Tag: mattel

Mattel Acquires HIT Entertainment

Interesting news today as toy giant Mattel announced it has acquired HIT Entertainment. Hit is a big, well, hit among preschool children around the world with recognizable brands such as Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder and Barney, among others. Read all the details below in this press release:

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT – News) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire HIT Entertainment for $680 million in cash from a consortium led by Apax Partners funds. HIT Entertainment owns a global portfolio of popular preschool brands, including Thomas & Friends, Barney, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Angelina Ballerina. With more than $180 million of revenues, HIT Entertainment represents one of the largest independent owners of preschool intellectual property. The purchase price equates to a multiple of about 9 ½ times trailing earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

“Mattel is the right home for Thomas & Friends. This powerhouse brand is joining the ranks of such iconic brands as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and American Girl,” said Robert A. Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer of Mattel. “Thomas & Friends routinely ranks among the world’s leading preschool toys. Additionally, with more than half of the Thomas & Friends revenue generated from non-toy products, this transaction will marry Mattel’s global marketing, distribution and brand management capabilities with HIT Entertainment’s global programming and licensing expertise to accelerate growth of the combined portfolio.”

“HIT Entertainment owns some of the most loved and trusted preschool brands in the world and under Mattel’s leadership, I look forward to seeing them grow to even greater heights,” said Jeffrey D. Dunn, president and chief executive officer of HIT Entertainment. “Mattel is a wonderful steward of brands and a great home for the outstanding properties HIT has developed and grown, including Thomas & Friends®. It is fitting that the world’s premier toy company should become the owner of the world’s premier pre-school property.”

Irina Hemmers, a partner in the Apax Media team, commented: “We are very pleased that this strong portfolio of iconic brands will continue to flourish in the hands of Mattel. Fisher-Price already produces HIT’s toys under license so the two companies know each other well and there is considerable industrial logic in this combination. I would like to thank the employees and the management team for ensuring that HIT’s brands achieved their leading global position in the preschool character space. We wish the whole company every success for the future.”

Thomas & Friends is the premier brand in the HIT Entertainment portfolio. Created more than 65 years ago, the brand has grown into the #1 licensed preschool property in the world, with television programming, home entertainment products, toys and other consumer products available throughout the globe.

Mattel currently markets many Thomas & Friends toy products under a license from HIT Entertainment which extends through 2014. Mattel’s global sales of Thomas & Friends® die-cast and plastic toys are more than $150 million, and Mattel believes that this transaction will allow the company to continue to expand and grow these product lines into the foreseeable future. Another key advantage to the acquisition is that Mattel will be able to reunite two key pieces of the Thomas & Friends toy business: plastic and die-cast toys with the wood-based business. The current wood license expires at the end of 2012, at which time Mattel expects to add that line of business to its portfolio. Historically, the sales of wood-based toys have been around half the size of the plastic and die-cast business.

The HIT Entertainment portfolio also includes a number of other highly popular preschool brands with established television broadcast and licensing relationships around the world. The acquisition does not include HIT Entertainment’s interest in the cable network station, Sprout.

Eckert went on to say, “We work in a creative business and understand the value of strong and talented leaders, teams, and people. HIT Entertainment has a great talent base with strong competencies in content production, management and licensing. The addition of the HIT Entertainment team will complement our licensing business and also augment our capabilities on the content side.”

The transaction is expected to be financed with a combination of cash and debt and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Mattel’s 2012 earnings, but is expected to be increasingly accretive as the benefits of owning these brands are reflected in Mattel’s results, including the addition of Thomas & Friends wood business in 2013 and retention of Thomas & Friends plastic and die-cast business from 2015 onwards.

The transaction is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. RBC Capital Markets, LLC acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to Mattel in connection with the transaction. BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal advisor to HIT Entertainment in connection with the transaction.

Review: Adam Strange And Starfire From Matty Collector

Mattel’s online collector’s store, MattyCollector.com, comes through with another neat DC Universe collection. This time they’re offering up a pack featuring Adam Strange and Starfire. Both highly-articulated figures come in a nifty box with a clear front that makes for the perfect display area, so open with care. The only accessory is Adam Strange’s “space pistol”, but these two figures are fine without them. This set is available now, so go get yours today!


Adam Strange is an Earth man who was suddenly whisked away by a Zeta Beam to the faraway planet of Rann. Defending the planet and winning the love of Alanna, Strange found that the beam’s affects would eventually wear off and return him to Earth, where he would have to track down where the Zeta Beam would strike next and ride it back to Rann. The character is depicted here as he is in his most recent appearances, circa his 2004 mini-series up through last year’s Rann-Thanagar Holy War mini-series.




Starfire is Princess Koriand’r of the planet Tamaran. Exiled by her sister, Komand’r, Starfire fled to Earth where she joined the New teen Titans. She has served in many incarnations of the Titans over the years and most recently aided Adam Strange in defending his adopted planet during several catastrophes. She, too, is depicted as she looks in her most recent appearances.








‘Star Trek’ Barbie And Ken Boldly Go… [UPDATED 1/22]

[UPDATE – 1/22]Following up on our December report on the new Star Trek Barbie and Ken figures, we now have final, detailed images of the three figures, courtesy of Trekmove.com. Check them out below and follow this link to the original story!




[ORIGINAL STORY]To coincide with the release of the new Star Trek film, Mattel will be producing a set for their Barbie line featuring the likenesses of Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock and Zoe Saldana as Uhuru (pictures below, though not the finalized figures or packaging). The head sculpts are very well done and the costumes are very accurately detailed, so these should be highly sought collectors items. It should also be noted that 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Barbie doll. The Trek figures will be available in April and will retail for around $45 each. There are several places that are already taking pre-orders, so you might want to go ahead and reserve yours now.




Mattel Unveils New Images of DC Universe Wave 4 Figures

Here’s a nice little bit of info for your Monday morning.  Mattel just sent along new packaged photos of their upcoming DC Universe Classics figures.  This series is giving Hasbro’s Marvel Legends a run for their money as the most wicked looking comic action figures available to collectors.  Each figure in Mattel’s DCUC Wave 4 will include a piece to a large-scale buildable Despero.  The series is due to hit shelves before the end of the year. 

Included in the Mattel DC Universe Classics Wave 4:

  • Wonder Woman
  • Artemis – limited chase figure
  • Cyborg
  • Sonic Arm Cyborg – KB Toys Exclusive
  • Captain Atom – gold/silver versions will be evenly distributed
  • Batman Beyond – no photos available at this time
  • Unmasked Batman Beyond – KB Toys Exclusive
  • Ares

SDCC 08: Mattel and Hasbro News

Thursday was a good day to be a comic-lovin’ toy collector. Both Mattel and Hasbro had panels revealing the next characters from the DCU and Marvel universe to hit toy stores.

Mattel/ DCU

– Even though the Justice League Unlimited cartoon is done, the toy line will live on well into 2009—and Beyond. Figures based on old Bruce Wayne, Batman Beyond and Warhawk will be out in the next year. Mattel also announced some obscure fan-favorite additions, including Psycho Pirate, Gentleman Ghost and Sinestro Corp. Sinestro.

– Figures based on the kid-friendly cartoon “The Brave and The Bold” will begin in Spring 2009. A Blue Beetle based on the current comic version, Red Tornado and Aquaman will be part of the first shipments.

– The DC Universe line will continue to grow, as will the “Infinite Heroes” line, which will see 40 new characters over the next year and a half.

Hasbro/ Marvel

– It was only a matter of time. Hasbro is using their Marvel license to create 3 ¾ inch figures, taking the basic model of the classic 80’s G.I. Joe figures. The big announcement was preceded by a trailer narrated by Nick Fury, directing people to check out furyfiles.com, to find out if you’re one of Fury’s “Secret Warriors.” More announcements are expected from the site in the future.

– Not only will you able to stage your own Marvel-G.I. Joe crossovers, but the bizarre Marvel-Transformers fusion will continue. Thor turning into a plane, a Cap-to-a-Humvee-like-SUV and a Carnage-hotrod will continue the Crossover series.

– The Mighty Muggs are still going strong. Designs for a Skrull, Vision and old-school Iron Man were shown.

Check out our photo gallery to see some of the toys before they hit the shelves.