Mattel is pushing nostalgia pretty hard with its latest collection, the Barbie Collector Classic TV Collection. The company urges people to "take a trip back in time to the 'good old days.'" Yikes. Nothing like capitalizing on people's fears and unhappiness over the current state of the world.
The collection features memorable female characters of the 1960s, with each doll paying tribute to a different television show. The collection currently "celebrates" The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched.
Keeping with the nostalgia theme, the dolls feature the classic side-eye face and stay true to the characters' designs/outfits. There's no excitement or re-imagining here of the classics.
Whoa. Who thought the 80s would come back into popularity? But yet, here they are. Leggings in every store. Frightening. I've even seen some tops with shoulder pads!
But rather than discuss the dubious traits of "jeggings," let's talk Dynasty.
Dynasty started around the same time that I did in 1981. The ABC show was a rival to CBS's Dallas and featured the trials and tribulations of the Carrington family. The show reached No. 1 in the mid-80s.
The Dynasty Barbie collection can let Dynasty fans relive the scandalous fun of the show. The dolls feature two iconic characters from the show: Krystle Carrington and Alexis Carrington Colby. Both include the clothes and the hair from the time period.
Alexis wears a golden gown and lots of bling. Check out the shoulders on that dress! Big shoulders = power, right? And she's got some big hair to match them. Krystle also is rocking some big shoulders with her white sheath gown and shoulder pads and some big hair.
The dolls even earned an OMG! from Mr. Perez Hilton himself. EW gave it the same OMG rating.
It begins in March 1961 with a young fellow who showed up at the American International Toy Fair. Ken Carson, a 12-inch tall dreamboat with molded plastic hair, a red bathing suit and a beach towel, made his debut and wooed Barbie Millicent Roberts.
The two became the Brangelina of the moment. (Should they be called Karbie?) People watched the power couple sport the latest fashions and hairstyles of the moment, often in outfits that matched each other perfectly. (Check out this power 80s couple.)
But the relationship wasn't without its troubles. Maybe Barbie was too career driven? She has had more than 100 careers in her lifetime. And maybe Ken was a little too fancy? (Purple pleather is a tough look for any man.)
Ultimately, the two split on Valentine's Day in 2004 after more than 43 years together. Soon after Barbie jumped into the arms of Blaine, an Aussie surfer. Clearly, he was just a rebound. Barbie and Ken continued to remain friends through the years.
Now, in his 50th anniversary year, Ken has launched a campaign to win Barbie back. No social-media outlet is safe from his romantic pursuit of Barbie, and he doesn't care how much publicity it brings him. He will win her back. (For publicity, see here, here, here and here.)
It's time for some tough decisions. I've amassed a glorious collection of Barbie dolls -- nearly 400 in boxes. This is both wonderful and a bit of a curse.
Picture your collection that bloated: Where would you store it? How would you keep track of it all?
The time has come for me to thin the herd. I'm out of shelf space, and I may have to move the collection to a new location in the coming years, an impossibility at its current size.
But how do I choose who goes and who stays? And what's a "healthy" size for a Barbie collection to stay at?
I have a strong sentimental attachment to some dolls. Others evoke happy memories. Still others remind me of different trends and decades. Many are gifts from loved ones. All important distinctions, in my opinion.
I suppose the thing to do is imagine the dolls as one giant, pink herd. The strong (with the greatest attachments) will stay, while the weak must get picked off and sold to other households and collections. It won't be easy, since in this scenario, I'm the predator who must do the picking off of the weakest dolls.
I'm just not that excited about the Barbie Basics Denim Collection. And shouldn't I be? I was obsessed with Gap back in the late 90s when the company used to make cute, quality clothes. It was all about denim and basic Ts back then. (Remember this?)
Maybe that's part of the problem. This collection feels dated to me.
According to Mattel, the Denim Collection includes 12 dolls that are "taking classic blue jeans to new heights." It's the first time males are among the Basics dolls. Each doll sports denim in an array of cuts and colors, and each has a unique hair style and skin tone.
I collect Barbie dolls. It's a hobby most of my friends find perplexing. I haven't yet found anyone in my social circle who shares my love of the 11.5-inch plastic fashion queen — so I decided to branch out.
In blogging about Barbie, I hope to find and communicate with other collectors like me.