Tuesday, May 16, 2006
In a bid to bolster sagging sales of Barbie dolls, Mattel Inc. has decided to appeal further to its strong baby boomer market of avid collectors by embracing classic 1950's cheesecake. Mattel has launched Barbie Pin-Up Girls with its inaugural "Way Out West" Barbie sporting Daisy Duke shorts saucily perched atop a split-rail fence. She is to be followed by Lady Luck (a Las Vegas lounge chanteuse adorned in a gold lame dress and flaunting a faux fur stole) and Hula Honey (a Hawaiian foxy figurante with an optional grass skirt). Apparently, Mattel is hearkening back to its beginnings. According to New York Newsday columnist M.G. Lord, author of Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll), in 1959 Ruth Handler invented her wholesome Barbie (named after her young daughter) based on an adult gag gift for German men. This adult toy Lilli, (allusion to the succubus Lillith?), was based on a meretricious moll comic strip heroine. Nevertheless, Mattel has traditionally pitched Barbie to preteen girls like her daughter and based her fashions on the Paris runways. Since more and more young girls now are turning to sassier, irreverant Bratz dolls, Mattel has had to innovate to continue to grow beyond its approximate $1.5 billion yearly revenue. As Playboy, strip clubs, and other forms of adult entertainment have become more mainstream, it appears that Mattel's cheesecake Barbi might be just the thing to spice up its sales. As an aside, if the first Barbie were in human form, she would have been 5'6" and 110 lbs. in a 39-18-33 body: she has since been given more politically correct, yet still voluptuous measurements.
Posted by Carpe Diem at 10:47 AM