Mattel Plans Edgier Barbie

Company aims to win back tweens by bringing Barbie back to fashion world
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2008 6:27 AM CST
Mattel Plans Edgier Barbie
Barbie Fashion and Beauty from Mattel is displayed at the American International Toy Fair in New York.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Barbie turns 50 next year and Mattel plans some big changes for the perpetual teenager, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company has been steadily losing girls aged 8 and over to video games, iPods, and racier rival dolls like the now-vanquished Bratz and the Hannah Montana line. The toy giant hopes to win back tweens by anchoring Barbie firmly in the world of fashion.

Barbie once helped shape fashion trends, but Mattel says it lost its way over the last decade as the name was added to a huge range of products. New ads will feature Barbie in model-like poses in a deliberate nod to fashion magazines. The company also hopes to build on Barbie's kitsch appeal to grown-ups—a new flagship store in China will offer a $20,000 Barbie-inspired dress designed by Vera Wang. (More Barbie stories.)

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