Mattel and Shanghai-based investment company Fosun Group have formed a new joint venture that will introduce learning and play clubs for children and families across China in early 2018.
Pending Chinese regulatory approvals, the JV will see Mattel leverage Fosun’s Club Med subsidiary, which has a long history of kids club expertise in operations, event design, process creation and training.
Mattel, for its part, will help customize a childhood learning and development program for the clubs that is focused on hands-on play experiences for kids ages zero to six, as well as globally-recognized and trusted brands.
The first club to open will be located in the newly developed Bund Finance Center in Shanghai (pictured), which provides a number of different functions in the areas of finance, commerce, tourism, culture and art. Spanning 15,000 square feet, the club will include a play area, classroom and day care, retail space featuring Mattel, Club Med and additional Fosun-affiliated products, as well as a food and beverage area.
Parents will also be able to participate in the club’s play or educational programs with their children.
The JV comes on the heels of Mattel’s expanded partnership with global e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to develop, market and sell playthings specifically designed for Chinese consumers.
Mattel also recently secured a landmark deal for toys based on Chinese family entertainment company UYoung’s new animated series Battleclaw. The deal marked the first time a Chinese property had signed a global master toy license, and the first time Mattel will launch a toy line in China ahead of the rest of the world.
While Mattel did experience a disappointing fiscal first quarter, the largest toymaker in the US reported a 19% net sales increase in the Asia-Pacific region.