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Mattel announces live-action Matchbox movie

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Mattel, Inc. and Skydance Media have announced plans to develop a live-action Matchbox movie based on the popular die-cast toy vehicle line.

Matchbox movie
Photo courtesy of Mattel

The Matchbox brand was invented in 1953 by automotive expert Jack Odell to solve a challenge for his daughter, who was allowed to take a toy to school as long as it fit in a matchbox. The tiny toy created instant demand among his daughter’s school friends, who all wanted a “matchbox car” of their own – and today, one Matchbox car is sold every second.

First Matchbox vehicle
Matchbox #1 Diesel Road Roller released in 1953
Photo courtesy of Matchbox Road Museum

“For nearly 70 years, Matchbox has carried enormous cultural relevance and inspired generations of kids to unleash their imaginations, combining what they see in the world every day with what they dream their own world to be,” said Mattel Films Executive Producer Robbie Brenner. “We look forward to working with our incredible partners at Skydance Media to craft a story for the big screen that evokes the same imaginative spirit of this beloved Mattel franchise and delights fans of all ages.”

The live-action Matchbox movie will be led by Vice President Elizabeth Bassin and Creative Executive Andrew Scannell for Mattel Films. David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, and Aimee Rivera will oversee the project for Skydance Media, which is coming off the hugely successful “Top Gun: Maverick,” and is currently working on the seventh and eighth installments of the “Mission: Impossible” series and a reimagining of the 2001 “Spy Kids” franchise.

“We are thrilled to be working with Robbie Brenner and her amazing creative team at Mattel,” said Skydance Media’s President for Feature Films, Don Granger. “Pairing Skydance’s unique brand of premium, elevated action-adventure entertainment with the incredible legacy of the Matchbox brand is a fantastic opportunity. There is a shared experience for everyone who has played with a Matchbox vehicle or playset, where they create their own inventive action sequence and we’re excited to craft a worldwide adventure film worthy of such imagination.”

In addition to the Matchbox movie, the Mattel Films development slate includes movies for American Girl, Hot Wheels, Masters of the Universe, Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, and UNO. Its Barbie movie is currently in production.

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