Barbie's Bumpy Ride in China



Case Code : CLMM121
Publication date : 2016
Subject : Marketing Management
Industry : Toy Industry
Organization :Mattel Inc.
Length : 05 Pages
Teaching Note : Not Available


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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

The case “Barbie’s Bumpy Ride in China” talks about US-based toy company Mattel’s opening of a Barbie flagship store — the House of Barbie — in Shanghai, China. The case starts out by providing details about the company; its launch in Sanghai, China; and its products such as children’s bedroom furniture and young women’s clothes in a 36,000-sq ft six-story building. The case then documents the reasons due to which Barbie was unable to impress the Chinese, leading to the closure of its flagship store in 2011. Further, the case also talks about the relaunching of Barbie in 2013. It concludes with an insight from experts and upper level managers on whether Barbie will make a successful comeback in China.


To understand international marketing strategies.
To get to know about marketing strategies in developing countries.
To understand relaunching and rebranding of products.


US - based Mattel Inc. (Mattel), the world’s largest toy company as of 2016, was founded in 1945 by Elliot and Ruth Handler (Ruth). As of 2016, the company designed, manufactured, marketed, and distributed a large variety of toys in 150 nations. The Mattel family comprised best-selling products such as Barbie , the most popular fashion doll ever produced; Hot Wheels, car and racing games; Monster High which included products such as toys, play sets, video games, and TV Specials; American Girl – 18-inch dolls of various ethnicities; Thomas & Friends, a remote control toy train; and the Fisher-Price brand for infants and children, including Little People and Power Wheels. Mattel also produced a wide range of entertainment inspired toy lines based on various characters from Disney and Sesame Street and games such as Scrabble and UNO...

Key words:
Mattel,Barbie dolls,Toy industry,Market research,International marketing strategies,Market entry strategy,Relaunching,Brand Decline,Rebranding,Brand Repositioning,Market failure,Emerging markets,China,Localization

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