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Mattel centralizes content output in new division

Mattel's chief content officer Catherine Balsam-Schwaber will be overseeing Mattel Creations, the new division designed to further develop the toyco's brand-based content across all platforms.
March 31, 2016

To make the most out of its drive to create original content across multiple platforms, toy giant Mattel has unveiled Mattel Creations. The new division, being headed up by Mattel chief content officer Catherin Balsam-Schwaber, will house all activities related to the production of Mattel’s brand-based content across theatrical, TV and digital outlets.

Additionally, Christopher Keenan has been bumped up from overseeing production and development at Mattel subsidiary HIT Entertainment to SVP of content development & production for the entire division.

Keenan will now look after a new centralized content development and production team that includes the activities of Mattel’s studio Playground Productions in California (David Voss, former SVP of Playground Productions, left the company in late January to join subscription service Loot Crate), the HIT content team in London and the American Girl team in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Catherine Balsam-Schwaber oversees the new division, while Christopher Keenan will look after development and production

Catherine Balsam-Schwaber oversees the new division, while Christopher Keenan will look after development and production

Mattel itself has forged some significant TV productions pacts in recent months with DHX Media and 9 Story Media Group. Those deals will now be managed under Mattel Creations.

With the unveiling of the new division, Mattel Creations has greenlit two new projects. Targeting girls five to seven is new 2D-animated series WellieWishers (26 x 11 minutes), based on the American Girl doll franchise. Focusing on five best friends who are ready for anything after they step into their colorful rain boots, the series (pictured) is currently in production at Submarine Studios in Amsterdam. Mattel Creations is overseeing production and distribution.

Also on tap is Dreamtopia (one x 44 minutes). It is the latest CGI-animated movie in the Barbie franchise and has been pre-sold to Cartoon Network (LatAm), Super RTL (Germany), Pop TV (UK), MiniMini (Poland) and Karusel (Russia).

About The Author
Lana Castleman is the Editor & Content Director of Kidscreen and oversees all content for Kidscreen magazine, kidscreen.com and related kidscreen events. lcastleman@brunico.com

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