During the past 41 years, many of Mattel’s Barbie-glam items have come to girl-sized fruition via licensed products, the latest incarnation being a new beauty line and a revamped bath line. The result of a licensing agreement with New Jersey-based Cosrich Group, the new range consists of shampoo, bubble bath and body wash, lip shimmers, nail color and body glitters, all geared to the eight and up crowd.
Ila Oldakowski, product manager for Barbie Consumer Products, says the renewed focus on the personal care sector is due to sales declining in the overall bath merch category. Oldakowski says there was a need take a more fashion-driven approach: ‘We noticed the girls are getting older, younger, and they’ve outgrown character-driven brands, yet they’re too young for the teen cosmetics. So we wanted to develop something that was kid-demanded and mother-approved.’
After several focus groups involving girls and moms, the new line was launched at the end of July and is now available at most drug stores and mass market retailers in North America, ranging in price from US$2.50 to US$6. The translucent packaging of the bath line, coined the `flex-pouch,’ has handles that become a bracelet with a flower charm. Oldakowski says: ‘We wanted to create an added value to the product and make it collectible so the consumer has a reason to buy more.’
As to keeping the news coming, Oldakowski says: ‘We plan to add new colors and flavors to the lines every quarter to keep them fresh and new.’ Retail promos around Thanksgiving, with special holiday gift packs, are scheduled.