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To infinity and beyond: Mattel announces toy deal with SpaceX

By Chiara Grimes, CNN Business

Mattel, Inc. announced Wednesday that it has entered into a multi-year, worldwide agreement with SpaceX to create a line of rocket- and astronaut-themed toys “to cater to the inner explorer in every child.”

Not only is this targeted at younger age groups but also to collectors. The company said it will simultaneously debut space-inspired collectibles on Mattel’s Creations, a direct-to-consumer platform often offering limited-edition, higher-end toys and other items.

Mattel Inc. was founded in 1945 and has been the leading global manufacturer of popular childhood toys from Malibu Barbie to Hot Wheels Monster Trucks. Headquartered in El Segundo, California, the company is valued at about $7.96 billion.

Mattel boasts an array of iconic brands, including Fisher-Price, American Girl, Thomas & Friends as well as other intellectual properties they own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies.

Yet the alliance with Elon Musk’s aerospace company is likely something that consumers did not expect.

“As space exploration advances more quickly than ever before, we are thrilled to work with SpaceX and help spark limitless play patterns for the space explorer in every kid,” Nick Karamanos, SVP of Entertainment Partnerships at Mattel, said in a statement.

This is not the first time the toy giant has manufactured products to target kids’ dreams of navigating outer space. The tactic actually dates back to 1965 with the release of “Barbie Miss Astronaut.” Based on the Project Mercury astronauts — the first Americans to travel to space — the silver-space-suit clad Barbie was created to inspire young girls to reach for the stars.

SpaceX said it shares a similar goal in this new partnership venture.

“At SpaceX, we believe that a future in which humanity is out among the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one in which we are not,” said SpaceX Vice President Brian Bjelde. “We look forward to working with Mattel to help inspire the next generation of space explorers and enthusiasts.”

The toy line is set to drop in 2023 under Mattel’s Matchbox brand.

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