Sunday, June 23, 2019

Can Sanrio Help Save Mattel?

If you have been following closely to Sanrio updates, then you would have heard about Barbie's Mattel obtaining a Sanrio licensing agreement.  If not, you can read it all here.

My question here is: Will Sanrio be able to bring back sales to Mattel? Will it in essence help save Mattel from going under to bankruptcy?

Without being biased, consider this -- Sanrio's popularity has slowed down quite a lot in America (excluding Los Angeles and certain parts of California) and was never a hit with most adults in other countries like Australia, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Ireland, Austria, Germany, etc. Basically, half the world does not know who or what is Sanrio. I don't even think this generation kids know who is Hello Kitty in those countries listed.

Sure, Asia knows Hello Kitty and Sanrio. Americans recognizes the face and name of Hello Kitty, but then that's it for them. Most Americans see it as a children's toy brand because that's what Sanrio has mainly focused for years. They didn't think anything further when they started opening stores in the States.

This strategy is probably why Mattel has signed a licensing deal with Sanrio. Mattel has said that it intends to create toys and games for "all ages."  It looks like Mattel plans to capitalize on Sanrio's adult fandom. 

Has anyone in the fandom considered why Sanrio cannot create it's own stuff for both kids and adults? You have to wonder if Sanrio has really fallen on hard times as well and does not have enough capital to create their own products other than cheap stationery, small toys, clothes, and knick knacks?

Dare I ask the question that burns in most fans' minds: "Are they near bankruptcy?"

Is this why Sanrio depends on collaborations and their Hello Kitty Cafes? So far, I don't think this will generate a lot of profits at this rate. 

If you cut corners.... *cough, cough*

Maybe they are using Mattel as a new strategy to keep afloat? Will it work to save both companies? 

It may be the best move yet for Sanrio. It brings them back on the map in America. Sanrio does not have a presence in the States (other than California), but a toy giant like Mattel has a huge network all over the country. This is a good alternative since Sanrio has closed many of their franchise stores across the States. 

Maybe this is their goal to slowly work back to being popular again through a toy giant and an upcoming Hello Kitty movie to be released in a few years. If Disney can do it, then why can't Sanrio follow in their footsteps with a film?

Remember that global domination dream? Will Sanrio be able to achieve it?

As for Mattel? Sanrio products may generate some results, but I have a feeling that sales will help somewhat - short term. You have to remember that Sanrio is not like the Disney brand. Disney rules for both children and adults. Disney has always said their brand was for all ages from the very beginning. It cannot be said the same for Sanrio. There are still a lot of American adults turned off by the cutesy image or the kitsch image of Hello Kitty. They don't see what adult fans see of Sanrio's uniqueness. 

Maybe Mattel can help with that image, but time will tell.

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