Each episode will have a set of amateur inventors run their designs through various trials, aiming for a spot in the finale in which they’ll pitch their inventions to a panel of kid judges. (What better way to test a product’s worth than by having the end user be the arbiters?)
The winner of the competition will have their toy brought to market by Mattel, with all the marketing and shelf-position perks that entail from having the support of the brand behind Barbie, American Girl and Hot Wheels.
For the synergy-minded, the winning toy will be available to buy right after the finale airs.
TV production agency Hudsun Media is producing for ABC and Mattel Creations, the content arm of toy conglomerate Mattel, Inc. Electus, who developed the project with Hudsun Media, will handle international distribution.
“For the first time, viewers will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of toy making, as they see what it takes to design the next great American toy,” Hudsun Media CEO Michael Rourke said.
“The Toy Box” is the first major TV project for Mattel Creations, though it’s not the first step the company has taken into content. Mattel recently partnered with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to create a Batman-themed virtual reality experience for Mattel’s new View-Master VR headset.