OK, Hillary Duff is the new big thing in the world of Barbie. I'm not feeling the Hillary Duff magic touch. Maybe it's just me.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
By LISA TSERINGIndia-West Staff Reporter
Here's the sketch of one of Robert Best's designs from Project Runway Season 3. Robert was my choice to win but I won't go there again on this blog. I love this dress and I can visualize it on a Silkstone.
Even in middle age, Barbie's a stunner.
Barbie, introduced in 1959, helped boost Mattel 's third quarter sales 7%, driving its stock to a 52-week high on Monday.
The company cited strong sales of Barbie, which the company calls a "fashion" doll, Little People, TMX Elmo and toys related to "Cars," an animated film released by Walt Disney (nyse: DIS - news - people )'s Pixar.
TMX Elmo is the tenth anniversary edition of Sesame Street's popular Elmo doll and is marketed by Mattel unit Fischer Price.
"We think that in the near term, Mattel stock will trade on the fortunes of Barbie, the company's most important and most iconic product in its line," Gerrick Johnson, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said in a research report. "While other product lines can generate marginal and incremental sales and profit, we think investor focus will remain on Barbie for some time. Barbie is still in turnaround mode, but we think the brand is gaining some momentum."
Johnson believes Mattel can generate earnings per share of $1.25 in 2006, $1.40 in 2007 and $1.55 in 2008. The estimates include the Radica Games (nasdaq: RADA - news - people ) acquisition announced earlier this month, which the analyst believes will add about five cents a share in annual earnings.
BMO Capital Markets maintained an "outperform" on Mattel.
"We view the rest of the 2006 product line positively and think the company is picking up market share and shelf space and that the company's financial performance will reflect this strong product performance," Johnson said.
The toy maker's sales figures included a 5% gain in domestic sales and a 12% increase in international sales.
Mattel reported third-quarter net income of $239 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $225.3 million, or 55 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. Current earnings beat Wall Street's consensus by one cent.
Net sales for the third quarter were $1.7 billion, up about 7% from the same period a year ago.
Mattel closed Monday at $21.30, up 60 cents or 2.9%. The 52-week range is $14.52 to $20.75.
Monday, October 16, 2006
New Barbie Doll Could Teach Children About Breast Cancer
Mon Oct 2, 5:00 PM ET
A new Barbie doll aims to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.
Mattel Inc. has partnered with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to create the Pink Ribbon Barbie doll and the foundation will receive at least $100,000 from the toy company as part of the new partnership.
"The Pink Ribbon Barbie doll celebrates the incredible strength, beauty and resilience of women," Mattel announced in a statement Monday. "The doll's beautiful pink gown with attached pink ribbon proudly underscores Barbie doll's support for the cause."
The company said the new doll could be used to teach children about breast cancer. The dolls cost about $24.95 in retail stores like Target and Wal-Mart, the company said.
"Developing breast cancer is undoubtedly difficult for those diagnosed, but many times can be just as daunting for the people who love them," said Liz Grampp, director of marketing, Mattel. "Barbie doll has traditionally provided a great way for mothers, and even grandmothers, to connect with their daughters."
Monday, October 16, 2006 2:48:07 AM ET
Wedbush Morgan Securities
NEW YORK, October 16 (newratings.com) - Analyst Sean McGowan of Wedbush Morgan initiates coverage of Mattel Inc (MAT.NYS) with a "buy" rating.
The 12-month target price is set to $25.In a research note published on October 13, the analyst mentions that Barbie has stabilized and is poised to generate growth from 2007 onwards. Pressures related to commodity costs also seem to have stabilized, the analyst says. Mattel is likely to continue to buyback shares going ahead in view of the company’s robust cash flows and balance sheet, Wedbush Morgan adds.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Joanne Sasvari, Calgary HeraldPublished: Friday, October 06, 2006
As a designer, Robert Best loves luxurious fabrics and glamorous fashions. He adores beautiful colours, fine details and exquisite accessories.
“I’m always grounded in a certain esthetic or style. I’m a purist, a classicist,” says Best. “I’m not going to be Mr. Crazy-Over-the-Top.”
Unfortunately for women who lust after his luscious clothing, he designs for just one woman, and she happens to be 29 centimetres tall, made of resin and occasionally ends up in the bottom of the toy box, minus a limb or two.
Best is the fashion designer for Mattel Inc.’s Barbie doll. He is also famous for his appearance this past season on Bravo’s Project Runway, the reality TV show that follows a bunch of competing fashion designers. He made it more than halfway through before being cut.
“Project Runway was cool,” he said at a recent Barbie convention in Calgary. “It was an exhausting, gruelling schedule and you’re being filmed constantly. You’re in this hotbed of insanity and competition. There is a tendency to come unglued a little.”
The whole time he was on the show, he was aware that he represented Mattel: “I didn’t want to be the crazy designer who trash-talks everyone else. I just tried to make it about the work.”
Best joined Mattel 11 years ago after working in New York’s fashion industry for five years, most recently for Isaac Mizrahi.
“I just reached a point where I was suffering from fashion burnout,” he says with a shrug.
A friend suggested that, since his sketches always looked like Barbie anyway, he should consider working at Mattel. So he did.
Now he designs the highly sought after Barbie Fashion Model Collection, a series more likely to be kept in a display cabinet than a toy box.
And while Barbie herself may never complain that, say, a certain design makes her bum look too big, the job definitely has its challenges.
“I think the biggest challenge in designing for Barbie is the scale. You’re designing for an 11 1/2-inch doll,” Best says.
“Surprisingly, in Barbie land, certain things, really fine details like pintucking, aren’t going to have the same effect.”
Then there’s the problem of scaling materials down to Barbie size. While buckles, beads, jewelry and so on can be miniaturized, fabric can’t.
“There aren’t tiny looms to weave Barbie scale,” Best says.
Instead, for impact, he uses colour, texture, feathers and fake fur. “And, of course, who doesn’t like sparkle?”
The process begins when he comes up with a sketch for a design. Next, he turns to his sample maker, Nini Tun.
“She’s the point person for everything,” he says. “I show her a sketch and she really understands how I want that to come to life.”
Once Tun has created her sample, they visit the face and hair people who help determine what the doll should look like, whether she should have blue eyes and platinum hair, for instance, or green eyes and red hair.
“It’s a very head-to-toe thing. It’s not just fashion,” Best says.
After that, the rest of the team crafts the accessories, the jewelry, shoes, handbag, and so on. Then, he says, “All of these details have to be translated into an actual product.”
Although the design process is quick — about two weeks from sketch to prototype — it can take Barbie two years to get from concept to toy store.
The most recent collection Best has created is the 2007 Barbie Fashion Model Collection Hollywood.
“I don’t think there’s anything that represents old world glamour as well as the golden era of Hollywood,” he says. Besides, he adds, “L.A. is Barbie’s home, so it seemed kind of natural.”
The collection features glamorous clothes that many real women would love to own, among them a Sarah Jessica Parkerish pink dress and a red-and-leopard ensemble complete with Balenciaga-esque handbag.
Luckily, he says, designing for Barbie lets him really explore his fashion esthetic: “They’ve given me a very sort of carte blanche approach. We try to switch it up every year and make sure it’s unique.”
Unique, and very tiny.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
India Infoline News Service / Mumbai Oct 07, 2006 18:02
Portico has license from Mattel (Toys) India Ltd for Barbie in India. Portico presents a girly collection of bed linen in soft pinks to bright reds, with the focus on the pretty Barbie. Just as girls dress their Barbie dolls in anything that sparkles, she loves to hear bedtime stories. Her home is her universe and her room her favorite place. Portico’s collection of Barbie Bed linen makes all her dreams come true! The fabric is 100 per cent cotton. The designs are available with center motif/ panel printing in reactive. The prints are photographic with the image of Barbie shining on the bed sheet and pillowcases. There is also a set available with 1 bed sheet + 1 pillowcase + 1 cushion. The designs include: Ballerina, Planet Smile and Mermaidia.
Rajiv Merchant, CEO-Portico (Domestic Business), Creative Mobus Fabrics Ltd., said, “Each Indian girl grows with Barbie, which is a fun, friendship and fashion lifestyle brand, targeted towards girls 3 plus years old with cool, trendy, fashion forward, glamorous attitude and the response to new collection is extremely good.
The new collections will be available at all leading home textile / furnishing outlets as well as large format stores. The price range of the Portico kids range starts Rs1099 and goes upto Rs3,499.
The collection has been carefully chosen to capture the latest interest of girls, in terms of fantasy.
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times
Last updated 09:54pm (Mla time) 10/12/2006
Published on page I3 of the October 13, 2006 issue of the Philippines Daily Inquirer
DID you know that as incentive, actor Cesar Montano dangled three Barbie dolls so that his daughter Angelina wouldn’t throw tantrums on the set of their TV commercial.
The TV ad’s staff also had a roomful of toys on stand by.
Needless to say, the shoot went smoothly.
* * *
Toy buyer Joel Magee says many toys turn out to be worth more than their owners think, especially ones in good condition. Here's what's hot right now:
• Barbie -- A "No. 1" Barbie from 1959 can fetch $5,000 or more, depending on its condition. Other Barbies are valuable as well, particularly "ponytail" Barbies -- those with a top-knot ponytail and tightly curled bangs.
To tell if your Barbie is an original, look for several distinct features -- round holes with copper tubes in the bottom of her feet; eyes with black outlines and a bit of blue eye shadow; arched, not rounded, eyebrows; and irises that are white, not blue, as in later dolls. The No. 1 Barbie, the first one ever made, wore a black and white swimsuit.
• Hot Wheels -- Hot, hot, hot. Although not all Hot Wheels cars are valuable, the going rate for cars issued between 1968 and 1973 is between $40 and $100. Rarer cars can trade for $500 and more. (Again, though, condition is everything.)
• Metal lunch boxes -- Old-style tin lunch boxes, with or without the Thermos -- particularly those featuring television or movie characters
• Superheroes -- Anything featuring vintage Batman, Superman, Green Hornet, Avengers and the like
• "TV" toys -- Anything that features characters from television shows of the 1970s and earlier, such as "Lost in Space," "Leave it to Beaver," "Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "Star Trek," "Gilligan's Island" and "The Addams Family"
• Saucy Walker dolls -- These dolls, manufactured by the Ideal toy company, can fetch hundreds of dollars. At a recent show in Topeka, Magee paid $500 for a Saucy Walker doll in the original box.
• Random parts -- Even broken toys can be valuable. Collectors often seek heads, limbs and random parts from vintage dolls, action figures or playsets to complete their collections.
UP AND COMERS
The toy market fluctuates greatly, so you never know what might turn out to be a hot collectible. Even so, Magee said some toys' value is almost certain to grow. Among them:
• Fisher-Price Little People (older wooden characters and playsets, as well as plastic ones from the 1970s and beyond)
• Star Wars action figures, playsets and anything related to the original movie
• Specialty dolls from the 1970s and beyond, such as Baby That-a-way and Cathy Quick-Curl
• Television character toys, such as Steve Austin ("Six Million Dollar Man")
Just because something is old doesn't mean it's valuable, Magee said. If a company makes millions of the same toy without changing it over the years, such as Monopoly, its value diminishes.
Here are some examples of toys you probably shouldn't bother getting appraised:
• Old board games, such as Monopoly and Scrabble
• Beanie Babies
• Generic versions of collectible dolls (most vintage dolls are identifiable by a distinct mark on the back of their necks)
• "Knockoff" toys, such as Lego-style building toys that aren't actually Legos.
• Riding toys such as rocking horses, tricycles and scooters, don't have much resale value, Magee said. Old pedal cars and tractors are more popular.
• Promotional or trinket dolls from the 1930s and '40s. Many of these dolls, such as the All-American Girl series, were given away as promotions in almost every small-town grocery store in the country, Magee said. They may be old and look "vintage," he said, but they're not rare.
Have a pink day!