Just four months after taking over as CEO and Chairman of Mattel, Ynon Kreiz is making a big bet on the movie business. Mattel announced last week that it was forming a new development and production division that will be called Mattel Films.
Mattel has unsuccessfully played with the movie business in the past. It has never made the commitment or had the success experienced by its rival Hasbro. Mr. Kreiz, however, is demonstrating his seriousness about this new strategy by hiring successful, Academy Award-nominated producer Robbie Brenner to head up the new division.
After the announcement, Investors signaled their approval by driving Mattel stock up by 3.7%. You can see why. Hasbro has already demonstrated that a toy company can become a media company. The Transformers movie series, for example, has not only generated additional revenue, but has also spurred the sales of movie branded toys and licensed products as well as generated exponential increases in brand awareness across generations.