Barbie and her fashion doll colleagues are back on-trend

Fashion dolls are making a comeback, with sales rising by a whopping 23% in just a year

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Fashion doll sales are up 23% on last year’s sales, with the market now worth £120million, a new study has revealed.

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The figures, from analyst NPD, found that girls aged 8 to 11 have fuelled the fashion doll revival, with Barbie in particular enjoying a massive resurgence after several years of decline.

Today, Barbie and her assorted models occupy six of the top 10 slots in sales of fashion dolls (as opposed to baby dolls, such as Tiny Tears). Bratz have supposedly fallen out of the running.

In 2009, Barbie’s makers prompted criticisms when they tried to update her by giving her tattoos. But Barbie’s latest looks have been much more innocent (think pet or fashion themes).

Fashion dolls increasing popularity has been confirmed by Sainsbury’s, which reported a 36.6% increase in fashion doll sales last year.

Frederique Tutt, of NPD, said, “Growth [in fashion doll sales] came from all age groups in 2011, but even more so from the fickle 8 to 11 [age group]. This age is usually attracted by other categories such as accessories, video games and toys can be perceived as ‘babyish’.”

Despite Barbie’s soaring success, the biggest sellers are a range of dolls called Monster High, which are extremely popular in America, and sold here in the UK too. Inspired by the popularity of vampire books and films such as the Twilight series, they feature characters called Draculaura, Clawdeen Wolf and Frankie Stein.

Does your little one still love dolls?

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