Hey everyone! I'm in the middle of my ginormous post about my trip, but I thought I'd give you some Barbie news to tide you over while you're waiting.
I haven't done a lot with Barbie recently. She can end up being a bit controversial these days, with so many parents unhappy with her unrealistic proportions, short, immodest styles, and overuse of pink.
I have a kind of love/not-love (hate is too strong a word) relationship with these dolls. I grew up playing with Barbies and really loved them. My Barbie dolls were characters in my elaborate imaginary sagas of love, joy, and loss. ;)
I do have some body issues, which may or may not have been influenced by Barbie. I'm not one of those moms that feels that Barbie is to blame for all of that, but I do love that there are other companies out there like Lottie and Lammily that are trying to bring about more realistic dolls for kiddos. It's nice having some options so that each family can decide which doll line works best for them.
We haven't done as much with Barbie in our family, especially while the girls were super young, because of the immodest fashions and body size. Hubby especially thought it would be nice to focus more on 18 inch dolls and others with less developed figures.
Now that the girls are a little older, we're a little more lenient, but we often use Barbie (and other fashion dolls, including our Disney ones) as a springboard for discussions about body image, fashion, and modesty.
Honestly, as a collector, I haven't been into Barbie because of the way Mattel has gotten so basic and unexciting in their Barbie designs. (Which, as a side note, is also why I'm not a fan of Mattel Disney dolls.) My two biggest complaints are the lack of articulation and the lack of diversity.
So, as you can imagine, I've been pretty excited about some of the things happening in the Barbie universe recently.
First off, we have the Barbie Fashionistas line. For anywhere from $8 to $10, you can pick from a variety of doll face molds, skin tones, and fashions. I've been drooling over these for quite some time, and honestly, if I had the funds, a LOT of them would come home with me. (Translated: most of them, if not all.) ;)
The newest batch was in my local Walmart yesterday, so I snapped a few pics:
The lineup of newbies.
I LOVE this doll. :D
This one is cute, too, and has some random face freckles.
I love the coloring on this gal, but every time I've seen her, her face looks unnaturally squished.
This one has some wild hair and glasses going on. ;) I love her face.
And hooray for a new Ken face at last! I like this face mold a lot better. The differences are slight, but are a nice improvement.
The newest Ken doll. I like his face, too.
This was the original lineup that showed up in Walmart at the beginning of November.
I can't get over the beauty and variety in these faces.
I love what they've done with Barbie's face, too. She looks softer and sweeter, with minimal makeup. And hooray for a lovely Asian doll. I'm pretty sure she has the Lea face mold.
I found this interesting. These are both the same doll, but with radically different hairstyles. I prefer the poofier hair, but I'm wondering if Mattel decided that having such a wild style might be tough for kiddos to manage.
A few of the dolls ended up coming home with us for the girls. I apologize in advance for the crummy pictures. My camera was acting up and I was in a hurry because the girls really wanted to play with their dolls, not do a photo shoot. ;) Which also explains why there are no deboxed pictures. ;)
First we'll look at this adorable girl. This one is Oldest Gal's and is one of her favorites. She loves her beautiful face and her cute kitty dress.
A closer look at her face...
...and her dress.
The back of the box shows a lineup of some of the other Fashionistas.
Here is Middle Gal's doll, one of my personal favorites from the new dolls. According to the back of the box, this one is labeled as number 8, "Denim 'N Dots."
I really love her face mold and her coloring.
Her dress is a little short, but really cute.
The back of the box, showing the full lineup of one of the earlier releases of the new Fashionistas. I love the fact that these ones are numbered and labeled, unlike the ones on the earlier boxes. However, I wish Mattel had a collector's guide or something online. I haven't been able to find a conclusive list anywhere. If anyone knows of one, could you share it in the comments?
A closer look at her box art.
Little Gal ended up with this redheaded beauty.
I wasn't able to capture it in the photos (silly camera), but she has light freckles on her cheeks.
Her dress is cute. Again, a little short, but cute. It now has a large black blotch on one side, a mysterious result of something on our road trip. Little Gal's dolls tend to be prone to stains, rips, tears, and hair loss. We're still working on the whole "gentle" and "mint condition" thing with her. ;)
The back of her box.
There are two things that excite me the most about Mattel's efforts with this new line. First, I love the fact that it will now be easier for little girls of all ethnic backgrounds to find a doll that looks like them. I can well remember the pink box, blonde Barbie days of my childhood. I was so excited when I got my brown-haired, green-eyed Babysitter Courtney because she looked just like me. There's something so special about finding a doll that looks a lot like you, which was hard for me in the sea of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Barbie dolls of the 80s and 90s. Courtney and Glitter Beach Teresa were always my favorite dolls because they made me feel like I didn't have to have blonde hair and blue eyes to be "pretty." Silly, I know, but it's sometimes the way little girl logic works.
And that brings me to my next point. I love the array of equally interesting and beautiful dolls in a variety of skin tones, hair colors, eye colors, and face molds. I love the fact that my girls enjoy dolls that look like them, but I also love the fact that they love dolls that DON'T look like them. That may be confusing after my last paragraph, but let me explain. ;)
I've mentioned on the blog before that I love the idea of using dolls as a way to teach my girls about beauty in every skin type and every race. Beauty is not confined to one race alone, and our differences are what make us unique and interesting. Having a cast of multi-ethnic dolls is a fun way to illustrate that point.
My only complaint with these dolls is that they still have the boring, stiff, unarticulated limbs.
Which brings me to my next little tidbit of Barbie news. :D
A lot of you have probably already heard about the new "Made to Move Barbie" line with twenty-two points of articulation. I cannot even describe how excited I am about this new line. Finally, another fashion doll with a great range of motion! :D Any of you who have been readers for a while will know that I'm big on articulation. ;)
What's even more exciting is that the three different Made to Move dolls are now available on the Toys R Us website, and they're currently on sale for $14.99 each. Even better, Toys R Us is still doing their "free shipping with purchases over $19" promotion. :D
These dolls have been selling for $30 to $40 online, at the very least, as we've waited for the official release. It pays to be patient. I just ordered two of them for $30. :D Yes, I did break my own rules of December and bought something for myself...but I was worried they might be out of stock after Christmas. :}
Since I haven't gotten mine yet, I can't do a review at this time, but two of my blogging friends have already done great reviews. You can check out Emily's review at The Toy Box Philosopher HERE and Farrah Lily's review at Cozy Comforts and Dolls HERE.
I can't WAIT to get these dolls and play around with their articulation. :) And if it's as amazing as it looks, I foresee a lot of Barbie Fashionista beheadings and body swappings in my future. ;) Of course, I'm also hoping that these will sell well enough that Mattel will release more Made to Move Barbies with more faces and skin tones. :D
Okay, time to get back to my other post. Just had to share that. ;)
Will any of you be adding some Barbie Fashionistas or Made to Move dolls to your Christmas wishlist or Christmas shopping list?