Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Heard From Mattel Re: The Overpriced Rocawear Dolls

As noted in the eighth comment here, I contacted Mattel regarding the overpriced new Rocawear dolls at Target. I received the following reply from a Mattel representative:

We are so glad you contacted us! We realize life is busy and appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts with us.

We do suggest a retail price on this doll to be about $14.00. You will have to contact Target, as to why they are pricing it as they are.

As a global manufacturer of children’s products, we make toys with the enjoyment of all consumers in mind, representing different backgrounds and ethnicity. Market research and our major retail account customers help us determine which ethnic products will generate the most interest among the general population.

We believe it is important to challenge ourselves to set the industry standard in making products that are contemporary, and reflect the ever-changing fabric of our world. Your feedback helps us identify areas that may require more attention, and we appreciate your help in this objective.

We promise to continually review our products and promotions, to ensure we represent families all over the world.

Thanks again,
Robin G.
Mattel Consumer Relations Team

I replied:
Thank you Robin G. Your time to reply is greatly appreciated and your suggestion to inform Target of their pricing error will be done on my next trip should I find the dolls in stock at the incorrect price. I must inform you that others have informed Target managers in their areas of the pricing error, specifically Atlanta, where the managers insisted their price was correct.

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  1. I went to Target here in Central Jersey. The price came up as 24.98.
    I think a letter to Target should be in the works.

  2. Thanks, Frannie for checking in your area. A letter to Target with a copy to Mattel is definitely in order.


  3. Interesting. I will try to check out the ones in the Memphis area and report back the prices.

  4. Interesting! A good friend of mine in the Detroit area, just purchased one of these new Rocca wear dolls at her Target and the price was $14.99. She called me to ask me what the price should be (and that she was trying to find them all) I told her that I thought it was priced right especially when I have seen the comments here and else where about the $24.99 etc.

  5. Thanks Ms. Lola. I'd love to know what the dolls are priced in your area.

    The store in Detroit has them priced correctly, Chynadoll. Thanks for sharing this. I went to Target today for an unrelated matter; but while there, I stopped in the toy department to check their stock. The Rocawear Darren "I thought" sold the other day was still there and was probably placed back on the shelf after the other customer discovered the ridiculous price. Marisa was there today, too. I called for a manager, shared Mattel's printed out statement, and was told that the $14.00 price was Mattel's "suggested price," that the dolls are priced $24.38 (not $24.99 like I wrote earlier) because of their popularity. (What????) I had an out loud hissy fit.

    I told this person the current price is out of line with the $12.99 price of the original Rocawear dolls. He continued to cite the dolls' popularity as the reason for the current price. I asked for the corporate mailing address. He sent me to the customer service desk, but before heading there, I jotted down the Mattel product # from the boxes: Asst. T2656 W3187, and he gave me Target's DCPI #, which is 086-06-0229.

    The customer service desk gave me Corporate's phone number to get their physical address: 1-800-440-0680.

    I just completed a call to Corporate and was told by the Target employee, after giving her the DCPI #, that "This is for Barbie So In Style Personality Doll. This is not a Mattel product. It is by Arco Toys Ltd."


    I tried to explain to this person that the Barbie trademark belongs to Mattel. Perhaps Arco is a subsidiary of Mattel, but the product is Mattel.

    She said their database shows Arco Ltd as the manufacturer and the price is correct (probably for my zip code, because she asked for my name and zip code before she checked her database).

    I'll be writing a letter to Target with a copy to Mattel tomorrow.

    Target Stores, Target Executive Offices
    PO Box 9350
    Minneapolis MN 55440

    333 Continental Boulevard
    El Segundo, CA 90245-5012


  6. In 1986, Mattel acquired Hong Kong-based ARCO Industries, Ltd., a letter of credit business offering low-priced, non-promoted toys principally to U.S. retailers.

  7. Wow, talk about price gouging! A letter to Target is DEFINITELY in order, and CCing Mattel is a great idea. I am surprised Mattel isn't getting all worked up about it, because this is profit THEY are not getting.

    Weird, the info on the product numbers. I would give Mattel a heads up about that, too.

    LOL, woe betide ANYONE who tries to gouge a doll collector these days, especially with the internet at our disposal. Bigger stinks with faster results are a LOT more commonplace.

    Give 'em a whole lotta HECK, Debbie!

  8. Thanks for sharing your letter. The initial response I received did not have a suggested retail price, it only had the bottom portion of the letter you received. This is great news! Target is full of BS! Now this is where Twitter and Facebook come in real handy. And that is exactly where I am going to blast Target. Nothing like bad press to get you to rethink those extra dollars you think you are going to make. Maybe that whole Arco coding was the coding error that Stacy McBride was referring to. I don't know. My suggestion will be for people just not to buy them from Target at all. Now if Walmart and others try this BS too, then I'm taking it to a much higher power. No. Not him/her. I was referring to Huffington Post and/or Color of Change.

  9. Miladyblue -- for sure I'm going to give them heck. They haven't heard the last of me.

    Thanks for taking this to Twitter and Facebook Vanessa. There is no logical reason these particular dolls or any for that matter should be priced 74% above suggested retail.

    I considered contacting the local media's consumer affairs reporter and may still do that along with the letter I pen today to Target's executive offices.


  10. Thanks for staying on the case Debbie. I have one SIS sister set that I received as a present. I have not made an effort to acquire any of the other SIS dolls. I think that the strategic scarcity and inflated prices for these dolls is part of the reason that I haven't warmed up to them enough to add them to my collection. Mattel and Target should understand that they are actually loosing business by not making these dolls readily available at a reasonable price to consumer who want them.

  11. limbe dolls - This is the first overpricing of these dolls in my opinion. The first ones that came out at 12.99 with articulated bodies was right in line with the Fashionistas. The two doll sets were only $19 - $24, and the second wave had all articulated dolls even in the sets. Not to mention it came with really nice accessories. I bought all of the sets (except one) when Stacy announced she was leaving. This for me is another "If I Knew Then, What I Know Now Moment"

  12. Wow, what a cool revolution's been going down since I missed doll posting. Whoa, going to Twitter and Facebook - let me know the Tweets to re-tweet and where on FB to click.

    I'll see if the price variance is happening here in Philly, too.

  13. I wanna give a shout-out to the Target customer service guy, Steve, who worked with me today as I asked for a refund of the difference between what I had paid for SIS Marisa in early December, and what she CORRECTLY sells for now. KEY: once the doll’s store item # [not barcode] was corrected in the system, it didn’t match the store item # on my receipt. He listened to me as I explained the emails and letters sent to Target about the pricing, walked me to the doll aisle, checked the shelf tags, and understood that the $24.39 price was for the 2-doll Locks of Looks sets (which, as far as he knew, was what I had purchased, according to the item # on my receipt). Most importantly, Steve believed me … and refunded me the difference. I’m not sure another employee would have done that without checking further with corporate. And did I mention that he had left the returns counter to head out for lunch, but came back thru the door and to a register to help me, the next person in line … ?


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