From the Archives: Barbie Doll is a 27-year Gross sales Phenomenon, Strong Licensing Performer for Mattel Toys

Initially revealed in The Toy Guide’s Character Licensing, September 1986. Some content material could not match fashionable editorial model, requirements, or formatting.

Barbie, an 11-1/2-inch plastic doll which has been marketed with astounding success by Mattel Toys for 27 years, has develop into a merchandising legend.

Backed by huge promotional help from Mattel, Barbie has chalked up unsurpassed gross sales and spawned a worldwide licensing program.

Greater than 300 million Barbie household dolls have been offered worldwide because the unique Barbie was launched in 1959. As well as, Mattel yearly produces 20 items of Barbie doll’s fashions.

There are presently 300 Barbie licensees all through the world, together with 30 in america. The well-known Barbie trademark is getting used on objects reminiscent of youngsters’s jewellery, attire, coloring books, stationery, toiletries, radios, and toothbrushes.

Barbie licensing advantages every year from Mattel’s new advertising packages and promotional efforts. The lately launched “Barbie and the Rockers” theme has initiated a brand new stage in Barbie licensing. Primary Barbie licensees have added “Rockers” product, and a few new licenses have been issued for The Rockers solely.

Mattel Licensing can also be planning to launch a brand new line of sportswear and equipment for 1987 primarily based on its Barbie promoting slogan for this yr – “We ladies can do something.” The slogan signifies that ladies can develop into something they need to be, identical to Barbie, who’s depicted as a lawyer, a veterinarian, a rock star, and even an astronaut.

Mattel was a toy business pioneer when it launched Barbie to a considerably skeptical market 27 years in the past. The corporate had studied the recognition of paper dolls with adult-like figures and determined to translate this play idea right into a three-dimensional doll with a trendy wardrobe.

In 1959, the Barbie doll debuted in a market that was primarily accustomed to bigger child dolls. At Toy Fair, toy patrons weren’t significantly enthusiastic. However Barbie was launched into retail shops, and by Christmas proved to be an enormous favourite with ladies.

Over the succeeding years, Barbie’s world turned extra numerous. Ken was launched as Barbie’s boyfriend and escort in 1961 after which turned a persona in his personal proper.

In 1963, Mattel introduced the primary vital variation on the unique Barbie doll, “Style Queen Barbie,” who had a sculptured coiffure adaptable to varied wigs. A yr later, a technological breakthrough made it potential for Mattel to provide a Barbie doll whose knees may bend and eyes open and shut.

A “Coloration Magic” model of launched in Barbie was 1966, that allowed her costume and/or hair to alter colour with the appliance of a particular resolution. Barbie had a “Twist ‘N Flip” waist in 1967 and really had a voice a yr later.

She celebrated her “Candy sixteenth” birthday in 1974; was given extra motion motion in 1975; and have become a ballerina the next yr. In 1977, Barbie was given a brand new face, with a vivid smile and mushy complexion, longer and thicker “sun-streaked” hair, and slender, moveable arms. She additionally obtained a brand new title, SuperStar Barbie.

Particular variations of Barbie appeared to mark her twentieth, twenty first, and twenty fifth birthdays. As well as, a world assortment of Barbie dolls was created.

Through the years, Barbie’s world has continuously expanded with a rising family, buddies, and animal pets. They’ve included Midge, her greatest pal; her sister Skipper; Skooter and Ricky; Francie, Barbie’s cousin; Tutti and Todd, her twin sister and brother; Casey and Chris; Stacey and Christie; and lots of others. Her pets have included quite a lot of horses, an Afghan canine, and a kitten.

Immediately, a second technology of kids is taking part in with Barbie, simply as their moms did within the Fifties and ’60s. As well as, greater than 3,000 grownup collectors specialise in Barbie dolls, and lots of the early variations carry substantial quantities to the collector’s market.

Licensing for Barbie started early in her 27-year lifetime. Through the years, her nice recognition has helped drive gross sales of licensed merchandise.

This yr, Mattel is spending thousands and thousands of {dollars} in tv and print promoting all year long to help the whole line of Barbie dolls, fashions, and equipment. TV advertisements will seem on youngsters’s networks, nationally syndicated spots, and kids’s spot packages. As well as, two waves of print advertisements started showing in late summer time.

A ten-city main mall occasion known as “Barbie on Tour” goals at attracting hundreds of younger ladies and intensive media consideration. The tour contains big shows that includes Barbie in quite a lot of imaginative and interactive environments. She is proven as an astronaut, in her trendy new bed room and in The Rockers Disco with a dancing atmosphere.

Accompanying these shows is the “Billy Boy” assortment of 700 Barbie dolls introduced in a historic perspective.

Costumed Barbies are scheduled to make private appearances at chosen malls and shops, giving freely the “Barbie and The Rockers” report.

Barbie additionally receives publicity by means of the Barbie journal, a publication that’s distributed quarterly by subscription and at newsstands. Within the journal, with a circulation of 600,000, she provides tips about trend and wonder. The journal additionally contains actions, video games, and puzzles.

The Barbie doll was included within the sealed Bicentennial time capsule in 1976, which is to be opened in the course of the Tricentennial yr of 2076. It was designated as the favourite doll of this century. There may be little dispute about this designation.

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