Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Mattel unit Hit Entertainment are partnering on a new “content hub” that will offer interesting content for kids. ?Fireman Sam,? a cartoon that appeals to pre-schoolers overseas will be brought to the new content hub. The “content hub” will also sell related toys, books, costumes, T-shirts, hats, bags, etc.
?This allows us to test the boundaries of how a kids? franchise can be activated,? stated Hit Entertainment vice president Sid Mathur in an interview with the N.Y. Times. ?At the same time, it allows Amazon to transition from a place that simply fulfills consumer demand to one that also creates consumer demand.?
The Fireman Sam episodes and themed merchandise will be sold exclusively at Amazon.com. Around 75 episodes of the cartoon will be available by the end of the year, starting with 13 episodes on Tuesday. The related products will be available this October.
The animated firefighter program launched in Britain in 1985 and appeals to children between the ages of 2 and 5. Recently, it started to appear on Sprout, an American cable channel that is owned by NBCUniversal. This character never took off in the U.S. because Hit Entertainment focused on Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder. Mattel acquired Hit Entertainment for $680 million in 2011.
The reason why Hit Entertainment decided to work with Amazon.com rather than Hulu or Netflix is because Amazon has a giant retail platform. This could easier spur demand for the merchandise.