Saturday, June 6, 2015

Who Is Barbie? | Barbie

New Barbie Fashionistas are featured in this "Who is Barbie?" video.  The two, now possibly three that are on my wish list are included.  How unfortunate that most of the actual dolls do not possess the articulation illustrated in the video and unfortunate even more that I have not seen them locally (but I haven't really looked either).  Who is Barbie to you?



Now take a look at Who is Barbie:  Behind the Scenes



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16 comments:

  1. I saw this ad in my YouTube feed and thought it was kind of cute. It's nice to think that they are casting Barbie as "officially" multi ethnic as this is something that through the years has been paid lip service while much of the corporate imagery and merchandise has exclusively portrayed Barbie as iconically Caucasian and blonde. The thing is I was the generation of kids that had the Dolls of the World collection and remember how much this idea that Barbie could be any ethnicity really resonated with me and to this day means I've never in my head necessarily identified her with one cultural identity. That said, I know I'm being simplistic but when your 5 or 6 and your first Barbie touchstone of either the toy store or girls at school bringing Indian, "Oriental" (as she was called on the box), or Black Twirly Curls it imprints a certain lateral understanding of who Barbie is. The nice thing with this most recent of Fashionistas is it feels in a small way a full circle moment.

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    1. Barbie's ID is probably interpreted based on the era in which a child was introduced to the icon. I understand how one could easily view Barbie as being any ethnicity during the DOTW years.

      I grew up when Barbie and her friends had a white-only representation. Of course I owned them as playthings and their color actually didn't affect me in one way or another because all my dolls were white. All my friends dolls were white. I viewed this as the "norm." When in reality it shouldn't have been my norm. As an adult collector, I rebelled against Barbie for several years, probably for this reason. This is also why I prefer other black playscale female dolls in general over Barbie. The companies who made black fashion dolls were inclusive and I appreciate their efforts to create doll representations of all people. Yes, Barbie had black friends eventually, but by the time they surfaced, my childhood interest in dolls was beginning to fade. Her black friends did become my daughter's black-only doll playmates during the late-late '70s/early '80's.

      This new line of dolls indicates trends have changed some and about that I say: It's about time, Mattel! Don't stop now.

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    2. I completely agree Debbie and it's been too long in coming. One of the reasons that Bratz were so successful was not just the cool clothes but that the dolls came in all the shades of the rainbow. While they weren't my thing (I had a couple that have since been given away to friends daughters) I feel they drew a line in the sand that Barbie has been chasing to reach ever since.

      I think the DOTW resonated so strongly with me because they were equal players on the toy shelves, mainline & play line not communicated as for the collector, not "other" you just had a choice of which Barbie you liked best, you took off the national dress and just have a Barbie doll ready for play. While I always had a soft spot for the Nineties big haired blonde Barbie's of my growing up years I really thought something was lost when the iconography of Barbie became almost exclusively white. Here in Australia I would find the odd Christie or Teresa but they were few and far between the shelves and shelves of Caucasian dolls. I can understand rebelling against that as a collector!

      I cannot imagine a time when playthings were not offered easily to any child who was looking for a representation of themselves, of course I understand it intellectually but that in 2015 THE icon of dolls finally casts herself in all colours is important but how long did it need to take?

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    3. Your comment regarding the DOTW had me reflect on what was going on in my adult doll-collecting infancy. I recall wanting to own all the DOTW Barbies that had been made up to the early-1990s because the collection included a decent representation of everyone. As new dolls were released, I purchased those as well for a few years. I eventually sold all the blondes and kept only the dark haired dolls which can be seen in this 2010 post. These were the only Barbies at that stage of my collecting that interested me. I eventually added some of the vintage friends (Christie, Brad, Cara, Curtis, and Julia--even though she was not a Barbie friend) to my 1990s collection.

      With the exception of the So in Style dolls, which have now been discontinued, Mattel has had a difficult time keeping up and has made few efforts in doing so with companies like MGA Entertainment and the few others whose lines have included a larger selection of dolls of color for girls and collectors who have chosen to purchase.

      I never got into Bratz dolls, although I must admit that I ran out and purchased a few after Mattel's attempt to sue the company over copyright infringement. The ones I own remain boxed up, needing to be sold.

      I have enjoyed this exchange of thoughts.

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  2. I just loooved this collection! But I was expecting that all of them were articulated, aren't they? Oh noes!

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    1. One of the Grace dolls is articulated, but not the one released in the first group of new Barbie Fashionistas, which can be seen here. The remaining dolls are scheduled to be released by October of this year. Chances are that most, if not all, are not articulated. :-(

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  3. I have the doll featured at 0:06, and she's beautiful. I got her on sale at Meijer for five dollars! I do wish she was articulated, though, especially after seeing this video. Still, I can see myself buying the redhead and the Asian doll... and also the one with the Goddess sculpt. She reminds me of my Samira: http://sarahplaysdolls.blogspot.com/2015/03/re-root-samira.html

    I also grew up in the era of DOTW, and I'm in love with my Spanish Barbie and her thick, curly black hair. But it seemed like after the '90s, Barbie went back to being blonde and blue-eyed again, especially where playline dolls were concerned. I really hope Mattel keeps up with the dolly diversity, and also with Barbie being a little less Princess and a little more modern and fierce. With the appearance of toys like Goldie Blox, girls are seeing that they can be more than pretty, and Barbie seriously needs to reflect this. I'm getting rambly, but I'd love to see a line of Beyond Beautiful dolls, where Barbie does things like garden in overalls and climb trees.

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    1. Oh my, you have her! That's one of the three that I want and she is the one I want the most. I would love for her to show up locally so I can avoid shipping, but I might have to break down and order online since she is now sold out at BarbieCollector.com. As of this date, she is the only one that is sold out. She must be quite popular. I can't believe you found her for $5! Wow!

      Your Samira is beautiful!

      The original Spanish Barbie, Brazilian, and Mexican Barbie dolls of the world are among the ones from my initial 1990s purchases that I still own.

      Mattel really would be stepping up to the plate if they created dolls as you've described that garden in overalls and climb trees, especially if the overalls are not a pastel color!

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    2. I just found one at my Meijer for 8.79! Do you want her? My email address is sarahsequins@yahoo.com if you do. <3

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    3. I just emailed you! Thanks for looking out!

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  4. I'm up late and looking at blogs. I missed this post! I'm glad you have a popular post scroll. I'll have to think about that. Great video! Thanks for sharing. I agree also, the use of different dolls with different ethnicities creates excitement. I know it does for me. I purchased the doll with the goddess headsculpt and recently added the Desiree/Nikki. They are all not easy to find. It would be great for other to be more adds with them like the did for the Basic dolls.

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    1. I'm glad you found this post, Ms. Leo. Have you seen the behind-the-scenes version? Here's the link. I will add the video link to the post as well for those who might stop by to read the post later.

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  5. I'm a huge fan of the video because the stop motion is awesome but the fact that the new line isn't articulated is a tad annoying.

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    1. Yes. The frozen-in-position poses can be quite annoying.

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  6. Add me to the list of people disappointed that this line remains unarticulated. The dolls have great faces and hair styles, but the fact that Mattel had to rebody them for the video should make them think that articulation is the way to go these days. They do it for every Monster High and Ever After doll!

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    1. Excellent point, Troy. If the MH and EA dolls can be articulated, why not these, why not all?

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