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Barbie Fever Continues: HMD Announces Collaboration With Mattel For Vintage-Inspired Hot Pink Flip Phone Launch

Barbie mania continues to captivate audiences as HMD announces a vintage-inspired hot pink flip phone collaboration with Mattel, offering a nostalgic twist on modern technology.

Photo: HMD

Still in love with the Barbie movie? Soon, you'll have the opportunity to acquire a flip phone inspired by the popular toy franchise.

HMD, the company responsible for Nokia-branded smartphones and short for Human Mobile Devices, has announced plans to launch a Barbie flip phone in collaboration with toy manufacturer Mattel, slated for release this summer.

Mattel is the company behind the Barbie fashion doll line, having manufactured and marketed these beloved children's toys and accessories since 1959.

The upcoming device, scheduled for release this summer, “promises to embody the vintage chic of the original girl empowerment brand with a dash of pink and of course, sparkle,” according to a HMD press release.

Barbie Phone By HMD And Mattel
Barbie Phone By HMD And Mattel Photo: HMD

The phone will not have internet connectivity, evoking the nostalgia of "dumb phones" before smartphones gained widespread popularity.

Dumb phones, as they're often called, are gaining popularity, particularly among Gen Z consumers aiming to reduce their digital footprint and distance themselves from harmful content prevalent on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube.

HMD emerged as a separate entity from Microsoft following the decision by the U.S. tech giant to divest the Nokia phone brand, which it acquired in 2014, to a consortium of former Nokia executives.

HMD Global was founded in 2016.

Riding The Barbie Frenzy

Barbie mania took the world by storm in 2023, sparked by a blockbuster movie starring renowned actors such as Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and Will Ferrell.

The movie amassed more than $1.4 billion in box office revenue, securing its position as the highest-grossing film of 2023.

Lars Silberbauer, HMD's Chief Marketing Officer, informed CNBC that the company is adopting the "Lego model" by collaborating with prominent brands while leveraging its technological expertise and proprietary phone brand.

Before joining HMD, Silberbauer held the position of Senior Global Director at Lego.

“We’re not a white label business. We want the HMD brand to stand for something,” Silberbauer told CNBC. “There will be more collaborations. The next one is coming out in May.”

He hinted at numerous future deals and partnerships in the pipeline.

HMD had previously collaborated with the James Bond film "No Time To Die" for promotional purposes in 2020.

The upcoming device from HMD and Mattel will feature a traditional flip phone design with physical buttons instead of a touchscreen. It will be available in a vibrant hot pink color, reminiscent of the iconic pink flip phone accessory often included with Barbie dolls.

The company has not yet disclosed details regarding pricing and availability.

They anticipate that leveraging the popularity of the Barbie brand will provide a significant boost, establishing it as a more globally recognized brand name.

HMD opted not to unveil the device during its press event in Barcelona, held prior to the Mobile World Congress technology trade show.

This marks the first device released by HMD under its new brand name, Human Mobile Devices, abbreviated as HMD. This shift signifies a departure from the use of the Nokia brand, which HMD has traditionally employed for its dumb phones and smartphones.

As part of its rebranding strategy, HMD intends to continue offering Nokia phones while also collaborating with other brands to introduce phones that showcase both its own brand and that of its partners.

Francisco Jeronimo, Vice President of Devices and Analytics for Europe at research firm IDC, suggests that HMD may enlist celebrities and influencers to endorse its phones. “This could help the brand get a more premium positioning, Jeronimo said in an interview. “They are very strong on feature phones their sales on smartphones are not that strong.”

Despite reaching profitability last year and selling millions of smartphones, HMD remains less recognizable as a household name compared to industry giants like Apple or Samsung.