Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

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.


1980s, Part Two

Apologies in advance, but this is actually a pretty short-on-content post.  I should have traded out one of these two with Orange Blossom so Part One would have been lesser, and this would have been greater, making them (more or less) on even footing.  But I wanted to roughly follow chronology, so this happened.

This is Iris, from the very short-lived Rose Petal Place line by Kenner.  It was only around in 1984, but I’m pretty sure I had one as a kid.  (I’m not sure which, though…probably either Rose-Petal or Lily Fair.  Nah, it had to be Rose-Petal.  She’s the only one who gives me a “familiar vibe” when I look at the pictures.  (Speaking of those pictures, make sure to visit that link and scroll down to the pictures of the dolls who were announced but never mass-produced.  I would love to have some of those!))

She has a sweet little face, and I love her iris-hat.  (I do love irises…)  That dress of hers is problematic, though:  the elastic is old and giving way, so it likes to droop down towards her waist.  Admittedly, this is not a doll who was sculpted with breasts, so it’s not like it’s revealing anything, but it still looks bad on general principles when it does that.  (Actually, if they had given them breasts, that would probably go a long way to stopping the dress from drooping.)

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1980s, Part One

We’re starting the 1980s right at the beginning with a doll released in 1980:

No, I don’t have one in box. This image is from the Strong Museum of Play. Click for link.

I wanted to include that photo so that everyone could see exactly how Mattel decided to title the doll.  (Not to mention the text under the title!)

Now this one, I do own. 😀  And just as the box promised, she is beautiful. 🙂 Continue reading

1970s, Part Two

As with yesterday’s (supposed to be Wednesday’s *sigh*) post, we’ve got one certainty and one question mark on here.  But the question mark here is less questionable. 😛

First, though, the certainty.  Or rather, certainties:

Meet the Happy Family.  (Most of it, anyway.)  Mattel’s Sunshine Family (often called a “hippie” line, which I don’t think is actually the right word for them at all, more like “folksy”) was produced from 1974-1978, and instead of making them in two ethnicities (a practice they hadn’t yet adopted for Barbie, either) they gave the Sunshine family a set of friends named Happy.

You might think that a pair of boxed dolls from the 1970s would be expensive, but between the fact that the box is in kind of crap shape and the Sunshine/Happy Family dolls are a little creepy to most people, they weren’t expensive at all.  (Personally, I still find the Sunshine Family creepy around the edges, but I quite like the Happy Family.  I have no idea why they’re more palatable in a different color scheme — goodness knows, they didn’t use different facial molds! — but they absolutely are.) Continue reading

1960s with the Barbie Family (Sort Of)

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.

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Blind Box Monday

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?!

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