June 23, 2017
In this week's edition:
• Mattel Creations’ Andrea Carpenter
• Distributor Spotlight: Rainbow
Mattel Creations’ Andrea Carpenter
By Rafael Blanco
Mattel Creations is the centralized theatrical, television and digital content division of Mattel that offers broadcasters and parents age-appropriate content, as well as tools for learning and development. Andrea Carpenter, the senior director of content distribution and programming, talks to TV Kids Weekly about the launch of Mattel Creations, distributing to free-TV channels, and the importance of licensing and merchandising for a series. She discusses programming highlights and the evolution of the iconic Barbie brand.
TV KIDS: Tell us about the launch of Mattel Creations last year.
CARPENTER: I think 2016 was a great year for Mattel and specifically with the advent of Mattel Creations. That’s a new [division] within the Mattel umbrella that is focused on content creation, content distribution and digital platforms. For the first time, we embarked on creating more content than we ever have before. For some of our big brands, like Barbie, we’ve gone into the development of series content—not [just] one series, but two series for Barbie. So I think it was an exciting time for us in ’16, particularly in the back half, because that’s when we started to go out and sell and work with our distribution partners on planning for ’17 and ’18 and beyond for the new slate of content.
TV KIDS: What are the challenges of distributing kids’ content to free-TV channels?
CARPENTER: We have the advantage of having phenomenal preschool brands, like Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder, so that certainly helps. It’s probably more challenging if you are launching a new property, but those are established brands with long histories, so we’ve been lucky in that space. Though it is still a challenge; it’s a market that requires constant marketing…in order to ensure that you are retaining that very precious space within those free-TV markets.
TV KIDS: How important is licensing and merchandising for a series?
CARPENTER: It is difficult now to be able to say that it’s going to cost $10 million to make this particular series, and then through revenue from distribution of that content you’re going to make back that $10 million. That’s a tall order these days, so I think then it becomes about, Well, what are the other revenue streams that come from creating that brand affinity? If you love Thomas, you want a Thomas toy and you want a Thomas backpack and you want a Thomas T-shirt. And all of those puzzle pieces together make that investment into creating that content make sense.
This interview continues here.
Distributor Spotlight: Rainbow
ADDRESS: Via Brecce, 60025 Loreto, Italy
TELEPHONE: (39-071) 7506-7500
FOUNDER & CEO: Iginio Straffi
COO: Joanne Lee
SENIOR VP, LICENSING & ACQUISITIONS: Cristiana Buzzelli
HEAD, SALES, TV SERIES, MOVIES & CO-PRODUCTION:
HEAD, SALES, TV: Luana Perrero
PROGRAMS: Regal Academy: 26x30 min. HD, S2 in prod., comedy/2D/toonshade animation; Maggie & Bianca Fashion Friends: 52x30 min., S3 in prod., comedy/drama/live action; World of Winx: 26x30 min. HD, action/mystery/2D animation; Winx Club 7: 26x30 min. HD, adventure/action/2D animation; Winx Club 6: 26x30 min., comedy/action/2D/3D/CGI animation; Winx Club 5: 26x30 min., comedy/action/2D/3D/CGI animation; Winx Club The Mystery of the Abyss: 1x80 min., comedy/action/3D animation; PopPixie: 52x13 min., comedy/2D animation; Huntik: S1-2 52x30 min., adventure/comedy/2D animation.
TRAILERS: Please visit Rainbow’s Screening Room to view clips of Winx Club 6, Winx Club 5, PopPixie and Huntik.
“Rainbow Group is one of the biggest animation studios in the world and a leader in kids’ entertainment, employing over 1,000 people worldwide. The company comprises many divisions, including three Canadian animation studios (two in Vancouver, one in Kelowna), two in Italy (in Rome and Loreto) and subsidiaries in Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Rainbow’s successful distribution of its content in the media (TV, theatrical, internet), as well as in the consumer-products industry, has led to the company being number 12 on the yearly global licensor list worldwide, and first in Europe. Rainbow’s property list includes Winx Club, World of Winx, Regal Academy, Maggie & Bianca Fashion Friends, Tommy & Oscar, Prezzy, Monster Allergy, Huntik Secret and Seekers, PopPixie, Maya Fox and Gladiators of Rome.”
—Iginio Straffi, Founder & CEO
This Week's Top 5
Frederator & Netflix Execs Set for MIPJunior Keynotes
Fred Seibert, founder of Frederator Networks, and Andy Yeatman, head of global kids’ content at Netflix, have been lined up to give keynotes at this year’s MIPJunior.
Mattel Outlines Strategic Plans for Growth
Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis and members of the management team have revealed the company’s new growth strategy and medium-term financial outlook.
Blue Zoo Scores Funding from CU Animation
U.K.-based animation studio Blue Zoo has secured a deal with China UK Animation Company (CU Animation) that will unlock a total of £72 million ($91 million) worth of funding to invest across new and existing IP and projects.
New Animated Originals Headed to Universal Kids
Universal Kids has given the go-ahead to two new original animated series, Powerbirds and Norm, which are slated for broadcast during the Sprout preschool programming block in 2019.
Discovery Kids & Cirque Du Soleil Team for Live-Action Show
Discovery Kids is collaborating with Cirque du Soleil Images on an original English-language live-action series produced by Apartment 11 in association with TVOKids.