Toyco Mattel has created Playground Productions, a new multiplatform development and production arm.
The unit will sit within the Mattel Global Brands division and create content around brands such as Barbie, Monster High and Max Steel. Its first project will be an animated version of the Hot Wheels franchise titled Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome, which debuts next year.
Mercury Filmworks will coproduce the 22-minute property, which goes out in spring. There will also been 11 two-minute shorts and a 1x74mins direct-to-video movie.
Production industry veteran David Voss is leading Playground as senior VP. His team includes executive producer and chief story strategist Rob Hudnut, producer Audu Paden and former Nickelodeon exec Julia Pistor. Veteran producer Lloyd Goldfine and Margaret Dean as director of production round out the prodco.
“Playground Productions is dedicated to delivering impactful narratives that drive brand engagement across all the platforms kids love,” said Voss. “Storytelling is at the heart of every great character and franchise. From script development and story mapping, to film production and post-production, we have established a one-stop shop for modern, creative storytelling.”
Playground will also handle the creative on the recently announced Max Steel live-action feature film.
Tim Kilpin, executive VP and general manager of Mattel Global Brands said: “By focusing on storytelling as part of the brand development process, we’re able to reinforce our global strategy of building new franchises, growing our core brands, and optimising entertainment.”