Monday, June 19, 2017

The Barbie Look Review

The initial photos of my boxed dolls with cellophane or see-through fronts, are always taken in their unopened boxes, (the states they arrive in from the manufacturer).  No exception to this rule was made with The Barbie Look Barbie; she remains in the NRFB-state in this photo.  

I was so excited about this doll that I ordered two. Both arrived this past Friday. The plan was to debox one and to keep the other in the box indefinitely. Unfortunately, I am returning the one I deboxed first because she has a dark smudge on the side of her face. I did not see this imperfection until I had taken several photographs, which are the first ones shown below.   Please examine your dolls for unsightly imperfections.

First Photos of First Doll

The doll has been removed from the box but is still attached to the box liner.
The back of the box contains The Barbie Look description and illustrates the doll's accessories and a brunette from the collection.

Back of box description of The Barbie Look doll

Accessories include a compact with faux makeup, faux lipstick, gold tone metal purse, cell phone, and the gold strappy heels she arrived wearing. A doll stand and certificate of authenticity were also included.

Actual accessories

Illustration from the box of her big-bold gold ring

Close-up of her lovely face illustrates her light brown eyes and lip color that matches her complexion and her honey blonde hair. 


This is a close-up of the brocade pattern of the dress.
First pose after complete release from box (she still has hairnet in place).

Upon manipulating her knees, I immediately noticed joint discolorations (both dolls received have these white areas where the joint pegs are located at the inner knees).

Forward pose, with hairnet still on lower back of hair

Hairnet protects what I was hoping would be lovely curls.

Hope for lustrous curls was destroyed when I saw the poor condition of her hair; the ends of which look quite frizzy.

The dress has three snaps in back.  I removed it to examine her articulation, but first had to remove stitches between the second and third snap.  I suppose the stitching is one of Mattel's anti-theft measures, even though the doll  itself was secured to the box liner with several plastic fasteners.

Beyond the usual five points of articulation, the extra articulation extends to her elbows, wrists, and knees only.  She is not articulated under the breasts, at the waist, or ankles.

She sits nicely in a chair with her ankles almost crossed.  She cannot cross her legs fully at the knees (no photo captured of this attempt).

Photographing her curves from a side view is when I noticed the dark smudge on this side of the face.  My camera was unable to capture the smudge, but it is visible with the naked eye (or in my case, with my glasses on; she and everything else in sight would be a huge blur without wearing them).  This first doll was redressed, boxed up, and prepared for return to Mattel.  Deciding that one is enough, I do not want a replacement.
Complexion Comparisons
I continued using the imperfect doll to photograph with other dolls from my collection to compare complexions.  The Barbie Look Barbie is not a perfect match as a body donor for any of my dolls, but is a closer match to one than the others.  For the comparison Doll #1 put on temporary clothing.

City Chic Suit and Barbie Fashionista #32 lock arms with the new girl to compare their complexions.  I assumed The Barbie Look doll would be a perfect match for City Chic Suit; however, her dark caramel complexion is slightly darker than City Chic's and is even darker than Fashionista #32's with #32 being the lighter of these three dolls.

The complexion differences between City Chic, The Barbie Look Barbie, and Fashionista #32 are better outlined in the above photograph of their legs.
The final complexion comparison was done with Tropi-Cutie Barbie (also known here as Pam).  As seen in the above and next two photographs, their complexions are more compatible than the dolls illustrated above.
The Barbie Look doll's right arm (the one with the ringed finger) caught the camera's flash in this photo.  She is only slightly lighter than Pam (Tropi-Cutie). 
This photo of Pam and The Barbie Look's legs illustrates their true complexions, which are just slightly different.  If anyone wants to rebody their Tropi-Cutie onto a curvy articulated body, The Barbie Look Barbie will be a good body donor.

Doll #2
I examined Doll #2's face closely and was pleased to find there were no dark smudges or other imperfections.


I remained hopeful that the second doll's curls would be better than the first.

No such luck here.  While the ends are not as fried looking as the first doll's, they look quite deconditioned.

To remedy the deconditioned appearance, I wet the back of the hair, applied a generous amount of conditioner, and combed it through.  After rinsing out the conditioner, I twisted several small sections of hair and allowed it to dry until the next afternoon.
The twists were gently removed and nothing else done to the hair. The undone twists created soft curls. 

The Barbie Look Barbie strikes one final pose as she holds her golden clutch and stands on the doll stand that was included.  

At the time of publication, the doll remains available with free shipping at BarbieCollection.com.


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19 comments:

  1. Thank you for your detailed review, Debbie! I received mine Saturday, but she remains in her box as of now. I'll have to be sure to examine her for imperfections. This looks like the Madam Lavinia body. Your doll's hair looks so much better after you remedied her frizzy situation.

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    1. You're welcome, Roxanne and thank you for the hair compliment.

      I do not own the Madam Lavinia doll, but it is good to know their bodies look the same.

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  2. Nice review! I also ordered this doll and the other new Barbie Look doll and they are supposed to arrive on Tuesday (which is tomorrow!) This body does look to be the same as the Madame Lavinia doll. I will have to compare to see if the skin tones are the same or if they actually gave us another skintone. You did a nice job restyling her hair.

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    1. Thank you, Phyllis. I didn't want to alter the style too much from the original. I've seen others straighten it and cut it.

      I'm wondering if she has a unique skin tone, too.

      I hope both your dolls arrive without issues.

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  3. Loved your review of Barbie look doll.Waiting for mine to come.

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    1. Thanks for commenting to let me know you loved the review, Denise. Here's hoping your doll is perfect.

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  4. Nice review. I'm waiting for my one doll to arrive today. I am so tempted to buy another one, just in case I want to use the body later.

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    1. Thanks, Jaye! That's what I was thinking I might want to do with the second one I purchased (use for another doll later). But I will now settle with the one. Now is a good time to get another one since shipping is still free.

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  5. WOW, there really seems to be issues with the quality of Mattel's dolls. I am glad you were able to resolve the issue with her hair. You have to have skills to collect now! I guess we can no longer expect to open a Mattel doll and find a well made product. Especially not with playline dolls. I will probably order her too but I am now aware. You always do great reviews!!

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    1. Hi Ms. Leo. Yes, long gone are the days when we can order Mattel dolls and expect to receive a flawless one and that's just not acceptable. It makes me leery about ordering online. Even when I buy playline dolls, I still want the doll to be perfect, without dark smudges or glue on the face. I had that issue (with glue) when I purchased Zig and Zag (ZiZi). I examined so many dolls at the store before finding one that didn't have glue on the face. Tropi-Cute arrived with a gray dot of paint on her belly button. What was that all about? They have upped the diversity and variety but the quality is on a steady and fast decline.

      Thanks for complimenting my reviews.

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  6. Nice review! I have not had any problems with ones that I ordered.

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    1. I'm glad yours arrived problem free, GG.

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  7. I just had to mess with her. I saw a picture by David Bocci http://refugiorosabocci.blogspot.com.es/ and it gave me the courage to take off the sleeves. I didn’t like the his plunging neckline though, so I left it alone. Too Cosmo for me.

    I did get two and gave one of the bodies to my beloved Ruby. She took one look in the mirror and headed for the gym. My only issue with the new bodies is that the knees are stiff and I am afraid of putting too much pressure on the pegs holding them on. Other than that I am very pleased with her lovely shape. I'm sending you my pictures via email.

    Thank you so much for your review. I hope you have as much fun with her as I have already.

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    1. (Ruby is Fab Fringe. Love her face and hair!)

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    2. Hi Bailey,

      Thanks for sharing the photos directly with me of the now sleeveless dress. I looks 100% better without the too-long, stiff-fabric sleeves. She doesn't look like she's about to have a heat stroke in it. :-)

      I like the temporary Star Trek modification you did as well. I saw Bocci's modifications. Nice job, but the plunging neckline was a bit too much for me, too. The hair on his doll is nice, but that's not the look I wanted either. I'm glad his dress modification gave you the courage needed to remove the sleeves.

      Ruby seems to be enjoying her new curves. I didn't even think about comparing TBL Barbie and Fab Fringe. Their complexions are close.

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  8. Thanks for this review and comparison of the new The Barbie Look doll. I felt like I got to "play" with you.

    I'd save her dress for the Happy Family Grandma - ouch! She kicked my foot. Sigh. What do they say about the road to good intentions? Hazardous, lol.

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    1. Ouch... pretty harsh, but funny assessment of the dress. Except for the stiffness of the fabric, I like the '60's style it represents. It looks much better sleeveless, like Bailey showed me. I am not brave enough to modify mine.

      There is a Boho outfit for curvy dolls that I might purchase later for her. For now, she's looking matronly. 👵

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  9. I agree, her air looks much better. She is a nice doll and maybe she will find her way here to Dotsville.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!