It’s the big one: Baby Brands Direct interview Mattel

Industry experts under the wholesalers spotlight


It’s the final week before Christmas and our final interview of 2014, so we have a real treat lined up for our readers; this week we’re talking to Mattel’s Key Account Manager, John White. Having worked within the Mattel family for over a decade, it’s safe to say John is one of the people who can shed some real light for us on one of the most successful toy manufacturers in the world.

John talks us through why Mattel’s vast products range make them so special in such a competitive industry, the innovation we can expect in 2015 and Mattel’s market share in the UK – all of the attributes that made them the No.1 toy company in 2014.

The Brand

  • What makes Mattel a valued supplier?

The strength of our core brands as well as the sheer breadth and depth our toy ranges.

  • What is your favourite product from the Mattel product range and why?

My current favourite product is the Thomas & Friends Avalanche Escape playset. It is full of innovative features including a treacherous gap in the tracks that Thomas has to ‘jump’ over making it a very exciting adventure for little Thomas fans.

  • What ‘special something’ does Mattel have that sets it apart from its major industry competitors?

Not only does Mattel have such a large portfolio of trusted brands that offer products for all ages and stages right from birth, but we bring happiness and fun to playtime to children across the world and always keep this at the heart of what we do.

  • Do you know how many awards the company and its products have won globally?

A large number but what we are most proud of is our ability to continue to provide those special play experiences that children have every day through our products that are worthy of awards!

  • Can you tell us your company turnover, % growth or market share? 

We are currently the No.1 toy company in the UK with 10.8% market share. *NPD YTD Nov 2014

  • How many Facebook fans/Twitter followers do Mattel have?  

All our brands have a strong social media presence globally. From our popular Barbie Style Instagram page to Fisher-Price’s Facebook page reaching millions of parents, we continue to reach our consumers through these new and exciting platforms.

  • Have any Mattel products been spotted in use by celebs? 

Yes, our Fisher-Price Jumperoos and playmats are just a couple of products regularly featured on celebrity Instagram and other social media pages. It offers great endorsement for our products and our Barbie dolls and clothing is often a favourite with designers and fashionistas.

The Industry

  • What is exciting you the most about the industry right now in 2014 and to come in 2015?

The toy industry is in growth which is very exciting and of course we are at that key time of year. We are also looking forward to lots of new innovation within our product lines in 2015 so there’s a lot to be excited about.

  • How long have you been working in the industry? 

11 years at the end of this year.

  • What was the driving force behind your role at Mattel? 

I have always been passionate about toys and there is no better feeling than seeing new product development coming through in such a competitive and fast paced industry.

  • How have the developments in the ecommerce industry impacted the baby retail sector in your opinion? 

I definitely think they have made a big difference to the way people buy nursery now from how they look for recommendations on products to the competitive shopping that they can do.

  • What is it that keeps you driven and sparks your interest in the nursery industry? 

I have a 4 year old daughter and seeing how much she loves the toys she plays with makes every day I go to work an exciting one.

A moment with John

  • Coca Cola or Pepsi?  

Definitely Pepsi

  • What would you do if you won the lottery (Think the big bucks)?             

It wouldn’t change me … but seriously I would buy a massive house on the Cornwall coast and an Aston Martin.

  • What is the strangest thing you believed in as a child?     

Probably that England could win the World Cup again, which seems to have been the most far-fetched!

  • If you got to have one superpower, what would it be and why?  

Supersonic flight so I can get home quicker to see my little girl before bedtime every night.

  • If you could own your own brand, what would you call it and why?  

The Cornish Vinery Company as I would have won the lottery!

Merry Christmas & A Very Happy New Year!

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