The Barbie doll was dying in Toyland and then Mattel got all 21st century and redesigned Barbie this year complete with curves, heights, internal organs and multicultural friends.
Sales have been excellent, jumping 23 per cent in the last quarter, and Mattel is well on its way to making up for the company’s massive 2015 profit slump, a result of a combination of withering older style Barbie sales and the loss of licensing rights to manufacture Walt Disney Princesses and “Frozen” dolls to smaller rival Hasbro.
Mattel spokesman Alex Clark is just delighted and told The Sydney Morning Herald. “We continue to see terrific momentum around the new Fashionista line, as well as our new younger girl line, Dreamtopia,” he said, with complete sincerity.
Mattel’s share price has also risen 5.4 per cent since the launch of the new 2016 Barbie range which to us mere consumers means nothing but to all of those cashed up toy executives, it means they can keep all their holiday homes. Phew.
Would you buy your son a doll? Post continues below.
The toy business is tough. It’s competitive and it can become incredibly trying when parents have lots of opinions on what is and isn’t a good influence on their children.
Barbie’s reinvention is a relief.
Parents have always been concerned that little girls would take one look at the original Barbie and want to look just like her, leaving them feeling inadequate if they failed to measure up. I never shared their concern. I was pleased the original Barbie gave my daughter a jump start on feelings of inadequacy she was sure to experience as soon as she stepped into the big, wide world which was far removed from the coddled everyone-loves-me-and-tells-me-how-special-I-am-so-it-must-be-true toddler years.
Now how am I meant to prepare her for the cruelty of the school years?
Or the inadequacy of her teenage years?
Not to mention the first time a boy dumps her because she isn’t x, y, or z enough?
Barbie and her friends still aren’t completely anatomically correct – because a Barbie with nipples and pubic hair would be slightly too confronting for innocent eyes – but she’s looking pretty good for 57-years-old. Not a wrinkle or jowl in sight.
I must get the number of her surgeon…
It's taken a little while for Mattel to get that toy ranges that better reflect diversity do well and companies that refuse to reflect society accurately suffer the consequences. Think Star Wars and their glaring omission of the female character Rey in Star Wars Monopoly. It was an absolute travesty, leading consumers to cry out with abject rage.
Girls can be heroes too Star Wars people. Just look at the new Barbie. She's a working girl but she still has time to have fabulous hair!
Barbie is having lots of fun marketing the new Barbie range. One campaign centres around the mantra, "You Can Be Anything", which sounds a bit like a Dove ad.
Mattel is based in California so the toy company executives can't take all of the blame for Barbie's original design. We all know California is a land of tall, bronzed, blonde-haired freaks. Good on them for redesigning Barbie to be more in sync with consumer attitudes.
There's just one serious issue Mattel has failed to address. Regardless of the new Barbie range and all of their body types and colours and styles, they are still a bunch of rich bitches we'll never be able to keep up with.
Parents will still be pestered to within an inch of their lives to purchase bigger and better cars, campervans, homes, clothing and yes, boyfriends.
Although if little girls - and stupid me, little boys too because it is, after all, 2016 - want to pair their new Barbie up with another then that's just fine by parents like me.
Do you think the new-look Barbie is a better role model for little girls (and boys)? Will you be allowing them back into your home (after throwing them in the bin while the kids were sleeping because your four-year-old announced she wanted to go on a diet and dye her hair blond)?