From Bologna: Mattel Publishing Has New Plans

In Children's by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

Mattel-barbie-illustrationAccording to, Mattel announced at the Bologna Book Fair that it will develop a new digital publishing team to support its brands like Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Monster High and Barbie.

Mattel said the Barbie brand will be expanded through entertainment tie-ins, illustrated storybooks and a chapter book series, Mailbu Mysteries. These new products will update Barbie for the next generation of children.

“We wanted to create a new illustrative style that really reflects the latest generation of Barbie fans,” said Tanya Mann, Vice President of Global Consumer Products at Mattel. “She looks slightly younger, more relatable, but still remains on fashion trend. We are really excited to be sharing this with our partners and to see the great new publishing content that will be created from this contemporary direction.”

For the 70th anniversary of Thomas & Friends this year, Mattel Publishing will release a DVD and publishing products, along with a picture book from Egmont.

Kidscreen reports that the Fireman Sam brand will see a feature-length DVD, along with new book tie-ins from licensees Machete, Panini and Egmont.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.