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BUSINESS
March 8, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
Barbie's giving up the keys to her dream shop in Shanghai. Two years after opening it to great fanfare, Mattel Inc. has closed the company's sole stand-alone store dedicated to the iconic American doll. Tucked in a downtown district filled with foreign retailers and luxury brands, the six-story, 36,000-square-foot Barbie store was drenched in pink neon light and featured a cosmetics department, a spa and a bar designed by one of Shanghai's premier restaurateurs. A $10,000 Vera Wang wedding dress was on display when the store opened.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Barbie is going from the toy store shelf to the silver screen. The iconic blond-haired, blue-eyed doll will be featured in an coming live-action comedy, Sony Pictures and Mattel announced Wednesday. Production for the movie, which Sony sees as its next big global franchise, is set to begin at the end of the year. Written by Jenny Bicks ("What a Girl Wants," "Rio 2") and produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, the movie will draw on Barbie's unique resume. Over the years, Barbie dolls have come in more than 150 different looks, including princess, president, mermaid and movie star, and the character will inhabit many of those roles on-screen.
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NEWS
February 19, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
Forget Barbie on the cover wrap of Sports Illustrated's 50th annual swimsuit issue.  My personal bathing suit hero is 27-year-old Lena Dunham, who has done more to improve the self-esteem of young women in her scant career than the iconic plastic doll has ever done, despite a 55-year career that has seen her transformed from princess into pilot, police officer, paleontologist and presidential candidate. In last Sunday's episode of “Girls,” Dunham's delightfully transgressive HBO series about an annoying quartet of self-involved, post-college adultlets, Dunham spent most of the 30-minute show, set in a resort town on Long Island's North Fork, in a green string bikini.
SPORTS
April 2, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
SAN DIEGO -- Complaints about the season-opening series in Australia resurfaced before the Dodgers' 5-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday at Petco Park, this time centered around how the overseas trip might have resulted in injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson. Kershaw, who strained a back muscle pitching in Australia, will be sidelined, at least, for the remainder of the month. Wilson joined him on the 15-day disabled list with an irritated nerve in his elbow.
NEWS
February 13, 2014 | Michelle Maltais, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
Barbie isn't sorry anymore. She's taken to the pages of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition to come out with a message for all the haters, in all of her plastic, unrealistically sculpted glory. With her hair and diminutive shoulders pulled back, she appears in a black-and-white one-piece declaring, "This is #unapologetic," in Mattel's latest effort to bring Barbie back into the cultural conversation -- on its terms. "She very much has a place in societal conversation as well -- we're always talking to multiple audiences," said Mattel spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni . Clearly, the campaign and the SI spread featuring 22 dolls aren't aimed at our children of doll-playing age. "This program is about underscoring who you are, being unapologetic about who you are and celebrating that alongside all these great women and legends who are more than just pretty faces," Chidoni said.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2011
Valentine's Day shocker: Barbie and Ken are back together again. Who knew they were ever apart? ( Entertainment Weekly ) For a single, shining moment, the Grammys seemed cool last night when they gave album of the year to Arcade Fire. ( Los Angeles Times ) But mostly, the Grammys were about stuff like Lady Gaga showing up in an egg. What? Lady Gaga did something strange? ( Los Angeles Times ) No surprises here: The Brits awarded the top BAFTA awards to "The King's Speech.
NEWS
January 15, 2014 | By Susan Denley
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.
TRAVEL
May 7, 2000
Regarding Susan Spano's critical comments on the exhibit at Nixon Library ("Show of Barbie Doll 'First Ladies' Stirs Mixed Feelings," April 23): Our 6-year-old granddaughter enjoyed the beautifully sewn replicas of the first ladies' inaugural gowns. We appreciated the portraits and a painless history lesson. Also not mentioned in her article: the display of the Nixon daughters' wedding gowns and the lovely gardens surrounding the library. PATRICIA MEURSINGE Downey
BUSINESS
June 8, 2011 | By Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times
Environmentalists have launched a global campaign against Mattel Inc., the world's largest toy company, as part of a decade-long effort to force multinational corporations to purge their operations of any links to rain forest destruction. On Tuesday, Greenpeace activists in turquoise vests rappelled down the face of the company's 15-story headquarters in El Segundo and hung a giant banner depicting a frowning Ken doll with the message: "Barbie: it's over. I don't date girls that are into deforestation.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2010 | By Andrea Chang
Strong Christmas sales of Barbie and other toys helped push Mattel Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit up 86% compared with the same period a year earlier, the nation's largest toy maker said. The El Segundo company has been working to rebuild its performance after months of frugal consumer spending. Its image also took a hit after a spate of high-profile recalls in 2007 related to excessive levels of lead and harmful magnets. A year ago, Mattel said it would aggressively cut costs and improve its supply chain; on Friday, Chief Executive Robert A. Eckert said those moves bolstered the company's fourth-quarter and full-year results.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
A partnership between Mattel's Barbie and the Girl Scouts is under fire by two advocacy groups who say the deal harms young girls.  Announced in August , the partnership introduced a new Girl Scouts patch for Daisies and Brownies -- girls in kindergarten through third grade -- which features the Barbie logo and the slogan: "Be anything, Do everything. " The partnership is intended to promote a variety of careers Girl Scouts can explore.  The two groups --the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for a New American Dream -- criticized the move.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Mattel Inc. dominates the market for dolls with its Barbie, Monster High and American Girl brands. But now it also wants to play with blocks. The El Segundo giant is paying $460 million to buy Canadian construction toy company Mega Brands Inc. as it pursues what it calls a “strategic imperative” to grow beyond the categories upon which it has relied for years. The acquisition essentially heralds a turf war between Mattel and Danish company Lego, which makes the popular plastic bricks currently being featured on-screen in box-office king “The Lego Movie.” Lego said Thursday that its global sales rose 10% last year even as the toy industry slipped slightly.
NEWS
February 19, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
Forget Barbie on the cover wrap of Sports Illustrated's 50th annual swimsuit issue.  My personal bathing suit hero is 27-year-old Lena Dunham, who has done more to improve the self-esteem of young women in her scant career than the iconic plastic doll has ever done, despite a 55-year career that has seen her transformed from princess into pilot, police officer, paleontologist and presidential candidate. In last Sunday's episode of “Girls,” Dunham's delightfully transgressive HBO series about an annoying quartet of self-involved, post-college adultlets, Dunham spent most of the 30-minute show, set in a resort town on Long Island's North Fork, in a green string bikini.
NEWS
February 13, 2014 | Michelle Maltais, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
Barbie isn't sorry anymore. She's taken to the pages of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition to come out with a message for all the haters, in all of her plastic, unrealistically sculpted glory. With her hair and diminutive shoulders pulled back, she appears in a black-and-white one-piece declaring, "This is #unapologetic," in Mattel's latest effort to bring Barbie back into the cultural conversation -- on its terms. "She very much has a place in societal conversation as well -- we're always talking to multiple audiences," said Mattel spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni . Clearly, the campaign and the SI spread featuring 22 dolls aren't aimed at our children of doll-playing age. "This program is about underscoring who you are, being unapologetic about who you are and celebrating that alongside all these great women and legends who are more than just pretty faces," Chidoni said.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2014 | By David Horsey
The Toys R Us store on La Cienega and Santa Monica Boulevard is likely to be swarmed by screenwriters and producers this week, given the $69-million opening of “The Lego Movie” over the weekend. If Legos can kill at the box office, they will be asking themselves, which toy on these shelves is the next hot property? I only wish I had anticipated this trend. If I had simply written an action-packed script, hired a small film crew and reassembled the tens of thousands of Lego pieces my son long ago left packed away in the basement, I could be a millionaire by now. But who knew chunky little plastic people would be the new stars of Hollywood?
BUSINESS
February 11, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
At 55 years old, she's no spring chicken, but come Feb. 18, Barbie will strike a sexy pose for Sports Illustrated's 50th anniversary swimsuit issue along with famous beauties such as Christie Brinkley, Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum and Kate Upton.    The appearance will be the Mattel doll's first in the magazine's pages. The toy, a perennial bestseller despite a recent slump in sales, first appeared on shelves in 1959 wearing a black-and-white chevron bathing suit. Barbie's spread in Sports Illustrated, shot by Walter Iooss Jr., will feature 22 dolls.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 1997 | F. KATHLEEN FOLEY
Wasp-waisted Barbie, she of the anatomically impossible contours, is irreverently lampooned in Rebecca Hughes' "Plastica Fantastica" at the Actors' Gang El Centro. (In the play, the pouty protagonist's name is 'B***ie'--the asterisks evidently intended to forestall legal action from M***el). Let's not ponder too closely the point that, whereas little boys have action figures, little girls have . . . well, Barbie.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2011 | By Andrea Chang and Meg James, Los Angeles Times
Ken Carson, always something of a stiff, is loosening up. On the eve of its 50th birthday, the doll that defined boyish American urbanity is working on a comeback, proclaiming on billboards in Los Angeles and New York his love for Barbie. Critics raved about his appearance in "Toy Story 3. " And in a new reality TV show, "Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend," eight clean-cut real-life contestants vie to be judged worthy of Barbie: a guy with style who knows how to listen, cook, surf and spoil the material girl with displays of affection.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
If there was a winner among the piles of gifts given to children this Christmas, Barbie certainly wasn't it. The fashion doll - possibly the best-known player in Mattel Inc.'s stable of products - endured a 13% sales slide during the company's fourth quarter. "We just didn't sell enough Barbie dolls," Mattel Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said Friday in a conference call with analysts. Several other brands from the El Segundo toy maker also fared poorly. Fisher-Price, whose lineup focuses on infants and young children, also suffered a 13% revenue plunge.
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