Mattel headquarters in El Segundo, California, US, on Friday, April 28, 2023.
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Mattel hopes a new hire will help it expand its content slate, following the blowout box office success of “Barbie.”
The toy maker, home to Hot Wheels and American Girl, announced Thursday that it has hired former Fox and Sony exec Michelle Mendelovitz as head of Mattel Television Studios.
“The opportunity to connect worldwide audiences with Mattel’s iconic brands, franchises, and characters through high-quality storytelling is greater than ever before,” said Mattel Chief Franchise Officer Josh Silverman. “I look forward to the impact Michelle and Mattel Television Studios will have on expanding the content slate to the delight of our fans around the globe.”
Mendelovitz previously held senior roles at Disney 20th Television Studios, Apple TV+, Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television Network.
Mattel Television Studios, which produces and distributes television content for the toy company, has previously created TV shows based on some of the company’s most well-known intellectual property. Releases ranged from live action shows to animated specials and series based on toy brands like Barbie, Thomas & Friends and Hot Wheels, the company said in a press release.
It’s Mattel’s latest move to double down on the strategy that led to the record-breaking “Barbie” blockbuster this summer.
Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said last month that the company is focused on “capturing the full value of our IP outside the toy aisle.”
The toy maker’s content slate will only grow with Mendelovitz at the helm, a Mattel spokesperson told CNBC. “Hot Wheels Let’s Race” and “Masters of the Universe: Revolution” are a few of the new releases planned for the upcoming year.
The toy company is also banking on taking IP from the screen to the shelves. Mattel plans to launch new Barney content through TV, film and YouTube videos in 2024, followed by a toy and product line in 2025. The animated series, “Barney’s World,” will launch on Cartoon Network and Max next year, the company announced earlier this year. “Barney & Friends,” the original children’s TV program starring the famous purple dinosaur, wrapped production of new episodes in 2010.