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going green

Is Mattel Playing At More Than Green PR?

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 25, 2011 02:00 PM

After years of litigation between MGA and Mattel, with Barbie-maker Mattel charging copyright violation over the latter's Bratz line of dolls with a former employee, a court has finally found Mattel to be in the wrong.

The corporate espionage case has been brutal, with Mattel winning itself no sympathies with ad hominem attacks, referring to MGA as a "mediocre toy company."

On the (high) heels of news that it will be slammed by a $88 million court decision against it, Mattel is looking to positive areas, including playing nice with the environment with a new green initiative that was announced for Earth Day.Continue reading...

what girls want

Life-Size Barbie Sparks Body Image Debate

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 20, 2011 11:30 AM

Galia Slayen created the "life-size" Barbie (39" bust, 18" waist and 33" hips) above for an eating disorders awareness event at her college, and stirred up enough debate (she also blogged about it on the Huffington Post) that NBC's Today Show brought her on to talk about the impact the doll had on her growing up. 

“I’m not blaming Barbie [for her own eating disorder] — she’s one small factor, an environmental factor,” the 20-year-old Hamilton College, NY, student said in the segment, below. “I’m blond and blue-eyed and I figured that was what I was supposed to look like. She was my idol. It impacted the way I looked at myself.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Mattel, HBO and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 22, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Apple sues Amazon over term 'app store.'

AT&T may sell some assets as it prepares for regulatory battle for T-Mobile — which unveiled new devices for CTIA Wireless.

Google leads list of desired employers; faces French fine for privacy breach.

HBO plans miniseries on Dick Cheney.

Japan's official death toll tops 18,000.

Mattel celebrates Ken's 50th with web series and new focus separate from Barbie.

New York Times paywall content will be available within search engines; and NYT journalists also released by Libya.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Chrysler, Barbie, Spotify and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Aon plans to spend much of its big cash hoard to buy back shares.

Audi takes aim at toppling BMW.

Bank of America says home-loan business is recovering.

Barbie hits $3 billion in global annual sales as brand shutters China flagship.

Boeing gets a boost from China orders.

Cap’n Crunch gains guerrilla-fueled “success” in social media.

CBS, Warner Bros. and Charlie Sheen are at war, as Sheen apparently plans to sue post-firing.Continue reading...

Mattel Sends Barbie Packing in China

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 7, 2011 05:45 PM

Mattel today closed its flagship Barbie store in China, which opened with a splash less than two years ago.Continue reading...

brandcameo

Will Product Placement Remain Untangled?

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 6, 2010 04:15 PM

After waiting a week for all the world to see the latest Harry Potter film… twice, Disney's modern day Repunzel tale Tangled took the top spot at the box office. After a string of years of heavy product placement and brand "jokes" in animated films, a trend toward minimalist product placement in animated children's films has become mainstream. Did Tangled continue the trend or did Disney let down its hair and signal a return to onscreen selling?Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Barbie Aims to Inspire Girls

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 27, 2010 04:00 PM

Mattel has expanded its Barbie: I Can Be... campaign with new commercials (there's also a longer version and a making of video). The goal isn't just to sell its I Can Be line of career-minded Barbie dolls, but to inspire girls with real-life mentors such as 21-year-old professional surfer Stephanie Gilmore and kid rock star Marisa, a drummer who plays in a band with her brother.

Earlier this year, Mattel ran a mentoring program, pairing successful role models — such as Marie Wilson of the White House Project, engineer Yoky Matsuoka and fashion designer Rachel Roy — with young Barbie fans who entered a competition.

Barbie and her fans are still about frivolity and fun, however — check out designer Jonathan Adler's real-life Malibu Dream House after the jump. It's worth watching just for the contributions by Project Runway's Chris March.Continue reading...

kiddie brands

Barbie Helps Mattel Take Calculated Bet on Monster High

Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 26, 2010 04:30 PM

It doesn't seem like 2010 will be tough for the world's largest toymaker. Mattel should hit $6 billion in sales, and profits should increase over 40%. The company's stock price is currently more than twice what it was 12 to 18 months ago.

But Mattel CEO Robert Eckert takes nothing for granted. He sees 2010 as a challenging year because of rising costs, a falling euro (Mattel sells 46% of its toys outside the U.S.), and strong competition from its chief rival, Hasbro.

One of the big challenges that will determine Mattel's success, Eckert tells SmartMoney, is whether the toy company can "create new intellectual property that goes quickly beyond toys." He says Toy Story 3 is "a movie that toys are based on. Here, we'll start with toys and turn it into entertainment if all goes well."

Mattel's next big bet, Monster High (above) is unusual — it's not based on a TV, book, movie or other entertainment property, but it's an entirely original, standalone line.Continue reading...

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