Meet Entrepreneur Barbie

Jessica Roy with some big news out of the Manhattan Toy Fair this week, folks:

Mattel’s newest Barbie is an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur of what, exactly? Who knows, but check out her cute little iPad!

After pursuing over 150 careers, Mattel announced at Toy Fair this week that Barbie would be starting her own company. The mystery-startup-running go-getter is dressed in a neon-pink dress with black heels and a black belt, and comes with her own smartphone and tablet.

Much like many real life entrepreneurs, Entrepreneur Barbie seems to have little idea of what her company actually does.”

Teehee! Linda Lacina at Entrepreneur provides some nice context:

The iconic fashion doll has held more than 150 of careers during her reign, many of them ceiling breakers. She was an astronaut before any American, male or female, had landed on the moon. She’s became president in 1992, a title we’re still waiting for a real-life woman to share.

…Really, the entrepreneur doll seems the latest evolution of the career doll that’s been part of the line since 1963. With nearly 8.6 million female business owners, it’s not a stretch that the new career for women is one she forges herself.

Of course, when Career Girl Barbie launched in her tweed suit and elbow length gloves, “career girl” were still considered dirty words. In her heyday, Barbie was often the lone toy in the girl aisle introducing girls to choices they might not otherwise think they had. When she graduated in the early ‘60s, only 42.5 percent of women 25 and older held high school degrees. Only 5.8 percent of women in that age group held a bachelor’s degree.

Apparently sales of Barbie were down 13% in 2013. Pretty soon pressure from the board could mean Barbie will have to either think about a well-timed PIVOT or else raise another round to get some extra runway. (I am so sorry.)



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