Barbie Sales Surge After Opening Movie Weekend


Toys R Us has seen a 30 percent growth in Barbie Doll sales since the pre-screening and premiere launch of Barbie the movie this past weekend.

The movie made history with a record-breaking opening weekend for a film directed by a woman. While the world has been turned pink, the impact of the film has had significant impact on collectible Barbie toys, says Toys R Us.

“We have an active stock keeping unit (SKU) count of 110 Barbie dolls covering all themes from fashion, beauty, signature, accessories estate and clothing lines across our 51 stores nationwide,” says Catherine Jacoby, Marketing Manager at Toys R Us. “With the opening of the movie this weekend we have seen Barbie sales surge by 30 percent.”

She adds that as a specialist toy retailer, Toys R Us prides itself on carrying all themes and ranges that Mattel South Africa bring into the country which includes the prized Barbie collection.

“In addition to this, we have five signature stores where the range is merchandised in a signature glass cabinet Barbie stands to ensure we are first to market for our collectors.”

The Kidult Trend

“The toy market is massive and has seen increased growth in the past two years, driven by the rise of a new trend of audience now fondly dubbed as ‘Kidults,’” she explains.

“This new trend has emerged as nostalgic toys are surging in popularity as young adults look to their childhood toys for comfort and during difficult times and a way to reconnect with their inner child.”

In fact she adds that the booming growth of the toy collectibles market is supported by better returns than gold, art and financial securities. “Kidults are now responsible for more than one quarter of toy sales globally,” she says.

Last year Toys R Us launched a specialised focus on Fan Vault for the kidult collectors – which includes a variety of collectible toys across many nostalgic categories from the fifties to the two-thousands.

“Although targeted at all ages, we have seen more and more collectors look to Toys R Us as new and exclusive ranges launch in South Africa.”

Movies Driving Collectible Trends

According to Jacoby, collectible toys are becoming increasingly popular, especially among young consumers aged 15 to 25 and even upwards of 30 and 55 years of age. “The so-called generation Z or ‘kidults’ are fuelling the rapid increase in collectable toys, which are fast becoming big business.”

“Trends in collectibles are often driven by the launch of film franchises and the Barbie movie is no exception,” she explains. “The launch of this particular franchise has been key in stimulating customers’ buying decisions across all age groups.”

Jacoby explains that recent data suggests there is plenty of desire to buy in the kidult marketplace. “With this comes plenty of opportunities for us as a toy retailer to expand our existing ranges offering more exploration in the collectible category and this is no different than Barbie who is now 64 years old and still holds a place in consumers hearts.”

“Barbie is one of our biggest brands and we work closely with the Mattel South Africa team to give our consumers the best range possible in all themes and price points available,” she explains. “We are focused on marketing anniversary specials, and observation events like Barbie month.”

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