Aerial of Mattel headquarters. Photo by Jelson25 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Aerial of Mattel headquarters. Photo by Jelson25 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Mattel Inc. announced Tuesday that it has forged strategic relationships with Choirock Contents Factory Co. Ltd. and Sonokong Co. Ltd. — two of South Korea’s toy industry leaders.

Under the terms of an agreement with Choirock, Mattel will serve as master toy licensee for the hugely popular Turning Mecard franchise, currently the No. 1 toy franchise in South Korea by sales.

Under the terms of the deal, Mattel will manufacture, distribute and market a wide variety of toys and products inspired by the franchise, including vehicles, action figures, games and other items, Mattel said this morning in a statement from its El Segundo headquarters.

Choirock will continue to distribute and manage the Turning Mecard franchise in Korea while Mattel will hold the right to introduce the franchise in markets throughout the world, it said.

Separately, Mattel and Sonokong have entered into a strategic agreement in which Sonokong will serve as Mattel’s primary distribution partner in South Korea, with responsibility for sales and product distribution, the statement said. That deal applies to Mattel’s entire product portfolio, excluding games.

Mattel has also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 12 percent equity stake in Sonokong, a publicly traded company listed on the Korea Exchange. The transaction is expected to be completed later this month.

“Today’s announcements represent a tremendous step forward in Mattel’s presence in South Korea, a key Asian market with ample consumer demand for toys and related products,” said Peter Broegger, Managing Director, Mattel Asia Pacific. “… Sonokong is a proven and well-established toy distributor, and we are confident our iconic brands will benefit from increased distribution and consumer adoption as a result of our partnership.”

Toy sales in South Korea were more than $1.4 billion in 2015, according to figures cited by Mattel.

—City News Service

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