Mattel CEO Says ‘Barbie’ Movie Jabs Are All in Good Fun


| LAST UPDATE 10/10/2023

By Amelia Taylor
Mattel Kreiz Barbie movie
Rodin Eckenroth / Stringer via Getty Images

The Barbie movie doesn't paint Mattel in the most flattering light, but the toy company isn't bothered. In the film, Mattel's leadership team is depicted as being entirely male, led by an aloof CEO played by Will Ferrell. In a recent interview with Semafor, Mattel's real CEO, Ynon Kreiz, said he's not offended by the movie's digs because he trusts Greta Gerwig's vision. He also said that he appreciates the movie's self-deprecating humor.

He told Semafor, "Embrace self-deprecation. It wasn't just about bashing Mattel; it was part of this great narrative and interpretation of Barbie's universe." Kreiz also commented on giving Gerwig the room to say the jokes she wanted. He said, "We were very much part of the process, but we gave Greta full creative freedom because she deserves it. We trusted she would turn it into something that resonates with people."

Mattel CEO Barbie Opinion
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The Barbie movie has led to a surge in sales for the brand, but Kreiz says that selling more Mattel products wasn't the film's goal. Instead, the company wants to make quality movies that fans will enjoy, featuring Mattel-owned brands. Kreiz told Semafor, "We didn't make this movie to sell more toys. It was about creating quality content that people wanted to watch. Good things will happen if people watch our content and connect with it." He added, "We are collaborating with the best people out there, and they run with the ball. It's one thing for us to say, 'We will make the next Hot Wheels movie.' It's another thing to say, 'J.J. Abrams will make the next Hot Wheels movie.'"

In addition to the Barbie movie, Mattel has several other feature films in development, including films about toys and shows like Hot Wheels, Barney, Magic 8 Ball, Polly Pocket, and Rock' Em Sock' Em Robots. It remains to be seen whether any of these films will be as successful as Barbie, which has become one of the most successful movies ever released. However, given Mattel's strong brand recognition and willingness to work with talented filmmakers, there is a good chance that one of these films will be a hit.

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