EL SEGUNDO, California–Christopher Sinclair, chairman of Mattel, Inc., announced today that the toy manufacturing company has enjoyed a nearly 20% sales increase this quarter over the same period a year ago. Sinclair said the sudden turnaround can be attributed to a number of reasons, such as a stabilizing economy and lower jobless rates. But the single most important factor in the increased sales figures is the popularity of the new 50 Shades of Grey line of Barbie dolls.
“Barbie has always been a really progressive gal, and that’s what makes her so attractive to little girls,” Sinclair said, “Now, with the 50 Shades of Grey line, Barbie is going to some dark and erotic places that even I never dreamed she’d go. And she’s taking a generation of little girls along with her.”
“I’ve seen girls as young as five years-old enjoying these dolls,” he added, “They really stoke their creativity. Children have such wonderfully vivid imaginations.”
The 50 Shades of Grey series follows the erotic adventures of billionaire Christian Grey and his innocent conquest, Anastasia Steele. Women and girls around the world have made the series into one of the most successful of all time.
“The books have such a heavy BDSM theme that the opportunities for accessories is near endless,” Sinclair said, “We’re already selling whips–faux leather, of course–and plastic chains that look like the real thing. Plus, in recent years our Barbie costume sales have been strong, so we’ve begun selling a 50 Shades version that is just a silk blindfold and nothing else. The production costs are almost negligible.”
There has been a fair amount of controversy directed at Mattel since they launched the line, as the Christian Grey doll appears to have African-American traits, while in the book he was portrayed as wealthy and well-spoken. But Sinclair said it would be impossible to make everyone happy.
“Our goal with the 50 Shades line is to appeal to as wide a consumer base as possible,” Sinclair said, “Girls of all ages and ethnic backgrounds enjoy these books, and we want them all to enjoy recreating their favorite scenes with these Barbies.”