license to thrill

Headed to Malibu? Don't Forget Your Branded Volleyball

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2013 11:01 AM

With its most famous resident putting a "For Sale" sign in her front yard, the city of Malibu, California, is looking for new ways to attract tourists and boost income. 

CNBC reports that Malibu has signed a deal with Excel Corp. in order to start “licensing apparel, active wear, and even things like sunglasses, watches, and volleyballs” with the extra money going to “fund special projects.”

The city is forking over $90,000 for Excel to design a logo and find licensees.Continue reading...

what becomes a legend most?

Barbie's Dreamhouse Coming to Florida and Germany

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 19, 2013 11:43 AM

The most famous fashion doll in the world, Barbie, is currently taking offers for her Dreamhouse Malibu mansion. Now, Mattel has issued an open invitation to literally step inside her world with Barbie The Dreamhouse Experience.

Two life-sized houses—complete with pink elevators, a walk-in “glitterizer” and a “diamond” ring display—will open next month in south Florida at Sawgrass Mills and for European fans, in Berlin, Germany.

Why Germany? It turns out that Barbie has roots in the country. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of Barbie for her daughter, who in the 1950’s, like all little girls, had only paper dolls or baby dolls to play with. Handler convinced her husband Elliot, a co-founder of Mattel to create an adult-bodied doll based on a German doll called Bild Lilli. Barbie made her debut in 1959, followed by the reveal of the original Barbie Dreamhouse in 1962.Continue reading...

what girls want

Barbie Puts Dreamhouse on the Market to Make Way For High-Tech Digs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 15, 2013 10:01 AM

With a pink elevator, hot tub and spa, pink granite countertops and only three walls, Malibu's most famous resident is finally putting her house on the market. That's right: for a cool $25 million, Barbie's Malibu Dreamhouse in the 90265 zipcode can be yours.

It's being "sold" via a listing on Trulia—"The only house in Malibu with a truly unobstructed view of the ocean (after all, it only has three walls)—and a celebrity real estate agent in Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles" cast member Josh Altman. It's all part of an effort by the iconic toy company to highlight the doll's revamped image and new playset, set to be released for the 2013 holiday shopping season.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Santa Goes Mobile: Walmart and Mattel Test Virtual Toy Store in Canada

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 5, 2012 07:31 PM

Tesco made headlines a year ago when its HomePlus retail subsidiary in South Korea tested a virtual store in a Seoul subway station, showcasing items that could be scanned and ordered by smartphone for home delivery, while Peapod is testing virtual grocery shopping in the U.S.

Now Walmart is testing a similar idea in Toronto in partnership with Mattel. The retail and toy giants are teaming up on what's described as Canada's first pop-up virtual toy store, enabling QR code-based shopping of Mattel brands — including hot toys from Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends brands — to holiday shoppers.

The pop-up is located in the city's massive PATH underground walkway, a retail concouse that connects downtown buildings and and an array of businesses to Toronto's Union Station rail commuter hub. It may find a ready pool of virtual shoppers, as it will run for four weeks in the same location where Wells.ca tested a QR-enabled store in April.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: P&G, Kimberly-Clark, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 25, 2012 09:03 AM

In the News

P&G sees profit soar and revenue drop in latest earnings report.

Kimberly-Clark pulls back in Europe.

Twitter encourages brands to find and use their authentic voice.

Apple earnings report on Thursday will be closely watched.

AT&T sees slowing in wireless-subscriber growth.

Barbie CMO looks to Royal Caribbean cruise experience launch in new year.

Best Buy shakes up management.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Greenpeace Accuses KFC of Supporting Deforestation in Global Protest

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 25, 2012 01:09 PM

Greenpeace activists recently scaled the headquarters of the KFC headquarters building in Louisville, Kentucky to hang a giant banner with a Sumatran tiger saying: “KFC Stop Trashing My Home.” A second banner was deployed on the lake the KFC building, dubbed “the White House” due to its resemblance to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, overlooks, bearing a similar message.

“We're here today to expose KFC's secret recipe. KFC customers worldwide will be horrified to learn that the fast food giant is using rainforests to make its packaging,” said Greenpeace Forest Campaign Director, Rolf Skar, about the protest action, which has gone global including a protest stunt in China and London this week. “The decisions being made here at KFC HQ are fuelling the destruction of some of the world’s last remaining rainforests, driving climate change and pushing the Sumatran tiger closer to extinction.”Continue reading...

kiddie brands

Mattel's Monster High Takes a Bite Out of Barbie's Bottom Line

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 18, 2012 11:13 AM

Barbie’s lived high on the hog for generations now, riding around in her own beach buggy, horse and carriage, private jet, Vespa. When she hasn’t been traveling in style, she’s been hanging out by the pool or in her three-story, pinkariffic dream townhouse.

But she may need to put away her fancy dresses and modes of transport for the time being, roll up her sleeves, and get her well-manicured fingers to work. (To that point, she's now making another run at the White House with a presidential glampaign.) 

In the first three months of this year, for the first time in 10 quarters, sales of Barbie products went down for Mattel, which directly hurt the company’s bottom line, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Part of the explanation: Toys “R” Us and Walmart cut back on Barbie products in the first quarter, and a few other Mattel lines, such as Hot Wheels, Cars, and Fisher-Price, didn’t do so well, either.Continue reading...

in it to win it

Barbie Brand Goes Bald and Political

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 9, 2012 03:03 PM

Barbie, Mattel’s iconic model of curvaceous, blonde female beauty will very soon be bald. Next year, Barbie's world of dream houses, beauty salons and fancy cars will include chemotherapy.

A Facebook campaign titled "Beautiful and Bald Barbie" initiated by Jane Bingham, a young survivor of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, asked Mattel to create a doll for kids who have lost their hair due to cancer or other medical reasons.

"One of the major reasons was to reduce the stigma for women and children who have hair loss — being not accepted to be able to go out in public without something covering their head, whether it be a wig or a scarf or that sort of thing," Bingham says. "Their beauty and their self-worth is not dependent upon their hair."

Mattel's initial response was cool: “Mattel doesn’t accept ideas from outside sources.” But after the campaign drew 158,000 likes and fans on social media recalled other Mattel initiatives like Tattoo Barbie, the toymaker relented, announcing the creation of the new (Friend of) Barbie doll by 2013. The toy comes accessorized with wigs, hats and scarves "to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience" said Mattel spokesman Alan Hilowitz. Continue reading...

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