Mattel UK’s marketing director tells Toy World what’s on offer within the new toy range, and how the company’s long-standing relationship with Disney has allowed it to lean into the studio’s expertise.
What can you tell us about the Lightyear movie?
The new movie is Buzz Lightyear’s origin story, and it has been so exciting to see the toy range develop to introduce new characters to this beloved franchise. Mattel has been a Disney partner for generations on Toy Story, and it is great, as master toy licensee, to be able to bring the adventure to a new generation. We have created an incredible range that will allow fans to recreate the action and magic from the movie at home.
What will Mattel’s launch range look like and what are the standout lines?
We have a fantastic new range of action figures, vehicles, role-play, pre-school and plush toys that really capture the characters and bring to life the storyline from the movie. Our amazing design team has captured the themes of space exploration and teamwork, designing great toys that will allow fans to play out some of the most-exciting action seen in the film. Our team and retail partners are particularly excited about a truly innovative toy – the Disney Pixar Lightyear Ultimate Jetpack Buzz – which has lights and sounds true to the movie’s content, and a water-fillable jet pack that produces a mist to create a fantastic, realistic-looking blaster vapour trail.
Our Lightyear action figure range includes the Disney Pixar Lightyear Laser Blade Buzz Lightyear Figure, a detailed figure featuring exciting lights and sounds inspired by the movie. The range also includes Zurg, Buzz Lightyear’s nemesis, with the Disney Pixar Lightyear Zurg figure. These are perfect for good versus evil action play.
Fans can take a high-speed trip to adventure with the 20″ long Disney Pixar Lightyear Blast & Battle XL-15 Vehicle with a Buzz Lightyear pilot figure and projectile shooters.
Finally, our role-play items allows kids to play out the action from the movie at home. Kids can train to become a Space Ranger just like Buzz Lightyear with the exciting Disney Pixar Lightyear Laser Blade DX toy, which is inspired by the vine slashing blade used by Buzz and his team in the film.
Are you approaching Lightyear as you would a Toy Story movie, or do you see this as a different kind of opportunity?
As long-time Disney partners, with licensed Toy Story toy ranges going all the way back to the 90s, we have a rich history of expertise to lean into, but the new Lightyear film will feature new characters and a new proposition. This means we can adopt an exciting new strategic approach, with media aligned to the latest media mix.
What plans do you have to support the range in-store and to promote it to consumers?
We have a robust 360 marketing campaign across the year with TV advertising, PR, digital support and retail activations to help promote the range to consumers.
What are your aspirations for the brand over the medium and long term?
We will be launching this spring/summer with big marketing and retail plans based around the movie launch, but the momentum won’t stop there; we’ll continue to drive our Mattel Lightyear range throughout 2022 so that come Christmas, our range will contain the must-have toys. Long term, Disney is amazing at storytelling and fostering evergreen properties, and Disney+ creates even more opportunities for kids to engage with the film and reenact all the action from the movie with the toy range. We will deepen the product line to maintain the excitement and continue to develop a range that kids and fans will love.