Thursday, May 27, 2010

New releases from Barbie - photos are here

In my regular newsletter from Vogue's Collectibles, and I was delighted to see several new photos in there. Both sets are ready for pre-order from your favorite Barbie dealer.

First, a set that is terribly tempting to the shoe fetish that reside deep in my sole, is the Christian Louboutin Shoe pack. This Gold Label set retails for $69.95 and includes nine pairs of adorable shoes (replicas of actual shoes from the Louboutin line) and a few shoe boxes. They are so cute. These are due to ship in September 2010.

Second, the next in line for the Ladies of the 80s series, Jennifer Beals from 1983's Flashdance. She retails for $39.95, and I believe she uses the Mackie face mold. Her outfit uses the sweatshirt and leg warmers. The chair isn't included, and the pillows are chipboard and a part of the packaging. My only comment here is one noted by Dolls of Color's latest blog, and that's the color of her skin--she's very white, which I find rather interesting, to say the least.
These aren't quite ready for pre-order yet. From the Barbie Basics line, we've seen photos of the new Barbie Basics Wave 2. I must add Wave 2 #2, as Steffie is a staple in this house. Additionally, I've finally found real promo photos of the Basic 1.5 Shoe Pack Accessory #8, which includes 18 pairs of shoes. CUte! Love the zebra! And more fun clothing, jacket, skirt and purse accessories are included in Basic Look 1.5 Accessory #5 set. Both retail for #22.99.
Photos property of Mattel.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dal Charlotte on sale at The Doll Market

If you're a fan of ball gowns or historical fashion, check out this adorable Dal (Pullip's friend by Jun Planning) on sale at the Doll Market for $109.97 (retail $130). The Doll Market also offers a price matching guarantee as well, if you can find her for less.

This lovely strawberry blonde pouty-faced Dal is dressed in a gorgeous yellow gown, trimmed with blue and salmon ribbon flowers, lace and ribbons. Her hair is an intricate braided updo with ringlets on the sides, and to top off the look is a gorgeous yellow hat.

Photo property of the Doll Market and Jun Planning.

The No. 10 "Scandal"

Barbie Fashionista Glam, originally uploaded by alington.
I think I first read about the scandal on a doll blog this morning (and of course, I can't remember which), and it was all over Twitter. If you read about Barbie on the web, I'm sure you've heard of the latest Barbie "scandal" involving the gorgeous Basic Barbie No. 10, who is considered "too busty" for younger girls.

When I saw the original interviews (and the "extensive" one minute 25 second story), I noticed several things:
  1. The reporter of the story is comparing collector dolls designed for adults (Barbie Basics) to playline dolls. It occurs to me that the general public perhaps really doesn't know there is a difference. Would a mother really buy her daughter a $20 doll dressed only in a black dress and shoes? 
  2. The first woman who is interviewed is wearing a deep v-necked shirt, which is quite flattering for her figure. While she isn't quite as perky as the Barbie, it's still fairly low cut. I wonder if she realizes that her wardrobe choices possibly minimizes the importance her complaint about the doll.
  3. Then, when the woman holds up the "right kind" of doll, she displays an older style Doll of the World Barbie, who is dressed in traditional costume. This is one type of collector doll which included world heritage costumes. Barbie Basics are fashion models, and they are fashion dolls. They shouldn't be wearing ruffles, turtlenecks and full-length gowns, because, even this woman's own wardrobe reflects, this is not what current fashion dictates.
  4. The second woman discusses the idea of introducing age-appropriate Barbies to her girls, and is fascinated by "middle-aged adult women" who pay "up to $100" for a doll. This sort of points out an extreme lack of awareness in the public of doll collectors. Check out Mattel's press release of the most expensive Barbie by Canturi, which was valued at over $545,000 for more on this subject.
  5. Finally, the doll in question is a black doll. Both women interviewed in the story are white. In the women's homes, I only saw white dolls. This doesn't mean that they don't have any non-white dolls, of course. But I wonder if the underlying source of this "wardrobe complaint" wasn't really rooted in something more subversive. One of the things I really like about the Barbie Basics line is the dolls' diversity. I was impressed with the variety of sculpts and skin tones that Mattel usually doesn't tackle very well. It seems to me that racism is very deeply rooted in our society, and if Mattel will fight this tooth and nail to keep this gorgeous doll on the shelf, I think that's one more tiny step towards progress.
Finally, I have to speak out as a mother of four children. Seriously now, when I take my children to Target, here is my experience:
  • Yes, they ask for toys. But I do not buy them every toy in the store, nor do I buy them everything they want. 
  • Yes, they often want age-inappropriate toys. But I did not buy them toys with small pieces before they were three, and I still do not allow M-rated video games in the house.
  • And no, the toys do not jump off the shelves into my cart without my knowledge. (Well, if I am alone, that might happen, especially at Target, since it can go under the "household" category in Quicken. But it's more like a case of my right hand not knowing what my left hand is doing.)
So if you don't like it, you'll be relieved to know that you don't have to buy it! It's as simple as that. Get over it. It's a doll. I'm just amazed at what passes as news. Isn't there anything more interesting to report? Though heck, it does make for an interesting blog post. ;)

Posh Girl

Posh Girl, originally uploaded by alington.
An older photo I somehow forgot to blog, this is Posh Girl, Misaki (FR Nippon by Integrity Toys), has finally been redressed after all this time. She's got the most fabulous aqua eye shadow.

She's wearing a dress from a Birthstone Barbie (probably March--Miss Aquamarine), one faux fur coats from the second Juicy Couture gift set and her original shoes.

See her full photo shoot on Flickr.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vintage Talking PJ

Vintage Talking PJ, originally uploaded by alington.
Here is a slightly better shot of a 1969 vintage Talking PJ. She's been squeezed into a current playline Barbie swimsuit and coverup, and she's holding a martini. I think it's perfect for beach season.

I just adore this girl.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vintage Barbies on Display

Glass diplay vintage Barbies, originally uploaded by alington.
It's mint green and blue month at my house. I would have just one color, if I had more outfits, quit spending so much money on BJDs, and actually sold unwanted dolls rather than trading them, I suppose. But what would be the fun in that?

From the left:
  • 1968 Brownette Talking Barbie in Zokko repro outfit
  • 1969 Talking PJ in a current playline outfit (flip flops and martinini glass were also included in the set of three outfits, and the clothes barely fit)
  • 1975 (rebodied) Free Moving PJ, also redressed in, current playline Barbie clothes which barely fit
  • 1968 Talking Barbie (brunette), wearing current playline Barbie dress and Barbie Basics accessory pack boots
Do you rotate your displays? Do you have themes or redress your dolls? How often?

You can see more photos of my May display on my Flickr photostream.

Red, White and Warm Barbie Barbie Vintage Repro 1969 Made for Each Other My Favorite Career Vintage Student Teacher Sixties Fun Barbie Vintage 1974 Mattel Three Floors Townhouse

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Barbie Basics - Target Exclusives

Hang onto your hats--this adorable set of three Barbie Basics will be a fun Target exclusive available in the fall of 2010. The set will also include a red and white accessory pack and a second accessory pack.

Additionally, the Barbie Basics line will also release two more shoe packs and another Fashion accessory pack.

(Eeek--one of these ladies is Steffi, no bangs! And we actually don't have either of the other two dolls in black dresses yet, either. Love them--all three!)

Photo property of Mattel.

Barbie Collector Basics Model #008Barbie Basics Model #001  Barbie Collector Basics Model #003

Friday, May 14, 2010

Got an extra 1,600 Euros?

According to a short blog post in BoingBoing, there is a hotel in Paris (called the Hotel Plaza Athénée), which has two Barbie-themed rooms. Designed for guests, aged three and over, these rooms are modeled after Barbie's dream house. Including in the 1,600 Euro (per night) cost, a "special girlie gift" is also included, which is apparently "designed by Barbie."

For you fortunate parents, you can have a connecting room for a mere 2,500 Euros per night.

I noticed that there are quite a few strongly negative comments on this post on BoingBoing post. And while I would agree that spending $5,200 per night at a hotel does seem a little pricey (and certainly more than I'd like to spend), I would be the last person to pass judgment on how a wealthy person spends his or her travel money. I still don't understand what the big deal is--I have four children, and I know it's possible to spoil them. But it's also terribly fun to splurge on them occasionally. But it's quite possible I just don't have enough experience as a mother. Or a doll collector.

What's your opinion?

Photo property of the Hotel Plaza Athénée.

New special offer dolls from

A new addition which is limited in supply is available now from

  • 2009 Ex*Cute Lien/Angelic SighIII by Azone. Only four pieces are available. 11,550 Yen (about $124.96 US)
There was another limited edition Amelie (Tokyo Doll Show), but the only two pieces available are already sold out!

Photo property of Azone International.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Barbies announced and available for pre-order!

Several new Barbies (and friends) have been announced. I heard about these from My Favourite Doll in Canada.
  • Mad Men Roger Sterling--Sterling Cooper partner's silver haired companion doll. He is ready for pre-order now, for $79.95. Estimated delivery is July 2010.
  • For you Twilight fans, I'm thrilled to announce the lovely Alice. With her wonderful short brown flip and golden eyes, she comes dressed in her standard fashionable outfit: a peasant blouse, velvet vest, and skinny jeans. She's available for pre-order for $34.95 with a fall 2010 delivery date.
  • Victoria is also available. Fashionably dressed in a glamorous coast, striped vest and purple blouse, and skinny jeans with black boots, don't let her beautiful fiery red curls distract you from her evil intentions. Retail price is $29.95 and she's expected in fall 2010 as well.
MFD will be closed for the holidays next week, from May 10-15. But they also advertise that they have both the Christian Louboutin Anemone Barbie in stock now, and will have Palm Beach Coral (Silkstone) next week.

Photos courtesy of Mattel/My Favourite Doll.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finding older Barbies at the price you want to pay.

Perhaps you're like me--an adult collector who has decided to remake her childhood collection, and add the dolls she always wished for as a girl. In my case, it's 1980s-era pink box Barbies, which were made in copious supply. But these days, it's rare to find a NRFB pink box Barbie, and those can be priced fairly high. So, what to do? What is the best way to find a doll like this? I'll share my tips with how I found Crystal Barbie.

  • First, I had to decide what condition I would settle for in my collection. Crystal Barbie was a doll I never owned as a girl, and one I had always coveted. Ideally, I wanted a complete and mint doll. Non-smoking home was a must.
  • Next, I started my search on Google. It helps a lot if you know the doll's year of issue. Crystal was originally released in 1983. It just helps because there may be other dolls with a similar name, and this will help narrow your search. I entered "crystal barbie 1983" in the search box.
  • Amazon often has third party sellers that carry vintage dolls. They currently have two listed. One for $99.97 and one for $30. Be sure to always check the sellers' rating before purchasing from a third party seller. And because the price range differ so much (when I was looking, I only saw the $99.97 doll for sale), be sure to do some comparison shopping, too.
  • Sure enough, on the first page of the Google listings, there are some Shopping Results. Again, pretty big price range, the lowest is $40 from Ruby Lane. Unfortunately, the doll listed there is missing her right drop earring (and her hair isn't exactly mint).
  • Don't forget about the wonderful DollPage Show and Sell site. It's free to post your ads for dolls there, and all listings are only for dolls. Do your homework (on price and also on seller feedback!) before making an offer on a doll, however.
  • Next, check out eBay. Make sure you ask relevant questions before you buy (for me, that question might be, "Does she come from a non-smoking home?") And also, be sure the seller has plenty of positive feedback. You may bid on more than one doll at a time, but you run the risk of winning all of them, or none of them. Also, you can do your own search on eBay as well. Here are the results of "crystal barbie -jubilee -rhapsody -splendor -elizabeth -holiday", which will show you mostly Crystal Barbie (and still some others you're not looking for, too). It's a good way to gauge going prices. Also look on Completed Listings as well, though you will have to log in to eBay to see the results.
  • If you're looking specifically for a Barbie, be sure to stop by the Doll Lounge. They often have dolls here at reasonable prices. They also have a selection of celebrity dolls, Crissy, Glamour Gals, Jem, Tuesday Taylor, She-Ra, Rainbow Brite, Masters of the Universe, Smurfs and more.
  • Also, don't forget to check Joe's List, Joe Blitman's website. His inventory is updated regularly and is worth checking out. He knows all there is to know about vintage dolls and collecting. I bet if you can't find a particular doll, he might be able to help you.
  • Doll club meetings and doll shows. Sometimes, you'll find the doll you've always wanted in someone else's collection. So don't be shy--bring up the fact that you're on the lookout for a particular doll. Lots of people are looking for a specific doll. Who knows? Maybe someone has one of your favorites up for sale or trade!
  • Nancy, one of my regular readers, left a comment with three other terrific sources for hard-to-find dolls that I forgot to add: your local thrift stores are the first. I found a wonderful 1970s era PJ in excellent condition quite recently, and now, I'm bummed if I drive by and the stores aren't open.
  • Her second suggestion: yard sales! Another wonderful resource. I have an aunt we sometimes call the yard sale queen. She finds wonderful deals without even looking. I need to put her to work for me. 
  • Nancy's last suggestion: Craig's List. You can even post Want to Buy posts on there, I believe. It's all free. You can look at local listings or national listings (if you know someone in the area, it's ideal, just for references and so you can pay cash). And thanks, Nancy!
Finally, I'd like to invite you to post a comment on this article, if you're looking for a holy grail or hard-to-find doll.  I'd love to help you out. Maybe one of my other readers can help you, as well. And don't forget to subscribe to the comment thread, in case someone gets back to you. Good luck with your search!

Great prices on 1990s era Barbies!

Check out these fantastic prices on the 35th Anniversary Barbie (both blonde and brunette), Hallmark Victorian Elegance from 1994 and 1995 (all 10% below retail) and also Avon exclusive Spring Blossoms Barbie from 1995, listed for only $12.

These dolls are all available from Let's Play Dolls. Better yet, you don't have to mess around with eBay and last-minute bidders coming in to swipe your auction.

Image courtesy of Let's Play Dolls.

Plastic Collection by Barbie®
- Welcome to the official Mattel site for Barbie Collector

Be sure to check out the fantastic Plastic collection on sale now at It's filled with lots of unique items for collectors and fans alike. You'll be sure to find something you don't already have in your collection. I'm impressed!