Mattel has signed an international licensing agreement with Japanese design and licensing company Sanrio for its 45-year-old Hello Kitty brand. Through the new partnership, Mattel will design and develop toys, dolls, playsets, games, puzzles, baby gear, plush and vehicles inspired by Hello Kitty & Friends and the Hello Kitty Café brands.
Other Sanrio characters covered under the deal include Chococat, Badtz-Maru, Little Twin Stars and My Melody. The toy lines and games will launch in North America, Europe, LatAm, Australia and New Zealand starting fall 2020.
This partnership comes as Sanrio has been working to reinvigorate its classic brand. Part of that effort is taking the cartoon cat to the big screen in North America for the first time. In March, Sanrio closed a deal with New Line Cinema and FlynnPictureCo. to develop the first-ever English-language Hello Kitty movie.
Meanwhile, the company is also creating a new small screen adaption, launching in Q1 2021. The 52 x 11-minute series World of Hello Kitty is produced by France’s Monello Productions and Watch Next Media.