Putting Barbie Out To Pasture

Illustration for article titled Putting Barbie Out To Pasture

Like a sorority girl who has stayed too long at the kegger, Barbie's stock continues to drop.

Fourth quarter sales of the improbably proportioned blonde — who turns 50 next month — were down 21 percent. That's just part of a terrible quarter for Mattel where profits were down 46 percent. (This totally blows my theory that Barbie is the toy equivalent of Spam) The only division up for Mattel was the American Girls brand, sales of which rose 5 percent.

Now, American Girl dolls seem a strange choice for their recession. They're overpriced, insufferably bougie products. (I had Samantha!) But at least with their companion books and era-correct clothing the dolls invite girls to make connections with history.


Contrast that with Barbie who is just a babe with good props. What's her back story besides occasionally taking multiethnic friends to the beach and carrying on a codependent relationship with some smooth-crotched narcissist?

Bitch doesn't stand a chance.

Mattel In No Mood to Party As Barbie Feels Her Age [The Independent]
Barbie Blues Weigh on Mattel [Financial Times]
Slate Women Discuss American Girls Dolls [Slate]

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Oh, and I had this doll that grew boobs. Swear. No one believes me because it wasn't like a top shelf Barbie, but I had her and loved it. She was like a teenager growing the puberty supposedly. When you twisted her arm, her chest protruded two bumps under her stretchy doll skin. It was kinda like beige Stretch Armstrong skin on the torso, and the rest was hard plastic. Anyone?