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Can’t wait for the Barbie movie? Just as well – there are 45 more toy films to come

By Peter Bradshaw

05 Jul 2023 · 3 min read

informed Summary

  1. Mattel plans to turn dozens of its toy products into movies, following the success of the Transformers franchise.

For corporate Hollywood, there’s a new buzzword in town: pre-awareness – or maybe it’s just the newest, buzziest version of the oldest idea in movie storytelling. Toy manufacturer Mattel, while preparing for the launch of its forthcoming Barbie movie, is trying to reinvent a further 45 of its toy products as screen ideas: the franchise seedcorn of intellectual property.

Inspired by the success of the lumberingly stupid but lucrative Transformers movies, Mattel’s toy stable, like Hot Wheels, He-Man and Polly Pocket, will be the basis of future movies, or streaming, or maybe even theatre. What Marvel did with its superheroes, Mattel is planning to do with its toys. And the point is that that the toys’ customer base already know what to expect.

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