Mattel launches new content creation division, Mattel Creations

New division will encompass Mattel's in-house studio, Playground Productions.
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Mattel has formed a new theatrical, TV and digital content creation division called Mattel Creations.

Mattel Creations will utilise the firm's portfolio of brands to drive content across multiple platforms including theatrical, television and digital.

The new cross-portfolio content strategy will be headed by Mattel’s chief content officer, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber.

“Today, toys and content are increasingly inseparable,” said Balsam-Schwaber.

“More than ever, children expect play experiences that seamlessly combine toys, content and stories in an imaginative and engaging way. By leveraging the power of our global consumer brands, our goal with Mattel Creations is to build and amplify these integrated play experiences on a global scale, in ways that will resonate with children and parents alike.”

Mattel has also promoted longtime creative executive and award-winning producer Christopher Keenan as senior vice president, content development and production.

Keenan will oversee a new centralised content development and production team, encompassing Playground Productions in El Segundo, the HIT content creation team in London, and the American Girl content creation team in Middleton.

"This is an incredibly exciting time to expand my role at Mattel, and to bring the talents and expertise of multiple content teams together under a single, creative banner,” said Keenan.

“Mattel and its brands are known for their enduring, iconic characters and our goal is to grow deeper engagement with consumers through compelling content on a variety of platforms. With incredible in-house creative resources and best-in-class partners, the Mattel Creations team is truly poised to be a leader in entertainment content for children and families."

The first two projects under the Mattel Creations banner will be WellieWishers, an animated series inspired by Mattel's American Girl brand, and Barbie Dreamtopia, the latest Barbie CGI movie special.


Big screen beckons for Mattel Creations

The new division has a slate spanning live-action movies, video games, TV shows based on the American Girl and Barbie brands, as well as feature-length specials for Fireman Sam, Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder.

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Mattel Creations SVP Christopher Keenan on the business' first year, new Barbie content and plans for Thomas & Friends

Mattel launched its new content and entertainment hub, Mattel Creations, earlier this year, but already the studio is redefining the company’s wider approach to TV, film and digital for some of its biggest brands, including Barbie, American Girl and Thomas & Friends. Robert Hutchins talks to Christopher Keenan, SVP of content development and production at Mattel, about the latest developments for the blossoming studio.

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