Barbie sales are down again, because monsters by @cgayomali via @FastCompany

Barbie sales are down 15%, putting the iconic doll in the red for the eight consecutive quarter.

Her storied career has included stints as an aerobics instructor...

...and, more recently, as a go-getting entrepreneur.

Nevertheless, little kids are turning to new, edgier brands, like Monster High, which Mattel also owns.

Barbie's lithe frame has come under fire in recent years, revealing an opportunity for new dolls, such as this "realistic Barbie" with more human-friendly proportions.

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Barbie Sales Are Down For The Eighth Consecutive Quarter, Because Monsters

It's been a rough last few years for Mattel's flagship doll brand.

Barbie, the iconic plastic doll with the proportions of a desiccated hot dog, is having a rough time staying culturally relevant. Mattel's latest sales figures paint a grim picture for the 55-year-old polymath, whose career has included stints as an aerobics instructor, dentist, POTUS, and mermaid. She even has her own LinkedIn profile.

On Sunday, though, the New York Daily News reported that Barbie sales are down 15%, and continue to sink into the red for the eight consecutive quarter.

So who is Barbie losing out to in the hearts and minds of little girls? (Or more likely, their parents?) According to the Daily News, it's monsters.

Little girls are dropping the dull doll in favor of newer, edgier competitors like Monster High, Lalaloopsy, American Girl, and the latest Disney Princesses. …

"With Monster High, you have Draculaura, Lagoona Blue, Clawdia Wolf, and they keep developing more characters and more backstories," says toy industry expert Jim Silver, editor of (formerly Time to Play magazine). "Barbie is a superstar, but she's just one character."

And so it appears that, in 2014, adhering to conventional standards of beauty for a plaything puts Mattel between a rock and a hard place. (FWIW: Mattel owns the Monster High brand, too, so it's not exactly treading water here.) On one hand, Barbie is Barbie, with a five-decades-long legacy to uphold and a Malibu dream house mortgage to pay. On the other, kids seem to want an imaginary best friend that they can identify with (even if it's a vaguely goth Frankenstein mutated with a Bratz doll), and in some cases one that looks a little more like them.

[h/t: New York Daily News]

[Image: Flickr user Freddycat1]

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