While shopping for his daughter's Christmas, Warren Johnson of Cincinatti found that the Target website had the Caucasian version of "Fashion Design Maker Barbie" on sale at a 50% reduction, while the African-American version was still marked at full price.
This prompted him to contact Target corporate, where he was offered the doll at the sale price and when they were contacted by a consumer reporter for WCPO, Target explained there had been a system error and that the dolls should have been priced the same, a discrepancy which has now been addressed. A similar difference was discovered on the Amazon website, but as of press time yesterday, they had not replied to reporter John Matarese's email.
Building upon the original story, Katie Little with CNBC checked several online retailers for other Barbies and found that some had a price difference between the black and white Barbies. Though in the case of one from Toys-R-Us, it was the African-American Barbie which cost less.
Continuing along this chain, Andy Wise of Memphis' WMC-TV checked brick and mortar retailers in the area and found that like dolls were all priced the same. Perhaps it's because that if there had been a difference at some point, human oversight might have noticed the issue and made the correction in the field. We don't really know. Though it may be worth noting that human intervention isn't always foolproof because in the part of his report about the CNBC finding, Wise appears to have flipped the Toys-R-Us price.
Based upon the reporting, all of the price differences to which they've been made aware may have been remedied, except in the case of Amazon, where a search indicates that they currently only have "African-American Fashion Design Maker Barbie" being sold by a third-party retailer.