Barbie is one of the most iconic global brands in existence with sales of over a billion dolls sold worldwide and available in approximately 150 countries. The brand was launched in 1959, after being invented by co-founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler with sales of approximately 350,000 dolls that year. She was inspired to develop the three dimensional doll by her daughter’s delight in acting out future and imaginary events with paper dolls. She later named the brand after her daughter Barbara’s nickname and when the male counterpart doll was created, named him after her son, Ken.
The brand’s sales now tend to 3 categories: the dolls, doll accessories (including cars, horses and houses) and clothing (her own and kids lines); the former two of which are available from UK wholesaler Baby Brands Direct. Maintaining her heritage and profile she continues to be featured in many animated films and is a supporting character in Disney Blockbusters Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
It is estimated that approximately 90% of American girls have owned a Barbie in the last 40years. The main target age group for the brand is currently the 3-6year olds but it is estimated that there are over 100,000 devoted collectors of this legendary brand, buying on average, around twenty dolls every year. In September 2006 a rare ‘Midnight Red’ Barbie doll from 1965 set a world record when it sold for £9,000 at a Christie’s auction in London.
With the great advancement of toys in the industry and rapid development of toddlers, the Barbie brand is relevant from 3yrs and encourages development for active and imaginative role play. The brand has continued to adapt to current fashions and trends, with Barbie’s outfits continually updated with apparel found on the High Street; including denims and boots to leopard print jackets! It has also launched a range of ‘career’ dolls each dressed to reflect a different industry from nurses to astronauts, ever encouraging a little girl to ‘Dream It. Be It.’
Icon branding and packaging, keeping abreast of society and fashion changes and encouraging creative play, this brand makes for a staple inclusion in all toy retailers’ stores. It is also ideal for gift stores catering for toddler birthdays and online stores increasing their brand and toddler product offering. Baby Brands Direct supplies a select range of Barbie dolls and Barbie accessories to all good independent retailers.