4/2/2013 5:42 PM ET|
What a Barbie's price may be saying
The iconic doll now holds a wide variety of professions. So why do some, like the computer engineer version, cost more?
But today, certain career Barbies are fetching higher prices than others, and there isn't always a strong correlation with real-world earnings, according to the Economist.
For instance, the most expensive doll is now Snowboarder Barbie, which costs about $30, more than double the price of "nurse" Barbie.
While top competitive snowboarders certainly can earn a tidy sum -- Olympic champion Torah Bright was listed in 2011 as among the top-earning skiers and snowboarders -- most would probably categorize the profession under "slacker."
But the most expensive dolls might shed light on a bigger lesson parents hope to impart to their daughters, Tanya Lee Stone, the author of "The Good, the Bad and the Barbie," tells MSN moneyNOW.
"The theory that parents hoping to inspire daughters to reach beyond the more stereotypical career choices of teacher or baker (although just as valuable) might be willing to shell out more money for 'computer engineer' or 'architect' Barbie might have real-world merits," Stone notes.
Computer hardware engineer ranks as one career that both costs more for Barbies and in the real world. The doll costs slightly less than $30, while U.S. median weekly earnings top out near $1,600, according to the Economist.
Other pricey Barbies include paleontologist, swimming champion, architect and news presenter.
But some less expensive dolls actually represent fields that pay quite well, such as pilot Barbie, which goes for less than $10. Aircraft pilots, however, earn high weekly wages, just below computer hardware engineers.
"Women certainly fought hard to break into the aviation field, and we aren't going to take that for granted, are we?" Stone says, noting that she can't see any financial logic for why pilot Barbies would cost less.
"Perhaps it is simply what the market will bear," she notes, adding that dolls geared for collectors may also push up prices.
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