EL SEGUNDO, Calif., October 11, 2016 -- Strengthening its presence in key geographies throughout Asia, Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) today announced that it has finalized strategic relationships with Choirock Contents Factory, Co., Ltd. and Sonokong Co, Ltd., two of Korea's most successful and established toy industry leaders.
Under the terms of an agreement with Choirock, Mattel will serve as master toy licensee for the hugely popular Turning Mecard franchise, currently the number one toy franchise in South Korea by sales1. Under the terms of the deal, Mattel will manufacture, distribute and market a wide variety of toys and products inspired by the franchise, including vehicles, action figures, games and other items. Choirock will continue to distribute and manage theTurning Mecard franchise in Korea, while Mattel will hold the right to introduce the franchise in markets throughout the world.
Separately, Mattel and Sonokong have entered into a strategic agreement in which Sonokong will serve as Mattel's primary distribution partner inSouth Korea, with responsibility for sales and product distribution. The agreement applies to Mattel's entire product portfolio, excluding games. Mattelhas also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 12% equity stake in Sonokong, a publicly-traded company listed on the Korea Exchange(KRX). The transaction is expected to be completed later this month.
"Today's announcements represent a tremendous step forward in Mattel's presence in South Korea, a key Asian market with ample consumer demand for toys and related products," said Peter Broegger, Managing Director, Mattel Asia Pacific. "Turning Mecard is nothing short of a phenomenal success in Korea, and we see tremendous potential to drive similar consumer adoption in key international markets throughout Asia, and beyond. In addition, Sonokong is a proven and well-established toy distributor, and we are confident our iconic brands will benefit from increased distribution and consumer adoption as a result of our partnership."
2015 toy sales in South Korea were more than $1.4B (USD), according to Euromonitor.
Mattel is a creations company that inspires the wonder of childhood. Our mission is to be the recognized leader in play, learning and development worldwide. Mattel's portfolio of global consumer brands includes American Girl®, Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels®, Monster High® and Thomas & Friends®, among many others. Mattel also creates a wealth of lines and products made in collaboration with leading entertainment and technology companies. With a global workforce of approximately 31,000 people, Mattel operates in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.
Choirock Contents Factory Co., Ltd. is Korea's leading content creator and provider. Choirock is highly specialized in planning and development for toys, animations, mobile apps/platform, and licensing business and dedicated to the creation of unique and innovative contents such as Turning Mecard®, Hello Carbot®, Sofy Ruby®, among many others. Choirock is committed to provide 'Delight To Play' for children and families. Visit us online at www.choirockcf.com.
Sonokong Co. Ltd. is Korea's leading toy company specialized in sales, marketing, and distribution of hit brands such as Turning Mecard®, Hello Carbot®, Sofy Ruby®, among many others based on strong animation licensed toys. Sonokong was the first Korean toy company to be registered on the KOSDAQ in 2005 and is committed to provide fun, innovative, and imaginative play through its entertainment based lines and products.
Visit us online at http://www.sonokong.co.kr.
1 Nationwide Retailers 2015, Nielsen Scan Track Data (Toy Category). Copyright © 2015, The Nielsen Company.