Saturday, February 9, 2013

Baby Phat SIS at Wal-Mart $13.24?




So In Style Baby Phat dolls:  Marisa, Grace, Chandra, and Kara (as shown on the back of the box)


On Friday, February 8, 2013, during a trip to Wal-Mart, I found So In Style Baby Face dolls Chandra, Kara, and Marisa.  Grace was either sold out or never in stock.  There was only one of each found doll.  

It was not until today, however, that I went back to the store and purchased all three.  Initially, I had convinced myself that I did not need to buy another doll because my doll spending has been too out of hand of late.  But after reporting to members of the SIS Yahoo Group that I had seen and left the dolls, the moderator shared her amazement that I was able to do that based on how "scarce" they are.  Scarce... it was that word that forced me to throw on some clothing and drive myself back to Wal-Mart to retrieve my dolls earlier today.

Just as the battered Sophia from the Color Purple marched her way to find and confront Celie for instructing Harpo to beat her, I parked my car on row 12 and marched my way onto the Barbie aisle of  Wal-Mart on a mission to get my dolls.  I almost went into panic mode when the dolls were not on the racks they had been on the day before.  I quickly scanned the shelves and found that someone had placed them on a lower one.  Relieved, I grabbed and carted my dolls.

As I stood in line to pay, Friday's memory of $11.97 was still in my head as the rack price shown for the dolls the day before.  Today, however, I watched as each doll rang up for $13.24 and immediately asked the cashier if I was seeing the correct price.  She replied in the affirmative but kindly removed the $13.24 x 3 from my bill and manually entered $11.97 for each when I told her the shelf price was that amount.

The dolls' retail is $11.99, so why Wal-Mart would price them $13.24 is a mystery to me.

I have not deboxed the dolls to examine their articulation or the quality of their clothing, but I have photographed full and close-up photos as follows:

Chandra (full and close-up):  So far she is my favorite.  I like the style and color of her fashion and love her curly hair and straight-glancing brown eyes.
Kara (full and close-up):  She's my next favorite but her pink lip color is a little too loud for my personal taste.  I love the shoes... for her. 

I was on the fence about purchasing Marisa yesterday, but when I went back today, I couldn't leave her there.  I will probably list her on eBay because I am not feeling her fashion, at all.   
 
So if you are in the market for these, visit Wal-Mart in your area.  Check the shelf price and watch the price at the register because the two might differ. 

For a more informative post on the doll's clothing and articulation and to see them deboxed, visit Limbe Dolls to read her review. 

dbg

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31 comments:

  1. $13.24 was the shelf and scan price at my Walmart. I left them there. I only wanted Chandra but her hair was creeping up the box on one side so I though it was a defect, however it looks the same in your box so I guess it's standard. My store too only had one set of the line.

    As hard as I try not to let it, that $1.25 is a huge difference for me. I was expecting $11.99, not $13.24. I have a hard enough time parting with my money anyway so don't try to make me give you an extra buck25. I'll see if Target has them.

    And I so dont mean to offend anyone but Marisa looks so generic in this line. It's like she has no ethnicity at all and that top is what granny's wear so it's not flattering for her age either.

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    1. Muff, take a look at this flickr picture. All of the girls look great out of the box. This is the picture that made me see Marisa in a different light. I still probably won't get her. http://www.flickr.com/photos/22560195@N02/8462398200/in/photostream/

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    2. Marisa's new top in this image really does give a better appearance. I am not regretting finding a new home for mine, however.

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  2. I so want Marisa. Please let us know when you'll list her on eBay.

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    1. Hi Ada,

      Marisa has been listed. The item number is 310593110976. Good luck should you choose to bid.

      dbg

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  3. You crack me up, Muff with your sincere honesty.

    Trust me, had I seen a shelf price of $13.24 on Friday, I would have been as put off as you and would not have returned for them Saturday. But I know what I saw, $11.97.

    I went to Target on Friday. My store only had Tennis Grace and the little sis.

    Chandra 's hair looks pretty wild and was the first thing I noticed about her. She has so much that it may appear to be crawling up the left side of the box due to lack of accommodating space.

    The Marisa I purchased has entered the auction block and her buy it now has been canceled out with one bid. Hopefully someone who needs her or who is unable to gain access in their country will win the auction.

    dbd

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  4. One of the Wal-Marts in my area always seems to have a good supply of older SIS in their clearance section but they're always marked $13.24. I really am very tempted every time I see them but the price gets me...I know these dolls retail @ $11.99. Speaking of weird Wal-Mart pricing, have you guys seen that they've marked their left over Star Dolls back up to $22.00 ? LOL.

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    1. Hi Ken,

      Wal-Mart shoppers have to be really careful and aware of retail prices when shopping for everything at Wal-Mart. While they lower prices on some items, the price is raised on many more items to compensate for the few cents' savings on the lowered price items. I can probably count the times on one hand that I shopped at Wal-Mart last year for this reason. It became clearly apparent that it is not a place to shop to save because they'll stick it to you one way or another.


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  5. I'm really glad I'm not the only one who has out of control doll spending. I've been avoiding the doll aisles lately for just that reason (well, after snatching up all the target-clearance Tim Gunn dolls/accessories, and a ken-with wigs). Except for those 3 purchases, I'm trying to restrain myself.

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    1. I am glad that I am in good company, too, Miss Lola. It seems the overpspending comes in waves. I have lulls in spending but when the spending resumes, it seems to do so in larger amounts than I'd like. But as long as we enjoy our dolls and are not robbing Peter to pay Paul to indulge ourselves, I suppose it's okay. I am just running out of room and really need to do some more purging of things that are no longer near and dear to my collecting soul.

      Congrats on your Target buys and good luck with your restraint.

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  6. Hi Debbie,

    The main reason I have not been enthusiastic about the SIS dolls before is Mattel's marketing and distribution strategy creates an artificial scarcity. They could make more money supplying sufficient quantities of these dolls to meet the demand than they do by allowing retailers to engage in price gouging.

    The population of the community around the Walmart where I bought mine is 89% African American. The checkout clerk looked wistfully at the dolls when she was ringing them up for me even though her daughter is only 17 months old. "They didn't have this when I was growing up," she said.

    For the rest of the weekend black people with paychecks and tax refund checks will be coming into this Walmart with money to spend but many opportunities to sell SIS dolls (even at $13.24) will be missed because I bought the last (only ?) four at 2pm on Friday February 8th. They were on the very bottom shelf when I found them. Normally a new product would be displayed more prominently.

    Due to this artificial scarcity, the dolls are subject to arbitrary price manipulations as we have seen before. I didn't mind paying $13.24 because that price is comparable to a Fashionista. Fashionistas have better articulation but the SIS dolls come in brand name fashions. I was very pleased with the Baby Phat clothes they were wearing.

    Even at Toys R Us Fashionistas periodically go on sale and you can pick them up for about $10, but whenever there is a Barbie sale in the stores I frequent, there are no SIS dolls to be seen. They reappear on the shelves the next week after the sale is over. I figured I would not be able to get the Baby Phat SIS dolls for less than $13.24. I also figured the decision to produce these nominally articulated dolls without pivotal torsos and knee joints means we will not see any Fashionistas that are darker than a paper bag so I paid the black tax.

    I would say that the Kenya dolls were initially over-priced which is part of why Family Dollar stores seem to have a lot of them left over. Yet, By filling a market niche that Mattel had long chosen to ignore, I think the Kenya dolls probably helped push their competitor into releasing the articulated SIS dolls we've all been longing for.

    Remaindered Kenya dolls are currently on sale at Family Dollar -- buy 1 get 1 50% off. This brings the price down to $15, which is more in line with their true value. For those who don't yet have the Kenya outfits and are looking for dark-skinned articulated bodies, I would say that at this price the Kenya dolls are a better value than the SIS Baby Phat dolls because you get more wardrobe pieces and the construction of the clothes and quality of the SIS dolls' bodies is only marginally better.

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    1. Hi Paulette,

      I am not at all fond of Mattel's marketing strategy particularly with reference to the dolls I collect. It is unfair for them to dole out dolls in such low quantities (1 doll each to vendors) to create the artificial scarcity and to allow retailers to sell them above suggested retail.

      Kenya dolls are an alternative for those seeking dolls with articulation, but the quality of the vinyl is not comparable to Mattel's, and while there is more articulation than that offered on the Baby Phat SIS dolls, the joints are either too stiff or too loose on the Kenya dolls. Still, collectors/consumers are given a variety of complexions and fashions (even though I have yet to see the boxed fashions).

      I also agree with you that the Kenya dolls were overpriced, but Family Dollar has had some really great sales on the dolls. The buy one and get one 70% off was the best sale thus far. Currently the Fashion Madness Kenya dolls are priced $15 each here. If consumers hold out, and they probably will, I think we can expect to see another price cut on Fashion Madness Kenya at Family Dollar. Their stores typically do not shelve items for a lengthy period without reducing the price to promote quick sales.

      Where Kenya's World, LLC made their mistake is not introducing the other proposed fashion dolls before Christmas when the others were released. Consumers who purchase dolls for the target market (children) are not very prone to purchase dolls in large quantities after Christmas. Collectors on the other hand will, but we enjoy those pre-holiday sales, too.

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  7. I've been to every Family Dollar in my area trying to find marked down Kenya dolls. Around here they're only marked down to $15.00 .

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    1. Hi again Ken,

      The Fashion Madness Kenya dolls have been reduced to $15 here as well.

      As I posted in my comment to Limbe Dolls, I think FD may reduced them more if the $15 price fails to move them from shelves. It may not be before the Easter Holiday before we see another price cut, however.

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  8. I sent hubby to Walmart this morning to purchase ink for my computer and he called me and told me that they had S.I.S dolls. I told him to purchase one of each . He said they were $13.34, I told him to tell the clerk that they were $11.99 and that is what he got them for. I am not impressed at all with Marissa. I got her to repaint anyway lol. Her leggings are ok but the rest of her outfit is a total mess! I will however pick up a one more of the Grace and Chandra dolls. Thanks for your post Debbie ;-)

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    1. I am happy that you were able to find them Chynadoll or that your so considerate husband found them for you. Good thinking to tell the cashier they were $11.99 BECAUSE THAT'S THE PRICE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WAL-MART! I hope everyone will do that at checkout!

      If Grace shows up here, I plan to buy her for $11.97 and more more.

      Debbie

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  9. *more more should be "no more."

    Seriously,

    dbg

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  10. I want Ms. Chandra too. I will have to let my sister know to check in Detroit. She has been so elusive here in Charlotte. I hope I can find her. I love the outfit and yes Kara lipstick is to pink for me too.

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  11. Thanks for this information, Debbie, and for letting us know about LimbeDolls' post on the SiS dolls.

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  12. Hi, I don't mind taking Marisa off your hands, she's just 'my type' and I wear red all year round (Star Trek inside joke).

    Her dress reminds me of the old uniforms in Captain Kirk's era (see Uhura's dress).

    Let me know on Facebook preferably when you get the listing up! I might just snap it up quick if its priced okay. Just be prepared to ship it a loooong distance across the Pacific. I'll pay shipping of course :3

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    1. Hey Carmen,

      Marisa has been listed on eBay; 99 views thus far, 1 bidder and a few watchers. The link to the auction is Marisa. I'll share it with you through Facebook as well.

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  13. My Walmart had them for $13.24. At least that is what the empty shelf said. Walmart is famous for doing that on most of their dolls. They had their Basic Barbies for $21.99 instead of the $19.99. I refused to buy the Basic dolls. It will be interesting to see what Target sells these dolls for. I have been less than pleased with Walmart's overall pricing on all of their goods since they did their store remodel several years ago. That is when they started charging a little more for their toys and their food items. Interesting what happened at ToyCountry (or whatever their name) to go from $11.97 to $19.99. Yeah, right. Chances are Mattel on line will have the dolls for $11.99, but then there is shipping to consider, unless they are offering free shipping.

    Almost forgot to mention that I was dying laughing through your entire post. I'm glad you went back and got your girls. I will be getting at least three of the four and multiples of Chandra and Kara. Nice to have both those body colors available for body donors. I will recoup a little by selling the extra outfits.

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    1. I didn't want to have any regrets over missing out on the ones I wanted, which is why I had to head on back to Wal-Mart this past Saturday. Glad I did. There's no telling when that store will restock. Husband went there yesterday to purchase a video game for our grandson whose birthday was yesterday, so I had him check for the Baby Phat dolls. None were there.

      The dolls have been seen and purchased at Target by someone who resides in another state, so check Target in your area, when possible. This person said the dolls did not scan at the register and the guy who checked him out gave them to him for $10 and some change. I am sure they will be priced higher than that at Target, but at least we know they will be available there eventually. I checked yesterday at my Target because I had to go there for something else. None were there. There was one Grace and little one Tennis set. I can never remember her little sister's name.

      :-)


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    2. Vanessa, restyling can make a huge difference as that link shows! I still wont be getting Marisa though.

      Target has their dolls listed for $12.99 on the shelf. However, Debbi, just like that other guy they didn't scan at the register. So when she asked me how much they were, I crossed my fingers behind my back and said $10.99 because that's how much the Fashionistas were on sale for. She kept inputting numbers and couldn't get it to show so she said that must mean it's on sale and she gave it to me for $5.99! I felt bad about that all the way to the car as I clutched my new Chandra to my chest. I'm a bad Muff, but at least I didn't go back and get the others and return to her register. I was pushing my luck as it was.

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    3. Now that is too funny Muff! I can see you now clutching Chandra as you made your way to the car.

      When I purchased my dolls at Wal-Mart, it was time for the cashier to take her break, which is probably why she entered the price I told her I had seen on the shelf the day previously.

      The things we do for dolls...
      :-)

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I will tell you all to check Target. Even though the peg was empty the 2 I checked they are priced at $8.99.

      Muff you didn't do anything wrong and the clerks can put in the price for Chandra but you got her. I'll be checking when they restock the aisle which I believe it's Wednesday according to one of the clerks :O)

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    2. Someone else said they found them at Target for $8.99 in their area. I was too tired to travel back to Target again today so I called. I was told they only had "one set" of SIS dolls and they were not the Baby Phat ones. I saw Tennis Grace when I was there the last time, so that's probably the "set" the were referring to. Thanks for the heads up Dollz4moi.

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  15. I felt ashamed but now I must tell you all that my Baby Phat SIS dolls did NOT scan at my local Target either. Three managerial-types were called over to Customer Service to resolve the situation. What eventually happened was the chief troubleshooter went to the doll aisle to make a final decision. When she came back, she told me that she had to charge me $2.56 per doll (and I had all 4 in my cart!) because that was Target's rule!! I protested by telling her that I thought she was making a huge mistake - that these dolls should probably be at least $8.99 or so but she wouldn't do anything!! So I paid $2.56/each for the four dolls!! Unbelievable!! I did not feel bad at all because I didn't try to fool them and I did inform them that they were not correct on this price. So - with tax, I paid just over $10 for all four dolls!! This happened on my birthday so maybe that was Target's present to me? LOL!

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  16. Target either charges too much or too little. Count your blessing!

    I am going to go to Target tomorrow, even though I was told by phone today that the dolls are not in stock. I have to go see for myself. I hope a similar blessing is in store for me. If not tomorrow, as soon as they arrive in stock. I feel like camping out at Target. LOL!

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!