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Barbie and Tim Hortons ‘Double Double’ Down on Hockey For Girls

By Gary Symons Few people in the licensing biz know this about me, but among other things I was a minor hockey coach for many years, as my elder daughter was a bit of a pioneer among female players. She started out playing full contact hockey against boys, because there was no girl’s team in our city, and later joined a girl’s hockey team. Every weekend at the crack of dawn we’d get up, stop at Tim Horton’s, and I’d alternate between sucking down a Double Double and screaming at the top of my lungs. For all those reasons, I was quite impressed to see Tim Hortons is now working on a program to empower young, female hockey players in a partnership with Mattel. The Tim Hortons chain is working… . . . read more

Mattel Names Catherine Frymark EVP Corporate Communications

Toy giant Mattel is getting a new voice, naming communications guru Catherine Frymark as their Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications. In this role, Frymark will oversee external and internal corporate communications globally as well as the Company’s philanthropic efforts, including the Mattel Children’s Foundation. Frymark will join Mattel next month, reporting to Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz. “Catherine is an outstanding executive, with a demonstrated track record of driving strategic communications during times of growth and transformation,” said Kreiz. “I look forward to partnering with her to tell our story in compelling ways, communicate our leadership in corporate social responsibility and amplify the Mattel purpose to empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.” Frymark joins Mattel from Discovery, Inc., where she… . . . read more

Licensing Veteran Nowicki Chosen for Key Role at Mattel

Mattel has new leadership in the critical role of global consumer products and franchise marketing, bringing on accomplished veteran Rosalind ‘Roz’ Nowicki. Nowicki has more than three decades prior experience working with kids’ products and entertainment brands, and is known for her deep experience in the world of brand licensing. She comes to Apple from her most recent gig at Peanuts Worldwide, where she was responsible for the company’s global business, including licensing, PR, finance, brand development, and operations. Nowicki was responsible, among other things, for Peanut’s brand collaborations with Vans, Levi’s and Marc Jacobs, and retail programs with H&M, Uniqlo, and Inditex, among others. Nowicki previously worked as EVP global sales and retail at 20th Century Fox Consumer Products, where she headed the growth of popular brands like Teenage… . . . read more

Mattel Reportedly Plans Game Show Based on ‘Uno’ Card Game

By Gary Symons If you’re going to launch a game show, what better way than to base it on an already popular game? That appears to be the thinking behind reports that toy and game giant Mattel is working Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens of Propagate to release a new show called The Uno Game Show. According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, the show will see the classic card game turned into a competition, with four teams facing off each episode to become an Uno champion. If that sounds a bit dry for TV, the onscreen version of Uno will feature what Mattel is calling a “super-sized Uno experience” that includes trivia questions, audience participation, and physical challenges. Mind you, that was pretty much the same as… . . . read more

Hello Kitty Scores Partnership With Bandai UK’s Tamagotchi

It’s been a busy and successful week for Sanrio’s Hello Kitty property, as the company followed up on its partnership with Mattel’s Barbie, announcing a collaboration with the popular Tamagotchi ‘virtual pet’ game. Tamagotchi was introduced to the world as a virtual pet, housed in a tiny digital device, first released in Japan in 1996 and internationally in 1997. The little egg-shaped device became hugely popular through the late 1990s and 2000s, and by 2017 Bandai had sold 82 million units. A little known fact is that co-creator and inventor Aki Maita won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Economics for the creation of Tamagotchi. Tamagotchi gameplay centres on the natural, human desire to care for others, and particularly children. Marketed initially to teenaged girls, Tamagotchi are a small alien species that… . . . read more

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… . . . read more


Dolls Help Drive Mattel Quarterly Revenue up 10% over Last Year

US toy giant Mattel reported a sterling quarter with revenues increasing by 10 per cent over the same period last year, despite challenges posed by COVID-19, and driven by a strong IP licensing portfolio. Mattel says the company’s net sales in North America increased 13 per cent over the prior year’s quarter, primarily driven by growth in dolls, action figures building sets, games, and ‘other’, which includes products like plush toys, card games, Pictionary, and toy vehicles. The gains were partially offset by declining revenues in the Infant, Toddler and Pre-School segment, which includes Fisher Price and Thomas and Friends. The international market saw Mattel post gains of eight per cent for net sales, with all segments other than the Infant, Toddler and Pre-school segment seeing growth. Strong IP licensing… . . . read more


Who’s News: August 2020

The latest hires, promotions, and departures.

Featuring: Condé Nast, Ubisoft, IDW Publishing, Activision Blizzard, Abysse Corp.,, Insight Editions, and more…

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Retail Sales of Licensed Merchandise Based on $100MM+ Entertainment/Character Properties

This chart was published Nov. 2019 in conjunction with an in-depth analysis of entertainment/character properties with at least $100 million in sales in the U.S./Canada for 2018…

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Who’s News: July 2019

The latest hires, promotions, and departures.

Featuring: Viacom, PVH,, Kidtagious, PRH, Wildbrain, and more…

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