Star Wars action figures are helping Hasbro's revenue blast off, and the toy maker's stock has grown more than 40 percent in 2008. Despite a slowing economy...

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Star Wars action figures are helping Hasbro’s revenue blast off, and the toy maker’s stock has grown more than 40 percent in 2008.

Despite a slowing economy, parents are still willing to spend more on toys for their kids, and Hasbro (HAS) is stocked with well-known brands, from G.I. Joe to Lite-Brite to Playskool.

In the second quarter, some of the biggest growth came from its Star Wars line, up 82 percent, ahead of the recently released animated movie in theaters and a television show to debut this fall.

Moody’s recently said it may upgrade Hasbro’s credit rating, which is at the lower end of investment grade, due to its strong brands and worldwide reach.

Nearly 40 percent of Hasbro’s second-quarter revenue came from outside the U.S. and Canada. Through the year’s first six months, international revenue grew 18 percent, above the 8 percent rise for U.S. and Canadian sales.

To be sure, toy purchases may be resistant to economic downturns, but they aren’t immune. BMO Capital Markets analyst Gerrick Johnson notes that retail traffic has been “spotty.”

He recently downgraded the stock to “underperform,” saying although it’s performing well, Wall Street’s expectations are likely too high.