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How Good a Business Play Is a Mattel Films Studio?

By Motley Fool Staff - Sep 18, 2018 at 10:10AM

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The toy company owns a whole raft of brands that it could easily transform into media -- and it's going to.

In this segment from Motley Fool Money, host Chris Hill and Fool senior analysts Andy Cross, Matt Argersinger, and Ron Gross consider just how well Mattel ( MAT 0.89% ) could do at monetizing its deep stable of beloved toy brands as films. With Barbie, Monster High, Hot Wheels, Minecraft, American Girl and many others, the possibilities are vast. Some have already been turned into straight-to-video movies via licensing, of course, but the guys are excited to see where the company begins with its own new Mattel Films studio.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Sept. 7, 2018.

Chris Hill: This week, Mattel announced it is launching its own movie studio, Mattel Films. Among the toys that Mattel can leverage from its portfolio, we've got Barbie, Hot Wheels, Monster High, Thomas and Friends, as well as other brands, Matty, that I really have a hard time imagining on the big screen.

Matt Argersinger: Yes, that's right. But there's some good ones in there. I mean, I personally was a big Hot Wheels fan growing up. I had so many. I was one of those kids that had a chest.

Ron Gross: Oh, I had a little suitcase, with the slots.

Argersinger: Oh, yeah! The chest was, like, 50% Legos and 50% Hot Wheels. Maybe a sequel to Cars, but not really Cars, it would be its own thing. I think that'd be pretty cool.

Hill: First movie out of the gate, if you're running the movie studio, is a Hot Wheels themed movie?

Argersinger: Right, especially if there's an all-electric Model S in it. [laughs]

Hill: Andy, what about you?

Andy Cross: Well, I think the most successful one will be Minecraft. But the one that I would want to see is Rock'em Sock'em Robots. I don't know how they would make it. Just take The Rock, maybe, vs. some other wrestler, and turn that into a whole movie franchise. Rock'em Sock'em Robots.

Hill: Ron?

Gross: The correct answer is Masters of the Universe with He-Man and Skeletor, Now, I'm not naive or ignorant. I know that this was attempted in 1987 with Dolph Lundgren as the star, and it was a disaster.

Argersinger: I liked it! I was seven years old.

Gross: In the right hands, you have a He-Man franchise on your hands. Come on!

Hill: We have to go to our man behind the glass, Steve Broido. Steve, I'm guessing you might have a thought or two on what the first movie out of the gates should be from Mattel Films.

Steve Broido: I do, indeed. American Girl's 2018 Girl of the Year. Meet Luciana Vega, a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. I read that directly from Mattel's website. That is the first movie, you can bet on it.

Hill: Well, I mean, American Girl, they got a lot of options there, in terms of backstory, and that sort of thing.

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