Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Post in the Works and Barbie News

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. :}

You can purchase Barbie HERE, "Bambi" (an interesting name choice) HERE, and Lea HERE

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?


BlackKitty said...

I do have some of the Fashionistas (especially the kitty dress) and the purple top Made to Move doll on my wishlist! But I can't buy anything for a few months, I really overspent on dolls these last weeks. I have an older Barbie and a pretty no-name doll I ordered online on the way, a purple haired Barbie I finally found in a store and now a US friend offered to bring me a couple of dolls if I buy them in time until her depart. So I used this chance to buy 3 J-dolls because they get rarer and pricier with each day. Add some shoes and craft supplies and I'm really, really maxed out! But I love the dolls your girls chose and I'm glad you're warming up towards Barbie.

Aileen said...

I ran to Toys R Us and got my Made to Move doll as soon as I read Emily's review. I got the brunette which I assumed was Teresa but I see now they have named her Bambi. Teresa was always my favorite growing up because she is hispanic like me. I also got her one of the fashion packs that was on sale at Target for around $7 and she looks adorable! I kind of like the fashionista doll that has the donuts on her shirt but I'm worried about the weird poses they're in. Mattel has renewed my interest in Barbies with these new lines. I hadn't bought a Barbie in years since the "My Scene" Barbie debacle. (I hated those!) I also bought one of the new Style dolls because I loved her rooted eyelashes but I haven't deboxed her.

aprilperlowski said...

I have 3 of the Fashionistas: LA Girl, the curly haired girl, and the African-American with red hair in the red romper. I may buy a couple of the Made to Move dolls to rebody them, if the skin tones work out. (I've been told that the Asian doll's skin tone matches the curly haired doll.)

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hi BlackKitty! Lol, I completely understand the whole overspending thing. I've been really good by necessity for the past few months due to changes in Hubby's job and pay scale. If only budgets weren't an issue. And space. I'm completely running out of that, too. ;)

I must confess, I've always had a soft spot for Barbie, but I preferred the dolls from my childhood or nicer lines like the Barbie Basics. It's nice to see the direction Mattel is taking Barbie, though, and I'm excited to see it continue. :)

Congrats, Aileen! I bought Bambi and Lea and am so excited to see them in person. :)

I'm sure the fashion pack clothing looks great on her. I've been eyeing the set with the unicorn shirt. ;)

I wasn't into the My Scene line either. I'm kinda glad that's over with.

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Hi aprilperlowski! I've been tempted to snag LA Girl and try rewigging her. I love her face, but I'm not really a fan of the half-shaved head look. (No offense to anyone who enjoys or sports that look themselves.)

I'm thinking the Made to Move Barbies should be pretty compatible with the Fashionista skin tones. I'm hoping they eventually make some African American Made to Move Barbies in various skin tones to match the skin tones of the African American Fashionistas. :)

Lisa Neault said...

I'm excited about the made to move dolls as well. The fact with the different skin tones, means they very well will be body swapped with different heads, and the possibilities are endless for little girls. Mattel is always the last to the articulated party. That is why I love Integrity toys - Fashion Royalty dolls so much.

My biggest beef with Mattel is their wild obsession with giving little girls stiff, bodied dolls, still. I grew up in the seventies and we had dramatic moving Barbie and we really thought, wow, we've arrived- Barbie can walk on a stand! If I had had a doll with jointed arms and legs I would have fell over as a kid. All I had was hippe-flower child Malibu Barbie which wasn't all that wonderful, compared to today's choices. But looking at the cheaply made items, I am beginning to go back to those vintage days when the items were made better and not so cheaply as they are now.

Nikki Fielder said...

I'm not usually into Barbies, but I love the redheaded one with blue eyes, in the sporty blue dress - I don't like her dress, but I think she's beautiful; she looks like Ariel (my favorite Disney princess). ;) I wish I could find her where I live.

Kiki's Korner said...

The Barbie line has made a lot of progress this year and there are hints of much more to come in 2016. I'm pleased!

Carrickters said...

The new Barbie faces are very cute. Your girls have chosen well and I hope they have a lot of fun playing with them. As for clothes, Mattel is not your only choice, there are many others making clothes that are fun, fashionable and quite modest.
As for the new 'Made to Move' Barbies, I'm just hoping they will make it to Australia.

Farrah Lily said...

Hi Hannah!
Thanks for the blogging shout out! :) I'm so glad these MTM Barbies came back so quickly. I hope this is a body type that we continue to see over and over. I still haven't gotten Lea, but I hope to soon. I actually ordered the blonde Barbie one recently (when they got released again) and I was surprised to see that she was almost as tan as "Bambi". I was hoping for a little lighter skin tone to use as possible body swaps for some of my Disney gals. :)
As for Fashionistas, I completely agree with all of your points. I love having dolls of different skin tones as well as hair/eye combos and I love seeing so many beautiful face molds. I didn't start collecting Barbie again until this past year and I added a couple Fashionistas as well as I am so in love with their faces! My girls are still a little bit young for Barbie, but they have a few of own that they play with from time to time as well as a bucket of clothes...some of which were from the my sister and my stash from the 80s! Think "stonewashed jeans" lol.

Mark Patraw said...

I have several of the highly-articulated Fashionista Barbies (I just bought another one on the 2nd of this month in fact). I particularly like the Swappin' Styles ones, where you can exchange their heads (probably because that always reminds me of Princess Mombi from the 1985 "Return to Oz" film), but I haven't picked up any of these newer, less-mobile figures. They look fine, I just prefer the more poseable models as they're more versatile. Naturally, I applaud the new Made to Move assortment--ALL fashion dolls should have that level of articulation in my opinion. Hopefully, it will become the new standard body for Barbies in the future (although I can also understand the benefits of having a less-mobile, cheaper model on the market too). And, like, Nikki, the first thing that went through my mind when I saw your photo of the redhead was "Ariel".

Unlike you, or Aileen, I like the My Scene Barbies (I've got several of those, most of which are still in mint condition in their unopened boxes--not that they're worth much of anything though). Mattel was arguably just trying to copy the Bratz' aesthetic/success with them, but they did some fun things with the line, and I also enjoy and collect Bratz anyway, so that was a win-win in my book.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Hey everyone! Sorry I got so behind on comments and took so long to get back to the rest of you.

Lisa, I agree with you on the body swapping options. I really want to swap some of the regular Fashionista dolls with these bodies.

And yes, Mattel does seem to be behind on the articulation thing. Like you, I always preferred dolls with more articulation, even as a little girl. I hope these sell well enough that they'll use these bodies more often.

Hi Nikki! I think the redheaded doll is quite lovely, too. She reminds me of one of my characters from my second book. ;)

Me too, Kiki's Korner! I can't wait to see reports from the Toy Fair next month and find out what else Mattel is cooking up. :)

Hi Carrickters! My girls have had a blast playing with their dolls. And yes, there are some other more modest clothing options for Barbie out there. I love finding older Barbie clothes at Goodwill and yard sales, too. :)

I hope the Made to Move Barbies make it to Australia, too!

Hi Farrah Lily! No problem at all! :) And like you, I hope we see more and more of these bodies used for Mattel dolls, too.

Lol, I have some of the stonewashed jeans era Barbie clothing, too. Good times. :D

Hi Mark! Lol, that part of "Return to Oz" always freaked me out. I'm undecided on the whole swapping heads thing...probably because I anthropomorphize my dolls way too much. ;)

I would love to see Mattel start using these bodies on all of their Fashionista dolls. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. ;)

I know there are other collectors out there who really enjoyed the My Scene dolls as well. I'm glad you were able to collect and enjoy them. :)