Retailers, consumers and prices
Mattel launches My Meebas as Barbie stumbles
What would Mattel wish for if it had one wish to make? The launch of the toy giant’s “My Meebas” points to one possibility — better fortunes for its girl’s toy business, as Barbie sales continue to face trouble.
Mattel launched “My Meebas” — a toy for girls aged 6 to 12 that houses a plush “Meeba” in a plastic tube, which serves as a gaming device with a movable LCD screen.
The toy is aimed at the latest generation of girls, who like plush toys but are also into electronic games, Mattel said. The launch comes at a time when Mattel is struggling to revive sales in its girl’s division, best known for its iconic Barbie dolls. Sales of Barbie have suffered in past quarters, as other toys such as “Hannah Montana” and Bratz steal market share.
The “Meebas”, also made in China like many other toys, will retail for $19.99, while a Barbie “Top Model” doll can be bought for $14.97 at Wal-Mart. The toys have gone through extensive checks, Mattel said, following the spate of recalls last year.
With a “Meeba,” the idea is for a user to buy the toy as they make a wish, and then go through seven levels of game play, or over 20 activities, which could take anywhere from seven to 12 hours, according to Mattel.
The LCD screen can be moved up and down the side of the tube, showing how the “Meeba” grows as game progresses.
Once all activities are completed, the tube pops open, and the user can pull out their ”Meeba” — in a sign meant to signify that the user’s wish has finally been granted.
If the user buys another Meeba, maybe Mattel’s wish will get granted as well.
The company has 60 such “Meebas” listed under categories such as friendship, love and intelligence.
The bonus? Some tubes have twin Meebas.
Watch out girls! (And make a wish, Mattel.)