The blockbuster success of the ‘Barbie’ movie, which took the global box office by storm shortly after its summer release, is now having a significant impact on Barbie toy sales.
According to the latest data from market research firm Circana, which tracks point-of-sale data from retailers, Barbie toy sales in the United States surged by 25% for the combined months of July and August compared to the same two-month period the previous year.
Jaime Katz, an analyst covering the toy maker Mattel, noted, “That’s a significant increase.”
Circana’s data further revealed that Barbie secured the top position as the leading property and the top brand in terms of dollar growth within the dolls category at retail during the two-month period. Additionally, the Barbie brand accounted for six of the top ten selling items within the dolls category during this period.
The surge in demand for Barbie products aligns with the remarkable success of the “Barbie” movie, directed by Greta Gerwig. The film achieved the largest opening weekend of 2023 and currently holds the title of the highest-grossing movie at the domestic box office this year, surpassing “Super Mario Bros.”
“Barbie,” which hit theatres on July 21, is distributed by Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of CNN.
Building on the momentum generated by the movie’s record-breaking performance, Mattel has revealed ambitious plans to extend the reach of the Barbie brand beyond the film itself. In early June, the company introduced a new collection of toys, featuring Barbie and Ken dolls based on characters from the movie, as well as a toy replica of Barbie’s three-story DreamHouse.
Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Mattel, announced during an earnings call that the initial wave of movie-related products had sold out. Mattel intends to launch more products in time for the holiday season. In total, the company has secured over 165 partnerships with various brands and retailers, spanning clothing, candles, furniture, food items, and even Barbie-inspired sushi.
The surge in merchandise sales driven by the ‘Barbie’ movie is expected to provide a significant boost to Mattel’s sales later in the year, particularly as consumers scale back spending on discretionary goods.
While the Circana data did not provide specific sales figures for Barbie dolls, analyst Jaime Katz noted that Barbie doll sales were already on the rise even before the movie’s release.
Katz emphasized the importance of Mattel’s ability to sustain the momentum of the Barbie brand beyond the movie’s initial success. She also pointed out potential challenges in 2024 when Mattel will be comparing sales to the elevated levels generated by movie-related Barbie products.