Thursday, October 21, 2010

Swappin' Styles Frustration

Swappin' Styles Fashionista Barbie and Target Exclusive Barbie

I picked these two dolls up at Target this week, Artsy Fashionista Swappin' Styles and Target Exclusive Barbie.  Excited... I just knew I would have fun truly swapping heads because I prefer the facial screening of the Target Exclusive (TE) doll over Artsy's.

Swappin' Styles head-removal illustration

After deboxing the dolls, I immediately noticed the hollow plastic feel of TE's legs.  The hair is unevenly cut in the back and is not of the best quality.   Next, I tested Artsy's swapping head mechanism, which works and is a clever idea.  The entire head/neck/and breast plate pop off when the button on the back is pressed. Since there were no additional heads "sold separately" for her (as indicated on the back of the box), TE's head will have to do for now. 

Using the traditional method of doll head popping, I popped both heads off from above the neck and immediately noted the different neck connectors. I thought this might pose a problem; but after I pushed TE's head down snugly onto Artsy's neck, the new head ceased its initial side-to-side motion. 

Attempting to pose Artsy with her newly designed knees did "pose" a problem.  The knee joints are very loose and the doll requires support to stand.   When the lower legs are held, as illustrated in the above image, Artsy's torso falls backward and her knees bend!  Tsk, tsk, tsk:  Mattel's attempt to create a kneecap succeeded; however, unless my doll is defective, the doll's stability and pose-ability are compromised.

Final Result:  Artsy with TE's head; TE with Artsy's head

In addition to her loose knee joints, in the process of swapping heads, Artsy's headband and necklace broke.  I tossed the necklace and used a quilting pin to attach the headband to Artsy's new head.  After encountering these minor frustrating flaws, the head swap was a success (shown above).  Next up:  a fashion makeover or at least new shoes for Artsy.  I dislike her molded plastic, mock-fringe boots. Give me real fringe or nothing at all!

Artsy's boots... look so, plastic

Thank goodness Swappin' Heads Artsy was discounted to $7 at Target this week, but I'm left to wonder:  What do the people do who really play with these dolls... you know, Mattel's Barbie pink-box target market?  Do they become as frustrated as I became when flaws of this nature are encountered or do little girls just consider these dolls disposable and toss them aside (like I did the broken necklace) when the dolls fail to meet expectations?

What do you think?


Please do not copy images or text without my permission.