Friday, 29 January 2016

Barbie's Back!

Much as I love Sindy - and her extensive range of furniture - she never had the glamour of her US counterpart. Still, in recent years Barbie has been overshadowed by young upstarts. First it was Bratz, stomping all over her territory, then came in house competition from Monster High and Ever After High, while out in the big bad world Fulla and niche brands like Lammily and Project Mc2 were turning the heads of her target demographic.

But. Mattel have finally realised that just churning out the same old pink plastic tat and glitter mini dresses isn't going to win back their market share. Losing the Disney Princess franchise must have been a big wake-up call, and doubtless encouraged this new focus on their most famous doll line.

So, what are they doing right?

A is for Articulation

For years it has felt like for every step forward Barbie made in the posability stakes, she took two steps back. This year we're almost there. Flat feet articulated at the ankle, the incredible Made to Move Barbie, and even the Silkstone line has gained joints!

yoga barbie These have just been released in the UK as 'Endless Moves' Barbie.

B is for Body Diversity

The idea of an 'average' doll gained huge traction a couple of years ago, and Lammily was launched into being on the back of a sea of crowdfunding. Mattel were obviously watching on with interest because their latest announcement is the release of three - three - new body types: tall, curvy and petite.

new barbie bodies
For other curvy dolls, check out my guide.

C is for Collectors

Mattel is listening. We'll be buying.

I think the figures are gonna speak for themselves.


All they need to do now is up Barbie's career game. 2016 is bringing ice skater (again), chef (again) and nurse (again).





45 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I used to love Barbie when I was a kid :) Fair play to Mattel for listening to their target market and adapting their range. Personally I would like to see something a bit less girly - pilot Barbie, mechanic Barbie something like that :) #TheList
    Debbie

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    1. The careers have been really stagnant the last few years, especially when you look back to the 90s and see her being a firefighter, US marine, and all the rest of it!

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  3. They really have developed Barbie so that they are answering to all the cries they are hearing to keep them afloat! I never knew that they had made them so much more developed with more joints and different kinds of sizes as well!

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    1. I'm loving the improved articulation - problem is I want to upgrade all the dolls I have now though! :)

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  4. Ahhh it's so lovely to see a Barbie post! I was Assistant Brand Manager for Barbie UK in the past, and I'm so happy to hear about the new body sizes. Still no 'Indian Asian' Barbie though - they always do Hispanic! Sabrina xx
    #PickNMix

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    1. Oh, wow, that is so cool! They really are making huge steps forward at the moment - they have the klout to make a difference to the market itself too. So true re. the Indian Asian too, the last one I remember was the Indian princess doll a few years back. x

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  5. I'm definitely still going to be pushing the Monster High & Ever After High with my kids when older, I think - I like the gothic! These Barbies are definite improvements though. #PoCoLo

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    1. I love Monster High, they're so funky. My mum has quite a big collection of them but I've been very strict with myself and put mine up for sale. I still have a little 1/12 scale Frankie Stein I created from a Picco Neemo body and one of those cool doll pens they did a couple of years ago. :)

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  6. Lovely to see Barbie coming back with a sensible makeover #KCACOLS

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    1. They used to frustrate me so much as a kid because they couldn't sit properly!

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  7. We have Barbie, Monster High, Ever After High, Bratz, etc etc in abundance in our house and today I told my daughter about the new Barbies and her first impression of them 'wow they're going on my birthday list' looks like they're going to be a big hit especially to my purse ha! #KCACOLS

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    1. Haha, yeah, same here! I've got about 15 dolls I want to upgrade onto the Endless Moves bodies, and that's just for starters... x

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  8. We've dodged the Barbie bullet so far but it's encouraging to see more diversity in the line up.

    #justanotherlinky

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    1. My daughter's still a bit young but I'm hoping she's going to like dolls - she'll probably rebel though and hate them! :)

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  9. I think this is great. When I was a kid I just thought they were beautiful but didn't feel I needed to look like one? I know some do though so it's great to have variety #justanotherlinky

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    1. That's it - I just wanted to have a wider range of characters as a kid. (Without hacking their hair off and felt tipping distinguishing features...)

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  10. Interesting that the company have responded so well and relatively quickly to opinion. I still have a box of barbie clothes in my loft handmade by my mum and reflecting the styles of the eighties and seventies, love them! #KCACOLS

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    1. Aw, that's so sweet! I still have a couple of things my mum made for my beloved troll collection as a kid! :)

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  11. Ah this was interesting to read. It's great that they have made them more modern and real-life like.
    Thank you for linking up to #justanotherlinky

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    1. Thanks! :) I'm really pleased to see them moving in a new direction.

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  12. It's great to see Barbie incorporating more body diversity, it definitely sends a better message that we are all different!Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

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    1. That's it, I love that they're trying new things and being more inclusive. :)

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  13. I think there's honestly no age limit to get excited about new barbies XD It's awesome that they're putting out this line of diversified dolls. Frankly, they all look gorgeous to me and I'm sure a lot of girls are going to relate to these new dolls.

    http://ofstacksandcups.blogspot.com/

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    1. So true! Every year I get excited about the new releases :)

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  14. Interesting read! Barbie didn't exist yet back in my days (yep, I'm that old!) and I don't have daughters so I'm afraid I know very little about her.

    #KCACOLS

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    1. Thanks :) I'm really into dolls and Barbie, but I do kind of think it will be sod's law if my daughter isn't interested at all! x

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  15. All my daughter wants to do at the moment is watch Barbie on the tv. Glad to see she's moved on a bit!

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    1. My OH's sister says she's going to give us a load of her old Barbie films... I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to or dreading it ;)

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  16. This is really interesting. I didn't know Barbie was getting a re-design. I approve of the changes! #KCACOLS

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    1. They managed to keep it pretty quiet until the actual announcement! :)

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  17. Hoorah for curvy Barbies! I'll be much happier letting Tin Box Tot play with these versions when she's a bit older. We're still in the baby doll stage :) #KCACOLS

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    1. Aw, I do love baby dolls - you can get such cute ones these days too!

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  18. I absolutely love this new diverse range - I'm not sure what took Mattel so long?! It's great that kids can now choose the doll that looks most like them and they aren't all tiny waisted and big busted! Hooray! Looking forward to this stage with Taylor when she can enjoy playing with dolls :) #KCACOLS

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    1. I know, they should have done it years ago! It's so great to see such a big step forward though :)

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  19. I had Sindy's growing up and you're right she did have lots of furniture - I still have the pink wardrobe complete with various Sindy's and her outfits. I think looking back I wanted a Barbie but wasn't allowed. I think the diverse range of Barbies is a huge step forward - well done Mattel. Thanks for linking up to #PoCoLo x

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    1. I wasn't actually much into fashion dolls as a kid, but I did have a few and a Barbie tent. These days Sindy furniture is always my go to in sixth scale, it's a great size and it's not flimsy like Barbie stuff. x

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  20. How interesting this is. I had no idea Barbie had so many different careers. I'm liking this recent launch. Our Barbie's are sadly all in the loft as one little girl was just never that in to them. I think the time has passed now. We'd better watch this space to see what they have in mind for Ken! #KCACOLS

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    1. I'd love to see some cool new body types for Ken too! That would be so awesome. As a collector it just makes me so happy to see such a big step towards more doll diversity!

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  21. I loved Barbie as a child, I had a ridiculous amount of them :) Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

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  22. Barbie has really developed. I loved barbie when I was younger so it's great to see them coming back. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

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    1. It feels like such a big step forward for her. x

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  23. Yay for more diverse Barbie. My daughter has one of the regular ones but I'll definitely get her one of the new models. I think they are just more interesting to have the variety of ethnicities and body shapes - I totally love the blue haired one.

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