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Barbie Is on a Roll: The Good News From Mattel's Dismal Quarter

  • Turnaround is one of few bright spots for struggling toymaker
  • Famed doll, Hot Wheels pitched as helping child development
Mattel Inc. Barbie dolls.

Mattel Inc. Barbie dolls.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

Hidden within Mattel Inc.’s announcement of plunging sales and massive layoffs were two bright spots that may be the key to the toymaker’s turnaround -- and they’ve been around for a combined 100-plus years.

Barbie, the 59-year-old doll that’s Mattel’s biggest brand, had a 12 percent jump in sales in the second quarter, its third straight gain. Hot Wheels, which just celebrated its 50th birthday, had a 21 percent surge in revenue.