Mattel has expanded its partnership with global e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group that will see the US toy giant develop, market and sell playthings specifically designed for Chinese consumers.
Mattel toys will be sold on Alibaba’s Tmall.com online marketplace, while the company will also collaborate with Alibaba’s A.I. Lab to develop new products that are rooted in tech and interactive learning.
Mattel will also leverage the company’s media ecosystem to make branded learning resources and educational content.
The deal sees Mattel tap into an e-commerce platform that boasts 440 million active buyers—as well as Alibaba’s data-driven approach to consumer insights. It also provides Mattel with a foothold into more rural Chinese markets, as the country’s multi-billion-dollar toy category remains fragmented.
Mattel and Alibaba will begin product development immediately, with initial availability planned for this summer.
The deal is among the first major ones made by new Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis, who stepped into the position last week. A longtime Google exec, Georgiadis’ appointment signaled the likelihood for more tech-driven playthings and partnerships in Mattel’s future.