Agency adds toy company to its roster
Creative Artists Agency has added Mattel to its corporate toy box.With the success of “Transformers” generating renewed interest in the potential of toys as tentpole fodder, Mattel will work with CAA’s marketing arm to set up brands such as Barbie, American Girl, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, UNO, Polly Pocket and Fisher-Price as movies, TV shows, games and other media. Mattel gives CAA another toymaker after Hasbro ankled for William Morris Agency last June, just before the bow of “Transformers.” CAA had helped set up feature adaptations of “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” with Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce at Paramount for Hasbro. Looking for the same kind of treatment, Mattel said CAA will give the El Segundo, Calif.-based company “unique access to entertainment’s key decisionmakers and, equally as important, early insight into popular culture, as well as relationships with the world’s most creative talent,” according to Richard Dickson, Mattel’s senior veep of marketing, media and entertainment. Mattel already has been working to set up its properties for feature adaptations. Its entertainment efforts are overseen by Barry Waldo, VP of worldwide entertainment marketing and strategy. Last year, it inked a deal with Joel Silver to develop a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe actioner at Warner Bros. that could help lead to the relaunch of the 1980s fantasy franchise. And it’s been successful with its series of direct-to-DVD Barbie films, distribbed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Its other top doll brand, American Girl, has transitioned into TV and homevid movies as well. Its first theatrical release, “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” will bow July 2 via Picturehouse; Abigail Breslin stars. CAA Marketing also counts Coca-Cola, eBay, Harley Davidson and Sprint as clients.