The Success of Barbie *



Case Code : SCMKTG057
Publication date :2005
Subject : Subject :Marketing
Industry :Toys
Length : 7 Pages


INR 300;

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

The case examines the evolution of the Barbie doll over the years from its launch in 1959. It explores the product development strategies adopted by Mattel for Barbie and the reasons for the success of Barbie. The case also explores changes in Barbie's image along with the changes in American society. The criticism leveled against Barbie by feminists has also been described. The case also examines the challenges that Barbie could face in the future with the launch of Disney Princess.


Gain insights into the challenges faced by traditional playthings, such as dolls, in the Internet age.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Analysts observed that Barbie, the icon of American culture, reflected changes in American society. Analyze the changes in Barbie's image over the years.
2. Analysts attributed Barbie's success to the Mattel's innovative product development. They pointed out that Mattel's product development reflected changing cultural patterns in American society. Analyze the role played by product development in Barbie's success.
3. According to analysts technological innovations and the availability of various other forms of entertainment were turning young girls away from traditional playthings such as dolls. In this scenario, discuss the future of Barbie. Do you think Barbie will be able to retain its dominance? Justify your answer.

Key words:
Evolution, Barbie doll, years, 1959, product development, Mattel, Barbie, Barbie, image, American society, feminists, Disney Princess

*Note : This case is a simplified version of a longer case study, and is intended for learners for whom English is a foreign language. The longer version of this case study (MKTG057) is available at: