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New Barbie Shows Brand Balls


After six decades, there’s a new Barbie in town. Mattel has finally opened the doors to a new woman. A woman who isn’t dictated by a social stereotype, but one by which one young girls can relate to. The new Barbie line comes in 3 body types, 7 skin tones, 24 hair styles and 22 eye colors.

Finally! A more accurate reflection of our diverse society. A step away from brand’s narrow-minded blonde haired blue-eyed image!

With its leap towards some of the attributes found in the inarguably successful American Girl dolls, I believe Mattel is more positively enabling girls to imagine their futures through the similarities between the dolls and themselves. And with declining sales since 2009 – plus long criticism of having “perfect” body Barbie having a negative affect on self-esteem – this makeover was LONG overdue.

I applaud the Mattel brand for making the change. With new competitors, new products and new changes in society, if you can’t change you WILL become antiquated. That’s exactly what was happening to Mattel.

Thanks to front-page headlines and celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Ashley Graham publicly challenging body shaming, we have started to see a shift and the need for a new way to do business. There is no one size fits all! Today’s brands and toys need a better message about beauty standards – which is, beauty is not standard.

With a strategy that focuses on the dolls’ professions, not possessions, Mattel is embracing change regain relevance and fit into today’s consumers’ lives. Changing the fundamental essence of a 57-year-old product takes balls, and I guess Barbie has them.


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