June 2nd, 2014
Amazon and a Mattel Unit Plan a ‘Content Hub’ Focusing on Children
By BROOKS BARNES
New York Times
LOS ANGELES — “Fireman Sam,” a cartoon aimed at preschoolers, has long been a hit overseas. Now Mattel and Amazon are teaming up to sell the yellow-hatted hero to American children — a potentially controversial experiment that, if successful, could create a new model for marrying television shows with related merchandise. Amazon and Hit Entertainment, a division of Mattel, are creating an Amazon.com “content hub” that will — side by side — offer episodes of “Fireman Sam” and the opportunity to buy related toys, books, games, costumes, lunchboxes, T-shirts, hoses, hats, bags, footwear and bikes.
Until now, Amazon has mostly kept the video streaming and retail sides of its business separate. “This allows us to test the boundaries of how a kids’ franchise can be activated,” said Sid Mathur, a Hit Entertainment vice president. “At the same time, it allows Amazon to transition from a place that simply fulfills consumer demand to one that also creates consumer demand.”