In 2019, it seemed as if the race was on as several toymakers began investing in the live events and experience space. One big area of focus was Family Entertainment Centers (FEC) with both Mattel and Hasbro revealing partnerships to enter the arena. Now, Mattel’s partnership with iP2Development is finally taking shape with the first location set to open next spring in Europe. When the plan was initially announced, it was expected that the first location would be in Toronto.
Mission: Play! by Mattel will open at Brookfield Properties’ Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. As promised, the multi-branded family entertainment center features physical and digital themed experiences inspired by Hot Wheels, Barbie, Mega Construx, and more.
“Mission: Play! is where kids will be able to play out adventure in endless ways,” says Julie Freeland, senior director of global location-based entertainment, Mattel. “This family entertainment center allows Mattel to continue bringing wonder to families and will extend the emotional connection of our iconic brands in truly unique experiences where play has no boundaries.”
Some of the concepts in development include:
Hot Wheels: Ignite kids’ challenger spirit by putting them in the driver’s seat for experiential activities — including customizing their own Hot Wheels car, designing their race track and creating custom rides they can experience on a massive racing simulator.
Barbie: Reaffirm that girls can be anything they want as they explore a magical Barbie mini-world filled with near limitless possibilities. This experience draws on the brand’s mission to support 21st century learning skills through play — specifically creativity, communication and collaboration.
Mega Construx: Challenge kids and families to design, build, and test their construction skills in the ultimate Mega Construx building scenarios.
In recent years, Mattel has increased focus on live family experiences, with the rollout of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live, American Girl Live, and the recent Hot Wheels Ultimate Drive-Thru Experience.