreen, who named Spin Master #1 in Licensing on the 2018 Hot 50 Companies ranking.

Of course, this came as a major blow to Mattel which had previously held the DC license for close to two decades.  Though a relatively new company in comparison to the long history of Mattel, Spin Master has made a mark for itself over the last few years developing some of the biggest brands such as the ever popular Paw Patrol as well as garnering 92 Toy of the Year nominations since 2002. Mattel on the other hand has suffered a steady slump since 2015 that has only worsened with shares dropping in the wake of the recent DC license loss according to Bloomberg. Last July, Mattel cut more than 2,200 jobs in midst of declining revenues for the fourth straight quarter in a row.

I wouldn’t discount some of Mattel’s other viable licenses and brands just yet. The Masters of the Universe is poised to make a comeback with the Noelle Stevenson She-Ra and the Princesses of Power animated series on Netflix already a major hit. Time will tell if Adora’s cousin He-Man will resonate once more with consumers assuming the Nee Brothers directed Masters of the Universe film gets made.

As noted by Goldman Sachs analyst Michael Ng, Mattel is expected to “aggressively pursue” new licenses, potentially the Marvel and Star Wars license when they expire from Hasbro in 2020.


  1. Mattel stock has been falling steadily for almost a year now so this is hardly the reason that the company is doing badly, indeed their prime reason for the stock slump is the same for Hasbro which is the closing of Toys ‘R’ Us which was their major outlet in the US. I suspect this market has too many manufacturers and not enough consumers right now to justify the number of action figures being produced.

  2. It doesn’t help Mattel that the company has long been frozen in attitudes that don’t reflect today’s market. I remember how badly they botched the toy line for Avatar: The Last Airbender, paying almost no attention to the compelling female characters of the show. At least they managed to show some significant improvement in recent years.

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