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Cuteness Overload: Barbie Partners with Hello Kitty

US toy giant Mattel has partnered with Sanrio to create a branding dynamo, combining the iconic Barbie line with the globally popular Hello Kitty brand for the first time.

The two companies say they will collaborate on the development of a colourful and contemporary product line aimed at kids and adults that will span accessories, apparel, health and beauty, and footwear.

The lines are due for release in early 2021 with an initial focus on soft lines, but will expand with new offerings throughout the year.

“We’re excited to bring the world of Hello Kitty to life through this consumer products partnership with Barbie,” said Lisa Weger, Mattel’s regional head of consumer products for EMEA. “The collection will enable fans of all ages to experience Hello Kitty and Barbie through a range of products that positively capture both these iconic brands’ essence.”

A new Barbie & Hello Kitty creative has been designed for the collaboration, using the logos and artwork of both brands to create a unified, distinctive look that will be brought to market across the product range in a new co-branded style guide developed in El Segundo by Mattel’s creative group, in collaboration with Sanrio.

The announcement of the partnership comes on the back of an impressive quarter for revenue, and strong projected growth next year within EMEA for Mattel’s consumer products. Mattel, in its last earning report, said Barbie in particular is expected to grow by double digits in consumer sales.

Sanrio’s Chief Operating Officer Silvia Figini says the partnership is ideal for both brands, as they have a common and very loyal audience.

“We are extremely happy to collaborate with a global icon like Barbie,” said Figini. “Brand partnerships are part of our DNA, and they are consistent with Hello Kitty’s motto: ‘You can never have too many friends’.

“We share some key values – such as friendship, kindness and inclusivity – and we have a common fan base of girls and young women who grew up loving both characters and are willing to pass this love to their own daughters,” Figini added. “The range of products will be an amazing combination of both brands, and we are sure consumers will be excited.”












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