Being stuck at home with nothing to do has apparently led families to return to old favorites for entertainment. Mattel (MAT 4.15%) reported second-quarter results Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines as Barbie dolls and Uno playing cards saw strong demand.

With fall school reopenings still doubtful in many locations -- New York City, for example, may wait until there's a coronavirus vaccine before fully reopening -- the back half of Mattel's year could be robust, too. 

Collection of Barbie dolls

Image source: Mattel.

Back to basics

Mattel said revenue fell 15% year over year as retail stores were shut down, but net sales of $732 million were well ahead of expectations of just $678 million. And its loss for the quarter of $0.31 per share was flat versus a year ago, but better than the $0.36 per share loss Wall Street anticipated.

The better-than-expected outing was a result of Barbie sales exceeding even management's expectations. Global demand for Barbie was up more than 35% from last year. According to market research company NPD Group, the doll was the No. 1 toy property in the U.S. for five consecutive weeks. Mattel is also launching a program on Netflix in the fall called Princess Adventures that it believes will keep the momentum on Barbie going for some time.

Walt Disney's Star Wars franchise also contributed to the results as the "Baby Yoda" plush toy from the hit TV series The Mandalorian saw a successful launch. 

The games division also grew by double-digit rates as Uno saw strong results and was the No. 1 game in the U.S., according to NPD, and the digital version was a top-five downloaded card game in the U.S. 

Now that most stores have reopened, Mattel is expecting to build on the gains of the second quarter.