One Pandemic Winner: Barbies

Parents are looking for ways to keep their kids off screens
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2020 1:45 AM CDT
Barbie Sales Are Way Up Thanks to Pandemic
The new Elton John Barbie doll is seen in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Thursday October 22, 2020.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

"Screen time 24/7" might have been the rallying cry back when parents thought they'd be locked down for two weeks or so, but seven-plus months in to the coronavirus pandemic, they're apparently looking for somewhat more old-fashioned ways to entertain their kids. Enter: Barbies. Mattel announced a 29% sales increase for the brand in the third quarter, and it figures COVID-19 is likely at least part of the reason why, execs said on the earnings call. Parents who spoke to the Wall Street Journal seem to indicate that's accurate.

"This is a really stressful time, especially for my daughter,” says one mom. "I’m trying to find more things to do that allow her to play on that instead of being on screens.” Other toy categories also saw increased growth. Also in Barbie news, CNN reports that Elton John is getting his own doll. The limited-edition Barbie, styled after the singer, marks the 45th anniversary of John's historic two-day performance at Dodgers Stadium in October 1975. (More Barbie stories.)

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