Mattel’s Whac-A-Mole strikes TV game show deal with Fremantle

Whac-A-Mole has become the latest Mattel toy property to receive the TV treatment as the television production outfit, Fremantle, prepares to develop a new game show based on the title.

The move comes amid a slate of TV licensing announcements from Mattel, including the most recent partnership with Propagate to develop a game show based on the family card game UNO.

According to reports, the Whac-A-Mole game show will turn the popular Mattel title – and regular fixture of the arcades and amusement park scene – into an elimination competition during which opposing teams will use their skill, strength, and endurance to become the ultimate Whac-A-Mole champion.

The unscripted series will incorporate life-sized Whac-A-Mole, races and obstacle courses.

Whac-A-Mole popped into life in 1976 as an arcade game before being turned into a tabletop game in 2009. This year, Mattel will be re-releasing the tabletop game and launching a new card game Whac-A-Mole Match-A-Mole.

“Whac-A-Mole is a beloved, action-packed arcade game with a deep fan following, and the interactive nature and comedic energy of the game makes it a great franchise for episodic television,” said Adam Bonnett, executive producer, Mattel Television.

“Jayson and the team at Fremantle have had unparalleled success creating iconic reality television series and are the perfect partners to help us bring this classic game to life in new ways.”

Jayson Dinsmore, president of alternative programming and development, Fremantle, added: “We’re so excited to have the iconic Whac-A-Mole brand as our newest playground.

“Partnering with Mattel to bring this classic game to television in a dynamic and synergistic life-sized world is a dream come true.”

Mattel Television is developing a game show around its popular family game UNO

Mattel’s world popular card game UNO has landed a new television deal, as the global toy maker detailed this week its plans to develop a new game show around the family gaming brand.

Described as a ‘larger than life televised competition,’ the UNO Game Show will feature four teams who will face off to become the ‘ultimate UNO champion.’ According to Mattel’s announcement via The Wrap, the show will incorporate audience participation, over the top physical challenges, and trivia.

Mattel Television is producing the series in partnership with Propogate, with “Let’s Make a Deal” showrunner John Quinn attached to executive produce. Adam Bonnett of Mattel and Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Greg Lipstone of Propagate also serve as executive producers.

UNO was first developed in 1971 and was acquired by Mattel in 1992 where it has become one of the most recognisable family games in the world. It is currently sold in more than 80 countries and boasts a wide portfolio of themed versions.

This isn’t the first time Mattel has played with the idea of an UNO television series. A previous game show adaptation was put into development in 2013 at The Gurin Company but did not move forward to series.

“UNO is the most popular game in the world and is a fixture in pop culture, making it the ideal franchise to build a reality game show around,” said Mattel’s Bonnett in a statement.

“Ben, Howard, Greg and John have deep expertise in unscripted content and are the perfect partners to help us transform UNO into a television series for the whole family.”

In a joint statement, Owens and Silverman said: “UNO is a beloved game that has been entertaining people worldwide for generations. We are excited to team with Mattel and John Quinn to translate the game for television, and think ‘The UNO Game Show’ will be perfect for family viewing.”

Mattel Television to launch new musical Barbie movie to Netflix, Barbie Princess Adventures

Mattel Television has partnered with the animation studio Mainframe to launch a new animated musical adventure to Netflix this year in the shape of Barbie Princess Adventure. The new feature animation will launch with its own soundtrack which will be made available across all streaming platforms on August 28th.

The new adventure feature follows Barbie and her friends as they are chosen by their school to travel the country of Floravia to meet Princess Amelia, who, nervous about becoming queen, is looking for an escape and devises plans to trade places with Barbie. When a rival prince finds out what has taken place, Barbie and her friends must team up to stop him, and rescue the princess in time for her coronation.

“Barbie is an iconic character who provides endless storytelling opportunities. She inspires the limitless potential in all kids, and this brand purpose resonates deeply with children and parents alike. Barbie Princess Adventure builds on that purpose with a focus on empowerment, self-discovery and finding your voice in the age of social media,” said Adam Bonnett, executive producer, Marvel Television.

“Barbie Princess Adventure captures a range of musical genres which enables the audience to connect with the story in a variety of ways. Original music will continue to be an integral part of Mattel Television content moving forward – for Barbie as well as other brands.”

Barbie Princess Adventure features songs by Matthew Tishler and Andrew Underberg, with score and additional songs by The Math Club. The musical numbers are animated to the choreography of Paul Becker.

The digital soundtrack includes “Try It On,” “Somewhere New,” “(Not) A Picture Perfect Girl,” “Life in Color,” “King of the Kingdom” and “This Is My Moment.”