I apologize for the text-only post, but I can’t hold this back. I’m just so disappointed.
Lately, it’s seemed like Mattel was really working to repair Barbie’s bad reputation. They introduced new body types that were less sexualized and slightly more realistic. They just announced three new dolls in the Sheroes line, two whose appearance had utterly nothing to do with their success and importance (Katherine Johnson and Amelia Earhart), and one whose appearance only impacted on her career in so far as she painted a lot of self-portraits (Frida Kahlo).
Things were looking up.
And then…they collapsed back down again.
Today during my lunch break, I saw a post about how Mattel has whored Barbie out to a cosmetics corporation to flog their product. Seriously, Mattel, think before you act! This is exactly the kind of crap that gave Barbie a bad rep in the first place!
At least they had the sense to see to it that they wouldn’t be put on sale in the US, but still! This is the age of the internet, so it’s not like American consumers won’t find out about it. People will find out about it, and then there will be even more of those online “essays” about the evils of Barbie, trying to make me feel like I’m a traitor against womankind for buying the occasional Barbie.
I’ve never been bothered by the random announcements of clothing line collaborations, since Barbie’s always been something of a clothes horse, but make-up? Really? How shallow can you get?! Why is make-up even still a thing? It’s not as though normal people on the street need or should use it. It’s a necessary evil for performers on stage or film, but regular people? It serves no purpose!
I could — and kind of want to — go off on a very long rant about the pointlessness of make-up and how terrible it is that people are still pushing make-up at little girls, but since the thing that prompted this is make-up for adults, I’ll hold off on that one.
I just…I am really ticked off about this. Maybe that’s irrational, but I can’t help it.
We’re starting with one I was actually tempted to put in the 1980s…
Anyone else out there who’s my age probably doesn’t need me to tell them I’ve named this doll “Darla.”
For those who do need me to tell them that, let me explain: this doll’s costume is almost identical to one worn by the henchwoman (and fashion model) Darla in 1981’s The Great Muppet Caper. I really, really wanted to find a photograph of the actress in the dress, or at least a convenient YouTube clip showing the scene in question, but none of the clips seemed to be the right scene (even though it’s really funny, with Diana Rigg mocking three high fashion dresses (which her character had designed)) and I couldn’t find any photos of it, either. (Irritatingly, there were lots of photos and clips from later in the scene, after the three henchmodels left and Miss Piggy came in. Which, I suppose, is not surprising, now that I think about it.)
Anyway, Darla here is a CED doll, designed by Laura Meisner and Doug James, and was probably released sometime between 2003 and 2006. Officially, her name is Colin Elia Dehan, and she’s supposed to be an African-American of Nigerian heritage, but she’s totally Darla, which makes her African-English. (Um, probably. Carla, Marla and Darla didn’t have much in the way of dialog, so maybe they’re not English? (I mean, nationality didn’t seem to mean much in that movie; Charles Grodin didn’t put on an English accent, despite playing Diana Rigg’s brother.)) Continue reading →
I’m stepping up the pace here, covering two dolls instead of one. Luckily, there’s a theme…
Yeah, don’t get excited. This is the 1990s reproduction. (Hence the “sort of” in the title of the post.) I would love to have one of the real thing, but they cost about $800, minimum, so…not happening. Not without the invention of time travel.
I like this view better, because it almost hides the fact that she’s only wearing one shoe. 😛 If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you’ve seen both this doll and these clothes before. The repro Francie was in my post about the petite Barbie I got, and the reproduction of the Gad About fashion (which came on the reproduction of the Caucasian Francie) was in my post on…um…well, I called it a “clone” post, but most of the dolls are more “similar to” than “clone of” type dolls.
So, this was an impulse buy (as most blind box figures are, after all), influenced by two factors. One, I liked the package. 😛 Two, the display promised that the rare find was a purple glitter pet. And I love things that are purple and things that glitter.
I’d like the hard plastic doll purse better if it didn’t say “Barbie” on it. I mean, that’s fine if I want a Barbie to carry it, but what if I thought it would match a Pullip’s outfit? Or a Lammily outfit?!
There are still two more of these waiting in the wings, but I wonder if I shouldn’t do some other type of blind box figure next week?
The gallery for these posts can be found here. I went ahead and added in photos of other blind box figures that have been posted here in the past. (Even though that meant uploading them to the new photo storage site. But eventually I need to get around to uploading everything, so…that’s a good thing, right?)