Leading toymaker Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) announced the formation of Playground Productions, a new division within the Mattel Global Brands group dedicated to the creation and development of strategic multiplatform storytelling. Playground Productions will drive creative storytelling across all Mattel brands including Barbie®, Monster High®, Max Steel™, along with the development and launch of the new animation Team Hot Wheels®: The Origin of Awesome debuting in 2014.
“With top entertainment industry talent, world-class brands and franchises, and best-in-class partners, Playground Productions brings our brands to life on today’s vast media platforms,” said Tim Kilpin, executive vice president and general manager of Mattel Global Brands. “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 optimizing entertainment.”
Working closely with internal and external partners, Playground Productions’ mission is to identify, cultivate and produce compelling multiplatform storylines. From script development to story boards to green lighting theatrical productions, the business unit functions as a one-stop-creative shop supporting all aspects of multiplatform storytelling.
Current projects on the slate include Team Hot Wheels®: The Origin of Awesome an animated entertainment property debuting in 2014. Playground Productions has brought on Mercury Filmworks for the project in a story that delivers new Hot Wheels® thrills in three formats including a 22-minute origin story for spring, 11 humorous two-minute action-packed shorts for summer and a 74-minute direct-to-video movie for the fall. The plotline brings Hot Wheels® and its “Go For It” attitude to life through a cast of fun-loving daredevil kids who are always up for racing adventures. Set in the fictional town of Hilly Woodlands, the four main characters alongside iconic Hot Wheels ® vehicles including the Bone Shaker™ and Twin Mill® must team together to catch a mysterious, mayhem causing car, wreaking havoc on their town. Utilizing signature orange track, their witty, comical personalities and each other, will the youngsters be able to ward off the villainous vehicle and ultimately form Team Hot Wheels®?The Playground Productions team is led by David Voss, a 20 year veteran in the toy and entertainment business serving as senior vice president. Joining the group’s leadership team is Rob Hudnut as executive producer and chief story strategist whose productions have won Emmy, DVD premier and Telly awards; Peabody and two time Emmy award winning Producer Audu Paden; Academy Award nominated producer and former Nickelodeon executive Julia Pistor will act as producer and executive producer of feature films; veteran producer Lloyd Goldfine; and Margaret Dean, director of production. The collective team has more than 60 years of kid’s entertainment experience across fields of production and development at major Hollywood studios.