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Mattel Developing Polly Pocket Film

Mattel Films and MGM Partner With Award Winning Actress/Producer Lena Dunham Mattel is hoping for a huge hit from a ridiculously tiny toy line, working with MGM and Lena Dunham’s Good Thing Going production company on a live action film based on the Polly Pocket line of micro-toys. Dunham (“Industry,” “Girls”) will also write and direct the family comedy, which will star Lily Collins (“Emily in Paris,” “MANK”) in the leading role as Polly. The film follows a young girl and a pocket-sized woman who form a friendship. “Polly Pocket was responsible for countless hours of childhood escapism for me—Polly gave me a tiny world of magic and autonomy to narrate, so it’s pretty poetic to be tackling these same ideas now as a director collaborating with the brilliant Lily… . . . read more

Mattel Goes Green With Toy Recycling Program

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Mattel continues to make big moves as a leader in corporate sustainability, this week announcing the launch of Mattel PlayBack, a toy takeback program that will enable families to extend the life of their Mattel toys once they are finished playing with them. The new program is designed to recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys for future Mattel products, and supports the company’s goal to achieve 100 per cent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging by 2030. Just last week, Mattel also unveiled the first of its zero carbon emission Matchbox cars; a miniature Tesla Roadster designed to be recycled and with environmentally friendly packaging. “Mattel toys are made to last and be passed on from… . . . read more

Hollie Holmes Takes The Wheel At PlayMonster

PlayMonster LLC has made a big move in its licensing department, announcing Mattel’s Senior Director of Strategic Development, Hollie Holmes, is joining the company as its Global Head of Licensing. This is a new position at PlayMonster, a Wisconsin-based toy company that has grown to offer products globally. The company says Holmes will oversee the company’s global licensing business with an emphasis on the development and expansion of new intellectual property across new and existing categories. She will report to Scott Flynn, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at PlayMonster. “Hollie brings vast experience and demonstrated success in building strong licensing programs that impact business in a meaningful way,” said Flynn. “It’s a whole new level of focus for us that we expect will not only amplify our existing portfolio but… . . . read more

Mattel Signs a ‘Ludacris’ Deal

Toy giant Mattel is joining forces with star musician and songwriter Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges on a new animated series called Karma’s World, to air on Netflix later this year. The agreement creates a joint venture between Mattel, 9 Story Media Group Inc., and Karma’s World Entertainment for a multi-year global licensing deal tied to Karma’s World, the series created by Bridges. Better known by music fans as ‘Ludacris,’ Bridges is a successful actor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist as well as one of music’s most successful recording artists. He has starred in several top box office and critically acclaimed films, including the Fast and Furious Franchise, Fear Factor, and Crash. The Atlanta, Georgia rapper is known for his love of community, which led him to launch The Ludacris Foundation (TLF), in 2001. This nonprofit organization… . . . read more

Rock’em Sock’em Robots Get Silver Screen Treatment

Mattel Inc. is working with Universal Pictures and action star Vin Diesel’s One Race Films to bring a Rock’em Sock’em Robot movie to the big screen. The classic table top game lets players take control of two robotic pugilists, who trade plastic blows until one of their heads pops up, signaling a knockout punch. Now, in the tradition of films like the Hugh Jackman vehicle Real Steel, the Rock’em Sock’em Robots will star in a feature film alongside Diesel. Mattel Films will produce the project alongside Diesel and Samantha Vincent  of The Fast and the Furious franchise from One Race Films. Ryan Engle (“Rampage,” “The Commuter”) penned the screenplay for the action adventure, which follows a father and son who form an unlikely bond with an advanced war machine. Kevin… . . . read more

Zara Offers Human-Sized Barbie Fashion in Mattel Partnership

The international fashion company Zara has launched a clothing line based on Mattel’s Barbie in a campaign that includes digital marketing and product cross-collaboration. Under the agreement, Zara is now selling a line of Barbie-inspired clothing and accessories, and also has some Zara-themed dolls for sale, as in the sample photo below. “Barbie’s newest collaboration with Zara reflects the latest spring trends in great style, perfectly tied with the power of the Barbie brand,” says Lisa Weger, consumer products head, Europe, Mattel. We’re excited to see it come together in a strong and accessible collection that will attract Barbie and Zara fans around the world.” The new collection is being released to mark the anniversary of a previous release, when a Barbie line was launched last summer, including a variety of printed… . . . read more

Mattel Releases First ‘Zero Emissions’ Matchbox Car With Tesla

Mattel Inc. this week announced its Drive Toward a Better Future program, unveiling the Matchbox Tesla Roadster, its first die-cast vehicle made from 99% recycled materials and certified CarbonNeutral. The Matchbox Tesla Roadster will be available starting in 2022. The release is Mattel’s first step on a product roadmap intended to make all Matchbox die-cast cars, playsets and packaging with 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic by 2030. The roadmap is in line with Mattel’s goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all its products and packaging by 2030. This first vehicle in the new, sustainable Matchbox line is also partnered with Natural Capital Partners. The Matchbox Tesla Roadsters have been certified CarbonNeutral by Natural Capital Partners, and the carbon offset credits are going towards a fund preserving… . . . read more

Mattel TV Announces Two New Barbie Specials

Mattel has said it will be greatly increasing its film and television production efforts in 2021, and the company this week announced the launch of two new animated Barbie specials for streamers and broadcasters this spring. The first of the two specials is “Barbie & Chelsea The Lost Birthday,” the first dedicated television movie featuring Barbie’s younger sister Chelsea in a starring role. The second special, which follows the success of last year’s “Barbie Princess Adventure,” will be a musical that follows Barbie and her friends to New York City. Directed by Cassi Simonds (“Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures”), “Barbie & Chelsea The Lost Birthday” tells the story of Chelsea, Barbie’s precocious youngest sister, and the rest of the Roberts family as they set sail on an adventure cruise for her seventh birthday…. . . . read more

A Tale of Two Toymakers Influences Their Content Goals

Hasbro Restructuring Eone, Mattel Creating More Content By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The toy industry enjoyed a surprisingly strong year in 2020, despite and partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean toymakers haven’t faced serious challenges in their operations. Despite the strong year for toy sales overall, Hasbro has seen a drop in their share price this week after the company forecast a decline in its operating cash flow this year. As well, Hasbro has announced cuts to its newly acquired Entertainment One film and TV division. Entertainment One is known for highly successful children’s programming like the Peppa Pig and PJ Masks children’s shows, which it sells to media outlets. Hasbro bought out Entertainment One a little over a year ago for $4 billion,… . . . read more

Mattel Takes a Swing at a Whac-A-Mole Game Show

Toy giant Mattel is working with America’s Got Talent producer Fremantle to develop a frantic new game show based on the Whac-A-Mole game it acquired in 2009. Mattel and Fremantle say the Whac-A-Mole game show will be a wild, physically challenging elimination competition in which opposing teams will use their skill, strength and endurance to become the Whac-A-Mole champion. The unscripted reality series will include a life-sized Whac-a-Mole, races and obstacle courses. “Whac-A-Mole is a beloved, action-packed arcade game with a deep fan following, and the interactive nature and comedic energy of the game makes it a great franchise for episodic television,” said Adam Bonnett, Executive Producer, Mattel Television, who is leading the development project for Mattel. “Jayson and the team at Fremantle have had unparalleled success creating iconic reality television… . . . read more