Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Museum Collection

I'm a big fan of the Barbie Museum Collection. Mattel gets it right with these, much like the Dolls of the World Landmark Collection.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I much prefer it when Mattel designers interpret something creatively using Barbie as their medium instead of making her up to look like the latest hot star or nostalgic favorite TV character. (Here's a former rant on the subject.)

In the Museum Collection, Mattel interprets works from three famous painters: Gustav Klimt, Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci. The Klimt and Van Gogh are outstanding.

With Van Gogh Barbie, her dress depicts The Starry Night with the swirling sky. A dark Cypress tree is the focal point. Her swirling circular earrings, structural shoes and wavy hair complete the look.

For Klimt, Mattel recreated the golden dress the model in the painting wore, but my favorite part of the doll is her sculptural hairdo: big, curly and parted in the middle. Her face and makeup are also really beautiful. Truly outstanding.

(The da Vinci doll is less exciting for me overall, but I could be influenced by the fact that of the three paintings, I find the Mona Lisa least exciting.)

I'm curious what the boxes are going to look like for these dolls. I do hope they include miniature replicas of the paintings. 

The whole line kind of makes you want to visit a museum, doesn't it?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Barbie Vs. The Environment

Greenpeace environmentalists have launched a campaign against Barbie, going so far as to rappel down the face of Mattel's California headquarters and hang a banner with Ken's unhappy face on it that said "Barbie: it's over. I don't date girls that are into deforestation." The protest even included a women dressed as Barbie driving a pink skip loader.

Greenpeace has set up a Facebook page devoted to the effort at www.greenpeace.org/ken.

The activists are accusing Mattel of packaging their products, including Barbie, in paper that comes from hardwoods taken from rain forests in Indonesia.

Mattel has responded by calling on its suppliers to "clarify how they are addressing the broader issue in their own supply chains," according to this article. The company also is addressing its own paper policy, according to this article. (Mattel also had to shut down Barbie's Facebook page after the protest.)

Read about the controversy here, here, here, and here.