Mattel to search for next hit toy in primetime

Disney-owned ABC's competition series The Toy Box challenges inventors to create a plaything that will then be made by Mattel and sold at Toys "R" Us.
January 5, 2017

Disney-owned broadcast network ABC is bringing together four young judges, a celebrity host and children’s entertainment industry vets in the hopes of finding the next big toy for Mattel. The Toy Box, which premieres April 7 at 8 p.m. on the channel across the US, challenges inventors to create a winning plaything that will then be made by Mattel and sold exclusively at Toys “R” Us after the show’s finale.

Hosted by Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, each episode lets contestants present toy concepts to mentors that include Dylan Lauren, founder and owner of Dylan’s Candy Bar, toy guru and TTPM CEO Jim Silver, and Pixar creative director of consumer products Jen Tan. If the mentors like an idea, it then reaches a panel of judges that decides which toy moves on each week, culminating in a final showdown. The judges include Sophia Grace Brownlee, a YouTube influencer of Ellen Degeneres Show fame, her fellow Ellen alum Noah Ritter, Aalyrah Caldwell from the series Uncle Buck, and Toby Grey from the Unexpected John Cena Prank.

The series is produced by Mattel, Hudsun Media and Electus. Its incorporation of YouTube personalities comes on the heels of Mattel’s plans to bolster its influencer campaigns in 2017.

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Alexandra Whyte is Kidscreen's News & Social Media Editor. Contact her at



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