Ragtag Daily Prompt: RDP#2 Insight

No Insight at Mattel

In her reply to this prompt Tracy at “Reflections of an Untidy Mind” quoted this unnamed CEO.

“Casual observation and simply having knowledge is not enough. Insight definition takes work; it’s a skill that requires creativity, persistence and deep thinking to craft. The most powerful insights come from rigor and serious analysis to translate large amounts of data into concise and compelling findings. Organizations who want to use insights as the platform for organic growth require a process that is both scalable and repeatable so that it can become routinized within the organization with predictable long-term results. Use written insight statements guided by five key principles to turn research data into actionable insight to inspire new ideas for product and service development.”

This starts off well but descends into unreadable claptrap halfway in my opinion. However, I do agree that businesses would do better if they had a real insight into their customer’s needs and in some cases who their customers are. I won’t turn this into a rant about WordPress because we’ve all been there already.

I am a doll collector and one of my interests is Barbie dolls. I started collecting modern Barbies about 20 years ago and it was fun because I could buy some very pretty modern dolls and clothing in places like Target and Toys’R’Us without having to spend a lot.

Fast forward to today and there is very little I want to buy any more. Mattel and other toy manufacturers say that children are more interested in electronic toys  and they now market Barbie to a much younger age group 3-7 year olds. Consequently they make much simpler dolls with non-removable plastic clothing and lots of gadgets,they are many fairies, princesses and mermaids although lately they are diversifying the playline more. There are not so many outfits you can buy for Barbie and the quality is poor.

Mattel also recognises that there are adult collectors and for that market they sell expensive, better quality dolls in elaborate costumes which are only meant to be put on display and never removed from their boxes.

What they do not have the insight to realise is that there is a large group of adult collectors like me who want good quality dolls and fashions because we customise, redress and photograph dolls. Adult collectors make dioramas and write stories. We don’t want to buy cheap rubbish but we don’t want to buy two hundred dollar dolls that we are going to take out of the box and play with.

I have my doubts that Mattel or for that matter any of the other toy companies will ever realise this but if any of them do they can have my money.

My African American Barbies pose for a group shot.


I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. I love this post. My sister had some of the first Barbies. She collected for a while later in life. Last year I read the biography about Ruth Handler and the beginning of Mattel. It covered the beginning of the company and the inspiration for Barbie. It was a fascinating book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I have a few vintage Barbies. I am old enough to remember when they were new. The quality was so much better then and there were lots of lovely clothes to dress your dolls in. Even Ken had a better wardrobe in the sixties than he does now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A failure to have a genuine grip on their customers is the doom of most failing companies. Really, truly, there is ONLY one important rule in marketing: “KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.” And I would add “RESPOND TO YOUR CUSTOMERS NEEDS.” Less time spent with marketing groups and more time spent actually talking to people who buy their products would be a significant help, but they don’t listen. They don’t even ask questions, so there’s nothing to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What the hell was all that stuff in the beginning of this post. It looked like someone was just using a lot of big words to try and impress or maybe mislead? I didn’t understand hardly a word of what was being said. Agree wholeheartedly with Vanda’s post however. Are these two articles related in any way? Matel are losing sight of a huge part of their market. There is so much scope for a broader range of dolls and their wardrobes. When I was little Barbie and her rivals all had a lavish wardrobe. This was so they had an outfit for every possible occasion. The idea of dressing up dolls was to educate little girls on what to wear to what occasion. It was about colour coordination and care in dressing. I know today is different but sure they could still benefit from these simple lessons in play. The digital age is overtaking everything except for being a princess, mermaid or fairy I suppose. Such is life but I find this very sad.


    • The quotation at the beginning was used by another blogger who was writing to the prompt insight as well. I think she was using it ironically too. It was made by the CEO of a company, she didn’t say which but anyway I thought that it was a good example of the sort of rubbish that management people write so I decided to borrow it to illusrate what a rubbish job Mattel are doing of understanding their customers.


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