Mattel: We engage with consumers across all brand and corporate social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as retailer sites, like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. At Mattel, we have a fully functioning reporting and engineering team dedicated to understanding what the consumer is saying and turning that data into actionable improvements for both our manufacturing and design process.
TTB: How do you use 3-D printing in your R&D? Do you plan to incorporate 3-D printing into your consumer offerings in the future?
Mattel: 3-D printing has been an integral part of our toy design process for many years. It enables us to more effectively communicate the vision to internal and external stakeholders, rapidly iterate on product concept prototypes, as well as improve time to market. With the rise in popularity of customization, we see 3-D printing as an intriguing way for consumers to more deeply insert themselves into their favorite brands and take control of their play experience.
TTB: Which licenses do you anticipate will be key drivers in 2015?
Mattel: Thomas & Friends is the No. 1 infant-preschool license globally and we’re #ThomasObsessed in 2015 as the brand celebrates 70 years of friendship. From the opening of the first U.S. Thomas Land theme park this summer and Thomas’ Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon to the biggest content pipeline ever, 2015 will be an unprecedented year of branded programs and activations for Thomas and his fans.
We also partner with the best, from Universal and Nickelodeon to Disney and WWE, and we are very excited for our 2015 collaborations on some of their hottest brands. For the first time ever, Hot Wheels and Star Wars have come together to provide a thrilling—and unique—vehicle experience for fans of all ages with both “inspired by” cars and authentic replica vehicles. Additionally, Mattel’s newest brand, Mega Bloks, will bring the big screen to life through construction play with Minions and SpongeBob.