It may be time for Mattel to roll out Retirement Barbie. Friday morning, the toymaker announced that the doll’s sales dropped 16% in 2014, marking Barbie’s third consecutive year of falling earnings.
“The reality is, we just didn’t sell enough Barbie dolls,” CEO Bryan Stockton explained to investors last January, following Mattel’s disappointing 13% drop for 2013. The decline of the company’s premier product led in part to Stockton’s resignation on Monday. But a corporate shakeup might not be enough to counteract the almost 56-year-old doll’s waning allure. The problem might not be sales strategies, but rather the doll and the impossibly slim-body ideals she represents.
The push for more realistic, “body positive” images of girls has been gaining momentum over the past year and not just in toys. In 2014, Barbie sales plummeted, while a doll with an average woman’s proportions gained viral success; full-bodied models were…
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