THE "NOT-SO" NEWS/JBLA: Mattel Inc. Strategizing Barbie Comeback...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mattel Inc. Strategizing Barbie Comeback...

Where is she now seems to be the question on peoples mind.

Immortalized over the years by millions of children, the once iconic doll has fallen on hard times, according to reports, but officials at Mattel Inc., are hoping that Chuck Scothon, recently hand selected to head up the girls division, will come up with a plan to revitalize Barbies comeback.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times as many as 50 employees from the doll division have been sequestered in a hotel room somewhere in Anaheim for a 'brainstorming session' in hopes of coming up with some new ideas to lure customers back to the Barbie fold.

The doll, once a staple in every little girls room is rapidly losing her appeal with competitor brands such as the big headed Bratz Dolls, who are giving her a run for the money, as well as the trend that is shifting customers towards the electronic market at a much younger age.

Officials would not confirm or deny that the sagging sales were due in fact to a bout of depression Barbie fell victim to after she and long time beau, Ken, parted ways a few years ago citing irreconcilable differences.

Rumors began spreading rapidly after their breakup became public knowledge.

Some folks swear they saw her living out of her bashed up corvette in an alley way in South Central Los Angeles, while others swore they'd seen her emerging dirty and disheveled from various homeless shelters across the Southland.

One 13-year-old who cannot be identified because she is a minor said that she caught a glimpse of Barbie down near the boardwalk in Venice while walking home late one afternoon last month.

"My friend and I were shocked when we came across her RV," the young girl said. "I thought she was still making millions of dollars. It's kind of sad because she looked tired and haggard, like she hadn't eaten or taken a shower in a long time."

She said that when they approached the dirty little doll she bolted and locked herself inside the trailer and would not respond to their offer of help.

"I felt really bad just leaving her out there like that but my mom always told me that you can only help those who wants to be helped," the young girl said with tears running down her cheeks. "Every so often my friend and I go back there and leave a little basket filled with basic necessities like shampoo and soap and clean towels."

Attempts to reach Ken for comment were all directed to his publicist who would only state that Ken was on an extended yachting trip with his life partner and would not be available for comment until sometime next fall.

Report filed by JBLA/The Not-So News June 2006

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