Why Americans have stopped buying Barbie
Sales of the iconic doll franchise fell 13% over the holidays. What are girls spending money on instead?
By Douglas A. McIntyre, 24/7 Wall St.
Sales of Barbie, the popular doll franchise started in 1959, fell 13 percent in the fourth quarter. Holiday demand for Barbie is critical to parent Mattel (MAT), shares of which paid the price for the fall-off.
Mattel's fourth-quarter sales dropped 6 percent to $2.11 billion. For the year, revenue was flat at $6.48 billion. For all intents and purposes, the huge toy company is stuck in neutral.
Mattel did not give a reason for the sharp drop in Barbie sales. However, several developments in the way that children spend their time could be ongoing culprits.
Barbie's largest weakness is probably that it is still a "toy" in a world where children spend hours with interactive games, texting and participating in social networks.
The major attraction of Barbie has stayed mostly the same over the decades. The doll has a closet full of outfits and beauty products, which is not much compared to the hundreds of games that youngsters play on smartphones and tablets.
Depending on the study, Americans spend 10 percent to 15 percent of their waking hours online. It is generally assumed that this figure is higher among young people than older ones who grew up in a period before Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR).
The migration of people to the use of portable devices in no less impressive. Nearly 300 million Americans have wireless subscriptions. As superfast 4G networks proliferate, the abilities of these devices as multimedia platforms and game devices grow.
Some of the most downloaded free apps are aimed at girls. Among them is Covet Fashion, an online dress up game. Another is Eye Make Up Salon, an app that lets girls prepare themselves for a variety of "parties." Not only are these games interactive, they do not require a trip to a store and the price of traditional toy.
Barbie has begun to die off, and if there is a single major culprit it is that there are better "toys" for young girls online that they can play with as they spend hour after hour on Facebook while texting.
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Tragic societal issue that continues to get worse. Who needs Barbie you ask?
If anything it is probably the price that has caused the market to dwindle during the redession. Also look at the feminist movement as still being against Barbie as being to unrealistic bodily and swaying their children away from her. I can also say that as having a daughter, that she simply loves having toys associated with the cartoons and shows she watches. She is really into the "Monster High" toys and perfers them and their cartoons and movies. The Barbie cartoons for the most part are boring to her and is not interested as she is in the others, thus she has showed little interest in the Barbies comparatively.
after paying 80+ dollars for an american girl doll (that is made in china) parents don't have money left over for anything else.
if your kids are into bratz and monster high dolls then you aren't going to spend money on barbie too.
barbie used to be the only name in the game except for cheap knockoffs. now there are a bunch of other alternatives.
my 8 year old daughter has an old smart phone (no cell plan, just smart phone for her to get on wifi) and she spends 99% of her time doing other things than playing on the phone. my 13 year old niece just gave my daughter all of her old dolls because she doesn't play with them anymore... and that is the age that is on social media. not 3-10 year olds who actually play with dolls.
it's perfectly logical to me that the writer of the article is pulling this out of their butt and doesn't have any real world experience with it. And it's also obvious to me all the people who are berating parents over "shoving smart phones in their face" that they have no real world experience with this either. perhaps you should be checking with the people who actually have kids before you go about assuming you know everything.
Barbie business declined because of those heavy-weight Barbie
started up which caused Barbie buyers turned off. I saw obese Barbie
on some website got me turned off, too.
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