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Mattel Joins Alibaba to Develop Educational Toys for Chinese Consumers

By | Feb 15, 2017 12:35 AM EST
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Mattel and Alibaba's first set of toy products will be available starting mid-2017.

Mattel and Alibaba's first set of toy products will be available starting mid-2017. (Photo : Getty Images)

Mattel has formed a strategic partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba to develop new toys designed for the Chinese marketplace.

Mattel is the maker of popular Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price toys. Both companies aim to promote educational and learning play products to the company’s site Tmall.com and other online outlets such as Chinese social network site Weibo.

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Under the partnership, Mattel will lead the marketing effort and sell its brands such as Barbie to an audience of estimated 443 million active Chinese buyers. The American toymaker will also work closely with Alibaba's A.I. Lab in developing new interactive learning toys and products specifically for the Chinese consumers. Mattel is already offering entertainment content based on Mattel products such as Thomas the Tank Engine cartoons in China and the company will explore the offline retail sales as well. 

“By combining Mattel's unmatched expertise in childhood learning and development, with Alibaba's immense reach and unique consumer insights, our goal is to help parents in China raise children to be their personal best,” Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis said in a statement.

Mattel and Alibaba will commence the product development immediately and the first set of toy products will be available starting mid-2017. The strategic partnership with Alibaba helps Mattel to focus on rolling our new products that are designed to a more diverse audience. 

As China eases it its one-child policy, Mattel has a great opportunity to explore and push its products in China with Alibaba’s help. With China’s market, Mattel can embrace a wider market. Mattel plans to develop educational content that can persuade Chinese parents that purchasing toys can have a benefit too.

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