Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ka-Pow! Klunk! Krunch!

I was born in the 80s, the decade that introduced Michael Keaton as Batman in Tim Burton's world. And I've most recently thoroughly enjoyed the less campy reboot with Christian Bale under the mask.

But even though it was well before my time, I have a fondness for Adam West's character as well.

I remember watching the 1966 Batman movie as a kid.

All those villains!
A dehydrator that powdered humans!
All that campy dialogue!
Ka-pow!

I totally understand why it was popular.

Mattel has developed new Barbie and Ken dolls that honor the campy series and film from the 60s. 

Seriously. Just check out Ken's outfit. Doesn't translate well into modern times, does it? I can't imagine Christian Bale wearing his underwear outside of his tights. 

Barbie's retro villain look holds up better (because, honestly, does a black cat suit ever go out of style?).  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meet 'Barbie Man'

I'm no longer going to worry about the amount of funds I've spent on Barbies through the years... because this guy has me (and probably all of you) totally beat.

A guy in Florida has 2,000 dolls and spends $30,000 a year adding to his collection.

Read about it here, here and here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

All the Hors d'oeuvres Are Pink

OK, I made that part up about the hors d'oeuvres. But there is a Barbie-themed restaurant in Taiwan. And most of the things in it are pink.

Read about it here, here and here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One Doll at a Time

I'm working on selling some of my Barbie dolls. It's a long, painful process.

I had accumulated nearly 400 dolls, and they lined a wall of book shelves -- often several deep. But how can you enjoy a doll you never see that's wedged in the back row? Not to mention, I'm going to be downsizing to a smaller space for them, and nearly 400 dolls will never fit.

So I started the process last year of choosing who gets to stay and who has to go.

It's just like Sophie's Choice, but with more plastic.

I first made some basic rules to use:
1. If I don't have a good memory attached to the doll, she's a candidate to go.
2. If I don't find her particularly fetching, she's a candidate to go.
3. If she has the gawd-awful small-chested figure, she's definitely a candidate to go.

Using these guidelines, I was able to sort the collection down by about half -- a pretty major change.

But now what?

I don't have any delusions about prices. The market for most things is still pretty cruddy, and Barbie collectibles are no different. I'm happy to see them go to good homes, even those with children who want to take them out of the box and enjoy them.

But...now what?

The Internet is no good. If you can find a buyer (IF), the prices are exceptionally cruddy.

So...

So I chose the in-person route, seeking out buyers in my area. And it's going OK. The first few dolls I saw walk away in the hands of a new owner were tough. But the whole experience has been rather cleansing.

And when it's all finished, I'll not only have a lean collection but there will be some extra cash available. Who knows, maybe a little of it will go toward a new doll or two.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Looking for a Dream House?

Geez, the housing market must be bad if even Barbie is forced to put her home up for sale.

She put her three-story pink palace in California on the market in February. The home is listed on the market for $25 million.

In the next year, Barbie is hitting the road to find a new dream home. After all, it is a buyer's market.

For 41 years, Barbie’s famous Dreamhouse has been a fictional Malibu landmark. The original Dreamhouse debuted in 1962.

I had some different Barbie houses, including the three my dad built for me and a townhouse with a "working" elevator. But the only official Dreamhouse I had was the 1979 version pictured here.
The Dreamhouse is listed online at Trulia, an online marketplace for home buyers, sellers, renters, and real estate professionals. Visit Trulia.com/Barbie to view the listing.

Read about it here, here and here.

(In case you were confused, Mattel wants every to know the Dream House sale is "for entertainment purposes only.")

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Barbie Hits The Runway

Barbie made an appearance at London Fashion Week as a part of the Louise Gray show. She teamed up with Barbie to create three adult-size fashions inspired by the doll.

According to this article:
"It's been interesting inviting Barbie into my world and giving her a makeover as part of my spring/summer 2013 collection," Gray told us. "She is so famous; it was fun to give her a Louise Gray twist. It will be really different to anything she has done or been seen in before."
Each look will be available to buy and one of the outfits will be modelled by Barbie herself with the release of a special one-off doll.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pretty (Expensive) In Pink

Is the regular version of the Blonds Blond Diamond Barbie just not spectacular enough for you? Don't fret: here's your chance to get a one-of-a-kind version -- if you are willing to pay for it.

Phillipe and David Blond of The Blonds have partnered with Mattel to create a unique Pink Diamond version of their doll for charity. She wears a fuchsia and rose “gem” encrusted mini corset dress and pumps designed by the Blonds. She's also sporting a full-length pink "fur" coat, pink earrings and a pink ring.

All proceeds from the sale of the doll will benefit the MAC Aids Fund organization.

Gotta have it? Ready to bid? Click here. You have until Tuesday, Sept. 25.
But before you lock in on that next bid, you had better start checking the couch cushions for some extra cash: As of the time of this post, the current bid is up to $8,000.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Make It Work

I used to watch Project Runway during its first three seasons. Heidi? Eh, take her or leave her. But Tim Gunn! Fantastic!

I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing I had a Tim Gunn of my own to guide me through my day.

Mr. Gunn now has brought his eye for style to Barbie, and he's created two dolls.
The first wears stylish separates, with skinny jeans, a patterned blouse and sunny yellow jacket. She finishes the outfit with a metallic purse, a smart phone and (cross promotion time) a copy of Tim Gunn's book.
The other doll wears a pencil skit and white button down shirt. She adds on a wide belt, high heels and red handbag.

Honestly, I'd wear either option quite happily.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blond Ambition

If you like glitz and sparkle, you will love The Blonds Blond Diamond Barbie. The doll comes to us from the design duo Phillipe and David Blond, known as “The Blonds.”

Barbie wears a silver, metallic and “gem” encrusted mini corset dress and a full-length faux fur coat with pink satin lining. She complete the look with studded earrings, a crystal cuff and a pair of glittery pumps.

Of course, because one-half of the design team spends time in drag, that must make the doll a drag queen, right?

Sigh.

"It is incorrect to label the doll 'Drag Queen Barbie.' She is the Blond Diamond Barbie," the rep for The Blonds told The Daily News. "She is female. She is the same Barbie that has been a doctor, a teacher and an astronaut, and now she is glamorized in The Blonds creations."

It is a little sad that there had to be statement noting that the Blonds Blond Diamond Barbie is a female and not a drag queen.

Read about the silliness here, here, here, and here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bon Voyage, Barbie!

In Mattel's latest marketing partnership, the toy maker has sold Barbie's name to Royal Caribbean International. The partnership brings Barbie to the high seas on a cruise vacation.

Gosh, I hope she isn't prone to seasickness. Or the Norovirus.

The Barbie Premium Experience begins in January on select Royal Caribbean ships. It will roll out to the entire fleet by March 2013.


For the $349 parents will shell out for the Barbie Premium Experience, youngsters can enjoy staterooms decorated in Barbie style and themed activities throughout the duration of the cruise. This can include an invitation-only tea party and mermaid dance class to a fashion design workshop and Barbie Girls fashion show.

The description of the "mermaid dance class" might be my favorite part: "girls can shimmy and shake while learning the latest dance moves from the hit movie Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2."

Cross promotion within a cross promotion! Genius!

(Note Sarcasm)