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Barbie’s Swimsuit-Issue Appearance Pays Off for Mattel

Barbie’s controversial appearance in this month’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has turned into a commercial success for Mattel Inc.

A version of the doll featured in the magazine is a hot property at Target.com, the exclusive seller of the limited-edition item, Mattel said. More than half the inventory sold out in the first two days, the El Segundo, California-based toymaker said. Demand for the doll is now spilling over to EBay, where the item is reselling for $59.99 -- three times the product’s $19.99 retail price.