Author Topic: Geobra redundancies and outsourcing, restructuring Playmobil (Autumn 2023)  (Read 7850 times)

Offline StJohn

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It was announced today, Monday 2nd Oktober, that there will be significant redundancies, in Germany and international. Justified by disappointing sales and profits, the usual thing. Last Friday we were already told that the technical department producing new moulds for the injection moulding machines will be closed, with future new moulds being commissioned with external partners. This is surely the most significant announcement:

Nürnberger Nachrichten, 1.10.2023, 20:17 Uhr
Quote
(...) die Horst Brandstätter Group lagert den Formenbau aus. Er habe eine lange Tradition im Unternehmen, gehöre aber nicht zu den Kernkompetenzen, so Pressesprecher Björn Seeger: "In Zukunft werden Formen in deutlich geringerem Umfang benötigt, sodass eine verbesserte Kostenstruktur, aber auch mehr Flexibilität bei der Entwicklung dringend notwendig werden."

This is the key: "moulds will be needed to a much lesser extent in the future". Let this sink in: a plastic moulding company stops producing the key component for its industry because they won't need it any more. So, there we have it. They are closing shop on new directions, after pretty much everything (Novelmore, EverDreamerz, Ayuma, Spirit, Duck On Call, etc., etc.) has been a sales disappointment. In the best possible world, Geobra will now focus on its back catalogue and continue with releases of the Steck and System-X classics, as we have seen and enjoyed recently. In a less attractive scenario, Playmobil will be wound down signifiantly, and Geobra will refocus on entirely different products. At any rate: secure your wish list of sets and spare parts now, the future will be very different from today.

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It's over Playmobros  :'(  :sorrow:

edit: huh the crying emote doesn't work
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If only they'd listened to even a single fan idea for a new theme
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Offline Klickteryx

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I'd like to know if Novelmore performed better than the knights range it replaced. Then again, outside anime which uses a lot of medieval style settings, how much exposure do young children get these days of the middle ages, or any historic period for that matter?

Offline playmovictorian

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I am so sorry to hear this as I thought that Playmobil was doing well releasing so many new themes and genres and it is still a much loved and well known brand with kids of all ages...

Please do forgive my ignorance since I still live in the 1900's but does this mean that Playmobil will not be using its own moulds anymore to produce its range of toys.

I am stunned and really saddened by this news  :'(
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Offline playmovictorian

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On the same sad topic  :(

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/crisis-struck-german-maker-playmobil-155940199.html

"The crisis-hit German toy company behind Playmobil, the small plastic figures loved by children the world over, said on Monday that it was cutting 17 percent of its workforce.

The Horst Brandstaetter Group, named after its founder, plans to slash nearly 700 positions worldwide by 2025, 369 of them in Germany, amid long-running business woes.

"The company management took this decision after a comprehensive analysis of all divisions and in light of the development of the business and current economic challenges," it said in a statement.

The "fundamental restructuring" comes in the wake of "the worst global recession since World War II", the group said, triggered by the Covid pandemic and compounded by the Ukraine war and supply chain disruptions.

This had led to falls in sales and profit during the past two business years, it said. For the 2021-22 business year, the group reported a 2.8 percent drop in turnover to 736 million euros ($773 million).

With the job cuts, the group said it aims to transform into a "lean and powerful, internationally well-positioned company" with strong investment in its core brands.

It said it would work with labour representatives to minimise the impacts on employees by encouraging early retirement or transfers to other business divisions within the group.

In 1958, the company launched the first hula hoop which went on to become a worldwide hit.

When the oil crisis drove up the cost of plastic manufacturing in the 1970s, Brandstaetter asked the company's master mould-maker Hans Beck to develop a completely new toy system that could be continually expanded.

Beck came up with the 7.5-centimetre (3-inch) play figures. The initial three models -- a knight, a construction worker and a Native American –- were introduced to the public in 1974.

Today, the figures range from police and pirates to fairies and clowns.

Danish competitor Lego said in August that its net profit fell in the first half of the year but its market share grew as sales rose slightly.

In contrast to Playmobil, Lego saw three years of record-breaking sales boosted by lockdowns during the Covid pandemic, a feat attributed to the success of its "Star Wars" and Lego Icons lines."

La, tout n'est qu'ordre et beaute, luxe, calme et volupte. L'Invitation au Voyage. Charles Baudelaire.1857.

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In 1958, the company launched the first hula hoop which went on to become a worldwide hit.

Excuse me?  :hmm:
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Offline playmofire

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Excuse me?  :hmm:

Yes, the hula hoop was what made the money initially.
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Offline bogol

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I still can't wrap my head around it. "Making moulds is not a core competence of Playmobil", geobra says. Do they think sales will drop that badly that they can 3d-print their products? Made to order? Or will all future "novelties" just be re-releases of older sets? I could live with a return of the 80s and 90s, but would the company survive it? What does this press announcement actually mean? The end of Playmobil?

Offline StJohn

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What does this press announcement actually mean?

All very good questions, bogol. I don't have the answers but suspect that it actually is a good thing. What it means, I think, is that the have just announced the end to the licensing and franchise business, which must have demanded a sea of specific moulds never to be used again. Just think How to Tame Your Dragon and that swarm of creatures that were demanded for it, plus Berk. If sales then disappoint, then I wouldn't be surprised if they actually make a loss, also considering the licensing fee. Same, perhaps, with the in-house franchises: Novelmore and – more risky – Duck on Call – huge number of new moulds not easily offset by profits.

I don't think they will start 3D printing, as such products aren't sturdy enough yet. All that remains is laying on the old moulds once again, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially as new colours and prints leave ample scope for innovation. Just think of the Greek Gods: not a single new mould but, by the gods, what a wonderful series of great products!