MATTEL INC, and their preschool entertainment arm and subsidiary, HIT Entertainment, have together with 9 Story Media Group, a leading international kids and family content producer, today announced a new long-term partnership to relaunch iconic pre-school brands ‘Barney & Friends’ and ‘Angelina Ballerina’.
The partnership will leverage the combined expertise of both organizations to breathe new life into the programmes. Mattel, Inc. will bring its global brand management, product activation and strong integrated franchise management capabilities. Development of the IP will begin immediately, with a 2017 target launch date for new (52×11) series for each property.
Kate Schlomann, HIT Entertainment’s VP Global Brand Marketing, said: “We are delighted to announce this new brand building partnership with 9 Story in a deal which sees two of the world’s finest producers of preschool entertainment joining forces to bring an exciting line up of new programming to a global audience across multiple platforms.
“The refresh and relaunch of Barney and Angelina Ballerina represents an exciting start to our partnership with 9 Story. Both brands continue to enjoy large fan bases around the world among both pre-schoolers and their parents, who often grew up with the characters themselves.”
Christopher Keenan, HiT Entertainment’s VP Global Content & Executive Producer, added: “In conjunction with 9 Story, we will leverage our joint production expertise to create best in brand children’s programming to lead content creation. This is a significant step forward in the evolution of our brands”
Vince Commisso, President & CEO of 9 Story said: “We are thrilled to enter into a partnership with Mattel, Inc to relaunch these iconic children’s shows. Barney and Angelina Ballerina are two of the biggest preschool characters in history, and content is what made them so enduring. The whole generation of parents who grew up loving Barney and Angelina will be our partners in sharing them with their children. We know it is a rare opportunity that brings with it great responsibility, but we’re excited about the advances in technology that will help us bring these characters forward.”
Barney originally aired from 1992-2009, with 248 episodes (124 hours) created to-date, plus 25 hours of “specials.” Barney was one of just a few live action properties targeting pre-schoolers in the market, with content aimed at an equal split of boys and girls aged 18months to three years. The show celebrates the life skills of sharing, community and friendship via music and cognitive learning.
Angelina Ballerina originally aired from 2001-2006 and ran for two seasons with 39 episodes and three specials. The episodes were based on a series of children’s books created by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig, the first of which was published in 1983.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world’s leading pre-school entertainment companies, specialising in building powerful brands based on engaging stories. HIT Entertainment’s world-class portfolio includes Thomas & Friends®, Mike the Knight™, Fireman Sam™, Bob the Builder, Barney™, Angelina Ballerina™, Pingu™ and Rainbow Magic™.
HIT Entertainment excels at creating and building globally successful brands which capture the hearts and imaginations of pre-schoolers and their families. This is achieved through exceptional storytelling in multiple formats, enhanced by creating high quality character-based products and experiences with best-in-class partners. HIT Entertainment’s lines of business span television and home entertainment production, content distribution, digital media, and live events and attractions. HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information visit www.hitentertainment.com
In 1931, Herman Fisher and Irving Price embarked on a journey to change the toy industry. Their goal: creating playthings that inspire a child’s development. More than 80 years later, Fisher-Price remains deeply rooted in the belief that play is the way children learn best. To this day, understanding the importance of play in building a child’s skills is the fundamental principle, as the company strives to enrich the lives of families with young children around the globe. United by the passion for a child’s safe care and development at each age and stage, the people of Fisher-Price work tirelessly to bring families the best toys and baby products in the world. Some of the company’s best-known brands include Laugh & Learn®, Little People™, Power Wheels™, and Imaginext™, and it’s also a leading developer of character-based toys for children’s programming such as Thomas & Friends™, Dora and Friends: Into the City!, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates. For more information, visit www.fisher-price.com or connect with Fisher-Price on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
The Mattel family of companies (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. Mattel’s portfolio of best-selling brands includes Barbie™, the most popular fashion doll ever produced, Hot Wheels™, Monster High™, American Girl™, Thomas & Friends™ and Fisher-Price™ brands, including Little People™ and Power
Wheels™, MEGA™ Brands, including MEGA BLOKS™ and RoseArt™, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2013, Mattel was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Magazine and in 2014 ranked No. 5 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel’s companies employ nearly 30,000 people in 40 countries and territories and sell products in more than 150.
About 9 Story Media Group
9 Story Media Group is a leading content creator, marketer and distributor of kids & family focused intellectual property. Recognized around the world for best-in-class brands such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, Wild Kratts, Numb Chucks, Arthur and Peg + Cat, 9 Story represents over 1,800 half hours of animated and live action programming, seen on some of the most respected international channels and platforms. With one of North America’s largest animation studios, 9 Story employs over 250 creative and production staff in its Toronto facility and has produced over 900 half hours of award-winning children’s content. 9 Story recently acquired the award winning animation studio Brown Bag Films, which employs over 170 staff members across Dublin, Manchester and Los Angeles. Brown Bag is recognized for producing leading animated children’s series such as Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bing Bunny and Henry Hugglemonster. 9 Story is owned by senior management, ZMC, (Zelnick Media Capital) and media entrepreneur Neil Court. www.9story.com