he most famous doll in the world reached 50 years in 2009 in an identity crisis and with a big falling on sales. Her lifestyle and slim silhouette - equivalent to a woman of 1.75m in height, 91.5 cm of bust, 45.7 cm of waist and 84 cm of hips - served as inspiration for hundreds of thousands of girls from all corners of the planet. Everyone wanted to be like her. At age 50, however, the blond doll of 28 cm already feels the weight of age. In the financial field, she was far from the phenomenon of the past. In 2008, her sales fell 9%, while the marketing of other dolls raised 11%, which was a direct result of the increasing competition and several strategic errors committed by Mattel. The main obstacle was the lack of agility to react to the arrival of more competitors tuned with the aspirations of the so-called Internet generation. An example of that is the success of Bratz, a teenager with big head and feet, platform heels and saucy pose. The character was quickly assimilated by adolescents who considered, in large measure, that Barbie was children play. The management of Mattel accused the coup.
They left aside the passive attitude and put in motion a real war operation. After all, Barbie alone represents 30% of Mattel total sales. Therefore, they created more deprived and ethnic versions of the doll, like the My Scene, and put the doll profile on MySpace and Facebook. They also launched a line of fashion dolls rather angry, inspired by hip-hop culture. The idea was to make this model a "version of combat" to stem the advance of her arch-rival. It did not work. Sales continued falling year after year. Without success in the marketing field, the management of Mattel changed tactics. They went for the courts against MGA, claiming that the designer Carter Bryant, father of the Bratz, had stolen the name and design of the doll collection of Mattel, when he worked there.
In 2005, the MGA was ordered to indemnify the company Mattel in $ 100 million. Besides the legal arena, Mattel also is preparing to react in the field of fashion dolls. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Barbie, the company prepared a mega-march on the beginning of 2007, at the prestigious Fashion Week in New York. The choice of venue was due to the fact that her first public appearance took place at a toy fair in this city. The Big Apple Tour was in great style. Mattel invited 50 renowned designers to design pieces inspired by the doll. American designers like Vera Wang, the French Christian Louboutin, Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tommy Hilfiger. Vera Wang has designed a sophisticated wedding dress that costs in the adult version, U.S. $ 15 000 or U.S. $ 159.99 in the body of BARBIE. Louboutin, in turn, presented a line of shoes inspired in the doll.
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