January 15, 2014 |
What would Barbie wear on the beach? That question was the starting point for a group of 15 students at Otis College of Art and Design who took a class last fall taught by Los Angeles swimwear designer Rod Beattie in conjunction with the Mattel design team. Using Barbie and her Malibu Beach House as inspiration, the students were instructed to design swimwear for young women ages 18-24, all in pink. The fruits of their labors will be on display for a limited time beginning this weekend at Santa Monica Place . Saturday through Monday, guests can walk through the exhibit.
January 13, 2014 |
The feud between fashion doll giants MGA Entertainment Inc. and Mattel Inc. got another infusion of legal juice on Monday, when Bratz maker MGA sued Mattel over allegations that the Barbie maker filched trade secrets at toy industry conventions. Van Nuys-based MGA accuses Mattel of sending corporate spies armed with fake business cards and a “how to steal” manual into private MGA showrooms from 1992 through at least 2009. There, the agents pilfered MGA price lists, advertising plans and covert product attributes, giving El Segundo-based Mattel “an unfair and illegal advantage in the market” and costing MGA “tens of millions of dollars in damages,” according to MGA's complaint.
HOME & GARDEN
December 6, 2013 |
I'm a Barbie collector. There, I said it. I don't always confess it right away. In fact, I usually wait. My house isn't filled with Barbies like some episode of "Hoarders. " The dolls are locked in a back bedroom, which I refer to as "storage" when new men get the tour. But I refuse to deny the dolls for long. If there's any sort of real intimacy, I come out of Barbie's pink closet. I wasn't always so forthcoming - with good reason. Ironically, some gay guys are preoccupied with gender roles.
October 16, 2013 |
Mattel Inc., the nation's largest toy company, and Barbie, likely its best-known product, are heading into Christmas looking up. The El Segundo-based company reported net income of $422.8 million, or $1.21 a share, for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. That's a 16% increase from the year-earlier period, when profit was $365.9 million, or $1.04 a share. Mattel's revenue also surged 6% to $2.2 billion, from $2.1 billion. Both the sales and profit measures beat Wall Street expectations.
July 21, 2013 |
Every few years, as she is reviled by yet another crop of new parents casting about for a scapegoat for their daughters' troubling body issues, I feel called on to defend my childhood pal Barbie. "I know," they say, "let's blame the 7-inch-tall plastic girl!" As if she is any more responsible for the way she looks than humans are. Of one thing I am certain: It is the parents, not the kids, who take Barbie so harshly to task. The children know that no matter what she looks like, Barbie is a great friend, always game, and utterly trustworthy with secrets.
July 19, 2013 |
Disturbing news this week for Barbie: Mattel reported that revenue from the doll fell 12% in the second quarter that ended June 30. That's Barbie's fourth straight quarterly sales slide. It's tough to be a middle-aged female entertainer, and Barbie, at 54, is no different. Over the years, she has tried to rebrand herself -- Dentist Barbie, Astronaut Barbie -- but she's still struggling to keep a strong fan base. Mutating into the meme of the moment doesn't seem to work for her. Becoming Hip Hop Barbie won't make her a cult figure again.