Barbie The Movie Launches Great Retail Sales

Barbie, the movie, opens in North America and worldwide on July 21, 2023. Over the past 30 days, the movie’s box office expectation has increased from US$80 million to US$120 million based on great reviews, marketing spots, and retail tie-ins. Just like another family and adult-friendly summer movie, Barbie will power Q2 sales in the toy industry.

Introduction – Barbie: The Movie

Barbie was announced back in 2019. With Maggot Robbie playing the lead Barbie, Ryan Gosling playing the lead Ken, and Greta Gerwig directing the movie, the movie has generated tremendous anticipation.

Barbie – trailer

Plotline and Stars
“To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken. Warner Bros. Pictures Presents A Heyday Films Production, A LuckyChap Entertainment Production, An NB/GG Pictures Production, A Mattel Production, “BARBIE,” directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell. The film is written by Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach, based on “Barbie” by Mattel, and produced by David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner.

The executive producers are Gerwig, Baumbach, Ynon Kreiz, Richard Dickson, Michael Sharp, Josey McNamara, Courtenay Valenti, Toby Emmerich and Cate Adams. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and released in theaters only nationwide on July 21, 2023 and internationally beginning 19 July 2023.”


The Barbie doll celebrates her 65th birthday in 2024. Mattel, the company that design the doll and licensed her for the movie announced a collection of toys from UNO®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, MEGA™, and Barbie™.

As part of its press release,

“The line of Barbie™ the Movie dolls features looks fans will see in the movie, reflecting the signature styles of Barbie, Ken, and new characters as they traverse through Barbie Land and beyond. The collection emulates the Barbiecore™ and Ken-ergy™ felt in the feature film, from their first-look outfits to the matching sets worn in the movie.

Best of all – the collection features several recognizable and must-have accessories, including a mini replica of the iconic three-story DreamHouse™ from MEGA and a stunning pink RC Corvette® from Hot Wheels.

Barbie – Movie Collection (Source: Mattel)

“Barbie the movie is a monumental moment for the brand, and we cannot wait for fans to experience Barbie like never before on the big screen,” said Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel. “The new line of Barbie the movie Mattel toys perfectly captures the fun and joy of Barbie that is at the heart of the film. This collection allows fans of all ages to celebrate their favorite characters and scenes from the movie. What an incredible way to kick off the summer of Barbie!”

Barbie™ The Movie doll line includes:

Barbie The Movie Doll Pink Gingham Dress: Models a vintage-inspired pink and white gingham dress, complete with daisy chain necklace and pastel pink heart-adorned pumps.

Barbie The Movie Ken Doll Pastel Stripe Matching Set: Wears a beachy, pink and mint green striped matching set with surfboard in tow.

Barbie The Movie Doll Plaid Matching Set: Touts an impeccably coordinated three-piece matching pastel plaid set with puffy skirt, cropped jacket, and matching blouse.

Barbie The Movie Ken Doll Denim Matching Set: Clad in an all-Demin look with an open vest and matching light wash jeans, featuring a glimpse of iconic Ken boxers.

Barbie The Movie Doll Gold Disco Jumpsuit: Shines in a sequined disco jumpsuit featuring big disco hair, metallic jewelry and golden heels.

Barbie The Movie Doll Pink Western Outfit: Wears an eye-catching, Western-themed matching pink denim vest and flare jeans with a cowboy hat and boots.

Barbie The Movie Doll Gloria Pink Power Pantsuit: Looks fierce in a three-piece pink suit featuring satiny blazer, matching blouse, and pinstriped trousers with fashionably split cuffs.

Barbie The Movie Ken Doll Gold and White Disco Tracksuit: Embodies luxe quality and casual style in a white tracksuit with metallic gold color-blocked sleeves and a shiny “K” accent to add star power to the ensemble.

Barbie The Movie Doll President in Pink and Gold Dress: Wears a full, satiny gown that features a sparkly off-shoulder bodice and shimmery gold accents that trail down her skirt.

Barbie The Movie Fashion Pack: Includes three iconic Barbie outfits from the movie: a blue and white sundress, gingham pink blouse and short set, and dreamy pajama outfit.

Barbie The Movie Pink Corvette Convertible: Featuring a curvy retro silhouette and pink paint job, with film-inspired details like white wall tires and chrome rimes.

Barbie – Movie Collection (Source: Mattel)

Along with Barbie items inspired by the characters in the movie, Barbie™, Mattel is also releasing a collection of products celebrating the live action feature film across the larger Mattel portfolio, including:

UNO Barbie The Movie: Deck features graphics inspired by characters and scenes from Barbie The Movie – including a special “Played With Too Much” rule that will have players both discarding and drawing cards

Little People Collector Barbie The Movie: Bringing four of the film’s iconic characters down to Little People figure size and styled in memorable outfits including Barbie, President Barbie, Ken, and Gloria.

Barbie The Movie MEGA Dreamhouse: Buildable replica of Barbie’s iconic 3-story DreamHouse as seen in the film, including spiral staircase, pool, and slide.

Barbie The Movie Hot Wheels RC Barbie Corvette: Radio-controlled 1956 Corvette Stingray that can fit two Barbie dolls to create authentic road trips with Barbie.

Barbie The Movie Hot Wheels Die-Cast Pink Corvette in 1:64 Scale: Features Barbie deco – in Barbie pink – as a Hot Wheels 1:64 scale die-cast car.

The Mattel collection of the movie Barbie™ products, available in collectible packaging, will be at retailers nationwide and/or Mattel Shop for an SRP of US$1.25 to US$150 starting June 1st.”

Retail Industry

In celebration of the film, Mattel is partnering with over 100 brands across fashion, beauty, accessories, fast food, hospitality, and more on marketing products and providing the audience with the best movie-watching experience.

For example, Burger King Brazil released a special Barbie Combo that features a cheeseburger topped with bacon bits and dressed with a bright pink sauce that Burger King says has a “smoky” flavor.

Airbnb has an interesting hosting that features a house that looks like the Barbie doll house.

“Located in sunny Malibu, the oceanfront mansion features panoramic views and serves as the perfect backdrop for Ken’s picture-plastic paradise. Fans will be able to request to book Ken’s bedroom in the Malibu DreamHouse for two individual one-night stays** for up to two guests each on July 21 and July 22, 2023. All stays will be free of charge – because Ken couldn’t figure out how to put a price on Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse – after all, Ken’s thing is beach, not math!”

This is actually the second time Airbnb featured this unique experience.

Ken’s Dreamhouse. This is the second time Airbnb worked with Mattel on a listing tie-in with the iconic branded toy. (Source: Airbnb)

Other big collaborations as listed by NPR: Barbiecore fashions and frozen yogurt, to home insurance policies, to the Barbie Xbox.

Chevrolet Corvette EV 1956 gameplay (Source: XBox)

Does Movie Tie-In Merchandise Work?

Movie tie-in merchandise played a part in the retail industry for many decades. Since the 1980s, popular movies like Star Wars, ET, and Mad Max produced their set of toys, action figures, video games, and more that powered the retail industry to new heights usually around the movie’s theatrical and its home release.

With streaming platforms taking the lead in movie viewing, Netflix even created a pop-up experience in 2022 in Los Angeles to celebrate IPs like Bridgerton and the Stranger Things.

Retailers can cash in on a movie as long as it is a box office or viewership success. There is a certain risk producing merchandise or product tie-ins with movie. What if the movie is not successful?

When a movie is not doing well with the public, companies with merchandise tie-ins will have to reduce industry through the sale bin. The goal is to offload the merchandise as soon as possible to reduce storage costs.

Companies and movie studios work together to determine the viability of a movie’s intellectual property, potential marketplace penetration and the movie’s likeability in order to determine the products and the quantity of production. Movies that have been well liked previously will get a better push over other new concepts that have not been proven.

The Future Retail Experience
As experiences creation become more personalized and contextual, look for retail brands to push the omnichannel envelop by curating and producing more immersive retail experience with movie tie-ins.

Big intellectual properties from Disney or Universal may combine a new movie with new rides at theme parks, video games integration, and immersive experiences at galleries and museums. The goals to build and lengthen the relationships between the IPs and the audience between a short burst of merchandise.

Barbie and Ken dolls have played a part in many households for more than six decades, there is a lot of nostaligia associated with the brand and its products. If the movie does as well as early tracking metrics, look for early retailers to introduce round 2 of merchandise to continue the hype and late adopters to get into the action.

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