A 60 year old doll brand the Hot Wheels franchise gave Mattel some better than expected earnings announced earlier – revenue fell less than some feared over Xmas and with some tough cost cutting efforts underway the toy makers overall earnings were pretty upbeat and saw the stocks climb up to 20% before falling back. Sales of Barbie climbed 12 per cent and Hot Wheels were up nine per cent (Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends, which fell 17 per cent). For the year, Barbie sales totalled $1.09bn, marking its highest full year in five years with Hot Wheels totalling $834.1 million the highest on record. Putting a bit of a Debby Downer on things is the fact they’re on track to cut costs by up to $650 million are giving more than 2,200 the chop. The partnership with Warner Bros Pictures Group to develop a live action Barbie film starring Margot Robbie and the announcement of a Hot Wheels film both have us pretty excited.