Monday, May 31, 2010

Hoopla Over 'Busty Barbie'

For the record, I played with Barbie for more than a decade before she underwent breast-reduction surgery in the late '90s. And guess what? I'm not scarred. I don't think I'm horribly misshaped because I don't exactly resemble her measurements. I also don't feel the need to augment myself to try and match her.

(Side note: Don't you love how the anti-Barbie crowd enjoys trotting out Barbie's "real-life" measurements as examples of why playing with her is damaging to children? As if all other toys measure up perfectly to the real-life test.)

I actually was among those saddened that Barbie lost some inches from her bust. It was a surrender for Mattel to political correctness, in my opinion. Give me a Superstar face mold and a busty body form any day.

Why am I bringing all this up now? Because "Busty Barbie" once again is making headlines because of #10 in the Barbie Basics line. She allegedly has got big boobs to hold up her sexy dress with a plunging neckline.

Apparently overlooking that the Barbie Basics dolls are geared toward adult collectors, conservative mommies who don't want their daughters growing up to think Heidi Montag is a role model are speaking out.

Seriously, one of the mothers quoted in the article brought up Montag. There's also mention of Tiger Woods' mistresses. Naturally, big boobs and a plunging dress line = crazy people who engage in too much plastic surgery and waffle house workers who prey on married famous men.

Read about the hoopla here, here, here, and here.

Cleavage is so evil, some upset parents are calling for the busty offender to be pulled from store shelves (because even having the option of purchasing a doll with bigger boobs is scarring for some children, apparently). I have to ask: What happens when some of the young girls of these parents grow up to have (heaven forbid it) big boobs? Will they be ashamed of them, having been taught it's wrong or abnormal?

I think the whole controversy is silly (or maybe you could tell that from my rampant use of sarcasm in this post). There are causes more worthy of time and attention in this world than the size of one doll's boobs.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dolls of the World Ellis Island Exhibit

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Barbie Dolls of the World Collection, Mattel is gathering together an assortment of the most iconic dolls from the collection in an exhibit on New York's Ellis Island.

Very cool. You can see some Barbies AND learn some United States history. It's a winning combination.

Mattel plans to unveil the exhibit on June 15, and it will run until Aug. 15. If you're going to be in the New York area during that time, I encourage you to check it out and show me pictures.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fall Into The Gap

Back with The Gap actually created cute clothes and catchy commercials, I used to work there. No, seriously. The Gap used to be a good place to shop for quality basics.

Remember this?

And this?

Don't you want to buy some khakis now?

For the record, I was a "denim specialist," which meant I received additional education about the denim products and was forced to fold and re-fold the blasted denim wall over and over again.


I still have nightmares. Though, my own closet at home is impeccably neat and folded with military precision to this day.

I think Gap Barbie from 1996 captures much of what The Gap was known for in its heyday. (The commercials are from the company's roughly 1997/1998 campaign, by the way.) 

She's got the logo T and khakis. The all-American denim jacket. And, oh look, there's a wee pair of jeans peeking out of the large shopping bag.

I'm pretty sure I also owned a faux-leather backpack just like that back in the late '90s.

One of my favorite parts of this doll is the packaging, which features that damn denim wall that I paced in front of like a caged animal for years, folding and re-folding....NO, ma'am, let me get that for you! Don't pull from the bottom! They'll fall!...

Sorry about that. Flashback.  

Monday, May 10, 2010

Someone Hand Me A Stake

Mattel is adding two more dolls to its Twilight collection: Alice Cullen and Victoria. Never having read the books or seen the movies, I don't have too much to say about the new dolls. I also don't have a desire to own them.

But while we are on the topic of popular vampire sagas, let me just say this: Buffy the Vampire Slayer included the ultimate human/vampire romance. There's really no moving past that for me, which is why I haven't explored the Twilight series.

Seriously, though: Bufy. Angel. The Scooby Gang. It was the perfect blend of humor, horror and snark. Sure, it got a little weird in a bad way toward the end (and the less said about season four the better), but those first three seasons are pure gold.

In closing, let me leave you with this classic exchange between Angel and Xander from season one (and I promise I'll talk less about vampires and more about Barbie in the next post):

Xander: You were looking at my neck.
Angel: What?
Xander: You were checking out my neck. I saw that.
Angel: No, I wasn't.
Xander: Just keep your distance, pal.
Angel: I wasn't looking at your neck.
Xander: I told you to eat before we left.

Now, if Mattell had created a Buffy Barbie, I would have been all over that! Can you imagine? A tiny Mr. Pointy. Maybe even Mr. Gordo the Pig. Definitely some kick-ass leatherwear.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Anyone Have A Spare $545,000?

Time to check the couch cushions for extra cash, friends. Mattel and jewelry designer Stefano Canturi have created what Mattel is calling the most-expensive Barbie ever.

It is valued at more than $600,000 AUD ($545,000 USD).

Excuse me while I check my wallet.

[checking wallet]

Upon closer inspection, I have a few dollars, a handful of change and some gum wrappers. Seems I'm a wee bit short.

The launch of the doll is coinciding with the launch of the Barbie Basics collection in Australia.

The big price tag comes from the rare Australian pink diamonds Barbie is wearing. Canturi created a neckpiece made up of three carats of white diamonds surrounding a collectable 1.00ct square emerald (cut) pink diamond. She also has a pink diamond ring sparkling on her right hand.

The 1.00ct square emerald (cut) diamond, notable for its distinctive purplish pink hue, is a rare and unique collector’s item, and it is substantially more valuable than its white diamond equivalent, according to Mattel.

"I didn't just want to cover her with diamonds, I wanted the jewelry design to pay homage to her modern yet timeless style, this is why I applied my Cubism design concept to her look. It is perfect for her,” says Canturi.

How much cash did you find in your couch cushions? I found 80 cents and a lot of lint.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Who Wears Short Shorts?

Ken wears short shorts!

Ken and his rocking pair of short shorts join Barbie in the latest Toy Story movie, which hits theaters in June. (Barbie also made an appearance in the second Toy Story movie in 1999.)

Check out this silly interview with Michael Keaton, who supplies the voice of Ken in the film.

When the interviewer expresses doubt about the short shorts, Keaton has this to say:
"You don't like the hot pants! I'm shocked. You have to say this for the man, he's bold."

Of course, we collectors always have known Ken is bold. Sugar Daddy Ken was just the latest reminder!