Toy giant Mattel announced the formation of Mattel Creations, a new division to house content development for its global brands and library of toys across film, television, and digital platforms, according to Deadline.
Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Mattel’s Chief Content Officer, has been named head of the new division, along with creative executive Christopher Keenan, who has been named SVP, Content Development & Production.
Mattel’s brands include Barbie, Hot Wheels, American Girl, and Monster High.
“Today, toys and content are increasingly inseparable,” says Balsam-Schwaber. “More than ever, children expect play experiences that seamlessly combine toys, content and stories in an imaginative and engaging way.”
Mattel is playing catch-up to rival Hasbro, which has taken a more active role in content development tied to its toy universe (including Transformers, My Little Pony, and G.I. Joe) for many years. Hasbro announced a deal to collaborate with Paramount Pictures on a cross-property, interconnected film universe in December (see “The '80s Toy Box Explodes Onscreen In Cross-Property Film Universe”), after announcing a writers room for G.I. Joe and Micronauts similar to the collaboration it’s using for the Transformers franchise (see “Writers Rooms for 'G.I. Joe' and 'Micronauts'”).