By Gary Symons
TLL Editor in Chief
LEGO remains the world’s most valuable toy brand, but Hasbro’s Magic: The Gathering is the fastest growing franchise.
That’s according to the latest report from the brand valuation research firm Brand Finance, which issued its annual report this week.
Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions. For this report, Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the “Royalty Relief approach;” a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668.
“It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market,” the company says.
As well, the report does not rate companies by brand strength, but rather the branding of toy lines. For example, Mattel does not appear on the top 10 list, but brands that it owns, such as Fisher-Price, Barbie and Hot Wheels are on the list. In the same way, Hasbro as a brand placed 10th, but the NERF brand it owns places 5th on the list.
According to TOYS 25 2023: The annual report on the most valuable and strongest toy brands, LEGO has taken the crown as the world’s most valuable toy brand for nine straight years. Even more impressive, the Denmark-based toy giant has massively increased the value of its brand over the past year, despite a global slowdown in toy revenues in 2022. Brand Finance says the LEGO brand has grown by 24% year over year (YoY) to $7.4 billion.
That also means that LEGO’s brand value comprises one-quarter of the entire value for the top 25 toy brands in the world.
The Japanese toy company Bandai Namco places second for brand value, despite dropping 9% YoY to $1.6 billion.
However, while LEGO and Bandai top global toy brands, it’s the United States that dominates the global toy industry as a whole.
After LEGO and Bandai, American toy brands dominated the top ten of the ranking, making up seven of the top 10 by brand value. The US also accounted for 17 of 25 brands in the overall ranking, highlighting that the United States exerts significant clout in this culturally important sector.
Companies like Mattel, Hasbro and MGA Entertainment, among others, remain as some of the most powerful brands in the industry, as do some of their subsidiaries.
For example, Magic: The Gathering was rated by Brand Finance as the world’s fastest growing toy brand, with its value increasing by 122% in 2022 to $352.3 million, but Magic is actually a single product brand from Wizards of the Coast, which in turn is a division of Hasbro.
Along the same lines, Brand Finance has for the first time listed Star Wars as a separate toy brand, and in fact, it ranked first as the “strongest” brand, ahead of Fisher-Price.
In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance says it determines the “relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 150,000 respondents in 38 countries and across 31 sectors.”
On that basis, the report says Star Wars with a brand value of $262 million topped all other brands with a Brand Strength Index of 88 out of 100, winning it a AAA rating.
“The brand has benefited from a number of successful films and spin off series in recent years resulting in strong brand equity amongst consumers along with highly-regarded toys,” Brand Finance explained.
While Fisher-Price has a higher brand value ( (brand value up 18% to US$879 million), Brand Finance says it’s brand strength is marginally behind that of Star Wars. That said, it is also the third most valuable toy brand in the global rankings, and the most valuable toy brand in the United States.
To access the full report, go to https://brandirectory.com/rankings/toys/