“We are committed to creating the future of play for children here in this region,” says VP

Mattel shines spotlight on Asia after Shanghai Toy Fair

Mattel’s presence at this year’s Shanghai Toy and Licensing Brand Fair helped expose the firm to one of its most important markets in the world.

As well as meeting prospective partners, Mattel used the event to launch Max Steel in the region.

“We were delighted to be a participant in the recent Shanghai Toy and Licensing Brand Fair and had the opportunity to meet many of current and potential partners,” said Claire Gilchrist, vice president of Mattel Brands Consumer Products Asia Pacific.

“We wanted to showcase Mattel’s commitment to the introduction of exciting and relevant new intellectual property to the market place. Last year we introduced a new tween girl property called Monster High to the region and this year we are really excited to introduce new tween boy property Max Steel.

“Our objective was to showcase Mattel’s commitment to supporting our mission of Creating the Future of Play and developing products, content and experiences that deliver play in a meaningful way to mum’s and children in China and across the region.”

With around 775 million children aged between 0 and 14, Asia is an increasingly important force in the global toy market, and Mattel wants to continue to have a presence in the region.

“Mattel has a long manufacturing presence in Asia. We are committed to becoming part of the community and contribute back and at the same time, we are equally committed to creating the future of play for children here in this region – via our toys and consumer products,” Gilchrist told ToyNews.

“Our key brands – including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and Fisher-Price – have been well-received by children and their parents here in Asia.

“There will always be universal truth to child development and what playing means to children. Therefore, our products are well-received here in this part of the world.”

And while Mattel sees a ‘universal truth’ to what children enjoy playing with, the firm is tailoring certain elements of its toy ranges to suit the Asian market.

Gilchrist stated: “We will always look carefully into the local markets, and identify how we can further adapt to the local markets and make our brands even more relevant.

“We have Mega Bloks Barbie riding on cars in the US. But here in Asia, in markets like Indonesia and China, you notice more people commute on motorcycles. Therefore, we worked with our licensee and launched Mega Bloks Barbie on motorcycles.

“We also have Fisher- Price animals that speak more to the local Chinese culture.

“In China, you would see Fisher-Price panda animals instead of lions, because parents are more used to seeing pandas here in China,” Gilchrist concluded.

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