NEW YORK - February 12, 2004 - Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) opened its showroom today showcasing the strength of its power brands -- Barbie®, Fisher-Price® and Hot Wheels® -- while also highlighting new entertainment properties and extensions of proven success stories. Technology is seamlessly integrated throughout the various product lines reflecting the way today's children play, imagine and learn through toys, interactive media and technology.
With more than $3.6 billion in annual retail sales worldwide, Barbie outsold the nearest competitor two to one in 2003 continuing to stand as the top girls brand in the world. In 2004, the Barbie® brand will surround girls with worlds filled with fantasy, hot trendy fashions, entertainment, technology and age-appropriate aspiration.
Barbie actually sings for the first time as she takes on the dual roles of princess and pauper in her own lyrical twist on the classic in her fourth feature film, Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper. Little girls will delight in hearing Barbie sing, and will be fascinated by her talking pet cat Serafina, which features cutting edge technology that allows Serafina to react to the story while the movie is playing. And Barbie and her friends beat the winter blues in the hot-selling tween-targeted brand, My Scene with their first-ever full-length DVD Jammin' in Jamaica. Back in the U.S.A., the girl who owns California cool is also putting her indelible Barbie® signature on West Coast beach chic - complete with ear piercing fun for girls - in the new line of Cali Girl dolls. But wait, call the paparazzi...where's Ken®???
Fisher-Price expands its learning initiative in 2004 with a comprehensive line of distinct learning toys that are developed for the way children learn best, beginning in infancy through grade school. InteracTV is yet another breakthrough learning platform that enables children to interact and learn with their favorite characters from popular TV shows, right on their own TVs. This innovative learning system uses a child-friendly InteracTV controller and DVD software that can be played on a home DVD player. For infants as young as six months, the experientially-based Laugh & Learn collection rewards baby's natural curiosity with learning and musical activities. The Laugh & Learn Home, for example, combines academic and experiential learning with 26 everyday experiences, such as ringing the door bell, flipping a light switch and opening doors, to create an enriching play experience for baby.
Also, the hugely successful interactive learning platforms from 2003, PowerTouch Learning System, Learn Through Music and Kasey the Kinderbot will continue to sizzle in 2004 with rapidly expanding libraries of new books and software.
Since kids naturally learn while they play, Fisher-Price provides a broad array of toys outside of the learning category that will keep kids playing, laughing and growing. In 2004, Fisher-Price enters the building set category with Pop-Onz, a brand new building system with a unique, simple, open pop-on connection method that makes it especially easy for toddlers and preschoolers to build.
For kids five and up, the ESPN® GameStation is a six-in-one indoor game center featuring the most popular sports today: baseball, basketball, football, hockey, golf and soccer. There's non-stop action and excitement with 21 arcade-style games, sound effects, SportsCenter theme music and commentary by ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott.
Mattel Has the Hottest Entertainment Properties
While Barbie and her friends will provide girls with plenty of entertainment in 2004, Mattel has also teamed up with a combination of proven blockbuster licenses and highly anticipated new programming to create an all-star line-up of entertainment-based products. The new stars in Mattel's portfolio of hot licenses include Batwave Batman, Shaman King and MegaMan with repeat performances by Justice League, Yu-Gi-Oh! , and of course Harry Potter.
The Batwave Batman VEIL (Video Encoded Invisible Light) technology-enabled lines of toys will merge action figure and vehicle play with interactive television to create the next generation of toys.
Kids can earn the title of Shaman King by acting out their favorite scenes with the Deluxe Battling Figures based on the hit animated series which has humans battling against shamen and spirits. Or have their very own MegaMan Personal Terminal, as seen in the new anime-adventure series, MegaMan: NT Warrior, to battle against virtual computer virus, chaos-causing villains.
The Winx Club is the hot new entertainment property that tells the story of the magical world of Magix, where five teenage friends attend the Alfea College of Fairies, a school for training aspiring fairies. It debuts in the U.S. this spring on Fox Television's "FoxBox." Based on the hip, fashionable teens with bewitching talents that make up the Winx Club, Mattel's line-up of dolls and accessories will delight girls who share in the Winx Club characters' love of friendship, fashion and music.
Pop culture is often defined by the entertainment world. Mattel pays tribute to the comic-inspired vixen, Catwoman, with a purr-trayal that will have no need to claw for attention. This summer, the hottest feline to scratch her way across the silver screen will be Halle Berry as Catwoman. Look for the upcoming collector doll by Mattel in the likeness of Halle Berry's movie character, to be unveiled later this year.
Finally, for preschoolers Fisher-Price delivers all the best-loved, familiar characters. From Little People and Rescue Heroes to the casts of Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, Winnie the Pooh, Disney My First Princess, Barney and Blue's Clues, Fisher-Price brings them all to life in brand new ways with innovative toys, plush and playsets. One very famous preschool personality, E-L-M-O, gets kids up and dancing once again -- this time with his very own rendition of a hot '70s classic. And Dora has her very own non-traditional, adobe-style dollhouse with Dora's Talking House, chockfull of interactive play with a focus on family while incorporating bilingual phrases.
Tied specifically to the storylines of the current television season or upcoming movies, Mattel delivers exciting toys that allow children to continue to play out their favorite stories or invent new character plots when the TV is on -- or off.
Wheels for Guys of Every Age: Mattel's 2004 Fleet of Vehicles Has Arrived!
Speed, power and performance have always been the hallmark of Mattel's line of Hot Wheels® cars, but this year, the goal is to push those wheels even harder. Mattel is letting kids under the hood to do just that. The 2004 Hot Wheels® line is adding a little bit of science with Formula Fuelers vehicles, a dash of humor with Incredible Crash Dummies figures, and a bit of Slime® compound with the Slimecano playset. It's a mix that will add even more fuel to Hot Wheels® success.
Hot Wheels® Formula Fuelers vehicles run on special formulas that kids make themselves, using the included Nitrox² liquid, tablets and powder. The better the fuel, the faster the car!
The Incredible Crash Dummies figures engage a new generation of kids with new humor-inspired episodes and cool figures, vehicles and playsets that illustrate the benefits of "buckling up."
In the Lava Land adventure, a seemingly safe trip becomes a dangerous jungle mission as kids encounter a number of different obstacles that will require skill, strategy and a little luck to survive. Slime® compound enters the Lava Land adventure, providing a daring challenge against an angry volcano that is ready to erupt in the Slimecano playset. Within the Matchbox® brand, the world of Hero City is a fantastic place where talking cars and trucks of every shape and personality live together in a peaceful, engine-driven community. Matchbox® Hero City Ready-Play inter-connecting playsets come partially pre-assembled and completely pre-labeled to drive kids imaginations right out of the box. And the Matchbox® Ultra Heroes Vehicles add even more fun and imagination to the Hero City play center, with exciting new styles including a police car shaped like a whistle and a helicopter designed like a firefly.
Tyco® R/C, the country's leading name in radio control, is all about radical thrills and big challenges. The brand's newest "groundbreaking" innovation, the Terrain Twister vehicle, features exclusive power-pivoting pontoons with unique corkscrew treads, making it virtually unstoppable as it twists and churns its way over grass, sand, pavement, water and even snow.
The Brands Girls Love
The number-one selling small doll, Polly Pocket!, leads girls on a furry fun-filled adventure with the new Dazzlin' Pet Show. The spotlight is on the stage as Polly dresses up her three pups - and herself - in fun fashions that are dog-gone fun.
Meet Shorties! A new line of dolls that let girls experience a humorous world where everyday life has an exaggerated, unexpected twist. There is nothing like these dolls in the market today. In short, tall is sooo last year; and changing outfits is a matter of changing your whole body!!
Thanks to a special "Fairy Dogmother" and Mattel, the most loveable, huggable plush pups from the 80s are back! Proving once more that what is old is new again, Pound Puppies® are the cutest retro toy to make a comeback.
Games: Bringing Families Together
From off-board gaming for kids and families to a multi-sensory game play experience, Mattel's 2004 assortment of games takes playing to a new interactive level for the interactive kid in all of us. This year, multi-dimensional games such as Scene It? Jr. and Scene It? Disney Family Game use DVDs packed with Optreve technology and time elements to engage and keep game play as fresh, entertaining and challenging as the first time it is played.
The popular DVD interactive game Scene-It? makes its debut for juniors this year with its combination of classic board game and always-fresh DVD clues -- which are never in the same format twice. Simply set up the board and DVD, role the die and on command, access a TV clue to play the game. A family-oriented Disney version of the game, based on the same play combination, also will be released in 2004.
And finally in 2004, Skip-Bo® celebrates its 40th anniversary with a commemorative version of the game.
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT, www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced. The Mattel family of toys and games is comprised of such best-selling brands as Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, and Fisher-Price®, which also includes Little People®, Rescue Heroes, Power Wheels®, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 36 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world. The Mattel vision is to be the world's premier toy brands --- today and tomorrow.
NOTE: Product names and descriptions subject to change.
BATMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.
JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.
YU-GI-OH!: © 1996 KAZUKI TAKAHASHI. TM NAS.
MEGAMAN: and ® are trademarks of CAPCOM Co., Inc.
© CAPCOM, Shogakukan, ShoPro, TV Tokyo 2002, 2004. All Rights Reserved.
SHAMAN KING: © Hiroyuki Takei 2004. All Rights Reserved.
© 2002 Sesame Workshop. "Sesame Workshop," "Sesame Street" and its logo are trademarks of Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.
Nickelodeon, Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Based on the 'Winnie the Pooh' works.
Copyright A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard
Barney, TM & © 2002 Lyons Partnership, L.P.
"Singing in the Rain" by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown
©1929, Renewed 1956 EMI Catalogue Partnership
©1978 Can't Stop Music