Mattel to Expand Online Focus in 2009 with Development of Mattel Digital Network
Unprecedented Demand for New Digital Play Experiences Drives Aggressive,
New Initiative For World's #1 Toy Manufacturer
LAS VEGAS, Jan 08, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Mattel announced today at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
Kids@Play Summit that it will be transforming the company's online
strategy from brand Web site platform to interactive programming and
content provider. The aggressive initiative is called the Mattel Digital
Network, a new online destination for kids and families that is being
driven by the company's experience and observations about how kids play
today. The Network is a gateway to a world of open-ended online play -
it will be user-focused and will become the portal to Mattel's
powerhouse brands, such as Barbie(R), Hot Wheels(R), Matchbox(R) and Radica(R).
"Today's kids don't recognize technology, they recognize magic that
engaging play experiences deliver," said Chuck Scothon, General Manager
and Senior Vice President Mattel Digital Network. "Mattel is known for
providing magical play experiences through traditional toys, and now
with the launch of the Mattel Digital Network, we extend our great play
experiences into the digital space for kids of all ages."
The network is being created with a simple, defining touchstone - that
it will be "the place where the kid in all of us comes to play." Even
its name, the Mattel Digital Network, was thoroughly dissected. More
specifically, it is truly an all-brand initiative (Mattel), ensures a
continued focus specifically on the space (Digital), and requires an
ongoing commitment to keeping both the content and each target audience
- from kids to tweens and teens to adults and collectors - in mind when
building their online experience (Network).
"To put it simply, we will be moving our users into the driver's seat to
let them decide how to interact with our brands, to consume the content
they want and even to be a participant in content creation," Scothon
continued. "Through it all, we also recognize that the digital space
requires us to iterate and optimize forever - we will never be done nor
satisfied. So, when the Mattel Digital Network launches, we will almost
immediately start changing the experience and then learn every day how
to keep improving it."
Phase one for the Mattel Digital Network will:
Discern the age of a child and provide a different experience
depending on gender, interests, and level of active participation.
Be a kid-safe environment with content that is screened, approved and
appropriate for children at each age.
Provide tools to harness the creativity of brand fans to make it not
just a place to consume content, but also to provide content.
Deliver on being a site "for the kid in all of us" - from ensuring our
channels will support the personality of each to providing a shopping
solution for gift givers.
Deep History Online
An intellectual property powerhouse, Mattel has consistently ranked at
the top of digital destinations for several years, behind only
traditional broadcast and media players. The company's online success
has been based in an understanding that, for kids, the heart of their
online experience is rooted in play, which is what Mattel delivers like
no other. From better understanding kids and moms, and their desire for
a strong and positive play experience, the company has built a world
class online experience that provides a solid and strong foundation upon
which to build. This understanding has been at the foundation of every
brand website since Mattel's earliest entry into the digital space with
the launch of HotWheels.com(TM) in 1996, up through today's fastest growing
virtual world ever, BarbieGirls.com(TM), and beyond. It was also the
foundation for a proprietary interactive research tool called the Mattel
Playground, which has opened a daily dialogue with hundreds of real moms.
Mattel Products at CES:
Mattel is continually looking for new ways to merge traditional and
online play, and is unveiling a variety of innovative products at its
booth (Kids@Play Summit - Sands Expo and Convention Center #72600)
- Mindflex(TM) - Have you ever dreamed of moving an object with the
power of your mind? Mindflex(TM), the new mental acuity game from Mattel,
makes that dream a reality! A lightweight headset containing sensors
for the forehead and earlobes measures your brainwave activity. When
you focus your concentration, a small foam ball will rise on a gentle
stream of air. Relax your thoughts and the ball will descend. By using
a combination of physical and mental coordination, you must then guide
the ball through a customizable obstacle course - the various
obstacles can be repositioned into many different configurations.
Mindflex(TM) combines advanced technology with the power of thought to
create an interactive experience unlike any other - a game where
players compete in the ultimate mental marathon!
- Barbie(R) Digital Nail Printer - As the first product unveiled
under the Barbie(R) brand's new "Beautronics" line - where beauty meets
electronics - the Barbie(R) Digital Nail Printer connects to your
computer and allows you to print custom designs directly onto your
nails; it takes only a few seconds and the designs last for days! You
can select from 1000s of intricate designs, and even upload your own
photos to create a custom manicure perfect for any occasion. The
Digital Nail Printer uses thermal inkjet technology and
specially-formulated cosmetic grade ink to print directly on the nail
surface in full color. A built-in color video camera lets you model
nail designs before printing.
- UCreate Games - Ucreate Games puts mash-up creativity and game
creation into the hands of kids. Using your computer screen and the
Ucreate Games tablet, kids can build and customize unique games using
hand drawn lines and a library of fun, interactive game elements,
including: drawing templates, photos, sound effects, and recognizable
game components. Ucreate Games uses a unique, photographic interface
that automatically recognizes game activities and captures the user's
creations. This customizable gaming experience provides an endless
variety of challenging game play that the user controls. Ucreate Games
includes: drawing table, folding camera, USB connection, software, dry
erase drawing supplies, and game template booklet.
- UCreate Music - Ucreate Music is an easy-to-use digital music
making system that allows kids to become the ultimate DJ. Kids and
tweens can express themselves through creating their own songs and
re-mixes with a fun and innovative interface. They can record samples,
mix and match loops and create their own music tracks using an
assortment of rifts, instruments, runs and backbeats. Plus, kids can
share their creations with friends and update and explore new content
on the Ucreate Music website. For added entertainment, kids can add in
their own voice and sound effects or distortions to their track.
- Xtractaurs(TM) - Extract, Combine and Fight Online!(TM) Xtractaurs(TM)
provides kids with the tools to build the ultimate dinosaur online.
The Xtractaurs(TM) experience begins with the Starter Kit, which comes
complete with a T. rex action figure, software and Extraction Gun.
Connect the Extraction Gun to your Mac or PC and then insert into the
dinosaur figure to "extract DNA." Once extracted, the DNA will unlock
an action-packed online gaming experience. As boys collect new
dinosaur figures, they will continue to extract dinosaur DNA,
unlocking new games and special attacks. Boys can then mix and match
online various dinosaur DNA traits, characteristics and fighting
abilities to create the ultimate Xtractaurs(TM) figure. A player can
boost the power of his figure in five arcade-style games, collect new
DNA in dino action games, and ultimately take on the mighty Megavores(TM)
in battle! But every Megavore(TM) requires new strategies. Build the
wrong Xtractaurs(TM), and it's back to the drawing board!
- U.B. Funkeys(TM) Game Factory Tool - U.B. Funkeys(TM) is a popular
PC-based interactive game where vinyl toy collecting meets casual
gaming. The U.B. Funkeys(TM) virtual world continues to expand as players
collect figures and interact through in-game activities and
challenges. The Game Factory tool enhances the user experience by
allowing kids to unlock new gaming functionality within the U.B.
Funkeys(TM) world. With each 2 Game Factory figures, kids can create
their own U.B. Funkeys(TM) online game and post it to UBFunkeys.com where
friends can play and rank their game. *Name subject to change.
- FAMPS(TM) (Feelings, Attitudes, Moods and Personalities)
- Connecting, expressing and sharing are the basic elements of
social networking and are core to the way girls stay connected! FAMPS(TM)
takes this form of communication and brings it together with
collectible figures that connect and communicate with your Mac or PC
via USB and RFID. FAMPS(TM) figures - Feelings, Attitudes, Moods
and Personalities - allow girls to reflect their various emotions
through their virtual space. Each figure creates a unique emotional
makeover so girls can express themselves in all kinds of fun new ways
via their desktop, e-mail, widgets and IM. Girls can also create
custom wallpapers, e-cards and more based on their feeling, attitude,
mood or personality at that time. Additionally, girls can expand their
FAMPS(TM) world by collecting the individual FAMPS(TM) characters that can
be carried with them as key chains, displayed on their desks or traded
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT)(www.mattel.com)
is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys
and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling
brands as Barbie(R), the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot
Wheels(R), Matchbox(R), American Girl(R), Radica:(R) and Tyco(R) R/C, as well as
Fisher-Price(R) brands, including Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and a wide
array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one
of 2008's "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE Magazine. With
worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than
30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more
than 150 nations. Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy
brands--today and tomorrow.
SOURCE: Mattel, Inc.
Michelle Chidoni, 310-227-6205
Chad Nishimura, 808-778-4499
Copyright Business Wire 2009
News Provided by COMTEX
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