Retailers, consumers and prices
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.
Check out the fun and games at Mattel.
The maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toy cars posted better-than expected quarterly earnings Friday.
But the real boon for the company was its victory over Bratz doll maker MGA Entertainment in a copyright infringement lawsuit.
A federal jury found that Carter Bryant, who created the popular Bratz dolls had come up with the characters and name while he was still under contract as a designer for Barbie at Mattel.
Mattel is seeking huge damages and an injunction to stop MGA from selling Bratz, the multi-ethnic, big-headed dolls that have cut into Barbie sales. MGA has argued that the dolls themselves were different than Carter’s drawings and were made by MGA designers … an issue that will be a big part of the damages phase of the trial.
So the two companies will keep fighting over their dolls.
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