Mattel Television
FormerlyMattel Creations (2016–2019)
Company typeDivision
IndustryTelevision production
Predecessors
FoundedMarch 31, 2016; 8 years ago (2016-03-31)
HeadquartersBurbank, California,
U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Adam Bonnett (executive producer, division head)
  • Frederic Soulie (general Manager and senior vice president)
  • Christopher Keenan (senior vice president for content development and production)
  • Philip Breman (vice president, scripted and unscripted live-action series development)
Products
ParentMattel
Footnotes / references
[1][2]

Mattel Television is the television production division of American toy and entertainment company Mattel, originally founded on 31 March 2016 as the successor to Mattel's earlier entertainment division, Mattel Playground Productions, under the name Mattel Creations.[3][4]

It took on its current name with the hiring of former Disney Branded Television programming executive, Adam Bonnett, on 5, February 2019[5] and began gravitating heavily towards the production of streaming media for release on YouTube variants and Netflix whiles maintaining the television forays of its previous incarnation.[6][7]

Background

Before the formation of Mattel Creations, Mattel signed a pact with DHX Media (now WildBrain) on 16 December 2015 to co-produce and co-distribute newer productions and episodes of existing television shows and web series based on Polly Pocket, Little People and HIT Entertainment brands Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam.[8] At MIPCOM 2015, HIT Entertainment itself, through its owner Mattel, announced its last partnership in its existence with 9 Story Media Group to revive/reboot Barney & Friends and Angelina Ballerina for distribution in 2017, but nothing was disclosed of in terms of green-lighting them since then.[9]

History

Former logo as Mattel Creations used from 2016 to 2019.

Mattel formed a division called Mattel Creations on March 31, 2016, seeking to unify, centralize and revamp its entertainment business; it absorbed its main entertainment division at the time, Mattel Playground Productions, HIT Entertainment and the American Girl creative team in Middleton, Wisconsin on its launch.[3] Mattel then appointed its then-chief content officer, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, as its head and had HIT Entertainment president Christopher Keenan elevated or promoted to being its senior vice president overseeing development and production of productions from the division.[3][4]

Mattel Creations signed an exclusive 7-year global subscription video on demand (SVOD) rights agreement with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for the Barbie film library on October 16, 2016, including the two films released at the time; Barbie: Star Light Adventure and Barbie: Video Game Hero.[10]

Catherine stepped down from her position and left Mattel on February 12, 2018 to take over as general manager of Craftsy, with Mattel's co-president and chief operating officer, Richard L. Dickson, adding the oversight of the division to his roles.[11]

Mattel hired former Disney Branded Television programming executive Adam Bonnett as executive producer and head of a reorganized Mattel Television on February 5, 2019, which effectively replaced Mattel Creations.[5] A week later, Mattel Television announced a proposition of twenty-two animated and live-action television programs.[6][7] Former Saban Brands executive, Frederic Soulie, who was appointed as the senior vice president for content distribution and business development of the franchise management group division set up by Dickson and Ynon Kreiz, chairman and CEO of Mattel, to expand the company's entertainment business, was named senior vice president and general manager of Mattel Television.[1][2]

On February 23, 2021, Mattel Television announced the return of the Monster High brand three years after its last production with an animated series and a live-action musical film, both of which aired on Nickelodeon and Paramount+ in the United States on October 6, 2022.[12][13] On August 30, 2021, with the Universal deal expired, Mattel struck a deal with local home video releasing powerhouses, Mill Creek Entertainment and NCircle Entertainment, for the newer Netflix-based content for DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD distribution to the U.S. and Canadian markets.[14][15][16][17][18]

On September 7, 2021, following the debut of the streaming television film Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams on Netflix, Mattel hired former NBCUniversal vice president of current programming, Philip "Phil" Breman, to be the vice president oversseing live-action scripted and unscripted series development.[19][20][21] Following its global popularity and success, Mattel Television unveiled a 26-episode animated streaming television musical serial adaptation and continuation of the film on February 1, 2022 known as Barbie: It Takes Two.[22][23] The first half of episodes were released on Netflix in the U.S. on April 8, 2022 with the other half on October 1, with availability in other countries and territories reached 3 months after the American release. The series also aired on television in Australia, the UK and Ireland, Canada and Portugal.

On October 21, 2022, Mattel announced an agreement extension with Netflix that would make available the pre-2017 film catalogue previously held by Universal Pictures occasionally through the streaming service and the inaugural interactive "special" in the Barbie media franchise, Barbie: Epic Road Trip, which released 4 days later.[24][25][26] On October 25, 2022, Mattel capitalized on the audiovisual revival of Monster High by jointly announcing a sequel to the live-action film with Nickelodeon and Paramount+, which began production began the following year on February 7 and premiered on October 5, 2023.[27][28][29][30][31]

On February 16, 2023, Mattel published through Google Drive its content slate portfolio for the 2023–24 and 2024–25 fiscal years,[32] including a revival of Fireman Sam and a makeover revival of Barney & Friends.[33] On March 7, 2023, NBC green-lighted a car makeover competition featuring Hot Wheels called Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge.[34][35]

On September 28, 2023, Netflix announced Hot Wheels Let's Race, a new animated series adaptation of Hot Wheels which premiered on March 4, 2024.[36]

Filmography

As Mattel Creations
Title Release date(s) Type Co-producer Distributor(s) Notes
Thomas & Friends: The Great Race
  • May 21, 2016 (UK; theatrical)
  • September 2016 (DVD)
  • Early 2017 (TV)
Animated film Arc Productions
Barbie: Star Light Adventure
  • July 30, 2016 (Fathom Events)
  • August 29, 2016 (Home video release)[37]
Animated film Final production of Arc Productions before payroll glitch-turned-bankruptcy and re-opening as Jam Filled Entertainment's Toronto division/branch
Barbie Dreamtopia[38]
  • January 10, 2016 – April 1, 2018 (original)
  • July 21 – October 21, 2021 (as a Barbie Return to Dreamtopia segment of Barbie's Dreamworld)
Animated web serials
  • Snowball Studios (original)
  • Relish Studios (Barbie Return to Dreamtopia)
Began with a teaser promo video released on YouTube on 14 January, followed by 4 3-minute shorts also released on YouTube between 5 May to 21 July and then a 46-minute television special released by Universal on 16 June, all in 2016, which was broadcast on television in 5 countries and regions. The positive reception obtained resulted in the green-lighting of a web special released on 4 May 2017 called "Festival of Fun" and a 26-episode web series, which was released from 5 November 2017 to 1 April 2018, both on YouTube and YouTube Kids. The former would be re-released in 3 pieces as part the first batch of the latter. Ireland-based Relish Studios produced a web mini-serial spin-off of the franchise titled Barbie Return to Dreamtopia as part of a broader animated web series franchise known as Barbie's Dreamworld which was released between 21 July and 21 October 2021.
Monster High: Great Scarrier Reef June 23, 2016 Animated film DHX Media Vancouver
  • Cartoon Network (Latin America)
  • Nickelodeon (United States; worldwide)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (home video formats)
61 minutes[39][40]
WellieWishers September 8, 2016 Animated series Submarine Studios 2 seasons, 26 episodes; American Girl doll franchise[4][41]
Barbie & Her Sisters in A Puppy Chase October 18, 2016 Animated film Rainmaker Entertainment
  • Nickelodeon (U.S. broadcast)
  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (Home video release; international)[42][43]
Pre-production done by Arc Productions prior to its closure. The film was brought over to Rainmaker Entertainment for completion.
Barbie: Video Game Hero January 31, 2017 Last Barbie film to be shown on either Nickelodeon or other/another children's television network(s) in the United States
Monster High: Electrified February 12, 2017 Flaunt Studios
  • Cartoon Network (Latin America)
  • Nickelodeon (United States; worldwide)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (Home video formats)
64 minutes
The Toy Box April 7, 2017November 19, 2017 Reality series
  • ABC (U.S. broadcast)
  • Electus International
[38]
2 seasons[44]
Monster High: Adventures of the Ghoul Squad August 11, 2017February 9, 2018 Animated web series YouTube 12 11-minute episodes
Barbie Dolphin Magic September 18, 2017 Animated film Rainmaker Entertainment Television:
  • YTV (Canada)
  • Pop (UK and Ireland)
Streaming: Netflix (U.S., International)
Only Netflix-exclusive Barbie film to be released on home video (DVD and Digital HD) and video on demand by Universal.[45]
Thomas & Friends September 18, 2017January 20, 2021 Animated series Jam Filled Entertainment
Continued from The Britt Allcroft Company/Gullane Entertainment and HIT Entertainment
Pingu in the City October 7, 2017March 30, 2019 NHK Educational TV 2 seasons
Minecraft Mini Series October 26, 2017May 10, 2018 YouTube
Fireman Sam November 18, 2017 – present
  • 3 seasons, 10 previous seasons
  • Distributed by WildBrain
Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures[a] May 3, 2018April 12, 2020 Animated streaming television series Mainframe Studios Netflix (U.S., International)
Television:
5 seasons, 52 episodes[38]
Polly Pocket July 8, 2018 – present Animated series WildBrain Studios
As Mattel Television
Barbie: Princess Adventure September 1, 2020 Animated streaming television film Mainframe Studios Netflix
Barbie & Chelsea: The Lost Birthday April 16, 2021 Inaugural film to star Chelsea Roberts in a lead role since Barbie: Dreamtopia
Masters of the Universe: Revelation July 23, 2021November 23, 2021 Animated series Powerhouse Animation Studios 2-part animated series
Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams
  • August 20, 2021 (UK)
  • September 1, 2021 (U.S., International)
Animated streaming television film Mainframe Studios Inaugural Barbie-branded production starring Barbie Roberts from Malibu and a darker-skin tone Barbie Roberts from Brooklyn, New York City in Mattel's statement push to showcase absolute diversity within future productions in its media franchise. It was given a limited theatrical release in the British Isles on 20 August 2021 before the American Netflix debut.
Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go September 13, 2021 – present Animated series Nelvana Reboot of Thomas & Friends
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe September 16, 2021August 18, 2022 Animated streaming television series Netflix Re-imagining of the eponymous original 1983 TV series produced by Filmation.
Barbie: It Takes Two[22][23]
  • March 4, 2022 (Television debut; Australia via 9Go!)
  • April 8, 2022 – present (American Netflix debut)
Mainframe Studios Television:
Streaming: Netflix (U.S., International)[49]
Unveiled on 1 February 2022, via the Mattel website.[22][23] Television adaptation of Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams. First aired on television in Australia on 4 March and in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 2 April before launching on Netflix in the U.S. on 8 April. Also aired on television in Canada on 10 April[50] and in Portugal on 17 April.[51] The first half of episodes was released on 8 April and the other half on 1 October.
Deepa & Anoop August 15, 2022November 7, 2022 Musical streaming television series Kickstart Entertainment Netflix The inaugural television show based on original homegrown intellectual property. Created by Bollywood animator Munjal Shroff, written by Lisa Goldman and produced by Heather Kenyon, the show follows the adventures of a 7-year-old girl named Deepa, voiced by Pavan Bharaj, and her friend, a color-changing baby elephant named Anoop.[52] 2 seasons.[53]
Barbie: Mermaid Power September 1, 2022 Animated streaming television film Mainframe Studios
  • Netflix (U.S., International)[54]
  • 9Go! (Australia)
  • YTV (Canada)
This film was also shown in theatres/cinemas across Europe and the Middle East between September and October 2022. Second television film and third production overall to feature two girls named "Barbie Roberts". Perceived among fans as the sequel to Barbie Dolphin Magic.
Pictionary September 12, 2022 – present Game show
Syndication
Monster High: The Movie October 6, 2022 Live-action musical film[55]
Both were announced on 23 February 2021.[13][12]
Monster High[13][12] October 6, 2022 – present Animated television series Nickelodeon Animation Studio Nickelodeon
Barbie: Epic Road Trip[24] October 25, 2022 Animated streaming interactive special[57][58] Mainframe Studios Netflix (U.S., International)[59] The 4th production to feature two girls named "Barbie Roberts". The inaugural interactive special of the Barbie media franchise.
Barbie: Skipper and the Big Babysitting Adventure March 16, 2023 Animated streaming television film Mainframe Studios
  • Netflix (U.S., International)[60][b]
  • 9Go! (Australia)
  • YTV (Canada)
Inaugural film to star Skipper Roberts in a lead role with more screen time than previous Barbie-branded productions.
Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge[34][35] May 30, 2023 – August 8, 2023 Reality series NBC
Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge[61] July 17, 2023 – September 2023
  • Mission Control Media
HGTV
Polly Pocket: Sparkle Cove Adventure August 21, 2023 Animated special WildBrain Studios Netflix Mattel Television and WildBrain created this special as a way to close out Summer 2023. The special follows Polly Pocket as she explores an unknown world filled with magic. It is a 66-minute long film.[62]
Barbie: A Touch of Magic September 14, 2023 – present Animated streaming television series Mainframe Studios Streaming: Netflix (US, international)
Television:
  • 9Now (Australia)
  • Pop (UK and Ireland)
Monster High 2 October 5, 2023 Live-action musical film
  • Brightlight Pictures
  • Nickelodeon Productions
  • Nickelodeon (U.S., television)
  • Paramount+ (streaming)
Announced on 25 October 2022 alongside the debut of Barbie: Epic Road Trip.[27][28] Production began on 7 February 2023 with moments and scenes shared on social media.[29][30]
Masters of the Universe: Revolution January 25, 2024 – present Animated series Powerhouse Animation Studios Netflix Sequel to Masters of the Universe: Revelation.
Hot Wheels Let's Race[63] March 4, 2024 – present Animated streaming television series Sprite Animation Studios
OLM, Digital
Barney's World Fall 2024 Animated television series Nelvana
[64]
Scrabble 2024 Game show Lionsgate Alternative Television
Hasbro Entertainment
The CW First television series co-produced by Hasbro and Mattel.[65]

Mattel Studios/Mattel Entertainment

Title Original run Format Network Co-production with Notes
Little People 1999–2007 TV series Direct-to-video
Barbie 2001–2014 Film series
Films released between 1 September 2010 and 31 March 2014 were under the sales mark name of "Barbie Entertainment".
Hot Wheels: World Race 2003 Miniseries Cartoon Network Mainframe Entertainment
Rescue Heroes: The Movie Film Direct-to-video Nelvana
Fisher-Price Baby Development series Miniseries Direct-to-video Benjamin Productions
Polly Pocket: Lunar Eclipse 2004 Short film Mike Young Productions
My Scene: Jammin' in Jamaica Film Curious Pictures
My Scene: Masquerade Madness
Polly Pocket 2: Cool at the Pocket Plaza 2005 Short film Direct-to-video
Hot Wheels: AcceleRacers Television special series
  • Cartoon Network
  • Direct-to-video
Mainframe Entertainment
My Scene Goes Hollywood: The Movie Film Direct-to-video
PollyWorld 2006 Film Nickelodeon Curious Pictures
The Barbie Diaries Animated motion-capture film
  • Direct-to-video
  • Nickelodeon
This film only showed the Mattel logo after the closing credits, which only happened once in a Barbie film, until 2014.
GeoTrax 2007–2008 TV series Direct-to-video
Planet Heroes 2008
Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse 10 January 2012 – 27 November 2015 Web shorts Arc Productions
Max Steel 2013–2015 TV series

HIT Entertainment

Title Original run Network Co-production with Notes
Thomas & Friends 1984–2021
Continued from The Britt Allcroft Company/Gullane Entertainment and finished by Mattel Creations/Television
Fireman Sam
  • 1987–1994
  • 2005–present
Brand acquired by Gullane Entertainment in 2001 and in turn acquired by HIT Entertainment
Pingu
  • 1990–2000
  • 2003–2006
  • The Pygos Group
  • TrickfilmsStudio
Captain Zed and the Zee Zone 1991 Children's ITV
Where's Wally? 1991
  • CBS (U.S.)
  • Children's ITV (U.K.)
  • The Waldo Film Company
  • DIC Enterprises
Barney & Friends 1992–2010 PBS Kids Continued from The Lyons Group/Lyrick Studios
The Wind in the Willows 1995 TVC London Television film
Professor Bubble 1996–1997 ITV
Percy the Park Keeper 1996–1999 ITV Grand Slamm Children's Films
The Enchanted World of Brambly Hedge 1996–2000 BBC One
The Willows in Winter 1996 TVC London Television film
The Phoenix and the Carpet 1997 BBC
Animal Ark 1997–1998 ITV
  • HTV
  • Zenith North
  • Harvest Entertainment
Kipper 1997–2000 ITV Grand Slamm Children's Films
Big Sister, Little Brother 1997
  • Wegelius TV
  • TMO Film GmbH
The Three Friends and Jerry 1998–1999
Anthony Ant 1999 Funbag Animation Studios
Bob the Builder 1999–2011
(series 17–18)
Fly Tales 1999
Ted Sieger's Wildlife 1999 ZDF Hahn Film
Faeries 1999
  • Cartwn Cymru
  • United Productions
Sheeep 2000–2001 CBBC Grand Slamm Children's Films
The Magic Key 2000–2001 BBC Two Collingwood O'Hare Entertainment Limited
Untalkative Bunny 2001–2003 Teletoon
  • Dynomight Cartoons
  • Big Al Productions
Oswald 2001–2003 Nickelodeon Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Angelina Ballerina 2001–2006 ITV Grand Slamm Children's Films
Rubbadubbers 2003–2005
  • BBC Two
  • CBeebies
HOT Animation
Wobbly Land 2007 Nick Jr. Brown Bag Films
Frances 2008 PBS Kids Sprout The Jim Henson Company
Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps 2009–2010 PBS Kids SD Entertainment
Rainbow Magic: Return to Rainspell Island 2010 Direct-to-video The Answer Studio
Mike the Knight 2011–2017
Nelvana
Bob the Builder 2015–2018 Channel 5
Finished by Mattel Creations

Lyrick Studios (1997-2001/02)

Title Original run Network Co-production with Notes
Barney and the Backyard Gang 1988–1991 Direct-to-video The predecessor to Barney & Friends
Wishbone 1995–1997 PBS Kids Big Feats! Entertainment
Kids for Character 1996 Direct-to-video Special
Kids for Character: Choices Count 1997
Wishbone's Dog Days of the West 1998 PBS Kids Big Feats! Entertainment

Gullane Entertainment (1989-2002)

Title Original run Network Co-production with
Shining Time Station 1989–1993; 1995 Catalyst Entertainment (seasons 2–3)
Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales 1996 PBS
It's a Mystery 1996–2002 ITV (CITV)
  • The Media Merchants Television Company Ltd.
  • Meridian Broadcasting Ltd.
Captain Pugwash 1998 CITV (ITV) John Cary Films

Notes

  1. ^ Used Mattel Creations for seasons 1 and 2 and Mattel Television thereafter.
  2. ^ Its Netflix page was initially unveiled on 32 March before going offline a week later in anticipation of its actual release date.

References

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