“Goth Barbie” is what everyone–including Mattel executives–is calling the girls of Monster High, a relatively new line of dolls who are descendants of famous monsters.
The toy line debuted in 2010 and blew up, way beyond the expectations of even the people who made them, and while Mattel says little girls still want their Barbie dolls, more and more are gravitating towards her skeletal, pale-skinned freak cousins. That’s especially important in today’s world of online bullying, says Cathy Cline, who is in charge of marketing for Mattel.
“The message about the brand is really to celebrate your own freaky flaws, especially as bullying has become such a hot topic,” said Cline. “And it’s also one of the fastest growing brands within the entire toy industry.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that sales for the company have grown 56% this year thanks to the dolls. By jumping into the market right at the time that “Twilight” was blowing up, the dolls were on the shelves while vampires and werewolves were being made cool again, and the girls still do all the fun things Barbie and her friends do. Aimed at girls age 6-12, they couldn’t exactly be ferocious killers. Dracula’s daughter, Draculaura, isn’t even a bloodsucker.
“She’s a vegan. She’s turned off by meat,” says Kiyomi Haverly, the company’s vice president in charge of design. “Girls could really relate to that because that’s part of what they’re thinking of these days.”
The main complaint about the Monster High dolls is that they’re so thin, which was already a complaint about Barbie dolls. In fact, one artist recently took Barbie’s measurements and gave her a “real woman” makeover so that she looked like an average girl. The difference in her body was amazing, and several people–including celebrities–applauded the change. Mattel hasn’t announced any plans to alter her appearance–or the Monster High dolls, for that matter–but with sales skyrocketing, they more than likely won’t have to.