|Texas A&M deboxed and using box as backdrop|
After reading Fiery Dragon Lady's comment to my Texas A&M Finally! post regarding her Ken's uneven arm seams, I immediately deboxed my doll to conduct a thorough examination.
I had heard of another collector who received a doll with a similar arm issue. I had hoped my doll did not exhibit any flaws...
...but he does, on both arms. The outer seam of his left arm is the worst, but there is visible separation on the inner seams of both arms as illustrated in the photos taken without the aid of flash.
|Above, Top-Bottom: The inside seams of the upper portion of Ken's right inner and outer arm have seam separations as illustrated above.|
|The seam of his left upper arm is also separated.|
This is such poor craftsmanship!
Fiery Dragon Lady's comment mentioned her doll's flocked hair is flaking off. My doll's hair is not flaking, but there is a flocking rub or flattening caused by pressure when his head was against the box lining. See below:
|Smooth area of Ken's hair|
This makes him look like he is in the early stages of tinea capitis (ringworm). Poor guy.
These flaws are not bad enough for me to return him to Wal-Mart for a refund, particularly now since he is sold out at their dot com site, but I am not happy they exist. Had I been scalped by an eBay seller, like Fiery Dragon Lady indicated she was, I would upset.
If you have not already deboxed your Texas A&M Ken, you might want to do so and conduct your own thorough examination. I hope your doll is flawless.
Update on 10/02/2013 @1:15 p.m. CST
I called Mattel to complain about this doll's seam separations illustrated above. (I didn't mention the hair rub because I have managed to lift most of the hair up by rubbing it from the bottom to the top of the affected area.)
After verifying my ID and that I had never called to file a complaint on a Mattel product, I provided the product ID number and answered a couple of questions re: the doll. The customer service agent wanted to know where the doll was purchased and how long I have had it. He checked for available stock to replace the doll. Since no dolls were available, he offered and I accepted a voucher for the amount I paid through Walmart.com including applicable taxes. The voucher, which will arrive within 7 days, is good at any major retail store that sell Mattel products: Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, etc. It cannot be used online. I do not have to return the doll to Mattel, but was instructed to keep it until the voucher arrives in the event I plan to discard it.
With that taken care of, I asked him to please ensure that the company is informed of these major flaws because they are not isolated to my doll. I let him know that several other collectors' dolls have similar seam separations, "nips" in the vinyl and other vinyl flaws, uneven seams, protruding ankle pegs, and shedding hair. These flaws, I informed, have been noted on both versions of the doll (AA and white). He made a note of these issues, whether it will help or not, remains to be seen.
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