Mattel’s Version of ‘Shark Tank’ Premieres in April –

Mattel (MAT) announced the April premier of The Toy Box, its new kid friendly series that’s a version of Shark Tank, where budding entrepreneurs face top business leaders to convince them to invest in their products.

In Mattel’s competition show, aspiring toy makers will put their products through a series of tests. If they pass, the inventors then go before a panel of child judges, who are apparently, “the harshest, toughest, most brutal critics in the world,” @TheToyBoxABC tweeted in a video Friday night.

“Everything about it I didn’t like,” one young judge proclaims in the video. It seems that a particular toy maker will not be winning a marketing deal with Mattel, the prize for winning over the judges.

The Toy Box, a partnership between Mattel and Disney‘s (DIS) ABC, and hosted by Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet, will debut on April 7 at 7 p.m. central on the ABC Network.

Mattel is not the first company to take to television to win over consumers.

Cruise companies Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) and Carnival (CCL) also have adopted series that showcase their ships and trips while creating stories that appeal to teens and families.

The shows are ploys by the companies to gain loyal customers through brand recognition, Morningstar equity analyst Jaime Katz said in an earlier interview with TheStreet.

“I think it’s a brand equity exercise more than anything else,” Katz said. “It’s an interesting way to connect with consumers who are the future cruisers.” Or Barbie buyers for that matter.


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