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Mattel to Produce Urgently-Needed Face Masks Using Barbie Fabric

The toy industry heavyweight commits to protecting healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

Bibi Wardak

March 30, 2020

3 Min Read

The unfathomable, unforeseen devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled healthcare systems across the globe – leaving our world’s heroes in the medical profession vulnerable without sufficient protective gear and medical equipment.

Doctors, nurses, emergency responders and all hospital staff members are working feverishly and tirelessly around the clock, battling a monstrous pandemic with a critically-low supply of ventilators, respirators, hospital beds and protective masks needed to save lives.

As the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise at an alarming rate, healthcare workers have signaled the alarm across the nation with a resounding plea, urgently requesting more personal protecting equipment (PPE), without which they risk their lives each day.

Global entertainment giant Mattel has answered the call, throwing its manufacturing muscle into the protection of healthcare workers and the prevention of the spread of the insidious virus. The company has announced it is using fabric intended to produce its iconic Barbie dolls and Fisher-Price products to produce face masks for the nation’s fleet of essential healthcare workers.

“Our teams are producing face masks from Barbie and Fisher-Price fabric to help meet the significant demand,” the company announced via Instagram. “We are also prototyping personal protecting equipment (PPE) such as face shields with guidance from healthcare professionals.”

“Our design and development teams in El Segundo, Calif., and East Aurora, New York, are producing face masks from Barbie and Fisher-Price fabric to help meet the significant demand for these supplies,” said Ynon Kreiz, chairman and chief executive officer, Mattel, via LinkedIn. “We are ensuring social distancing and safe working environments for our dedicated production teams who are taking on the challenge. These masks will be distributed to hospitals and first responders later this week.

“We are also prototyping, with guidance from healthcare professionals, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face shields,” adds Kreiz. “We are committed to using our resources to contribute as much as we can to fight COVID-19!”

To aid children in need and help them find joy and solace during these uncertain times marked by school cancellations and social distancing, Mattel has also donated toys and art supplies to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s LA Students Most in Need charitable effort.

“Mattel’s mission is to create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play,” Kreiz announced via LinkedIn. “At no time in our 75 years history has this mission been more vital than now, when schools across the country remain closed, while parents, caregivers and educators seek new ways to encourage children to continue to reach their full potential. Our company’s mission has now become a shared mission with households across the country.

“We hope this will be an added source of happiness and comfort to children across the district, who are relying on Grab & Go facilities for their meals and other necessities,” Kreiz added. “We salute educators, parents and caregivers, who are striving to keep up the spirits of children despite the uncertainties we all face, and we want them to know that Mattel stands with them in these efforts.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mattel Children’s Foundation has also ramped up its relief efforts and donated toys to a host of its non-profit partners across the globe including Baby2Baby, Feed the Children, LA Family Housing, Partners of Pediatric Vision, Save the Children, UCLA Mattel’s Children’s Hospital and many more.

“The Mattel Children’s Foundation was created with a vision of making a meaningful difference in the lives of children in need around the world,” says Kreiz. “That mission has never been more important than it is today, as we all work together support local communities.”

To read more of License Global's coverage on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting licensing, visit our special report section for the latest news.

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About the Author(s)

Bibi Wardak

Bibi Wardak is content editor at License Global, where she covers the licensing industry, the current retail landscape and the latest news on big brands including Amazon, Disney, NBA, NIKE and Netflix. With a diverse background in business journalism and entertainment, Bibi previously held senior editor roles at Entertainment Tonight and MarketingProfs. She holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Southern California.

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