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Why Can't Barbie Keep a Job?

Friday, 12 Feb 2010 | 2:43 PM ET

Can't Barbie keep a job?

Source: Mattel Inc.

The answer from Mattel CEO Robert Eckert is an enthusiastic, "No!"

Mattel recently asked its fans to vote on Barbie's next career, and after more than half a million votes were tallied, the winner was...news anchor.

Yep, this fall, Barbie will embark on her 125th career, wearing a pink suit, and carrying a microphone with the "B News" logo.

Then, in the winter, Barbie will switch gears and don "geek chic" as she takes on her next assignment: a computer engineer.

I guess in this labor market, it pays to have a back-up plan.

This was the first time ever that Mattel allowed its fans to pick the doll's next career.

Coming out of the 2009 Christmas holiday season, the Barbie brand has strong momentum. Barbie sales were up 12 percent in Mattel's fiscal fourth quarter.

No doubt, Barbie sales have been helped by a consumer shift toward classic toys that can provide children with hours of open-ended play. Barbies also provide an affordable option for parents, with many dolls selling for less than $10.

Inside Mattel's Toy Chest
Toy makers are focusing on value and technology to win sales this year, with Robert Eckert, Mattel chairman & CEO.

In recent months, Mattel also has seen strong sales of its Matchbox brand, and its Mind Flex game sold out during the holidays.

Mattel and other toymakers, including Hasbro , will be unveiling new products at Toy Fair, which takes place this weekend in New York. Some of the trends include new versions of popular brands such as Hasbro's "Monopoly" and "Transformers."

CNBC's Co-Anchor Sue Herera had this advice for "News Anchor" Barbie: "It's all about the hair."

More from Consumer Nation:

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com

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