Thursday, October 29, 2009

Poor Ken

In my collection of nearly 400 dolls, I only have two Ken dolls boxed alone.

Why these Kens, you ask?

Because they make me laugh.

Just look at them!

Rappin' Rockin' Ken is wearing a giant gold medallion and channeling Vanilla Ice. Or maybe he aspires to be Marky Mark with his Funky Bunch. Either way, it's pure early-90s kitsch.

(The "Yo!" on the lower right-hand side of the box is perfect. You can tell Mattel was going for authentic "rapper" lingo.)

While poor Rappin' Rockin' Ken is worthy of snark, Earring Magic Ken takes the prize for most ill-conceived styling and design.

He's wearing a purple mesh shirt, for Pete's sake! Who at Mattel thought that was a good idea? Then throw a purple pleather vest on top and add some highlights to his hair, and you've got a Ken doll that people assume is openly (and stereotypically) gay.

If fact, there are aspects of his outfit that I was unaware of until I read a Chicago Reader article from 1993. It's an interesting piece that offers some opinions regarding Ken's necklace, among other things.

Warning: This article contains adult content. I do not recommend it to anyone who is offended easily. If you choose to read it and are offended, please remember I warned you, and you decided to click here anyway.

I have a few Barbie/Ken combo boxes as well, but they aren't nearly as amusing as these two guys.

What Ken dolls are in your collection?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Barbie: The Rocker

Mattel has released images of its latest celebrities-turned-Barbies: Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Joan Jett.

Read some commentary on it here and here.

The styling and clothes on the dolls is interesting. Barbie with Cyndi Lauper's 80s-riffic hair? Awesome.

That said, I won't be reaching into my piggy bank to purchase any of these rockin' ladies. (I was focused more on cartoons and less on popular music throughout the 80s, plus there's my rant on THIS.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Money, Big Money

It's a big anniversary for Barbie, which means big opportunities for collectors -- well, for those collectors who have a few grand to spare.

No matter how many hints I drop, I don't think there is any way I'll be getting "The Pink Poodle" for Christmas. I tried to tell my husband that shipping is included in the $2,000 price, but he failed to see the bargain aspect.

The poodles were on display in the Barbie suite at the Palms in Las Vegas, and there are only two of the three-foot tall molded pink poodles available!

Objects from Barbie's real-life Malibu Dream Home are available for purchase as well. A chair covered in Generations of Dreams fabric and designed by Jonathan Adler only will set you back $7,800! (Again, shipping is included.)

A fan of New York Fashion Week can buy the Barbie Mannequin Mattel displayed there for $3,000. She is six-feet tall with long blonde hair and a custom sequined striped bathing suit.

These are neat items at crazy prices. I wonder if Mattel will be able to sell all of it in this economy. I'm pretty curious to know who might buy the items (especially the mannequin, because really, what do you do with a six-foot Barbie mannequin?).

Anyone interested in the collectibles can call 1-800-491-7514 at 9:00 a.m. PST from Oct. 26 to Nov. 30.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kim Kardashian As Barbie?

Thankfully, Mattel has not made a Kim Kardashian doll, but that did not stop Kim from transforming herself into Barbie for the cover of Kurv magazine.

It's a horrible picture, and she looks nothing like Barbie. 

I might be a little biased, though, because I think Kim, Paris and the rest of the reality-TV, celebrities-for-nothing bunch are horrible.

What do you think of the picture?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cankles? Barbie?

Fashion designer Christian Louboutin allegedly believes Barbie has cankles

That's right. You read it correctly. Cankles. 

The French shoe designer reportedly declared the doll's legs too fat while creating new Barbie dolls and is redesigning some aspects of Barbie. 

In response, Mattel issued this statement from "Barbie": "My dear friend Christian loves my ankles. It was my arch he wanted to give a little more lift to so I could rock those high heels. It's all in good fashion fun!"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Barbie Gift Cards At Target

What do you get for the Barbie collector who has everything? Perhaps this adorable Barbie-themed gift card at Target. The card itself is of Barbie's head and shoulders as she shops at Target.

The packaging is the best part: It opens like a card, and on the inside is a dress for Barbie. A cut-out portion on the front of the card (in the shape of a dress) displays the garment.



Adorable, right?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Barbie At The Mall of America

Mattel has created a temporary Barbie store at the Mall of America in Minnesota. From October through March, Barbie enthusiasts can purchase Barbie-themed accessories and, of course, dolls.

But here's my favorite part: As part of Barbie's 50th anniversary celebration, Mattel has included a "What a Doll" exhibit that highlights more than 60 Barbie dolls through the generations. Starting Nov. 27, there also will be a "Barbie Loves the Holidays" exhibit that will include every holiday Barbie doll ever created.

Read about it here, here and here

As a Midwesterner, I feel it is my duty to make a pilgrimage to this Barbie mecca (even though the Mall of America may qualify as one of the circles of hell -- it's an overcrowded mess of chain stores and restaurants with an amusement park plopped in the middle). 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Spooktacular Barbies

In honor of October and all things spooky, here is a selection of my Halloween-themed Barbies. As a child, I dressed up as a witch each year, and it seems to be Barbie's costume of choice as well.

Of the nine dolls pictured here, seven are witches and there is one ghost and one fortune teller. I also have Halloween Party Barbie & Ken (not pictured) where the two are dressed as pirates and Halloween Fun Barbie & Kelly (not pictured) where they are dressed as cats.

Some of Barbie's witch costumes are great, such as Enchanted Halloween. But some are less attractive (I'm looking at you, Halloween Charm).

Does anyone have other Halloween Barbies dressed in non-witch costumes?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

So In Style Dolls

Mattel on Tuesday launched a the So In Style line of black Barbie dolls. The dolls feature "more authentic-looking facial features such as fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheek bones and curlier hair," according to Mattel. 

The So In Style line includes Grace, Kara and Trichelle dolls. Each doll is accompanied by a "little sister" doll. 

Stacey McBride-Irby, an African-American mother of two, developed the line. She watned to create a line of dolls more reflective of her daughter and community, according to Mattel. 

Some consumers, however, are giving the new dolls mixed reviews and believe Mattel went overboard on the rap-inspired details, according to the NY Daily News

Here's a good discussion of both sides of the debate over the new dolls from NPR