Friday, January 29, 2010

Barbie Basics Ebay Link

The designer-customized Barbie Basics dolls are on Ebay!

This link should take you to a list of all of them.

At the moment, the Kate Spade and Lorraine Schwartz dolls have the most bids (23 and 22) and highest prices ($710 and $3,150). Some of the dolls still are priced under $200, but I doubt that will last long.

It's all too expensive for my tiny, shriveled wallet. (Oh, empty and barren are other good adjectives to use when describing my wallet. So are stark and vacant. Really, just picture a little puff of dust ascending from a wallet when someone tries to open it. That will give you a good mental picture.)

But best of luck to those of you out there with fruitful, brimming wallets filled with wads of cash!

Should you be the lucky winner of one of the auctions, let me know!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

12 Barbies, 12 Makeovers

The 12 Barbie Basics dolls are basic no longer after a dozen designers gave them makeovers.

Twelve designers customized Barbie Basics dolls in their signature styles as part of Mattel's partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, according to Style List.

The designers include Albertus Swanepoel, Alexis Bittar, Betsey Johnson, Deborah Lloyd of Kate Spade, Devi Kroell, Isaac Mizrahi, Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry, Lorraine Schwartz, Monica Botkier, Philip Crangi, Rachel Roy and Tory Burch.

The results are pretty cool.

The packaging for the dolls is special because it includes the CFDA logo on the box, and each box has a randomly assigned quote on it from a CFDA member, according to the article.

The dolls allegedly are being sold by auction on eBay from today until Feb. 7, but I could not find them on the site. (If you do find them, post the link in the comments section!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anyone Know If Mattel Is Hiring?

Dear Human Resources Department at Mattel,

As a long-time Barbie collector, I know one of your main products quite well. I also have a brother, so I'm acquainted with the boy-toys, too. As a long-time cubical dweller, I am able to toil away for hours with little motivation and handle bureaucratic-meeting nightmares with a smile.

Surely, you must have a position available for someone with my talents.

I recently learned the company made Fortune's list of the 100 best companies in which to work. Good for you!

Mattel is sandwiched at #78 on the list between Baker Donelson and Meridian Health.

Apparently, one of the most important considerations for this year's Fortune list was that the companies were hiring and helping their employees during the recession. Mattel stood out because it offers a great work/life environment with outstanding benefits and competitive salaries, according to this article.

Sign me up!

Should I get a position with your company, in addition to a salary and standard benefits I would like to negotiate a bonus schedule that consists of the company giving me a minimum of five Barbie dolls each quarter.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss my future with Mattel. Please e-mail me at to set up an interview.


Monday, January 25, 2010

How House of Barbie Got It Wrong

The Barbie flagship store in Shanghai continues to experience difficulties because Mattel did not fully understand Chinese consumers, according to a recent Forbes article on the topic.

I've posted on this topic before (here and here).

It seems Mattel made some good moves and, ultimately, some costly moves with its flagship store, according to the Forbes article.

The good:
-Mattel targeted the right age and socioeconomic group of Chinese consumers: Middle-class women between 24 and 32 years old.
-Mattel opened a large store. A small store can make Chinese consumers feel disrespected.
-Mattel took a risk.

The bad:
-Mattel failed to accurately judge Chinese consumers' tastes. They like cutesy, but Mattel gave them sexy and slinky.
-Mattel set the costs to high and the "perceived value" of the goods too low. Chinese consumers appreciate value and would rather spend money on a coat they wear daily than a skimpy top they wear once a month.
-While Mattel opened a large store, it also opened a stand-alone store. Retailers are more likely to thrive in China as a large store within a mall or department store.

Here's a good quote from the article that sums it up:
"Mattel should be given credit for having taken a risk to try to increase sales by extending its brand in terms of both new positioning and regional expansion. That was smart. Unfortunately it didn't execute properly in the design of the products or the location of the store."

Many thanks to author Shaun Rein for his insight!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Surveys Are Fun

Did you see? I've added another survey to my blog.

Check it out. (Look right)

It's only one question.

Surely you have time to take it right now.

Seriously, take the survey.

You'll have fun.

Everyone loves a good survey.

Pretty In Pink

The lights are down, the tree has been turned into wood chips and mulch, but I can't help but think of Christmas when I look at this lovely doll. Like the Pirate, I received her as a Christmas gift.

(See? I told you I'd get around eventually to showing off more of the dolls I got for Christmas. The key word there was eventually.)

I immediately liked this 50th Anniversary Barbie, and I started dropping heavy Ralphie-esque hints for Christmas. Sure, she's no Red Rider BB Gun, but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to shoot my eye out with her.

The bodice of the dress is reminiscent of the orginal bathing suit, with its heart-shaped cut and ruching that resembles stripes. I also like that her eyes are glancing to the side, another throwback to the original.

And check out those earrings! I wouldn't mind a pair of those for myself. She's also sporting a great bracelet. Kudos to Mattel for the great accessories.

The bottom of the dress is really spectacular, with its folds and layers of fabric decorated with sparkles.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Funday

Amid shopping for deodorant, laundry detergent and socks at Target, I checked out the Barbie aisle and discovered Barbie Basics had arrived at my store. Though, it seems I was late in making my discover, as the section was nearly cleaned out of product.

There were plenty of repros on hand, however, including my beloved Peaches N Cream Barbie.

One doll did catch my eye. She's a Target exclusive in a shiny pink gown. The hair and face really appealed to me. (Sadly, my New Year's resolution to spend less and save more meant she stayed on the shelf and out of my cart.)

After I drooled over the doll, I noticed this Barbie dress for sale further down the aisle.

It's the same dress and shoes as the doll is wearing. The only difference I could tell is that the doll comes with a tiny statuette and the fashion comes with a little clutch.

I had not seen the doll and the same fashion she's wearing each for sale in the same Target aisle before, but I know it happens. Have you all encountered samesies like this before?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Parts Is Parts

Artist Marqaux Lange is a creative lady. And, I'd wager, she doesn't see the world quite like the rest of us.

Don't believe me? Check out her Web site,

Lange uses dismembered Barbie and Ken dolls to create unique jewelry.

I kind of like the bracelet made from clusters of Barbie smiles and the ring made from high heels. The boob necklace? Not really my style.

You also can read about Lange's work and see some of her pieces in this article.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"I Can Be" Campaign

Mattel recently launched a Barbie "I Can Be" campaign that lets regular consumers like you and me (well, it's probably supposed to be kids) vote on the next "career" for Barbie at

The options are:
1. Computer Engineer
2. News Anchor
3. Architect
4. Environmentalist
5. Surgeon

I voted for Environmentalist. I'm hoping for an activist Barbie, not unlike Julia Butterfly Hill, who lived in a California Redwood tree for 738 days in the 90s. The doll could come with little protester signs that kids can personalize themselves for their favorite green causes!

Sadly, Harried Cubical Dweller is not among the choices. I'm still holding out hope that some day there will be a Barbie with a job just like mine! The background on the box would be mustard-yellow (to reflect the cube walls), and she would have a tiny red Swingline stapler among her accessories. Oh, and very sensible shoes.

I'm not the only one excited about the possibility of having Barbie join me at my job: Computer geeks have launched an effort through Wired magazine's Web site to get Computer Engineer selected.

Mattel will reveal the results of the vote on the Barbie Web site on Feb. 12.

What's your choice and why?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Barbie And The Rockers

I hadn't been a huge fan of Mattel's reproduction Barbie dolls...until they reached the 80s. After a brief age-related meltdown (seriously), I promptly ordered Barbie and the Rockers.

And she's exactly like I remember her. The big hair! The big make-up! The garish clothing!

It's all just like I played with as a kid. The purchasing power of nostalgia wins again.

I especially was delighted by the purple jelly bracelet on her wrist. Great detail.

My husband, upon seeing her, asked if she was "Skank Barbie." The pleather mini skirt and additional outfit with over-the-knee boots apparently sends mixed messages.

But you know what? Now and as a kid, I would choose the ample-chested, tiny-waisted doll in sassy clothing over a baby doll every time. But that's a discussion for a different blog post. Or perhaps a therapist.

Clever Mattel included with Barbie and the Rockers a reproduction Barbie booklet and fashion cards from the 80s that feature Peaches N' Cream Barbie.

It's as if they know I'm obsessed with the Peaches N' Cream dress.

It's the Best. Dress. Ever.

This is the Peaches N' Cream dress I played with as a kid. I never had the doll, but my mom stumbled upon the dress at a garage sale.

So now adult me wants to fulfill child me's wish to have the doll.

Damn nostalgia.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ahoy, Mateys!

Avast, me buccaneers! By the powers, the jolly fat elf brought me a grand, glorious gift finer than a bucket o' doubloons this Christmas. Pirate Barbie, she be! The prize of me collection!

Aye, she be a right pretty lass indeed, and it's the plank for any scallywags that say otherwise! Say it with me now, mateys: AARRRRR.

Pirate Barbie be a fine swashbucklin' doll, with a glorious embroidered coat fit for any ship's captain. From the gold earring to the buckles on her shoes, the intricate details be mind bogglin'! Thar be much to look at with this doll. The face be my favorite, with its smoky eye makeup.

Stay tuned, you scurvy-dogs, for more holiday additions to me collection.

Yo-ho-ho! Where's me rum?

What's that, you say? You be a landlubber who don't speak pirate-like? Aarr! You best be fixin' that by gettin' schoolin' here.