ITOCHU Announces Acquisition of Master License Rights to Barbie in Japan

May 27, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter "ITOCHU") announced today that it has acquired master license rights excluding toys to Barbie, a U.S. fashion doll brand, in the Japanese market. ITOCHU will begin to operate businesses in Japan under the license rights in the spring-summer season of 2021.

Barbie is provided by Mattel, Inc. (located in the United States), which is one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world. For more than 60 years since its launch in 1959, Barbie has always been at the intersection of fashion and pop culture, and continues to represent global diversity in the fashion doll aisle by showcasing a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion. Named the 2020 Top Global Toy Property of the Year, according to the NPD group, a leading global information company, the brand engages consumers through new product innovation, cultural relevance, digital dialog, and the celebration of female role models.

In operating the Barbie brand, ITOCHU will work to expand the business domain to the overall consumer-related sector by making full use of its market-oriented perspective and a wide range of knowledge and networks it has as a sogo shosha. Specifically, ITOCHU will strongly promote the appeal of the fundamental concept and philosophy of Barbie as a world-class fashion icon and pursue all possibilities, including development of new products through collaborations with companies from other industries and development of new sales channels, in addition to enhancing the lineup of products targeting highly fashion-sensitive consumers, with a focus on apparel products and fashion sundries. ITOCHU will also work proactively to provide new customer experience in events and promotional activities, aiming to improve the value of the Barbie brand further. 

■Official Barbie website: