Mattel announces licensing deal with Sanrio that includes Hello Kitty and other brands

June 4, 2019

Hello Kitty Store
Hello Kitty Store (Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood)

The following is a press release from Mattel:

Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT) today announced an international licensing agreement with Sanrio, Inc. Through this new partnership, Mattel will design and develop a wide array of toys, dolls, playsets, games, puzzles, baby gear, plush, vehicles and other products inspired by Hello Kitty & Friends and Hello Kitty Cafe, as well as a range of characters in the Sanrio portfolio – including Hello Kitty, Keroppi, Chococat, Badtz-Maru, Little Twin Stars, Tuxedosam, Pompompurin, My Melody, Hangyodon, and Pochacco, among others. The toy lines and games will available in North America, Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand beginning Fall 2020.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190604005409/en/

“We’re excited to bring the Supercute world of Sanrio to life through toys that will allow for fans of all ages to experience Hello Kitty and Sanrio Friends in new ways,” said Janet Hsu, Chief Franchise Management Officer of Mattel. “This relationship is another example of Mattel’s commitment to collaborate with globally-recognized franchises as part of our transformation into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.”

“Mattel is the perfect partner to align with our mission to evolve the brand and connect with Sanrio fans worldwide,” said Craig Takiguchi, COO of Sanrio. “Their global reach and creative approach to product development and storytelling is like no other. I am confident that together we will transform our toy business in a unique way that will resonate with generations of Sanrio fans.”

About Mattel

Mattel is a leading global children’s entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends® and MEGA®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.

About Sanrio®

Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty®, and home to many other beloved character brands including Chococat™, My Melody™, Badtz-Maru™, Keroppi™, Gudetama™ and Aggretsuko™. Sanrio was founded on the ‘small gift, big smile®’ philosophy – that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration to offer quality products, services and activities that inspire unique consumer experiences across the world. Today, Sanrio’s legendary breadth of products are available in over 130 countries and in retail locations including department, specialty, national chain retailers and Sanrio boutique stores. To learn more about Sanrio, please visit www.sanrio.com and follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Mattel introduces Barbie Career 60th Anniversary doll collection

March 6, 2019

Barbie Career 60th Anniversary Collection.
Barbie Career 60th Anniversary Collection. Pictured from left to right: Maya Gabiera, Surfer, Brazil; Naomi Osaka, Tennis Player, Japan; Kristina Vogel, Cycling Champion, Germany; Tessa Virtue, Ice Skater, Canada; Yara Shahidi, Actress, United States; Adwoa Aboah, Activist and Model, United Kingdom; Dipa Karmakar, Artistic Gymnast, India; Chen Man, Photographer, China; Ita Buttrose, Journalist, Australia. (Photo courtesy of Mattel)

The following is a press release from Mattel:

Mattel, Inc. kicks off worldwide celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Barbie, the number one fashion doll in the world designed to inspire the limitless potential in every girl.

In its 60th year, the Barbie brand is honoring the largest lineup of global female role models and taking the next step to close the Dream Gap by donating to fund like-minded organizations aimed at leveling the playing field for girls through the Mattel Children’s Foundation. Research** has shown that starting at age five, girls start doubting their potential, this is the Dream Gap.

“For 60 years, Barbie has championed girls, inspired generations to believe through make believe and showed them that they have choices. With more than 200 careers, six runs for president and a trip to the moon before Neil Armstrong, Barbie continues to evolve to be a modern, relevant role model for all ages,” said Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Barbie.  “The Barbie brand believes girls should never know a world, job, or dream women haven’t conquered. Through our global platform, we are igniting a movement to help close the Dream Gap and further establish Barbie as the ultimate girl empowerment brand.”

The brand is celebrating and inspiring girls around the world in its 60th year by:

  • CELEBRATING ROLE MODELS TO INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION by shining a light on women who are breaking boundaries in a variety of diverse career fields.
    • Barbie will honor more than 20 women across multiple countries and continents ranging from 19 to 85 years old and speaking 13 languages.
    • This is the largest and most diverse lineup of women honored to date by Barbie and a continuation of the “Shero” program launched in 2015.
    • These women are gifted a one-of-a-kind doll made in their likeness, the highest honor from the Barbie brand.
    • Around the world, Barbie is honoring role models including actress and activist, Yara Shahidi, tennis star, Naomi Osaka, activist and model, Adwoa Aboah, and many more.
  • LAUNCHING THE BARBIE DREAM GAP PROJECT FUND by dedicating resources to like-minded organizations in support of closing the Dream Gap and leveling the playing field for girls.
    • Barbie will donate one dollar from every doll sold* in the United States up to $250,000. The funds will be managed through the Mattel Children’s Foundation, the company’s social impact arm.
    • Follow @barbie during the 60th celebrations and join the conversation to help close the Dream Gap and inspire a girl in your life by using #Barbie60 #YouCanBeAnything.
    • This initiative builds on theBarbie Dream Gap Project announced last year, the brand’s ongoing global initiative to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential
  • LEVERAGING BARBIE AS A ROLE MODEL and connecting with fans through inspiring content that is purpose-driven at the core, while entertaining and fun.
    • As the #1 girls brand on YouTube, Barbie has a powerful platform to showcase teachable moments and is launching a new vlog on March 7 called “Finding Your Voice.”
    • For the month of March, Barbie Vlogger becomes an editor on the YouTube Kids app with a curated playlist of inspiring videos. Barbie Vlogger was given this honor because she has become a top girl influencer on YouTube with more than 108 million views.
  • HOSTING INSPIRING EVENTS FOR GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD and inviting fans everywhere to celebrate Barbie, a global cultural icon. To find an experience near you, please visit www.Barbie.com/60.
    • An immersive Barbie pop-up experience in New York City to celebrate the brand’s past, present and future on March 9. Equal parts fashion tribute and art installation, fans of all ages can celebrate the icon.
    • The Barbie “Be Anything” Tour will kick-off in Bentonville, Ark. with GRAMMY-nominated, country music star Kelsea Ballerini on March 9 and 10. It will run through October and stop at 36 participating U.S. Walmart locations. At each stop, girls can hear about a role model’s journey, enter for a chance to win up to $20,000 to make their dreams come true and enjoy other fun and interactive experiences for the whole family.
    • “Barbie Presented by Amazon” pop-up stores are in five major markets across the U.S. based on Amazon’s innovative physical retail model. Fans are treated to an immersive Barbie experience through April 2.
    • In-store activations in various participating U.S. Target locations throughout the country on March 9 that will feature the “What Will You Be” exclusive Barbie-themed apparel and accessories line for girls ages 5 to 10.
    • Celebrating female empowerment with a visual message at landmarks across the world including New York’s Empire State Building, TOKYO SKYTREE®, Toronto’s CN Tower and Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
  • INTRODUCING COMMEMORATIVE PRODUCT encouraging girls to dream. From princess to president, astronaut to zoologist, there isn’t a plastic ceiling Barbie has not broken.
    • Barbie Career 60th Anniversary doll collection celebrates six careers that have been in the Barbie line from the beginning and are still areas that are underrepresented by women, including astronaut, pilot, athlete, journalist, politician and firefighter.
    • Barbie 60th Anniversary and Proudly Pink Barbie dolls pay homage to Barbie’s heritage with stunning design to celebrate 60 years of fashion.
    • The brand is collaborating with partners across multiple categories including apparel, publishing, food, beauty, travel and more to celebrate the milestone.

Visit barbiemedia.com for more information, images and video footage of the brand. Follow @barbie and @barbiestyle on social media and join in the celebration using #Barbie60 and #YouCanBeAnything.

*For every Barbie doll purchased in the U.S. between 3/6/19 and 3/11/19, Mattel will donate $1.00 to the Barbie Dream Gap Project Fund (part of the Mattel Children’s Foundation) – up to a maximum total donation of $250,000. Offer is void in AL, AR, CT, HI, IL, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NY, SC and UT.  No portion of the purchase is tax deductible.

**Study conducted by researchers at New York University, the University of Illinois and Princeton University.

About Mattel

Mattel is a leading global children’s entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends® and Mega®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.

Toys ‘R’ Us is closing or selling all of its stores in the U.S. and U.K.

March 14, 2018

Toys R US

by Patricia Garrett

Toys “R” Us (which also owns Babies “R” Us) will be closing or selling all of its U.S. and U.K. stores, the company has announced. Toys “R” Us currently has about 1,600 stores worldwide, with about 880 of those stores in the United States. According to the New York Times,  about 30,000 jobs in the U.S. will be affected by the closures, which are expected to be completed before the end of 2018. The news of the closures comes after Toys “R” Us filed or Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2017. The company owes about $5 billion in long-term debt.

Founded in 1948, Toys “R” Us reigned for many years as the world’s leading retailer for toys. The company was known for its Geoffrey giraffe mascot and for an advertising jingle that featured the saying, “I don’t want to grow up. I’m a Toys “R” Us kid.” In recent years, the company’s business was significantly eroded by competitors such as Amazon and Walmart, which have been able to offer larger inventories of toys and bigger discounts. According to several published reports, the holiday 2017 shopping season was disastrous for Toys “R” Us and was the final nail in the coffin for the company.

Although the Toys “R” Us brick-and-mortar stores will be closing, the Toys “R” Us brand could still live online, since the company is weighing several offers to buy the brand. If the Toys “R” Us brand name is sold, it will  very likely be used for an online retail business.

Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy and announces widespread store closings

September 19, 2017

Toys R US

by Patricia Garrett

Toys “R” Us, the iconic toy retailer founded in 1948, has filed for bankruptcy,  According to the New York Times, the company (which also own Babies “R” Us and the FAO Schwarz retail brands) owes more than $5 billion in long-term debt to its creditors,  which include Mattel and Hasbro.  Toys “R” Us currently has more than 1,600 retail stores around the world (about 800 of those stores are in the U.S.), and the vast majority of toys “R” Us stores are expected to be closed in 2018. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 18, 2017.

Originally headquartered in Washington, D.C., Toys “R” Us is currently based in Wayne, New Jersey. In recent years, the company has faced stiff competition from Amazon, Walmart and Target, which have been able to offer larger toy inventories and bigger discounts.

Toys “R” Us chairman/CEO Dave Brandon commented in a statement about the bankruptcy: “Today marks the dawn of a new era at Toys “R” Us, where we expect that the financial constraints that have held us back will be addressed in a lasting and effective way,”

 

Mattel launches Enchantimals franchise

July 18, 2017

Mattel's Enchantimals
Mattel’s Enchantimals (Photo courtesy of Mattel, Inc.)

The following is a press release from Mattel:

Mattel reveals a new brand franchise, Enchantimals™, a fantastical world celebrating the special bond between kids and animals, as pets are often a child’s very first bestie. Enchantimals joins the Mattel girl’s portfolio of well-known brands offering products and engaging storylines that ignite imaginative play.

Launching with 14 small dolls and 3 playsets, Enchantimals product inspires stories of friendship, empathy and compassion towards all living things. The characters and stories come to life through a variety of short-form YouTube content and 60-minute televised special this fall.

“At Mattel we are passionate about introducing properties that are both on-trend and purposeful,” said Lori Pantel, SVP and GM for Girl’s Toy Box, “We’re essentially bringing a popular animal aesthetic inspired by social media filters and marrying it with product and stories encouraging empathy and friendship.”

The Enchantimals dolls are loveable characters who share a special bond with their accompanying animal bestie. Each doll shares a ritual with her animal friend celebrating their unique traits and personalities.

Enchantimals product ranges from $8.99 – $34.99 rolling out to retailers nationwide this fall. Follow along on the Enchantimals journey on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

THE WORLD OF ENCHANTIMALS
The Enchantimals™ are a group of lovable girls (who are half animal) who have a special bond with their animal best friends. Each character is complete with her animal sidekick with whom they share unbreakable bond of friendship. These pairs of animal besties use their abilities and compassion to maintain balance, peace and harmony amongst all living things. Fans will have fun discovering new characters and collecting them all!

CORE CHARACTERS

  • Felicity Fox™ & Flick™: Felicity is quick, clever and completely curious about anything and everything. Felicity and Flick love to go exploring together, especially to places they have never been to before.
  • Danessa Deer™ & Sprint™: Danessa is the shy and quiet type whose actions speak louder than her words. Danessa and Sprint’s favorite game is to race each other through the forest to see who is the fastest.
  • Sage Skunk™ & Caper™: Sage has a mind as quick as her feet and she’s an ace problem solver. When Sage and Caper aren’t working on a new song together, they’re usually planning some elaborately clever prank.
  • Bree Bunny™ & Twist™: Bree is always up to her ears in creative do-it-yourself projects. Bree and Twist are like twin fountains of bubbling creativity. No one has more fun making something together than they do.
  • Patter Peacock™ & Flap™: Patter is proud of her fashionable feathers, and she loves to encourage her friends to be proud too. Patter may not have the best singing voice, but when she teams up with Flap their songs are always belted out in perfect harmony.

Shopkins by Moose Toys and Coolhaus partner to release exclusive ice cream flavor celebrating limited-edition Shoppie doll

July 17, 2017

Moose Toys
(Photo courtesy of Moose Toys)

The following is a press release from Moose Toys:

Shopkins and Coolhaus today announced a dream partnership for any Shopkins fan and ice cream lover! The two brands, both known for their trendsetting and innovation, will come together to create a brand new ice cream flavor to celebrate the launch of the San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Shoppie Doll, Bubble Gum Pop Bubbleisha.

The Bubble Gum Pop Bubbleisha doll is the follow-up to the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con debut sell out Golden Cupcake Jessicake doll.  Fan-favorite Bubbleisha is featured as the Queen of Karaoke, dressed in pink holographic with a collectible holographic boom box packaging. The limited edition item also includes two exclusive Shopkins in translucent finish with iridescent glitter, and an exclusive retro cassette-tape VIP card. This year’s doll will be limited to 1,500 units worldwide and each will be individually numbered.

“Shoppies are now one of the world’s most popular dolls and we are so excited to bring another exclusive Shoppie to this year’s San Diego Comic-Con,” said Paul Solomon, Co-CEO of Moose Toys. “Working with Coolhaus, another brand known for their commitment to quality and innovation, is the perfect way to really take our presence at this year’s event to the next level. We know our fans are going to love it!”

The delicious, one-off flavor is called Bubbleisha’s Poplicious Party and is a Strawberry fun-fetti ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and yellow cake pieces sandwiched between two confetti Whoopie Pie cookies and dusted with edible glitter.

Fans will be able to sample it from the disco pink branded truck, in the area around the San Diego Convention City on Thursday, July 20 (and at the Coolhaus Culver City store location for a limited time only), and 10 lucky customers will have the chance to win the exclusive doll – every 100th customer will receive a Bubbleisha of their very own!

“We love working with a product that is just as fun as Coolhaus,” commented CEO and Founder Natasha Case, “We know Bubbleisha will be a fan-favorite and are excited to join Bubbleisha’s Poplicious Party with this limited edition flavor.”

Mattel’s Barbie brand launches most diverse Ken dolls so far

June 20, 2017

Dolls in the Barbie Fashionistas collection
Dolls in the Barbie Fashionistas collection (Photo courtesy of Mattel)

The following is a press release from Mattel:

Barbie announced the expansion of its Fashionistas line with 15 new and diverse Ken dolls, featuring three body types—slim, broad and original—and a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles and modern fashion looks. The new Ken dolls join an expanded Barbie Fashionistas line, making it the most diverse fashion doll line in the marketplace.

In 2016, Barbie introduced three new Barbie body types—tall, curvy and petite—along with new skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles and countless on-trend fashions and accessories.  The Barbie brand has always reflected the times, so modernizing Ken is the next step in the brand’s evolution to offer more diverse products.

Dolls in the 2017 Mattel’s Barbie Fashionista Collection (Photo courtesy of Mattel)

“By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Barbie. “Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie’s world.”

The line includes 15 new Ken dolls with three body types, seven skin tones, eight hair colors, nine hairstyles and modernized fashions, ranging from casual business attire to athletic wear. The brand is also introducing 25 additional diverse Barbie dolls. These dolls join the 100+ diverse looks launched in the Barbie Fashionistas line in the last three years.

The Barbie Fashionistas segment continues to exceed expectations, as sales of the line see high double-digit growth globally and was named “Doll of the Year” at the Toy Industry Association’s Annual T.O.T.Y. Awards. Diversity continues to roll out across brand content, marketing and product, including the Fantasy, Entertainment and Careers segments.