Mattel launches Olympic-inspired items

The Tokyo 2020 collection launches internationally in the spring and includes products from the toyco's Barbie, Hot Wheels and UNO brands.
February 18, 2020

Mattel is going for gold with products inspired by the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Tokyo this July and August. The Mattel Tokyo 2020 collection includes items from the toyco’s Barbie, Hot Wheels and UNO brands.

The consumer products program launches internationally this spring and will reflect the five new sports added to this year’s Olympic program—baseball/softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing. The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 collaborated on the range as part of a licensing agreement.

The Hot Wheels brand is creating a mini collection including die-cast cars designed to represent different sports dating back to the first Olympic Games in Athens. The new Barbie products, meanwhile, include five dolls representing the new sports being recognized at this year’s event. UNO is also celebrating the Olympics with a new offering, featuring the Games’ mascot Miraitowa on a limited-edition deck.

These new products are part of a tradition of kidcos partnering with the Olympic games and Olympic athletes. Fisher-Price previously launched an interactive Fantastic Gymnastics Dora doll with US Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin, while Warner Bros. Consumer Products inked an agreement with Liukin to create the lifestyle merch line Supergirl by Nastia.

Mattel’s Olympic collaboration comes shortly after the toyco announced it would take back the consumer products rights for the Thomas & Friends brand. The Mattel Television series Thomas and Friends moved to Nick Jr. in 2018, in a deal that also saw Nickelodeon take over as the brand’s exclusive US licensing agent. But Nick will no longer air Thomas and Friends in the US, as season 23 and 24 of the show were picked up by Netflix in the region, and the consumer products rights reverted back to Mattel.

At the same time, the toymaker announced that Thomas & Friends, along with Fisher-Price, contributed to an 11% decline in its infant, toddler and preschool segment (to the tune of US$1.25 billion) for fiscal 2019. Overall, Mattel’s gross sales for the full year were flat at US$5.06 billion.

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