Over the last five decades, the vaguely human-shaped fashion doll Barbie has had a lot of careers. Barbie’s jobs have changed over time along with perceptions of what the little girls who played with her could grow up to become. She was a nurse in 1961, then a surgeon in 1973. She was a student teacher in 1965, and President of the United States and a Starfleet officer in 2000. Now, Mattel is hopping on the geek chick bandwagon with Computer Engineer Barbie. [More]
Mattel’s new “beautronics” device aimed at tween girls, the Barbie Nail Printer, is a glorified inkjet printer that customizes and prints designs on your fingernails. Neat idea in theory, though a bit pricey at $180. However, Mattel has apparently overlooked an essential part of the inkjet printer business model: selling new and overpriced cartridges. The problem, reader Richard writes, is that the company refuses to take orders for new cartridges, saying that they won’t be available until next year. But I want pink leopard print fingernails now! [More]
Playing “Madoff investors” just got a little easier thanks to Mattel’s “Palm Beach Sugar Daddy” Ken doll, which will be released in April of 2010.
Mattel’s revenues are down by 19%. Toy sales from summer movies and flagship product Barbie and Hot Wheels are down. However, the company reported today that profits are way up. So what explains the profits? Blame a visit from Price Hike Barbie.
Barbie may have to move out of the dream house or whatever — sales are down 9% and Mattel is hurting. [Bizjournals]
This may well be the last holiday season for Bratz dolls, as a federal judge ordered their manufacturer to cease production and stop selling the popular dolls.
Sales of Barbie fell 12 percent in the U.S. as the 49-year- old doll faced competition from Hannah Montana and Ganz’s Webkinz. Mattel, which recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made products in 2007, expects Chinese manufacturing costs to rise further. The yuan has climbed 10 percent against the dollar over the past 12 months, and inflation in China is near an 11-year high.
Fashion Fever Shopping Boutique, the correctly named Barbie toy, features a built-in credit card swiper and a life-size credit card for young children to use when buying outfits for their dolls. According to the Amazon website, “Once the balance hits zero, it will reset so you can continue to shop.”
The El Segundo, Calif., toy maker sued Global China Networks LLC in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday over its Web site, http://www.chinabarbie.com. Global is a limited liability company organized in Florida and maintains a post-office box in New York, according to the complaint.
Gross sales of its Barbie line rose 3 percent domestically and worldwide during the quarter.
Barbie doll has a dog named Tanner who is just like a real dog! Tanner is soft and fuzzy and her mouth, ears, head and tail really move! You can open Tanner dog’s mouth and feed her the dog biscuits. Comes with a dog bone and chew toys that Tanner can hold in her mouth, too. When Tanner has to go to the bathroom, Barbie doll cleans up with her special magnetic scooper and trash can. Posable Barbie doll included that measures 12″ tall.
My 11 year old, cute-as-a-button cousin Lilly writes in:
• Mr. Hooters is dead at 69, huh huh. [NYT] “Robert H. Brooks, 69, Owner of Hooters Restaurant Chain, Is Dead”
For this post, we knew exactly what image we were looking for: an image of Barbie — barefoot and flanked by Ken and two of Barbie’s pan-ethnic plastic girlfriends — sashaying with shopping bags right across Abbey Road. Unfortunately, that image doesn’t exist, and we’re too stupid to make it. So instead, we’ve been forced to illustrate it with this image of a murdered Barbie, her head crushed by a Volkwagen sized aluminum can. Serves her right, the cocktease.
Over at the Bleat, James Lileks took time out of talking about how great the olden days are to illustrate that, though we live in an age of Hooker Barbies, it’s not like they just started being offensive.
• Homeland Security Incorporated; running domestic defense like a business means capitalizing on fear for the unscrupulous. [NYT]
Given the fact that most children’s first experience oggling the fascinating mystery of the opposing gender’s genitalia comes from pulling down a Barbie or Ken doll’s genitalia and examining the amorphous mass of plastic at the crotch, it probably shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a lot of busy-body parental groups who are willing to launch consumerist campaigns any time Barbie exhibits a glimmer of sexuality.