Mattel launches make-up brand for young girls with Bonne Bell

Mattel’s Barbie Girls is partnering with cosmetics brand Bonne Bell to launch a new beauty and make-up brand aimed at young girls.

The move follows the toy company’s “adult-oriented” partnership with Estée Lauder Company’s MAC Cosmetics to pioneer its Spring 2007 Barbie Loves MAC collection.

The deal with Bonne Bell will take shape in 2008 with an “innovative, fun and girl-savvy retail delivery”, details of which have yet to be announced. It will initially be introduced in the US and, if successful, will later be rolled out to the UK and Europe.

Mattel says the partnership will “celebrate a union of girls’ most popular brands” and represent both companies’ commitment to high quality, trend-making products. Mattel made the announcement in New York this week when it revealed its portfolio of new, “best in class” programmes across categories including entertainment apparel, footwear, back-to-school, jewellery, home décor, personal care and beauty for boys, girls and infants.

The deal follows condemnation of the company’s launch of an online social network aimed at young girls in May. Critics at the time said the website could encourage the early sexualisation of girls, potentially putting them at risk of online bullying as well as promoting image and eating disorders. The site is expected to expand this autumn to more than a dozen countries in five additional languages, including Spanish, French and Italian.

Mattel senior vice-president of marketing, media and entertainment worldwide claims the company continues to lead the way in the toy industry by creating innovative, break-frame programmes and pioneering new categories.

It is also launching the Barbie as The Island Princess direct-to-DVD movie with Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and Barbie B Cause, a limited edition accessory line that reuses excess Barbie fabric and trimmings.

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