Mattel and SpaceX have reached a multi-year agreement wherein the global toy company will create and market toys inspired by SpaceX’s launch vehicles. The first set of products will be released in 2023. This would be part of Mattel’s Matchbox line of die-cast cars.
This is SpaceX’s first-ever deal with a renowned toy company. Brian Bjelde, vice president at SpaceX, said the company believes that a future in which humanity is among the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one in which it’s not. SpaceX is looking forward to working with Mattel to help inspire the next generation of space explorers and enthusiasts.
Nick Karamanos, SVP of Entertainment Partnerships at Mattel, said the toymaker takes pride in the ability to create products and experiences that honor cultural moments and inspire humankind. He highlighted that as space exploration advances more quickly than ever, Mattel is thrilled to work with SpaceX and help spark limitless play patterns for the space explorer in all kids.
Earlier this year, Mattel collaborated with the International Space Station National Lab to send two Barbie dolls to the orbiting outpost. This effort encouraged girls to take up careers in aerospace and engineering. The toy company also created Barbie dolls styled after real-life astronauts and cosmonauts Sally Ride, Samantha Cristoforetti, Anna Kikina, and Katherine Johnson – NASA’s mathematician. Moreover, under its Hot Wheels brand, Mattel has worked with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to produce miniatures of NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers.
Over the years, SpaceX has sold merchandise through its own portal. However, the items were limited to jackets, shirts, hats, and bags. Through Mattel, the space company is looking to venture into plush dolls or building sets. It acknowledges the fact that the collectors market has become a lucrative space for Mattel and other companies like Hasbro and Funko. SpaceX knows that it’s important to gain exclusive licensing deals for specific pop culture brands with notable fan bases.