Barbie(TM) celebrates 50 years

          Study finds growing up with Barbie makes an impression on
                               Canadian women

    TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - From rock star to presidential candidate,
Barbie(TM) has been a little girl's dream for 50 years. A cultural icon,
Barbie is unapologetically glam, living a fun and fabulous lifestyle filled
with fashion and beauty. Not created to be your average woman, Ruth Handler
designed her in 1959 to be a doll through which girls could live out their
    Globally recognized, Barbie has had an impact on pop culture. In fact,
according to a recent Harris/Decima survey, one-in-three (27%) Canadian women
agree that Barbie's ongoing popularity stands her greatest achievement and a
whopping 56 per cent of Canadian women think Barbie has had an important
impact on popular culture.
    "A true icon, in the last 50 years Barbie has evolved from teen model to
fashion maven to modern working woman" says Reidin Goode, senior marketing
manager, Mattel Canada. "Easily the most popular doll in Canada, Barbie
inspires girls to make dreams come alive with a little imagination."
    A cross-country survey of Canadian women, conducted by Harris/Decima
discovered that Canada is a Barbie-loving nation. Women of every generation
grew up with Barbie. In fact, seven-in-10 (69%) Canadian women played with
Barbie when they were young. This number increases to 95 per cent with women
aged 18 to 34. Perhaps due to sentimental value, one-in-four (25%) Canadian
women still own Barbie dolls they used to play with as a child, indicating
that at any age, it's cool to play Barbies!
    "She's my favourite girl," says Margaret Matsui, a Barbie collector for
the last 20 years. "She's more than just a toy, Barbie is the doll that every
girl, of all ages, just has to have. Her various careers and personas make her
a fun, powerful female role model."
    With unapologetic glamour, Barbie has embodied virtually every style
imaginable from classic Audrey Hepburn to '80s rocker. Like any true
fashionista, Barbie's true love of fashion can be seen on her feet. Throughout
her lifetime, Barbie has worn over one billion pairs of shoes. The survey
revealed that just like Barbie, Canadian women love shoes; in fact,
one-in-four (26%) Canadian women currently own 11 to 20 pairs.
    A snapshot of style and grace through the decades, in 2009, the original
fashionista makes dreams a reality for women who played out their love of
fashion and beauty through their favourite doll. In celebration of her 50th
anniversary, Mattel Canada has collaborated with Canadian designer brands
including fashion designer David Dixon, bath and body line Cake Beauty,
jewellery house Foxy Originals, home and décor expert Glenn Dixon and retailer
Town Shoes to create product lines inspired by Barbie. This March, Mattel
Canada will also give Canadians the opportunity to share their favourite
Barbie memories and learn more about the last 50 years on a new section of the website, built specifically for her grown-up fans.
    "Our program is about paying tribute to Barbie and celebrating her
success with Canadian women who grew up loving her," says Goode. "A fashion
and beauty icon, we collaborated with five key Canadian brands, who, like
Barbie are leading the way in their industry and are known for their
unapologetic glam."
    The original billboard for "girl power", Barbie has inspired several
generations of girls to dream, discover and explore a world without limits and
continues to find new ways to inspire and encourage the next generation.

    Other poll highlights include:

    Wanna Play Barbies: Canadian women owned three to five Barbie dolls (36%)
and one-in-four women who played with and owned Barbie dolls as a child still
have these dolls today. Survey results show that coast to coast the majority
of Canadian women played with Barbie when they were young. Seventy per cent of
women in Atlantic Canada, 71 per cent of women in Quebec, 68 per cent of women
in Ontario, 60 per cent of women in Manitoba/Saskatchewan, and 66 per cent of
women in British Columbia played with Barbies when they were young. Barbie was
the most popular in Alberta, where seventy-three per cent of women played with
Barbies when they were young.

    I wish they all could be California Girls: Canadian women selected Malibu
Barbie as their all-time favourite Barbie doll (almost one in five). Malibu
Barbie came out in 1971. Now, Canadians can get their hands on Malibu Barbie
as she is once again available on store shelves to celebrate Barbie's 50th

    Barbie and I can do anything: Barbie's career paths have been in line
with girls' dreams and aspirations. Remembering back to age seven, Canadian
women said their top career choices were being a teacher (20%), nurse (13%)
and veterinarian (9%) - Barbie has been all of these. Barbie has had over 100
careers while just under half (43%) of Canadian women have had four to six

    Starstruck: More than half of Canadian women think Barbie has had an
impact on popular culture (56%) and here's proof:
    -  Barbie and the Rockers were one of the original female musical groups
    -  Barbie clothing and accessories have drawn from top fashion designers
       and inspired budding trendsetters
    -  Barbie outdoor and sporting goods influence young athletes everywhere.
       Barbie has been a professional athlete and Olympian
    -  Barbie and her ex-boyfriend Ken were one of the most well-recognized
       couples in Hollywood
    -  Barbie is a movie star, most recently starring in Barbie and the
       Diamond Castle

    Haute Couture: In 50 years Barbie has worn some of the world's most
notable designers including: Badgley Mischka, Bob Mackie, Calvin Klein,
Christian Dior, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Gucci, Oscar
de la Renta, Reem Acra, Versace, Vera Wang and Zac Posen. Adding to this
already impressive list, designer Jeremy Scott will design a one-of-a-kind
Barbie that will be showcased with his Barbie-inspired collection in Paris.

    Breaking up is hard to do: Fifty eight per cent of women surveyed are
married or living common-law. Barbie and Ken ended their long-term
relationship in 2004, however remain good friends.

    Tell your Barbie story: Beginning in March, Canadians can visit
to find out more about Barbie and share their personal Barbie story with

    About the Survey

    The following survey was conducted by Harris/Decima from September 9th,
2008 to September 14th, 2008 using eVox, Harris/Decima's proprietary online
panel among a sample of 1,000 Canadian women 18 years of age and older. This
was a standard panel survey among a random sample of Harris/Decima's female
Canadian panel members. Panel members were selected at random, according to
population and gender specifications, in order to make the study
representative of the Canadian population by region and gender. When contacted
to solicit participation, participants had no prior knowledge of the subject
matter of the study. Harris/Decima controls access to the study through
passwords to ensure that respondents can participate only one time.

    About Mattel

    Mattel, Inc., (NYSE:   MAT, is the worldwide leader in the
design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel
family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie(TM), the most
popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels(R), Matchbox(R), American
Girl(R), Radica:(R) and Tyco(R) R/C, as well as Fisher-Price(R) brands,
including Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and a wide array of
entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of the 100 Most
Trustworthy U.S. Companies by Forbes Magazine and is ranked among the 100 Best
Corporate Citizens by CRO Magazine. Committed to ethical manufacturing
practices, Mattel marks a 10-year milestone in 2007 for its ever-evolving
Global Manufacturing Principles and focus on sustainable business practices.
With global headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than
30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than
150 nations. Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy brands - today
and tomorrow.
    Visit and click on the Canadian flag to learn more
about Barbie 50th initiatives in Canada and throughout the world.

For further information:

For further information: Gabrielle Totesau, GCI Group, (416) 486-2563,; Kim Roman, GCI Group, (416) 486-7228,

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Mattel Canada, Inc.

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