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Mattel gallops in with Spirit Riding Free deal

Multi-year global licensing deal secured with Universal Brand Development for franchise.

Mattel has continued to build on its licensing partnership with Universal Brand Development, securing a multi-year global deal for DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Riding Free franchise.

The deal covers the hit Netflix TV series and the upcoming feature film, with Mattel’s licensing rights including dolls, role-play, games and arts and crafts.

The line will debut ahead of the global release of the film, which is expected to hit cinemas in May 2021.

The new agreement builds on Mattel and Universal Brand Development’s existing multi-year licensing partnerships for Illumination’s Minions, Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World and Fast & the Furious.

“DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Riding Free has captured the imaginations of children and families around the world,” said Janet Hsu, chief franchise officer at Mattel. “We have a strong partnership with the Universal team and track record of designing products that offer a deep connection to their characters and stories.

“We look forward to taking this to the next level with Spirit by bringing new innovation to the property through a full range of toys across multiple categories.”

Joe Lawandus, svp and general manager, global toys and hardlines at Universal Brand Development, added: “Mattel’s innovative approach to product design and storytelling is like no other, and we’re excited to further expand upon our successful partnership with them to design toys that tap into this natural play pattern and inspire girls to live out the series in real-life.”

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