Updates / News

Barbie Sales Grow 30% in Q3 2020; How the Fashionista Line Has Helped to Restore the Barbie Brand

I don’t know if its the savvy investor or the marketing professional in me, but I love reading Mattel’s quarterly financial results. This morning I was reading through their Q3 results and I wanted to share some key findings:

  • Mattel’s gross sales are up $1.8 billion (nice!)
  • Mattel’s growth outpaced the industry, gaining key market share in international markets
  • Supply chain is now fully operational after COVID-19
  • Barbie gross sales grew by 30%
  • Mattel has 25+ film / TV projects in development, including more Barbie: Dreamhouse Adventures
  • There will be a Chelsea Netflix special in 2021 (personally I couldn’t care less, but its great for brand growth)
  • Advertising expenses is down 40%, spending only $130 million in Q3 2020 compared to $170 million in Q3 2019
  • SG&A (selling, general and administrative) expenses are also down 6%
  • This is good as it helps to keep costs down and profits high 😎

I also wanted to share part of Richard Dickson’s speech at the Toy Fair Analyst Meeting back in February 2020. This can help us to understand why Barbie’s sales are growing. It’s a really interesting read!

(If you don’t know, Richard is part of the Executive Leadership Team, as President and Chief Operating Officer. #corporategoals).

“Probably the most important accelerator of the Barbie business these past few years has been the brand’s groundbreaking Fashionistas line. It is a perfect example of how we’re activating major trends to really resonate with our consumer.

Today, without question, Barbie has the most diverse line of dolls in the world.

And diversity is resonating – as we see girls increasingly gravitate toward dolls that reflect the world they see around them – from shape and colour to ability. The Fashionistas segment has grown double digits over the past few years and accelerated diversity across all segments of the brand from careers to fairytale and family.

Last year, more than half of all Barbie dolls sold represented diversity – both growing the size of Barbie collections, and bringing new consumers to the brand. We take tremendous pride in seeing kids empowered by a doll they can truly relate to. The emotional impact of this line has been incredibly moving and motivating.

Barbie’s Estate line is one of the largest volume segments of the brand, and this year Barbie’s favorite toys – dream houses, campers, planes, cars – will have refreshed looks and a particularly strong lineup.

We are particularly excited about a new platform that we are developing that opens multiple pathways to growth, and which will play a major role in the franchise’s future. We’re calling it Barbie Family. The Barbie Family will be an incredible world of new narratives, characters, and form factors. It is an important and exciting step toward long-term growth for the brand.

Each of Barbie’s famous relatives and friends – like Stacy, Skipper, Scooter, Chelsea and Ken – represents a brand in the making, and a major growth opportunity.”

Okay, let’s just pause for a second – firstly, who the heck is Scooter? I recognise the name (one of Skipper’s friends from the 80s, maybe?) but I haven’t heard it in a long time. I wouldn’t say they are one of Barbie’s “famous” relatives and friends, though! Doesn’t anyone check these things??

Secondly, its interesting that when we look at the “Barbie Family” picture, we can see many of Barbie’s friends who we haven’t seen in a long time:

  • Blissa (from my understanding, hasn’t been since LitD)
  • Raquelle and Ryan (haven’t been seen since LitD / 2013 “Style Party” Fashionista wave)
  • Midge (hasn’t been seen since the Barbie Style line and Barbie and the Great Puppy Adventure)
  • Summer (hasn’t been seen since the 2013 “Style Party” Fashionista Wave)

Is this because the people putting the presentation together don’t know that these dolls are not produced anymore? Or because they are making a comeback?

Anyway. Nonetheless! It’s great to see that Barbie is heading in a good direction. When the brand is strong, then that means more products for us!

2 thoughts on “Barbie Sales Grow 30% in Q3 2020; How the Fashionista Line Has Helped to Restore the Barbie Brand

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