An open letter to Mattel

December 8, 2013

Dear, Mattel.
We, your loving and faithful collectors, love you and everything you represent. Because of you an amazing icon was born, a doll that have brought us together, an inspiration that has change our lives, that has made us stronger and has been a ray of light in troubled times. This is why we would like you to listed to us and our requests and complains because they truly come from loving hearts. Over the years Barbie has undergone through some changes and not all of them have been ok for the collecting community. This is why I have asked my beautiful friends and collectors to share with all out there what they would like to see and change in the Barbie world. Here are some quotes:

open letetr to mattel

“My 2 cents, apart from the apparent that has already been stated here (glue heads, painted on tops, big heads, cheap doll stands etc) is to stop making Barbie look so inexpensively made (but still her prices go up and up). The Mattel I know and love would NEVER compromise on the quality, their old motto “We are dedicated to quality products” should be the same today as then.”

“BUT THE VERY TRUE and collector´s main disturbing thing is ALL THE MONEY WE LOST ON CUSTOMS AND EXTRA SHIPPING COST. We really need a Barbie collector Fan Club in Europe to save on customs and shipping …. All that money we lost is money that Mattel is loosing. It is insane to pay 80 Euros in Madrid to buy a City shopper doll at “Corte Inglés ” mall when it is 24.99$ reatail price at barbie collector that makes 19 Euros ….. anybody can make numbers….”

“Please mattel return te normal head to the barbie playline !!! Since 2004 Barbie playline looks bad … Am sad Because a lot people think the same like me .”

“To begin with; More Pivotal Bodies, I think many of us could be very happy to have more dolls originally in pivotal bodies. We love Modelmuse, but Pivotal bodies are much more comparable to other collector doll lines out there, and then is an interesting opportunity to capture many of us that make OOAK and pictures of so many dolls, the articulated bodies make a very interesting option for adult collectors.”

“Playline: I’ve given up on a return to normal head size, but please stop using glue in the heads. Stop giving Ken molded hair. Most importantly, give us fashions that are complete all around, not plain in the back!”

You can see all the messages HERE.

So please, Mattel read all of these messages and listen to your collectors. I know you have done so in the past year (the Barbie Style line is definetly a step in the right direction) but there still are more issues that need to be solved: no more glue heads, smaller heads in playline dolls, pivotal bodies, more attention to details etc.

Your loving and true collectors

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  • Reply Samira December 9, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Really cool your attitude, Ada!
    Although we know that there is a direct channel between the members of the BFC collectors, many collectors spread throughout the world, also want a direct channel to be heard, especially about of the quality of the products. As there is, we use our blogs, discussion forums and social networks so we can make ourselves heard.

  • Reply Monica Nuñez del Castillo December 9, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Together we can do things right. I´m glad you have opened this disscusion. As you know if the Barbie community needs anything Spanish collectors will help.

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  • Reply jassi December 12, 2013 at 2:21 am

    There are lots of things many of us wish Mattel would do (i.e. poseable bodies, fashions with backs that aren’t plain), but in order for Mattel to do these things, they would have to charge significantly more for the finished products, and the general consumer isn’t willing to pay the difference.

    Manufacturing costs have gone up dramatically in the last decade (especially in regard to the cost of petroleum, which is required to make Barbie dolls as well as to ship them). In order to keep retail prices at roughly the same level from year to year, corners have to be cut. (Take a look at the prices of Tonner dolls over the last few years for an example of this.)

    It’s also an issue of paying people who assemble the dolls. For example, it’s much more complicated to assemble a fully-articulated doll versus a doll with only 5 points of articulation (like a Model Muse doll). It takes longer, so fewer dolls can be assembled within the same timeframe. That means the price has to go up.

    It’s unfortunate, but people want Mattel (and all other companies) to sell higher-quality products for lower prices, while at the same time making sure the factory workers are well-taken-care-of. It would be very difficult to do all of those things.

    There’s nothing wrong with putting together a list of requests, but it’s important to have realistic expectations.

  • Reply kkelmeren December 14, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Obviously nothing wrong with making a profit, but a company that deliberately chooses to cut back its level of quality is begging to have that choice come back and bite them. Mattel has money coming in hand over fist on Monster High right now, so they don’t want to cut back there. They feel safe on phasing out a lot of the quality of the Barbie line because ‘people will buy it anyway’. (And how much have Barbie sales dropped in the last few quarters?)
    Mattel is being penny wise and pound foolish. I have an awful feeling that when MH’s star finally begins to fade, Mattel will have very little left of the Barbie brand to salvage. Want to keep that really cheap sub-line available? Sure, people are often looking for stocking stuffers/filler gifts. But don’t drag the entire playline down to that level of quality.

  • Reply Chris December 22, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Wonderful letter. I agree with everything in the letter. If people do not express their opinions then nothing will change.

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