Is Barbie being discontinued – why is there shortage in 2023?

Is Barbie being discontinued? Mattel has responded after it was widely reported that it would be ending production of the iconic plastic Barbie doll. They called the rumors untrue and had “Nothing to Do with Mattel.”

The movie Barbie is currently in theaters. One of its best features is the many Easter eggs and tributes to the Mattel toy’s lengthy history that director Greta Gerwig has hidden into the tale. The movie continues to smash box office records. There are many historical allusions to the toy throughout Barbie. It ranges from the architecture of the many Dreamhouses to the addition of many cherished outfits worn by the dolls over the years. The dolls themselves may contain the best Easter egg, though.

In Barbie’s nearly seventy-year history, there are references to and appearances by many allegedly discontinued dolls. This also contains a handful that are so crazy you won’t believe they are real. Let us view the discontinued Barbie dolls in detail in this article.

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Not every rendition of Barbie and her friends was a success

Nothing has given Barbie a more incredible thrill in her 64 years as a toy character than to reinvent herself continually. She lists more than 200 professions on her resume. This includes CEOs, doctors, astronauts, and even presidential contenders. She has an impressive assortment of doll friends who have supported her over the years. Also, her miniature mansions are larger than Bel Air mega estates.

Yet, certain crucial developments in her evolution have also taken longer than expected. Barbie used to have light skin, be white and slim, be blonde, have a very tight waist, and have a large bust. She constantly balances on the tips of impossible heels.

Finally, Mattel (MAT) created a more realistic depiction of a female doll in 2016. This was in response to declining doll sales, making the latest Barbies more diverse and inclusive in their looks. With 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles, Barbie has returned in four body shapes and seven skin tones. And her journey continues with Barbie Fashionistas. A diverse image of beauty encourages children to fight the stigma associated with physical limitations.

However, Barbie and her pals have also provided some perplexing moments. If you’re quick to spot them, the “Barbie” movie opens in US theaters and brings a few to light.

It was reported that Allan (Michael Cera) and Midge (Emerald Fennell) would appear in the film. By this time, fans already knew that Barbie would include references to the more fantastic world of Barbie and her pals. This includes discontinued dolls as well. But those were not the only dolls canceled or removed from manufacturing.

In Particular, five such dolls appear in the movie and are almost too weird to believe. They are Sugar Daddy Ken, Growing Up Skipper, Earring Magic Ken, Teen Talk Barbie, and Video Girl Barbie.

Growing Up Skipper

Growing Up Skipper, Barbie’s younger sister, was a toy released in 1975. It was created to educate girls about puberty. According to the box, the doll could transform from “a young girl to a teenager in seconds!” by moving one of her arms. She would also grow taller and have bigger chests. She was sold with a Growing Up Ginger doll. However, they were later removed from the market. Hannah Khalique-Brown portrays Skipper in the Barbie version of the character.

Video Girl Barbie

Barbie Video Girl was launched by Mattel in 2010. The doll was a working camera that could record videos for up to 30 minutes. They can stream them to a computer. Unfortunately, the doll was seen as a threat by the FBI. They warned that it may be used maliciously as a deadly tool for pedophiles shortly after its debut.

Although Mattel discontinued the doll in 2012, no instances of the doll’s video recording features being misused were ever documented. In the movie, Mette Towley portrays Video Girl Barbie.

Earring Magic Ken

With the release of Earring Magic Ken in 1993, Mattel updated Ken’s appearance. It gave him a pleather vest and a pastel purple mesh shirt. Besides, they gave him a single earring and a necklace with a pendant that resembled a ring as accessories.

Unfortunately, the doll-faced criticism for what was seen as a connection with the LGBTQ+ community. This is in part because of how some thought the necklace looked. This led Mattel to recall the doll in addition to discontinuing it. Tom Stourton portrays him in the movie.

Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken

The funniest of them all is this one. Barbie’s 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2005 with Mattel’s introduction of Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken. The doll, part of a collection series aimed at adults, had a more upscale design and came with a small dog named Sugar (thus the name “Sugar’s Daddy”). 

Although the doll was created to give Ken a spot in the well-known Barbie Fashion Model Collection, fans undoubtedly had their version. In the film, Rob Brydon plays him.

Teen Talk Barbie

Teen Talk Barbie is one of the most controversial Barbies ever made. She can say things, which is what led her into controversy. The doll could say one of the four statements: “Math class is tough!” This prompted critics to attack the doll for claiming that girls aren’t capable of understanding math.

Unlike the other dolls on this list, this one wasn’t technically stepped down. Mattel removed the message from her settings and refunded consumers who wanted to exchange a doll with that phrase for one without. In Barbie, played by Marisa Abela, the doll briefly appears but is voiceless.


There is much to enjoy in the Barbie movie, regardless of whether you despise Barbie or are an ardent Mattel fan. Regarding the history of Barbie, the Margot Robbie-starring movie from filmmaker and writer Greta Gerwig is not taking itself too seriously. This is particularly true regarding a few of the dolls from the archives that we’d all rather forget.

Of course, there’s Michael Cera’s standout character, Allan, who was first advertised as just “Ken’s buddy” and who became an instant hit. It’s a good thing Allan has matured in the film, for poor Allan. And who can forget Midge, the Barbie doll who is pregnant? Yes, she appears as Barbie in several embarrassing scenes.

We’ve covered some amusing cameos from controversial dolls that dropped. It turns out that life in plastic has sometimes been a challenge!