Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I spent some time spring cleaning this past weekend, but I wasn't focusing on the dust bunnies under the bed or the clutter in the closet. I was cleaning out my collection.

This is the first time I've really gone in and removed dolls. The act itself was not as traumatic as I had expected. I found some dolls I had no real memories of, some I didn't really like all that much and some I downright disliked.

In all, I imagine I selected more than 100 to remove, though the official numbers aren't in yet. (I only got as far as piling up the dolls I no longer want to keep. I haven't counted them or cataloged them or anything like that yet.) I also have some random ancillary Barbie items such as decorative plates and playing cards that I'm not keeping.

I plan on posting some pictures of the dolls who didn't make the cut in the coming days and weeks along with some explanations as to why they aren't staying.

My next challenge is to determine what to do with all of them.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Designing Woman

Barbie is in the market for a new dream house, and now she is capable of designing it herself.

For Barbie's latest career as an architect, Mattel worked with two female members of the American Institute of Architects to get the right details: Despina Stratigakos, Professor of Architectural History at the University at Buffalo, and Kelly Hayes McAlonie, Associate Director of the Capital Planning Group at the University at Buffalo and the 2011 President Elect for AIA New York State.

Architect Barbie comes dressed in a professional outfit that pictures a cityscape on her dress and carries the tools of the trade, including a hard hat, carrying case for her designs and a model of her newest dream house.

Mattel and the consultants hope the doll will inspire more girls to enter the field of architecture. According to this article, the number of practicing female architects is around 20 percent.

She'll be available for purchase in August.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ruh-Roh, More Legal Troubles for Mattel

Oops! Mattel is facing more legal trouble with a new lawsuit from the actress who played Elly May Clampett on "The Beverly Hillbillies." And this coming so soon after the end of the Bratz debacle

The actress, Donna Douglas, claims in her suit that Mattel did not obtain her permission to use her likeness to promote the doll, which features a picture of Donna as Elly May on the package. Read about it here and here

According to the article, Douglas' lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a court order that would bar the company from using her name, likeness, image and distinctive attributes.

The doll is among several Mattel released recently in a nostalgia collection. (Read my thoughts on the dolls here.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Planning Your Next Vacation?

Paris is lovely. The sites. The history. The food.

But why experience all that when you could hang out in a cool Barbie-themed hotel room?

In Paris, the Hotel Plaza Athenee has two Barbie-themed rooms, a "Modern Princess" design and a "Fashion Icon" one.

The Barbie rooms apparently are part of a larger trend among hotel chains of decorating special rooms to satisfy youngsters' interests. According to USA Today, "Hotels are turning to children's fantasy icons -- such as Barbie, Shrek and Snow White -- to sell rooms, possibly at higher prices, to attract families."

Read about it here, here, here and here.