As Barbie turns 60, this social media doll startup aims to shake up category

As Barbie celebrates her 60th anniversary this year, young toy maker YULU is looking to shake up the doll category with its #SnapStar line.

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YULU’s Co-President Jochem van Rijn told FOX Business he believes diversity and digital integration are key to positioning his company to make an impact on the $28 billion U.S. toy industry.

“From the beginning diversity was absolutely critical ... within the #SnapStar lineup, every single person in the world could feel that they identified with our brand,” explains van Rijn. “We also wanted to reflect that diversity in the dolls’ fashion, so we collaborated with designers from across the world to help design our doll’s clothing and accessories.”

YULU products are already available at Target and Walmart, as well as in specialty stores and the company has plans to open in 14 markets worldwide.

Van Rijn says that YULU is also relying on a digital component to complement the physical doll.

“We believe kids are consuming media in a completely different manner from five to 10 years ago,” says van Rijn.

Every doll comes with a green posing stand and green screen for photo shoots. The green screen allows users to superimpose any background behind their doll using the #SNAPSTAR app. Then the photos can be shared on social media.

“What we believe is that #SnapStar can become a true entertainment property,” says van Rijn. “By introducing the physical dolls and combining it with a lot of content and a lot of entertainment strategies, we’re hoping #SnapStar can become a true staple in the toy entertainment industry which we hope will have a lifetime as long as Barbie.”

For more on how #SNAPSTAR works and the full interview with YULU Co-President Jochem van Rijn, watch the video above.


Emily DeCiccio is a video producer and reporter for Fox News Digital Originals. Tweet her @EmilyDeCiccio