Mattel Interactive

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Background: In 1996, Mattel founded Mattel Media as a way to expand to software and video games. In fall 1998, The Learning Company agreed to have Mattel acquire them in a stock-for-stock merger. The next year, the company was renamed Mattel Interactive and shifted their focus from educational titles to licensed games from the likes of Barbie and Arthur. After struggling financially, the company was sold to Gores Group, who used the Mattel Interactive name (or alternately Mattel Media) until 2001, when the interactive assets were divided between Ubisoft and Riverdeep.

(November 1996-September 2001)

<img align="bottom" alt="Mattel Media (2000)" height="131" src="" title="Mattel Media (2000)" width="174"/><img align="bottom" alt="Mattel Media (2001)" height="132" src="" title="Mattel Media (2001)" width="176"/><img align="bottom" alt="Mattel Media (1999)" height="132" src="" title="Mattel Media (1999)" width="176"/><img align="bottom" alt="Mattel Interactive (1998)" height="131" src="" title="Mattel Interactive (1998)" width="173"/>
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Nickname: "The Jumping Man"

On a black background, a red button is seen at the bottom-left of the screen, blinking. A pictoman with his arms in the air and his lower body being a lightning bolt jumps twice into the picture, and then lands right on the red button. The screen flashes white and as we die down, we briefly see the finished product as a blank, red Mattel logo appears glowing in the center of the screen. The pictoman flips around and jumps right into the red circle. A white rectangle flashes behind the man, revealing the text "MATTEL" at the top and "M E D I A" at the bottom in spaced out letters.

Later Variant: After the name change, the same logo was used, but the pictoman turns yellow after jumping into the red circle and "INTERACTIVE" replaces "MEDIA". The text is also in a different font.

  • A different animation was used on Barbie Storymaker. We see the box with the electric man and an empty circle on two sides, and a rotated arm. The box opens and a CD emerges from it, while the man and circle from the box sides take to the air and merge. They zoom closer and the background changes to the white rectangle with the "MATTEL MEDIA" logo. A whistling tune is heard.
  • Sometimes, the logo is still.

FX/SFX: The jumping pictoman and light splashes. Very cool animation.

Music/Sounds: 2 "bump" sounds, followed by a loud synthesized crash of thunder. We then hear a brief whirr and more synthesized electricity sounds.

Music/Sounds Variant: On some titles after the name-change, there are two electric-light sounds, followed by a zapping sound and a rock tune when the pictoman goes inside the circle.

Availability: The "MEDIA" version appears on various Barbie and Hot Wheels titles and some non-Mattel programs like Nickelodeon BrainBender. The "INTERACTIVE" version appears on various video games like Barbie Beauty Styler, Prince of Persia: Arabian Nights on the Dreamcast, Championship Surfer, and The Wild Thornberrys Rambler, as well as some educational titles like ones based on Sesame Street.

Editor's Note: TBA