After nearly half a century of vamping up store shelves with her buxom chest and wasp waist, Barbie, the world's favourite doll is slowly but inescapably ... going out of style.
The golden locks are still lustrous, the accessories uncountable and the wardrobe crammed, but the grim reality is a seemingly irreversible drop in sales to depths unplumbed even by Scuba Barbie. Following downturns in 2003 and 2004, sales of the jewel in the toymaker Mattel's crown fell a further 13 per cent in 2005.
â€œWe expected 2005 to be a challenging year and it was, as we continued to experience sales decline in the Barbie brand,â€ Mattel chairman Bob Eckert said at the end of January.
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