CNN/Money One for credit card only hard offer form at $9.95 One for risk-free form at $14.95 w/ $9.95 upsell  

Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

News > Fortune 500
Aussie hunk wins Barbie's heart
Mattel says popular doll finds new love from Australia to replace the dumped Ken.
June 29, 2004: 11:41 AM EDT
By Joseph Lee, CNN/Money Staff Writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If Britney and J. Lo can replace love so easily, so can Barbie.

Blaine doll, left, is Barbie's new love.  
Blaine doll, left, is Barbie's new love.

The popular doll from Mattel Inc. (MAT: down $0.16 to $18.09, Research, Estimates) has a new love in her life, an Australian surfer named Blaine, the world's largest toymaker said Tuesday.

Over the past few weeks, Mattel said more than 2 million people worldwide logged on to to help the world's most famous plastic-looking girl choose a new beau after Ken, her previous long-term boyfriend, was ditched earlier this year.

The Blaine doll was the undisputed winner, the company said.

After 43 years as one of the world's best-looking couples, Mattel announced the breakup of Barbie and Ken in February. But some experts saw the move by Mattel was purely "a publicity stunt."

"It's certainly getting grown-ups like you talking about Barbie, and the metaphor that they are using reflects the majority of people's fascination with celebrity," said Chris Byrne, an independent toy consultant.

Weak U.S. doll sales and a lackluster retail environment have hurt Mattel's profits recently. Adding some new romance to Barbie's closely watched personal life, Mattel not only raises Barbie's profile but also the awareness of Mattel's brand name, he said.

"On one level, the Hollywood-like romance is tongue-in-cheek. But on the other level, it means serious business," Byrne added.

Mattel reported in April that first-quarter profit dropped 73 percent on lower sales of its Barbie doll brand and higher administrative and sales costs, despite an increase in overall worldwide sales.

Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.

Mattel also gave a murky outlook, saying it wouldn't be clear until 2005 whether new merchandising strategies were effective.

Despite their highly publicized breakup, Mattel said Barbie and Ken remain friends and will make an appearance in an upcoming film.

The popular Mattel doll, created and named "Barbie Millicent Roberts" in 1959, has played every role from a nurse to pop music idol, and she's available for sale in more than 150 countries, according to the toy company.

Mattel said the Blaine doll will be available in August at a suggested retail price of $14.95.  Top of page

  More on NEWS
This company could power the world for 65 billion years
Trans-Pacific trade pact: Negotiators try to finally get it done
Hillary Clinton does Trump impression on 'SNL'
These bad money habits are keeping you from getting rich
Negotiators try to finally ink major trade pact
Remember Smarties? The retro candy is thriving

graphic graphic