Bye Bye Barbie: Mattel Sinks On Tanking Doll Sales

Apr 17 2014, 10:53am CDT | by

Bye Bye Barbie: Mattel Sinks On Tanking Doll Sales
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

For nearly 70 years, Barbie has ruled the dollhouse. But Mattel’s star may now be a relic of the past.

Mattel shares sank slightly on Thursday morning after the company announced a net loss of $11.2 million and shrinking sales – $946 million, down 5% compared last year. The company’s biggest problem was its declining Barbie sales. Worldwide gross sales for the brand were down 14%.

Barbie, by far Mattel’s biggest seller, brought down the rest of a tepid earnings statement. Other popular brands, like Hot Wheels (2%) and American Girl (5%), were up for the quarter. But Fisher-Price also fell 6%.

Mattel has recently tried to diversify away from Barbies and compete with the world’s largest toymaker, Lego. In February, Mattel bought the company behind Mega Bloks for $460 million, including debt.

“For the first quarter, revenues were consistent with our expectations as we worked through inventories in a challenging global retail environment,” Mattel Chairman and CEO Bryan Stockton said in a statement. “In addition, we managed costs and streamlined our workforce as part of our initiatives to drive efficiencies throughout the organization. Importantly, we made significant progress against two of our strategic objectives, entering new categories and strengthening our Girls Portfolio. We launched BOOMco., our highly-anticipated entry into the outdoor category, announced the acquisition of MEGA Brands Inc., a leading player in the rapidly-growing construction and arts & crafts categories, and continued the global launch of our newest doll franchise, Ever After High.”

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