It's only a single data point for a single quarter, but the fact that major toy maker Mattel Inc. posted financial results for Q1 2010 that were a huge improvement over the same period last year may be a sign that the toy and hobby business is finally showing strong signs of improvement.
According to a Mattel feature story released by PlayThings:
"Toy maker Mattel, Inc. has returned a first-quarter profit of $24.8 million, a dramatic improvement over last year’s first-quarter loss of $51 million. The difference is 7 cents per share profit as opposed to 14 cents per share loss in those time frames. For the quarter, revenue was $880.1 million, up 12% compared to $785.6 million last year, including favorable changes in currency exchange rates of 3 percentage points."
Gross sales in quite a few important categories, including Mattel's girls and boys brands, increased strongly with some categories posting sales with double digit percentage gains, lead by Mattel's entertainment business with a whopping 35% jump.
All things considered, the news is quite encouraging, not just for Mattel, but for the overall toy and hobby industry in general. It could certainly be the light at the end of a long economic tunnel.