Mattel To Develop Toys For Illumination’s ‘Despicable Me’ Franchise

– Comprehensive range of products will arrive at retailers worldwide, ahead of the global theatrical debut of the sequel to Illumination’s Minions in Summer 2020

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.Feb. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) today announced that it has entered into a three-year international licensing agreement with Illumination and Universal Brand Development for its Despicable Me franchise. Mattel’s license rights in North America and key international markets include a wide variety of products, including action figures and dolls, play-sets, vehicles and radio control toys, games, plush, role-play and accessories. The Mattel line will launch with a multi-category collection inspired by Illumination’s upcoming Minions sequel and debut at retailers worldwide in time for the film’s global theatrical premiere in summer 2020.

“As the stars of the highest-grossing animated franchise to date, Illumination’s Minions have captured the imaginations and hearts of people around the world,” said Janet Hsu, Chief Franchise Management Officer, Mattel. “We are delighted to partner with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to provide fans of all ages a deeper connection to these beloved characters. Mattel is committed to strategic collaborations with globally-recognized franchises, which are helping to drive our transformation into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.”

“As we continue to develop richer, more engaging ways for fans to interact with our brands, we are excited to collaborate with Illumination and Mattel to design a brand-new line of toys and consumer products, inspired by Illumination’s Despicable Me franchise,” said Vince Klaseus, President, Universal Brand Development. “Illumination’s Minions are a global pop-culture phenomenon, embraced by all ages and cultures, and we’re excited for the global launch of Minions 2 and for Mattel’s new toy and products lines, which are sure to inspire creativity, open up new ways to play and extend the storytelling.”

Mattel Logo (PRNewsFoto/Mattel)

About Mattel
Mattel is a leading global children’s entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends® and MEGA®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.

About Illumination 
Illumination, founded by Academy Award® nominee Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of event-animated films. The company’s franchises include three of the top-eight animated films of all time, and its iconic, beloved brands—infused with memorable and distinct characters, global appeal and cultural relevance—have grossed more than $6 billion worldwide.

Illumination was recently honored by Fast Company as one of the world’s most innovative companies.

Illumination, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, has garnered an extraordinary number of franchise successes for a studio just over a decade old. As the creator of the hugely successful world of Despicable Me, which was recently crowned the top-grossing box-office animated franchise globally, Illumination has evolved the Despicable Me series to include Minions, the third-highest-grossing animated film of all time and the most profitable film in Universal’s history, as well as the Academy Award®– nominated Despicable Me 2 and summer 2017’s Despicable Me 3, which made more than $1 billion at the global box office.

Illumination recently launched two original properties that captivated audiences worldwide: The Secret Life of Pets, which achieved the best opening for an original movie, animated or otherwise, in U.S. history, and the global smash, Sing. And in 2018, Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch had the biggest opening weekend of any Christmas-themed movie in history.

Founded 11 years ago with the mission of putting a smile on the face of every member of the audience, no matter their age, Illumination continues to imagine both original stories, as well as unexpected adaptations of beloved pre-existing works.

Illumination’s upcoming films include The Secret Life of Pets 2 in June 2019Minions 2 in July 2020, and Sing 2 in December 2020.

About Illumination Labs
To create the custom animation and all other campaign assets for Illumination’s brand and licensing partnerships, Universal collaborates closely with Illumination Labs, Illumination’s internal creative division that has a team of over 150 people who work out of the company’s Santa Monica headquarters and IMG Studio in Paris.

About Universal Brand Development
Universal Brand Development globally drives expansion of the company’s intellectual properties, franchises, characters and stories through innovative physical and digital products, content, and consumer experiences. Along with franchise brand management, Universal Brand Development’s core businesses include Consumer Products, Games and Digital Platforms, and Live Entertainment based on the company’s extensive portfolio of intellectual properties created by Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation, and NBCUniversal cable and television. Universal Brand Development is a business segment of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation. Visit universalbranddevelopment.com for more information.

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