Mattel and Hasbro are launching online hubs with information, resources and games to help kids deal with COVID-19, while tapping into the stuck-at-home audience.
California-based toyco Mattel launched the Mattel Playroom (pictured) yesterday, which hosts printable activities, online games, crafting/DIY projects, and videos featuring its Barbie, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and Fisher-Price brands. Mattel will update the site on a weekly basis with new content, including learning-at-home tips made in partnership with The Toy Association.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island’s Hasbro unveiled its new Bring Home the Fun website Monday, which features tips for family playtime, ideas for games and toys, and suggestions on how to cope with increased stress. Putting its brands front and center, the site includes craft projects involving Play-Doh, NERF blaster activities, and clips from the Transformers, Power Rangers and My Little Pony series.
The two companies are rolling out these initiatives at a difficult time for the toy industry as retailers around the world are closed, supply chains are disrupted, and Amazon has shifted to prioritizing the shipment of essential goods over toys. Beyond just trying to keep their brands front-of-mind for kids in this tough business time though, offering free content also makes financial sense, because free content is a way to reach more kids, help them during a crisis, and hopefully build brand loyalty among young consumers, executives from Encantos and Big Bad Boo previously told Kidscreen.