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Barbie’s Sales Drop

Thankfully, we now live in a time of television shows like Drop Dead Diva and films like The Identify Thief, starring women with figures that would have previously only gained them supporting roles as the quirky, overweight neighbor or unhappy friend of the main actor or actress. Both Brooke Elliot and Melissa McCarthy are talented and attractive women who are now the stars of their respective projects, regardless of their figures.

Perhaps this is the reason that the once-beloved Barbie doll is experiencing a decline in its popularity among girls and their mothers. While part of the decline owes to the popularity of genre-specific lines like Monster High, which feature fashionable teens named after and designed to look like vampires and other monsters, there is also the issue of Barbie’s unrealistic appearance. Artist Nickolay Lamm created a 3D-printed Barbie doll that features the measurements of an average American woman (read Steve’s post on how Barbie would look as a real woman!)

usatoday/Nickolay Lamm

The doll illustrates the unrealistic nature of Barbie’s design, which some believe is the other reason for Barbie’s sales decline.

Mattel CEO Bryan Stockton chalks the issue up to the cyclical nature of a toy’s popularity. “It happens with everything — name a toy, and it’s had its ups and downs,” Johnson says. “At some point the day comes when a kid says, ‘Nah, I’m tired of this.’”

Do you think Barbie is becoming less popular because of her appearance or simply because of changing tastes? And do you still buy Barbies for the girls in your life? Let us know on Facebook!

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