Hello Barbie pleads ‘buy me’ as Mattel doll fails to catch fire

Mattel Chief Operating Officer Richard Dickson is hoping to shake loose the innovation and creativity the toymaker needs to revive sales. A talking Barbie doll hasn’t been much help. Introduced in November, Hello Barbie generated the most buzz the toymaker has received in years, if not decades. But for the most part, it’s been a dud. Online reviews highlighted problems like a malfunctioning charging station and a shaky Internet connection. On Amazon.com, 57 percent of reviews gave it one star out of five. And major retailers have slashed its $75 list price, with Wal-Mart Stores cutting it to $52.49. “The sell-through was so-so, but it generated a lot of publicity and made Barbie relevant,” said Jim Silver, editor of toy review site TTPM.com. Dickson, who was anointed Mattel’s savior after…

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