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Mattel, 9 Story Announce New Partnership

Mattel and preschool entertainment arm HIT Entertainment partnering with 9 Story Media Group to re-launch iconic brands ‘Barney & Friends’ and ‘Angelina Ballerina.’

Iconic preschool brand ‘Angelina Ballerina’ to get a CG remake. Mattel and its preschool entertainment arm and subsidiary, HIT Entertainment, have joined international kids and family content producer 9 Story Media Group in announcing a new long-term partnership to relaunch iconic pre-school brands Barney & Friends and Angelina Ballerina.

The partnership will leverage the combined expertise of both organizations to breathe new life into the programs. Mattel will bring its global brand management, product activation and strong integrated franchise management capabilities. Development of the IP will begin immediately, with a 2017 target launch date for new series for each property.

“We are delighted to announce this new brand building partnership with 9 Story in a deal which sees two of the world’s finest producers of preschool entertainment joining forces to bring an exciting line up of new programming to a global audience across multiple platforms,” said Kate Schlomann, HIT Entertainment’s VP Global Brand Marketing. “The refresh and relaunch of Barney and Angelina Ballerina represents an exciting start to our partnership with 9 Story. Both brands continue to enjoy large fan bases around the world among both pre-schoolers and their parents, who often grew up with the characters themselves.”

“In conjunction with 9 Story, we will leverage our joint production expertise to create best in brand children’s programming to lead content creation,” added Christopher Keenan, HiT Entertainment’s VP Global Content & Executive Producer. “This is a significant step forward in the evolution of our brands.”

“We are thrilled to enter into a partnership with Mattel, Inc to relaunch these iconic children’s shows,” said 9 Story president and CEO Vince Commisso. “Barney and Angelina Ballerina are two of the biggest preschool characters in history, and content is what made them so enduring. The whole generation of parents who grew up loving Barney and Angelina will be our partners in sharing them with their children. We know it is a rare opportunity that brings with it great responsibility, but we’re excited about the advances in technology that will help us bring these characters forward.”

Barney originally aired from 1992-2009, with 248 episodes created to-date along with 25 hours of specials. Barney was one of just a few live-action properties targeting preschoolers in the market, with content aimed at an equal split of boys and girls aged 18 months to three years. The show celebrates the life skills of sharing, community and friendship via music and cognitive learning.

Angelina Ballerina originally aired from 2001-2006 and ran for two seasons with 39 episodes and three specials. The episodes were based on a series of children’s books created by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig, the first of which was published in 1983.

Source: Mattel, Inc.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.