The beloved Barbie is perhaps the best looking 55 year old going. Now, I may have chopped off all her hair and dunked her head in the toilet, but my love for Barbie still runs deep. Sadly, she might not be around for much longer; with markets dropping in Europe and America, new emerging markets are not enough to support China’s toy manufacturing industry. As such, Barbie may be going the way of the dodo.
Barbie, the symbol of Chinese toy manufacturing is mass produced with minimum profits, so with rising costs in Chinese labor and the downturn in global trade, some serious strain has been placed on China’s toy manufacturing trade according to Want China Times. China’s toy industry takes up 70 percent of the world’s market. Even though one Barbie is brought every three seconds, the benefits in creating the doll are still not great enough to support the current manufacturing structure for a toy manufacturer in east China’s Jiangsu Province.
The iconic Barbie has had an illustrious career to say the least: she is the only doll to have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, modeling a similar swimsuit. Barbie is thoroughly modern, and has more followers on twitter than any other plastic doll (besides Paris Hilton). She’s also run for president six times, landed on the moon, and has had over 150 different careers. Now, Barbie is even branching out into Hollywood movies. But, the changes in the winds of manufacturing may render the cars, houses, and, heaven forbid, Ken obsolete–all for the sake of toys that are more realistic and can communicate with humans (i.e. evil soulless robot monsters).
Feature image courtesy of Logotypes 101, Master image courtesy of Flickr user barbiefotos