MUNICH, Germany (July 14) - Mattel is entering the EU sporting goods and bike market not under its own name. Yvonne Haag, licensing manager Consumer Products for the German-speaking market, said at the Ispo Show: "We want to push our Hot Wheels brand name within the sporting goods world and not Mattel."
Licensees make all the How Wheels products: "They can do it far better then us," said Haag. While snowboards are made by licensee Sims, fashion is made by Smith & Brooks, sneakers by Sisport, backpacks by Seven and skateboards, inline-skates and bicycles by US licensee Liberty. All licensees are already responsible for Hot Wheels products on the American market and are now searching for European distributors.
Major target group for the Hot Wheels products are five to ten years olds. "We are here on the Ispo Show because we want to sell our products through the specialty retail and department store channels," said Haag. Nevertheless Mattel might be eyeing larger mass merchants such as Toys'R'Us, Kaufhof or Karstadt (all partners they are already doing business with). Mattel's European headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands is leading the entire license business under the Hot Wheels brand name.(JB)