The maker of Barbie dolls warns Trump’s tariffs ‘will impact the entire toy industry’

US News

  • The toy maker Mattel warned Friday that President Donald Trump’s tariffs “will impact the entire toy industry.”
  • Industry toys are not on Trump’s tariff lists yet, but some raw materials are.
  • The company reported third-quarter earnings that missed on both the top and bottom lines.
  • Watch Mattel trade live here.

Mattel, the second-largest toymaker behind Hasbro, warned Friday that President Donald Trump’s tariffs against China will hurt the toy industry.

“This is something that will impact the entire toy industry,” Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Mattel told investors during his company’s third-quarter earnings call on Friday.

“The Toy Industry Association of America reported recently that 85% of all toys sold in the US are imported from China. In our case, it is actually less than two-thirds, so we are somewhat in a better position.”

RELATED: Take a look at the products that will be impacted by Trump’s trade war: 


Products directly hit by Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods

See Gallery

Meat: pork; beef intestine; rabbit meat; venison; frog legs

Fish and seafood:live fish including ornamental fish, trout, eels, tuna, and carp; chilled or frozen meat of various types of trout, salmon, halibut, plaice, sole, albacore, tuna, herring, mackerel, cobia, swordfish, pollack, whiting, catfish, rays, and more; various types of salted or smoked fish; other seafood including various types of lobsters, crabs, shrimps, prawns, oysters, scallops, mussels, clams, squid, octopus, conchs, abalone, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins.

Non-meat animal products such as eggs and dairy:Whey products; butter; various types of eggs including chicken; honey; hair of animals including human, hog, horse and badger; animal intestines, bladders; feathers; bones including shells, beaks, corals, hooves, antlers, and more.

Vegetables:onions; garlic; cauliflower and broccoli; cabbage; carrots; turnips; radishes; beats; cucumbers; peas of various types; beans; lentils; celery; mushrooms; peppers of various types; squash; okra; sweet corn; potatoes; sweet potatoes and yams; some types of tomatoes; spinach; Brussels sprouts.

Fruit and Nuts: Coconuts; cashews; almonds; hazelnuts; walnuts; chestnuts; pistachios; macadamia nuts; pecans; dates; figs; pineapples; guavas; oranges; mandarins; clementines; raisins; grapes; apples; pears; quinces; peaches; berries including strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries and others; bananas; a variety of dried fruits; peels of various fruits.

Cereals: wheat, including durum wheat; barley; oats; corn; various types of rice; grain sorghum; buckwheat; quinoa; and more.

Mill products: flours including those form wheat, corn, buckwheat, rice, rye, other cereals, potatoes, and bananas; groats and meal of various types including wheat, corn, oats, and rice; malt; starches of wheat, corn, potato, and more

Oil seeds: soybeans; seeds of sunflower, flax seed, sesame, mustard, poppy and more; planting seeds for certain crops; cocoas and mint leaves; and seaweeds.

Sugars and candies: cane sugar; candies with no cocoa

Breads and Pasta: uncooked pasta; various breads, pastries, cakes, and biscuits.

Prepared vegetables and fruits: various vegetables and fruits previously listen in their prepared or preserved forms; various fruit jams including strawberry, pineapple, apricot, and more; peanut butter; various fruit juices including orange, pineapple, lime, grape, apple, and more.

Other food items: soy sauce; condiments and seasonings; protein concentrates.

Beverages and vinegars: water, including mineral water; fruit or vegetable juices and juice mixes; beer from malt; wine, including rice wine; ethyl alcohol; vinegars

Food processing waste and animal feed: brans from processing; oil cakes; dog or cat food; animal feed

Tobacco products: various types and preparations of tobacco; tobacco refuse; cigars; cigarettes; smoking tobacco

Salts and minerals: salt/sodium chloride; sulfur; graphite; quartz; types of clays; chalk; slate; marble; granite; sandstone; dolomite; gypsum; some plasters; some types of cement; mica; Epsom salts

Ores, slag, and ash: ores of iron, copper, nickel, cobalt, aluminum, lead, zinc, tin, chromium, tungsten, uranium, titanium, silver, other precious metals, and others; slag, various types of ash.

Mineral fuels and oils: coal; lignite; peat; coke; tars; various types of light oil; various types of kerosene; petroleum oils; liquefied fuels including natural gas, propane, butane, ethylene, and petroleum; oil shale and tar sands

Inorganic Chemicals: chemicals such as chlorine, sulfur; carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and silicon; acids including sulfuric, nitric, and more; various types of fluorides, chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, carbonates, and more.

Fertilizers: animal or vegetable fertilizers; urea; ammonium sulfate; sodium nitrate; and more.

Tanning and drying extracts, dyes, and paints

Essential oils, perfumes: perfume; lip or eye make up preparations; manicure or pedicure products; shampoo; hairspray; bath salts.

Soaps and cleaning products: various types of soap; leather and textile treatments; polishes for shoes and furniture.

Glues, adhesives, and enzymes

Photographic goods: various types of photo plates; instant film; various types of film in rolls; various types of motion picture film.

Various chemical products: pesticides; herbicides; fungicides

Plastics: vinyl flooring and other plastic floor and wall coverings; sausage casings; bags; gloves including baseball gloves; rain jackets; machinery belts.

Rubber: latex; rods, tubes, and other products; conveyor belts; various types of transmission belts; various types of pneumatic tires; gloves; gaskets; dock fenders.

Raw hides and leather: animal skins including cow, buffalo, sheep, goats, reptile; various types of leather made from cow, buffalo, sheep, goats, reptile; leather trunks and suitcases; leather handbags; CD cases; gloves including ski, ice hockey, and typical use; belts; fur clothing, incluidng artificial fur.

Wood: fuel wood; charcoal; various types of wood including oak, beech, maple, ash and cherry; moldings; rods; particleboard; various types of plywood; doors; corks and stoppers; wicker and bamboo baskets.

Paper: Newsprint; writing paper; vegetable parchment; carbon paper; self-adhesive paper; cigarette paper; envelopes; tablecloths; handkerchiefs; folders.

Wool or animal hair products: cashmere; yarns; tapestries and upholstery.

Cotton: fibers; thread; yarn; denim; satin.

Man-made textiles: polypropylene; rayon; nylon; polyester

Other textile products, rope, twine: hammocks; fish nets; carpets;

Fabrics: corduroy; gauze; terry towel; lace; badges; embroidery

Headgear: caps; hairnets; wool hats; head bands

Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos: stone for art; marble slabs; roofing slate; millstones; sandpaper; floor or wall tiles; cement bricks.

Ceramics: fire bricks; pipes; tiles; porcelain and china.

Glass and glassware: balls; rods; drawn or blown glass; float glass; tempered safety glass; mirrors; carboys, bottles, jars, pots, flasks, and other containers; microscope slides; woven fiberglass

Precious stones and pearls: industrial diamonds; silver and products made of silver; gold and products made of gold; platinum; palladium.

Iron and steel and products derived from the metals:drums; tubes; pipes; doors; windows; screws; horseshoes;

Copper: plates; cables; tubes; pipes; springs

Nickel: bars; rods; wires

Aluminum:powder; cable; wire; screws.

Various metal products, tools, cutlery: industrial items made from lead, zinc, tin, and more; saw blades; bolt cutters; hammers; wrenches; crow bars.

Machinery, both industrial and retail: steam turbines; engines; fuel-injection pumps; air compressors; air conditioning machines; refrigerators; cream separators; hydraulic jacks; escalators; manure spreaders; copiers; automatic beverage-vending machines

Electronics: vacuum cleaners; hair clippers; spark plugs; generators; bicycle lights; electric amps; television cameras; various types of TVs; video projectors.

Vehicles and parts: axles; driving shafts; gear boxes; radiators.

Ships and boats: sailboats; motorboats; canoes; yachts.

Instruments for scientific or medical purposes: microscopes; cameras for non-art purposes; gauges for pressure, electrical currents, and more.

Furniture, bedding, mattresses: car seats; wood chairs; furniture designed for offices, kitchens, and more; mattresses; chandeliers; lamps.

Assorted items: buttons; stamps; paintings; collections of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological interest; antiques of an age exceeding one hundred years



The Trump administration in March initiated a trade war against China by announcing plans to post a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trump later announced another 10% duty on $200 billion worth of import goods from China in September and threatened to impose third-round tariffs on another $267 billion Chinese goods.

As of Friday, the first two rounds have taken effect and individual toys are not yet on the list of tariffs so far, but some raw materials are, such as lithium batteries and chemicals that make Silly Putty. Moreover, the third round of tariffs would probably include finished toys. 

“With China supplying the vast majority of these juvenile products and with no alternative manufacturing capacity readily available elsewhere, tariffs on these juvenile products will result in higher prices and fewer choices for U.S. consumers,” Corinne Murat, director of government affairs at Mattel, wrote in a public letter to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in late August.

Mattel reported third-quarter earnings late Thursday that fell short of Wall Street expectations. Mattel earned an adjusted $0.18 a share on revenue of $1.44 billion, missing the $0.15 and $1.5 billion that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were looking for. 

The company also said gross sales fell 6%, primarily due to a negative 3% impact from the Toys R Us bankruptcy filed last year and a negative 3% impact from the slowdown in its China business.

If anything sounds encouraging, it’s that the toymaker has one advantage over the competition — the majority of its Hot Wheels and Barbie products are not manufactured in China. Gross sales in North America were up 6%, marking the highest sales growth in 11 quarters, driven by strong Barbie sales.

Mattel was down 2.5% following Friday’s earnings call and 15% this year.

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