Mattel leader cites new Glendale theme park as key part of growth strategy

CANNES, FRANCE – Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz says the Mattel Adventure Park under construction in Glendale, Ariz. will be a central part of his company’s growing footprint in the entertainment field. 

Kreiz spoke at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this month, the annual gathering of creative and advertising leaders in the south of France. 

Kreiz was named the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity’s Entertainment Person of the Year. 

At the festival, he discussed the broader role of entertainment in the marketing and communications landscape and shared his vision for the company’s growth. 

Kreiz joined the company as CEO in April 2018 and was appointed chairman of the board of directors in May 2018. During his tenure, Mattel Films has announced 15 motion pictures in active development with major studio partners. 

The Mattel Adventure Park is set to be the first real-world attraction to feature properties adapted from Mattel’s toys and games. It will also be Arizona’s first fully themed indoor/outdoor amusement park. 

Scheduled to open in late 2024, the park promises to be a significant addition to the offerings around the entertainment district anchored by State Farm Stadium. The park will be adjacent to the massive new VAI Resort, a 1,200-room property slated to begin a phased opening in 2025. 

Glendale last year told media outlets that the park and resort would deliver far more than the $13 million in new tax revenue that was originally estimated when the project was first discussed. 

Insights from the Cannes Lions Festival

In his remarks, Kreiz emphasized the importance of a strong toy business as a foundation for further growth. 

“A strong toy business is a great place to start our journey,” he said. “What we believe makes the toy foundation strong is that toys, being tactile, provide the highest form of emotional engagement because kids and fans touch our product. They have our product, and that level of emotional connection is key to continue to expand outside of the toy aisle and participate in other verticals.” 

A new tourism attraction

The park will likely attract many visitors, including from out of state, contributing to the state’s tourism revenue. 

A new theme park can lead to more spending in the local economy, benefiting nearby businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. This influx of tourists and the associated economic activity can provide a boost to the state’s GDP.

Noemi Santaella is an ASU undergraduate. She attended the Cannes Lions Festival this month. 

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