Barbie and Elon: It’s one thing. Mattel and SpaceX are planning a toy line
Mattel Inc. has agreed to partner with Elon Musk’s rocket company to make SpaceX-themed toys.
In 2023, Mattel, the company that brought Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels to the world, will begin releasing SpaceX-inspired toys under its Matchbox brand, known to generations of children primarily for its toy cars.
The toymaker also plans to release SpaceX-related items on Mattel Creations, its online platform for collectors looking for limited-edition products.
Items bought by what the industry calls “kidults” helped U.S. toy sales grow 37% in two years to $28.6 billion in 2021. according to data tracker NPD Group. A survey last year by the Toy Assn. Trading group figured that out 58% of adult respondents Bought toys and games for himself.
The two companies did not reveal which toys it could be. But it begs the question of what’s next: A Musk action figure who tweets?
SpaceX – Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. – makes the Starship rocket ship, which Musk hopes to one day fly to Mars, as well as the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule, which carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to create products and experiences that honor cultural moments and inspire humanity,” said Nick Karamanos, Mattel’s senior vice president of entertainment partnerships, in a statement.
“At SpaceX, we believe that a future where humanity is out among the stars is inherently more exciting than one where we are not,” said Brian Bjelde, vice president at SpaceX.
Mattel and SpaceX are almost neighbors. The toy giant’s El Segundo headquarters is less than five miles from the spacecraft manufacturer in Hawthorne.
Though the company marks SpaceX’s first foray into the toy business, Mattel was making NASA-inspired toys as early as the 1960s.
The partnership with SpaceX comes just months after the toy giant’s release an updated Astronaut Barbie on his Mattel Creations website and sent two dolls to the International Space Station in April.
After reaching the space station, the dolls were given “an out-of-this-world tour of the ISS.” said Mattel at the time. Upon their return from space, the Barbies will be donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to “continue to inspire young women with the excitement of space.”
Mattel Thursday reported net income of $66.4 million for the second quarter after reporting a loss for the same period last year. Revenue rose to $1.24 billion. But the stock slipped in after-hours trading on concerns about falling sales of the American Girl line and a decline in profit margin that was attributed to higher materials, transportation and royalties.