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Mattel out to prove it can be as tech-focused and nimble as competitors

Last year, sales of Barbie to retailers declined 16 per cent and Fisher-Price sales fell 13 per cent.

El Segundo, California

AS Gerry Cody, a senior design manager at Mattel, cheerfully loaded a live cricket into the driver's seat of a new toy car, the cricket probably did not have time to wonder how it had gotten to this point.

Mr Cody explained how the company had consulted an...