Mattel axes 72 staff in wake of Bluebird buyout

US toy giant Mattel has axed 72 staff at Bluebird Toys, including a raft of senior marketing personnel, following its takeover deal.

The move raises doubts over Mattel’s future marketing strategy for Bluebird.

Sales and marketing director David Allmark will leave Bluebird at the end of the year with no job to go to. Freda Cronk, former category manager for boys toys, is to join electronic games company Systema as director of marketing.

Marie Tracey, former category manager for girls toys and responsible for marketing Polly Pocket is understood to have set up her own consultancy. Simon Hathway, category manager for games and activities, is understood to be joining Hallmark cards in a marketing role.

The news follows the announcement last month that the role of UK group marketing director for Mattel, held by Melanie Stubbing, has been axed. In addition, the role of Mattel group marketing director for girls toys has yet to be filled, following the departure of Sally Plumridge who joined watch company Swatch in July.

Bluebird Toys was the largest UK independent toy manufacturer. As a result of the takeover, Bluebird Toys’ 8m ad account is under review (MW September 17). Bluebird had used creative agency BDH for its Polly Pocket brand, while MediaVest in Manchester was responsible for media buying.

MindShare handles Mattel’s 45m media account in the UK and an assortment of creative agencies.