Here at L. Royalty we have always loved all things Barbie– she’s more than just a legendary toy, but a trendsetter in fashion, and her influence is only getting bigger. This week, we’ll be catching up on new developments with this classic doll!
First, we have the announcement of a new reality competition show focusing on the doll: Barbie Fashion Battle. In it, 12 up-and-coming designers will be creating miniature fashion collections to dress the iconic doll. The winner of this competition will receive a cash prize, as well as the opportunity to design a line of dolls that will be sold online with new e-commerce platform Mattel Creations.
Mattel Creations is the name of a new division of Mattel that was formed this year in celebration of their 75th anniversary, and according to the brand, it was created to “develop limited edition co-branded product and capsule collections with fashion designers, entertainment properties and artists”.
This is part of an effort on the company’s part to engage with toys not only as a product to be sold to children, but as a form of art as well. They’ve already had partnerships like a Hot Wheels toy that was made in collaboration with outdoors brand Hershel and Land Rover vehicles and a deck of Uno cards designed by streetwear brand The Hundreds.
This platform was originally going to launch in the beginning of 2021 with pop-up shops in New York, London, Milan, and Tokyo, but due to COVID-19 these plans were cancelled in lieu of an entirely online opening. Throughout the year, you can expect a new special-edition toy to drop every two weeks.
These new initiatives from Mattel mark an effort to make collector’s items for a more adult audience and a continuation of the brand’s dedication to staying relevant over the years. In a recent interview, Mattel President and CEO Richard Dickinson discussed the new direction they have been taking. He was asked about Barbie Vlogs, a Youtube webseries Mattel has created starring Barbie. This daily programming talks about real-world issues like race, gender, and more in terms that kids can understand.
According to Dickinson, “We want to make sure we invest in Barbie narratives that work to empower girls, inspire them to believe they can be anything, and that deal with real current issues. The Barbie Blogger is a great example of dealing with current issues that may have no product associated with them, but the equity and brand affiliation exponentially drives goodwill, which we believe drives better brand equity and conversion into product sales.”
What are you most excited to see in Barbie’s future? What do you think of the intersection between fashion, toys and collectibles? Be sure to let us know in the comments!