Mattel, the company behind the iconic plastic toy doll model, is adding “tall, curvy and petite” body shapes to its line-up of the fashion dolls.
Several skin tones, eye colors and hair styles will also be added to the collection, Mattel said.
Barbie’s figure has come under fire for years, with critics arguing it set an unrealistic body image for girls.
With the new body shapes, the toy makers say they are “offering girls choices that are more reflective of the world they see today”.
In 2015, Mattel introduced 23 new dolls to its so-called Fashionistas line with varied skin and hair colors, and a much touted flat foot – replacing Barbie’s signature heels.
With this year’s update, the Barbie Fashionistas line will feature:
33 new dolls
30 hair colors
22 eye colors
14 face shapes
7 skin tones
4 body shapes – original, plus tall, curvy and petite
Mattel executive Evelyn Mazzocco said in a statement: “We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand – these new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them.”
The new dolls will go on sale in the spring of 2016 worldwide.
However, true to life, Mattel warned that “not all clothes will fit all dolls”.
Barbie maker, Mattel, saw its sales drop for a sixth consecutive quarter as the appeal of its iconic doll continued to wane.
Net sales fell by 2.5% in Q1 2015 from a year ago, while global sales of Barbie fell 14% in the same period.
The toymaker’s net loss also widened more than four-fold to $58.2 million.
Fifty-six year old Barbie has been facing stiff competition from a range of new toys and gadgets.
Electronic toys, tablets and merchandise from popular films such as Disney’s Frozen, along with competition from rivals Hasbro and Denmark’s Lego have all led to sliding sales of the doll.
Barbie accounts for a quarter of Mattel’s sales.
In an attempt to revive Barbie’s lagging popularity, Mattel had fired chief executive Bryan Stockton in January and replaced him with board member Christopher Sinclair.
“We’re starting to see progress with our core brands like Barbie and Fisher-Price, and I am confident we are making the changes necessary to perform better in the future,” Christopher Sinclair said in a statement on April 16.
Mattel’s New York listed shares were up 6.5% in after-hours trading after its sales decline was not as bad as analysts had feared.
Barbie doll, which is made by Mattel, is flaunting her frame in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit‘s 50th anniversary issue that’s hitting stands on Tuesday.
Barbie will be featured alongside supermodels like Christie Brinkley and Brooklyn Decker as part of a campaign called Unapologetic.
Barbie doll is flaunting her frame in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s 50th anniversary issue that’s hitting stands on Tuesday
According to multiple reports, Barbie will actually appear as a cover wrap on at least 1,000 copies of the issue, with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine proclaiming the iconic figure: “The doll that started it all.”
“As a legend herself, and under constant criticism about her body and how she looks, posing . . . gives Barbie . . . and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are,” said Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s senior vice president of marketing.
The campaign is a departure for 55-year old Barbie, which has been both beloved as a plaything and criticized as an unrealistic standard of beauty for decades.
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