Pandemic boredom has been good for Mattel, the company behind some of the world’s most iconic toy brands, including Barbie and Hot Wheels. Its 2020 online sales were up 50%, as dolls, games and puzzles flew off virtual shelves. Even so, CEO Ynon Kreiz no longer sees Mattel as a toy-manufacturing company. Instead, he says, what they do is IP, with dozens of film and TV projects in development and production in partnership with major entertainment companies and big-name actors. (Think a Barbie movie, co-written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, and starring Margot Robbie, and Uno and Whac-A-Mole game shows.) “The opportunity for us is to expand beyond the toy aisle,” Kreiz tells TIME.
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