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Mattel builds multi-platform Playground

Toyco giant Mattel has formed a new division to create multi-platform content for its brands, which include Barbie, Monster High, Max Steel and Hot Wheels.

Playground Productions will “drive creative storytelling” across all Mattel brands, including the new animated show Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome, which is set to debut in 2014.

The studio will work with both internal and external partners to develop scripts, create storyboards and greenlight multi-platform productions, Mattel said.

David Voss, a 20-year veteran in the toy and entertainment business, will serve as senior VP of the prodco.

“Storytelling is at the heart of every great character and franchise. From script development and story mapping, to film production and post-production, we have established a one-stop shop for modern, creative storytelling,” Voss said.

Playground Productions will work with Mercury Filmworks on the new Hot Wheels toon, which is being developed as three formats: a 1×22′ special, 11×2′ shorts and a 1×74′ direct-to-video movie.

“By focusing on storytelling as part of the brand development process, we’re able to reinforce our global strategy of building new franchises, growing our core brands and optimising entertainment,” said Tim Kilpin, executive VP and general manager of Mattel Global Brands.

Mattel also owns the production house Hit Entertainment, having acquired the company, which holds the rights to brands such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Fireman Sam, in February last year for US$680m.

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