EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This week, at the New York International Toy Fair, leading toymaker Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) will showcase its newest toys that transcend the traditional playroom. Delivering on three key business strategies of innovating core brands, developing new franchises and optimizing best-in-class entertainment licenses, Mattel once again brings magic to play.
“We engage with kids where they are today through rich content, innovative toys, and real-world experiences that bring our trusted portfolio of brands to life,” said Lisa McKnight, SVP Marketing North American Division. “We continue to shape the future of play by extending engagement both inside and outside of the toy aisle, creating meaningful and lasting connections with families.”
NEW GLOBAL MAX STEEL™ PROPERTY JOINS MATTEL PORTFOLIO OF BRANDS
Mattel takes its expertise in play beyond toy, and into the content creation space as it develops and launches new franchises into the marketplace. Focused on fostering an emotional connection with kids, Mattel starts with compelling storytelling and aspirational characters that are rich enough to live on any platform, enabling an immersive brand experience that reaches kids everywhere they are today.
In 2013, Mattel brings Max Steel™, a wholly-owned intellectual property from Mattel and currently the #1 boys brand in Latin America1, to a global stage as its newest franchise. An action-adventure superhero series for tween boys that incorporates teamwork, humor and friendship, the story revolves around the trials and tribulations of a teenaged boy and his pursuit to unlock his inner hero. With worldwide distribution partners in more than 100 territories including Disney XD in the U.S., the multi-platform franchise launches with a dynamic web destination, featuring rich content and interactive gameplay as well as a robust portfolio spanning toys, digital platforms and consumer products.
Supporting the property, Mattel will unveil a diverse toy portfolio including action-figures, vehicles and role play items as well as soon to be announced publishing, enabling boys to connect with the new brand, each in their own way. The Max Steel™ Turbo Battlers Basic Figure Assortment, for example, offers two-inch scale figures on spinning bases for battles, perfect portability and collectability.
In less than three years, the Monster High® franchise has earned a spot on NPD’s list of top 10 toy brands2, and become the #2 Fashion Doll property in the U.S. according to NPD Group3. Utilizing the monster metaphor to encourage girls to celebrate their imperfections and accept those of others Monster High® brand in 2013 delivers engaging new characters and rich content with an all new, direct-to-DVD movie, 13 Wishes, in anticipated partnership with Universal, and complete line of 13 Wishes dolls and playsets. Fans meet new characters in the Monster High® 13 Wishes™ Doll Assortment while ghoul favorites return to haunt the casbah dance in the Monster High® Haunt the Casbah™ Doll Assortment.
THE FUTURE OF PLAY BEGINS TODAY
With some of the best properties in the industry, Mattel invigorates its powerhouse brands with new tech innovation, customizable play options and branded experiences that enhance the brand connection for kids in new and meaningful ways. By continuously innovating, Mattel keeps its iconic brands fresh and relevant and with that, growing.
Extending its brand experience outside of the toy aisle, Mattel creates new ways for kids to connect emotionally with their favorite brands in authentic and realistic ways. In 2013 Barbie® invites girls to “See What Happens…” when she puts her iconic Malibu Dreamhouse® on the market for $25 million and embarks on a global search for the next place to call home. Throughout the year Barbie® will invite girls to play in her world like never before with the launch of a global brand campaign featuring real-life, life-sized experiences, online engagement and retail touch points that bring the Barbie® Dreamhouse® to life in new ways.
Hot Wheels® invites boys, and their moms, to see what it feels like to get in the driver’s seat through the search of Be The World’s Best Driver™, a competition that revs into action this spring with a mobile tour across the U.S., the release of engaging online webisode content, and promotions and extensions at retail.
Coming off a record sales year in 2012, the Little People® brand will enchant younger fans with the introduction of all new contemporary characters for today’s new generation of preschoolers, while preserving the charm that has contributed to the ongoing success of the brand’s 54 year heritage; Fisher-Price partners with award and Emmy-winning writers, as well as illustrators and a musical team, including singer/songwriter and children’s TV star, Genevieve Goings, to launch musical and animated webisode content this June, which will bring to life a multicultural, ensemble cast of rich, engaging Little People personalities.
Mattel knows technology is aspirational for today’s kids and is a leader in using technology to amplify traditional play patterns and create new play experiences. Featuring the latest LED and touch-screen technology, the Barbie® Digital Dress Doll allows girls to customize Barbie® doll’s dress with digital graphics such as hearts and stars, or explore the draw and design function – combining fashion with technology. iOS devices are also an exciting way to animate and expand play, as well as engage and stimulate a child’s development in new ways. New this year, the Barbie® Digital Makeover Mirror uses facial tracking technology to transform an iPad® into a digital mirror that invites girls to select options like eye shadow, lipstick, color, and glitter to apply to the girl’s live image on the iPad® screen without the mess of makeup. Additionally, girls who love Disney Princesses will enjoy unlocking activities throughout The Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle with the help of an iOS device and the Disney Magic Mirror Augmented Reality App. Girls can simply scan the defined labels in each of the Disney Princess themed fairy-tale rooms for an even more interactive Princess play experience.
Fisher-Price aids parents of young children in navigating the digital play space, with offerings from infant to preschool. To date, its Laugh & Learn™ apps have generated more than 6.5 million downloads. The new Fisher-Price Create & Learn Case for iPad® protects an iPad while children draw and play. The stylus invites kids to create with rich content, and the included Alphabet Animation cards come to life in 3D on the screen when seen by the iPad’s camera, enabling children to watch and interact with the pictures.
Customized play not only fosters the imagination but gives kids the opportunity to decide how exactly they want to engage with their most favorite brands, fostering self-expression and creativity. The new Hot Wheels® Car Maker lets kids create their very own Hot Wheels® cars in 1:64 scale using a specially designed internal heating system that molds the vehicles. And Hot Wheels® Spinshotz™ Rail Rip Race lets kids take Hot Wheels® for a whirl—literally—with disc-shaped stackable spinners, that go beyond traditional vehicle-based play with the ability to speed, accelerate and fly through obstacles or down the iconic orange Hot Wheels® track.
Preschoolers can create their own Fisher-Price: World of Little People® thanks to Fisher-Price: World of Little People® thanks to a clever system of fence connections to organically connect the home to the farm and more. Finally, the crown jewel of the Fisher-Price infant business, Laugh & Learn, introduces its first ever content hub for the brand, a Laugh & Learn microsite featuring baby’s first learning friend, “Puppy,” for moms and their children to explore together and engage with adorable webisodes and music videos, learning games, play tips, a funny, relatable “Learning Happens video” and more. The site recently launched in the US and will roll out globally.
ENTERTAINMENT & PARTNERSHIPS
Having the hottest entertainment licenses for 2013 that span movies and TV properties as well as in-house mega stars Barbie®, Hot Wheels® and Monster High®, Mattel is an industry leader at bringing stories to life across all platforms year after year. In 2013 Mattel unveils a robust line of licensed toys featuring new personalities from Frozen (Disney), Sofia the First (Disney Jr.), Octonauts (Disney Jr.), Planes (Disney), Man Of Steel (Warner Bros.), Turbo (Dream Works Animation), Bubble Guppies (Nick Jr.), and returning favorites like Mattel’s own Thomas & Friends®.
For girls, Disney Jr.’s Sofia the First, a new television series, chronicles the adventures of a princess in training. With the Talking Sofia and Animal Friends Feature Dolls, the 10 ½” Sofia doll can recognize and talk with three of her best animal friends—using her special amulet, just like in the series. And from a princess in training to Disney Princess, the Disney Princess Klip Klop Stable by Little People® brings the horses of the Disney Princess characters to life as they magically "klip klop" or trot down the ramps to different royal destinations including a Tower and Stable.
For boys, Disney takes racing to the sky with its new theatrical release Planes, hitting theaters August 2013. Disney Planes Wing Control Dusty Crophopper radio control plane lets kids recreate the action of the film with this RC vehicle that offers role-play remote control, which means the plane moves when they do. Kids can also play out DreamWorks Animation’s high-velocity 3D comedy, Turbo, about an ordinary snail who dares to dream big - with the Turbo Shell Racers™ Vehicles Basic 2 Pack Assortment featuring character favorites from the movie. The collectible character two-packs feature roll-around racing action in “snail scale” size that make Turbo Shell Racers perfect for anytime, anywhere play. Fans of Mike the Knight will love the Mike the Knight Glendragon Castle Set, which has all the actions, phrases, delightful surprises and hidden treasures to help play out the world of Glendragon and help Mike become a knight!
Joining the Mattel stable of brands, Thomas & Friends® delivers a 360º brand experience through toys, licensed products and experiential partnerships. Thomas & Friends® Wooden Railway King of the Railway Deluxe Playset lets kids relive the excitement of the new Thomas & Friends® DVD movie King of the Railway by helping Millie get ready for the opening of Ulfstead Castle on Sodor, delivering endless hours of fun adventures.
For Mattel and Fisher-Price Toy Fair gallery b-roll and photos please visit www.mattelbrandsmedia.com. Check out Fisher-Price on Twitter @fisherpricenews and follow Mattel on Twitter @MattelNews. Consumers can also visit www.MattelShop.com for more information. Please note credentials are required to attend all press events in the Mattel showroom.
1 *Max Steel emerging as No. 1 Boys Brand in Latin America (Nielsen 2011)
2 In the U.S., Monster High became a top ten property among all toys. This now gives Mattel 5 of the 10 top properties in the toy industry as of YTD Nov'12 according to NPD.
3 In the U.S., Monster High is the #2 selling fashion doll property in 2012 as of YTD Nov'12 according to NPD.
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Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Monster High®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends®, Fisher-Price® brands, including, Little People®, Power Wheels®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the sixth year in a row. Mattel also is ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel.