By Mesfin Fekadu
NEW YORK — Shakira is partnering with Fisher-Price to launch a line of baby toys as well as a Web series for moms.
The Mattel, Inc.-owned company announced Friday that the First Steps collection of toys and baby gear would be available in November. Shakira co-developed six products, including a bouncer that plays music, alphabet blocks and a musical soccer ball, an ode to her soccer-playing boyfriend Gerard Pique, who plays for FC Barcelona.
All of the proceeds will benefit her Barefoot Foundation, which provides education and nutrition to children in impoverished areas of her native Colombia. Pre-order on Amazon for the products begins Monday.
Geoff Walker, executive vice president of the Fisher-Price Global Brands Team, said in an interview Thursday that Shakira contacted the company about collaborating. The Grammy-winning singer, who is pregnant and is the mother of 21-month-old Milan, is the first celebrity Fisher-Price has partnered with.
“She brings in both authenticity and emotion, and I think that’s why this is such an exciting moment,” Walker said.
With her foundation, one of Shakira’s main initiatives has been early childhood development, which attracted Fisher-Price to the global star, Walker said.
“I saw how important developmental milestones are and how toys can help babies reach them — including with my own son,” Shakira said in a statement. “I wanted to design a line of toys that stimulated development in the crucial early stages of life, the stages in which learning can be achieved through supervised play, fostering the development of psychological, social and motor skills.”
The 12-part Web series debuts Monday and targets millennials. Some of the minute-long episodes will feature her son.
Shakira is one of the most popular celebrities on social media. She is the first person to reach 100 million likes on Facebook.
Walker said as a result of the collaboration, Fisher-Price would be open to more celebrity partnerships.
“It’s about finding an authentic mom that is relevant to the millennial crowd,” he said. —AP