By Hannah Johnson
According to Licensing.biz, 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.