Mattel launches a new- look Barbie at the Nuremberg Toy Fair to help it fight off competition from the likes of Disney and Lego. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes a day after Chief Executive Brian Stockton was removed following a disappointing holiday shopping season.
Barbie has become an all action superhero - at the age of 56. Mattel is hoping the new doll - launched at the Nuremberg Toy Fair - will revive its fortunes. Company earnings are down 60 percent, the CEO has just left and a fifth straight drop in quarterly sales is on the cards Lori Pantel is Mattel's Vice President of Global Marketing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LORI PANTEL, VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL MARKETING FOR BARBIE AT MATTEL, INC., SAYING: "So as long as we are really keeping an eye on what girls are watching, what girls are into, and delivering great product, great entertainment, that truly inspire girls' imaginations, I think we'll be able to continue the legacy of a successful brand." Barbie has been losing out to electronic toys and Disney characters, particularly those from the top-selling movie franchise Frozen. Robert Haigh is from Brand Finance. SOUNDBITE: Robert Haigh, Marketing Director, Brand Finance, saying (English): "The reason that the frozen dolls have been so popular is that people are really able to identify with those characters. They have very nuance characters, they're not just the stereotypical fairy princess they have a personality and an unconventional personality in someways. Whereas Barbie is often seen as having a very bland outlook and very pleasing to everyone and not someone who would upset the status quo." Mattel bought Canadian toymaker Mega Brands last year to try and match the success of another rival - Lego. But the Danish firm still overtook them to become the world's biggest toymaker by sales. A blockbuster Lego movie helped. SOUNDBITE: Robert Haigh, Marketing Director, Brand Finance, saying (English): "Lego had its own problems less than 10 years ago and it faced near bankruptcy but it's been hugely successful reviving itself since then and that's mainly been through partnerships with other brands such as Star Wars and Batman. So it's been able to use their brands and power to revive its own fortunes." Barbie may be losing out to a few new trends. But the brand is still worth $470 million to Mattel - and she's not ready to retire quite yet.