- Posted by Johanna on May 18, 2006 at 8:41 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
Others have talked about this news story about collector Barbies.
Designed to be peered at rather than played with, the [Way Out West] gal is the first in a series of Barbie “Pin-Up Girls,” modeled after the now-kitschy images that embodied the idea of sex and romance in the 1950s, when many of today’s baby-boomer buyers were growing up.
What I found interesting, though, was the similarities between what’s being done with Barbie and what’s been done with superhero comics over the past few years. More sex to jazz up a declining product line? I’ve heard this before:
Longtime collector Shantel Ballard of Thornton, whose 1,000 Barbies brand her as a serious customer, says it would be smart of Mattel to aggressively pursue the adult market. “For every 5-, 6- or 7-year-old who gets a Barbie that costs under $10, you’ve got a woman my age (41) who has income and can pay $50, $75 or even $250 for a doll,” says Ballard
Older comic fans say the same thing, which is why we now have $50 hardcover collections of stories that weren’t that good the first time around. Selling fewer, more expensive products to a shrinking group of older collectors is the strategy comics adopted as well, which led us into years of debating whether kids should be reading comics. With Barbies, kids have moved on as well — Bratz dolls are the manga of toys.