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Girls enjoying their playtime with the new Barbie Fashionista dolls. — Picture courtesy of Mattel Southeast AsiaGirls enjoying their playtime with the new Barbie Fashionista dolls. — Picture courtesy of Mattel Southeast AsiaNEW YORK, July 28 — Mattel Inc posted quarterly sales and profit that fell short of estimates as higher sales of toys based on the Cars 3 movie failed to offset weak demand for its main brands such as American Girl, Barbie and Fisher-Price.

Shares of Mattel fell about 4.1 per cent to US$20.42 (RM87.31) in aftermarket trading yesterday.

Sales by the girls and boys brands unit, which includes Barbie and Hot Wheels, rose 10 per cent in the second quarter ended June 30, driven by the release of its Cars 3 toys.

Those toys, die-cast and miniature models of Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm, on May 1, rolled out ahead of the film’s June 16 release.

The Cars movie franchise has been profitable for the toymaker since the series launched in 2006. But US demand for “Cars 3” toys has been soft, Mattel said in a post-earnings call.

Sales of Barbie dolls declined 5 per cent and Fisher-Price toys fell 3 per cent. Demand was also weak for American Girl, Monster High, Mega Bloks and Thomas & Friends toys in North America.

“Barbie sales excluding the lapping of a license revenue event in the previous year would have been up about 5 per cent, but were not enough to offset more aggressive declines in Monster High and Ever After High,” Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink wrote in a client note.

Net sales rose about 2 per cent to US$974.5 million, but missed analysts’ estimate of US$979.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales in the company’s Asia Pacific region, of which China is a major part, rose 16 per cent to US$122.2 million in the latest quarter.

Mattel is renewing its focus on emerging markets such as China where it has tied up with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Chinese parenting website Baby Tree to set up educational development and learning centers for children.

Excluding certain items, the company lost 14 cents per share, missing analysts’ average estimate of a loss of 9 cents per share. — Reuters 

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