The toy industry has a long, proud history of creating cartoons just to sell toys to kids, and now one of the industry's biggest players has decided that it can use the popularity of its iconic toy properties to make money at the box office. Earlier this month, Mattel announced that it is launching a new film division called Mattel Films. This new division will develop and produce feature films based on Mattel's stable of popular and recognizable brands. This is a huge move for the popular toy company and one that follows in the footsteps of competitor Hasbro, which launched Hasbro Films back in 2009. It is also a mulligan for the company, whose previous production company was DOA with Max Steel.

These days, what carries the most weight at the box office are franchises and brand names. Properties with built-in audiences and name recognition are as good as gold and if those properties have a heavy nostalgia quotient, when done right, it's a license to print money. Mattel has all of that. The toymaker has been around since 1945 and generations of kids have played with its toys. Some of these properties have already been proven in the cartoon realm, and have been begging for years for a big screen adaptation. Now, with the launch of Mattel Films, and thanks to a few properties coming back to Mattel after the rights lapsed, Mattel can hopefully capitalize on its beloved franchises with some quality movies.

Mattel has a lot of brands to its name, but some of them stand above the rest as obviously ripe for the big screen. So here are the five projects we'd love to see from Mattel Films.


Of all the properties on this list, Barbie seemed like it was the closest to getting made. Sony had the film rights to the character and a movie starring Amy Schumer was set to debut this summer. But Amy Schumer dropped out of the project and Anne Hathaway stepped in. Then the project was pushed back to 2020 and now Sony's rights have expired, timing perfectly with the launch of Mattel Films. This is probably Mattel's biggest brand, so it is inevitable that a Barbie movie happens. The previously reported take would have seen Barbie in a fish-out-of-water story discovering that it is fine that she doesn't fit in with the perfect residents of Barbieland. That concept has potential to say some interesting things and teach little girls positive messages, but it is hardly original. Hopefully a different take from Mattel can tell a more interesting story that maintains a positive message and gives this beloved character the movie she deserves. The best Barbie movie now is probably Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation. I doubt Mattel would take that sort of tongue in cheek approach to Barbie and Ken, but it shows one way the characters can work.

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