Source: Mattel/The Toy Book

Following the growth of a successful content partnership together, Mattel is welcoming Caribu and its founders into the family.

The acclaimed video-calling platform “where kids and families can read, play, and draw together no matter how far apart they are” is packed with educational content geared toward kids ages 0-12. Caribu is interactive and incorporates games, books, and other creative activities from a variety of intellectual property (IP) holders into the virtual playdate experience.

According to Mattel, Caribu’s appeal fits well within the Mattel Future Lab, an initiative launched earlier this year in an effort to pioneer the future of play.

Barbie stories can be found on Caribu | Source: Mattel/The Toy Book

“A direct-to-consumer entertainment platform like Caribu enables us to engage with our customers in brand-new ways,” says Ron Friedman, vice president at Mattel Future Lab. “The Caribu platform will open new insights and opportunities for Mattel, and most importantly, it will create a direct relationship of entertainment, inspiration, and development for children with our beloved characters and brands beyond physical play, all of which follows our aspiration to stay at the forefront of innovation in both the physical and digital worlds for kids of all ages.”

Caribu Co-Founders Max Tuchman and Alvaro Sabido will join Mattel in roles focused on the Caribu platform. 

“Mattel was our first content partner, and truly believed in what we were building,” Tuchman says. “Its characters, like Thomas and Barbie, have been at the center of millions of Caribu Calls since our early days, and we’re overjoyed that we can now bring more Mattel brands and characters to our families’ virtual playdates, further expanding the connection between physical toys and experiences.”

Thomas & Friends content on Caribu | Source: Mattel/The Toy Book

Over the past few months, Mattel Future Lab has launched several metaverse and Web3 initiatives for kids and adults that involve playing in the digital space, including Cryptoys with OnChain Studios, the Hot Wheels NFT Garage, and a Barbie x Boss Beauties NFT collaboration.

Related: Stay on the Pulse of Play with ‘The BIG Toy Book’ in 2023

Friedman says that Caribu is the perfect platform to keep families connected and playing together in a world where life moves fast and travel, relocation, and other commitments drive growth in virtual platforms.

“With Caribu, the ability for children to read, draw, and play with Mattel-based characters from iconic brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Thomas, and Fisher-Price in real-time along with loved ones will create new experiences and help support family relationships,” he says.

While Mattel plans to extend the amount of its own content on the Caribu platform, most of the third-party, non-Mattel content will remain with more to be added thanks to new partnership deals that will be revealed in the coming months.

Caribu can be accessed through a web browser or via its app for iOS and Android.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.