Mattel has partnered with Sanrio to fashion a new partnership between the iconic dolls brand Barbie and the globally revered Hello Kitty, marking the first time the two have come together in the consumer products space.
The collaboration will see the development of a colourful and contemporary product line aimed at kids and adults that will span accessories, apparel, health and beauty, and footwear. The range will roll out across EMEA from early next year with a focus on softlines initially, but will expand with more products added at intervals throughout 2021.
A vibrant new Barbie x Hello Kitty creative has been designed for the partnership, uniting the logos and creative of both brands to create a distinctive and standout look. This will be brought to life across the product range in a new co-branded style guide developed in El Segundo by Mattel’s creative group in collaboration with Sanrio.
The announcement of the partnership comes on the back of projected growth next year within EMEA for Mattel’s consumer products, with Barbie, in particular, expected to grow double digits in consumer sales across its core consumer products range. This growth would have been helped along by the high-profile 60th Anniversary brand campaign for the market-leading doll brand and ongoing success of its role models campaign across EMEA.
Lisa Weger, Mattel’s regional head of consumer products for EMEA, said: “We’re excited to bring the world of Hello Kitty to life through this consumer products partnership with Barbie. The collection will enable fans of all ages to experience Hello Kitty and Barbie through a range of products that positively capture both these iconic brands’ essence.
“This partnership is another great example of our commitment to collaborate with globally-recognized franchises and developing exciting products.”
In recent months, Sanrio has successfully continued on its corporate mission, based on the philosophy of fostering social communication and focusing on friendship as a key asset for every human being to succeed. Dedicated marketing and digital campaigns are being developed globally and will see the interaction of Hello Kitty with the other Sanrio characters, in a newly launched program named Hello Kitty and Friends.
Silvia Figini, chief operating officer, Sanrio – EMEA, India and Oceania, Mr Men – Worldwide, commented: “We are extremely happy to collaborate with a global icon like Barbie. Brand partnerships are part of our DNA and they are consistent with Hello Kitty’s motto: ‘You can never have too many friends’.
“We share some key values such as friendship, kindness and inclusivity, and we have a common fanbase of girls and young women who grew up loving both characters and are willing to pass this love to their own daughters. The range of products will be an amazing combination of both brands and we are sure consumers will be excited.”