China’s Bodhi and Friends joins Mattel portfolio

Bodhi and Friends, a chart-topping Chinese 3D animation brand, has teamed with Mattel in a global distribution deal.

Century Innovative Technology, the company behind Bodhi and Friends, has licensed the animation IP to Mattel for developing and distributing toys around the world, with the aim to become a flagship brand under Mattel‘s Fisher-Price banner.  

The partnership signifies “a momentous step forward for Bodhi and Friends as a China-born brand with global ambitions and a breakthrough in the Chinese animation industry in entering the global arena as a new creative cultural force,” CIT said in a statement.

This is also the first time Mattel has licensed a Chinese animation IP in its 70 year history.

Poman Lo, CEO and founder of CIT, and Peter Broegger, MD Asia Pacific of Mattel, both expressed excitement and confidence in the strategic partnership.

The deal not only marks Bodhi and Friends’ first significant step in its global expansion but also reflects Mattel’s determination to grow China into a second home market.

Bodhi and Friends was created 10 years ago as a charity project to foster moral development in children through inspirational comics. In 2012, CIT was established and Bodhi and Friends as an animation IP was born. Through a unique portfolio of 3D animation, interactive games and edutainment products, the brand inspires innovation, multiple intelligences and positive values in children.  

Today, the brand stands out as a leading family ‘edutainment’ brand loved by children, trusted by parents and recommended by experts.

“Having Mattel as our global partner is a dream come true because they are not just a toy company,” commented Lo. “Everyone at Mattel truly cares about how each toy can foster learning and impact a child’s development. We share a core vision to empower children to pursue their dreams and achieve their potential. I am deeply touched with their passion for innovation and quality as well as their genuine commitment to growing the Bodhi and Friends franchise together.

“I feel Bodhi and Friends is in the best possible hands ever as they care about the brand DNA, positioning and communication as much as I do as a founder. I believe this is just the beginning of our magical journey of collaboration together and have every confidence that our toys will be a smashing success creating positive impact around the world.”

Lo also expressed a keen interest to bridge the East and the West through the animated series which features both traditional virtues through martial arts lessons as well as cutting-edge sci-fi innovations.  

A main catalyst behind the partnership is the shared vision of fostering learning and development through creative play experiences, said Broegger. “This partnership represents a significant milestone for Mattel in China. While we have been in China since the 1980s, this marks the first time we will be launching a toy line based on a home-grown China-based pre-school intellectual property.”

The collaboration between CIT and Mattel signifies a historic moment in the development of the Chinese animation industry which produces over 200,000 minutes of animated content per year. No longer just the world’s factory, China aspires to become the next frontier of cultural innovation.

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