When I was a little girl, I was all about the Barbies. I had the townhouse, the dream house, oodles of glamorous outfits from her wedding dress to her airline uniform, and I had dozens of dolls. Yes, I was a wee bit spoiled, but Barbie was something I loved. But my one-time passion for this iconic 11.5 tall plastic doll was not passed on to my own little girl. She is so not a Barbie girl. And come to think of it, neither are any of her friends. Instead they are far more drawn to American Girl dolls, Calico Critters and Mattel’s other tall lanky doll stars, the cast of Monster High. But the lack of interest in Barbie isn’t just evident in my daughter’s circles; it’s also being reflected in Barbie’s sales which, have dropped for the fourth quarter in a row.
Mattel posted in their latest earnings report that the sales of their Barbie franchise have declined by 12 percent in the last quarter. But other girl-centric brands had a rise in sales, climbing up 24 percent. And one of the big toys they credit for the uptick in sales are the Monster High dolls, the far creepier and darker cousin of Barbie. And their American Girl line had an increase in sales by 14 percent.
What does this tell us? It could be that girls today just aren’t into Barbie as they once were and that they yearn for an edgier doll (Monster High) or a more expensive status doll (such as the $110 American Girl Doll). Barbie has had a good run in the 54 years since the day she came out back in 1959. But if you think that Barbie is going away completely, you’d be wrong. She still brings in a staggering $1.3 billion a year.
Do you see Barbie’s popularity going down in your kid’s world?
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