Why are black Barbies priced differently than white Barbies?
It's a tough question and one that some of America's biggest retailers are having to answer amid the biggest shopping time of the year.
For example, Tuesday afternoon Wal-Mart's website listed an African-American ice skater Barbie for $11.87 while the Caucasian version costs just $9.88.
The retailing giant said the pricing discrepancy was an unintended error.
"They should always be the same price, across all ethnicities," a Wal-Mart spokesman said Tuesday evening. "This is just a pricing error. We corrected it immediately."
In fact, the retailer vowed to make up the price difference with a gift card for any customer who purchased the more expensive African-American doll. The spokesman said he didn't know how long the prices had been different or how many shoppers might have purchased them at the wrong prices.