Barbie toys with auto show circuit

Marketing

Even Barbie is going electric.

Mattel used a prime press conference slot at the Los Angeles Auto Show to unveil a sparkly two-seat convertible built on the chassis of a Fiat 500e.

The company will be selling a toy version of the car at Walmart for $30. It will likely be more profitable than the actual 500e, which former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne once urged consumers not to buy because the automaker lost $14,000 on each one.

Mattel designers spent two and a half months building the car, a spokesperson told CNET. They scaled up the CAD files for the toy version to the size of a real car, cut its shape out of foam to create molds for the body and 3D-printed the wheels, which were then hand-painted.

And with few major vehicle reveals happening in L.A., the toymaker managed to secure the time slot after Kia to show off its creation.

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