Mattel, Inc. has announced plans to launch a Mattel publishing imprint, the company’s own publishing platform centred on its extensive catalogue of children’s and family entertainment franchises, including Barbie and Hot Wheels.
Mattel’s imprint is expected to launch in the United States and Canada in 2024 and will complement content, support brand initiatives, and create new stories based on iconic Mattel franchises including Barbie, Barney, Dino-Riders, Dinky Toys, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Major Matt Mason, Matchbox, Monster High, Polly Pocket, Thomas & Friends and many, many more.
It’s too early to say how this might impact existing licensing arrangements beyond North America.
Comics are, so far, not mentioned, but releases will include print books, audio books, eBooks, as well as digital content on Caribu, Mattel’s direct-to-consumer entertainment platform, acquired last year, with a video calling feature that allows users to read books, watch videos, draw, and play games or engage in an interactive video call with friends and loved ones. Titles from Mattel’s imprint will complement programs from its best-in-class licensing partners with formats to include board books, storybooks, leveled readers, middle-grade titles, activity titles, guidebooks, and more.
Publishing is core to Mattel’s strategy and a key component of the company’s franchise flywheel ecosystem. American Girl, for example, encourages fans to delve into the backstories of their favorite characters through novels and journals by American Girl Publishing. With its new imprint, Mattel will expand this success across its catalogue of globally beloved IP. Several American Girl titles have been penned by New York Times bestselling authors, including Varsha Bajaj (It’s Showtime, Kavi) and Brit Bennett (Meet Claudie). More than 160 million American Girl books have been sold to date.
“We have seen firsthand the immense value in providing fans of our franchises with multiple avenues to further engage with their favorite Mattel brands, characters, storylines and worlds,” said Josh Silverman, Chief Franchise Officer and Global Head of Consumer Products at Mattel. “In launching our own publishing imprint, we simultaneously unlock limitless exploration for kids while continuing to realise the full value of our IP.”
With Mattel print publications set to begin releasing in 2024, new Mattel and American Girl content has already launched on Caribu. In February, digital versions of the illustrated character journals for Isabel and Nicki, the latest American Girl historical characters, were launched on the platform.
Mattel’s sales and distribution partner will be announced at a later date. Press assets for Mattel’s publishing imprint can be found here.
• Visit Mattel online at mattel.com
• Stay up to date on news related to the Mattel publishing imprint by following @Mattel on Facebook and Instagram
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