Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All Shook Up

This doll is pretty appropriate for August, since Elvis fans everywhere take the time to remember the King around the anniversary of his death on Aug. 16, 1977.

This isn't the first time Mattel has looked to Elvis for inspiration. There's the Elvis Live on Stage set that includes an Elvis doll with a retro Barbie in a poodle skirt. There's also the Elvis and Priscilla wedding set, which includes Barbie sporting big, coiffed hair and thick eye makeup just like Priscilla when she wed Elvis in 1967.

Now, Mattel is using Barbie herself to celebrate the King. The Elvis Barbie dolls features Barbie in a gold suit inspired by the cover of his 1959 greatest hits album, “50,000,00 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong.” Barbie rocks the gold lamé suit with a bow tie, sparkling silver ruffled shirt, pompadour ponytail, gold earrings and metallic Mary Jane-style pumps.

It's a pretty cool look. This is a great example of when Mattel gets it right. Instead of picking another female celeb (like Heidi Klum or Faith Hill) to replicate in doll form, the company is creative and is using Barbie as a medium to interpret (not copy) a celebrity. I see this as similar to the new collection inspired by famous paintings or the one that showcases iconic locations around the globe. They all require creativity and flair, which is more than was required to turn Reba into a Barbie.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Have a Little Faith (and Tim)

I am not a big country music fan, despite growing up in an area saturated with the stuff. I did, however, own two country CDs at one point: Breathe by Faith Hill and Shania Twain's Come on Over. Don't Judge. Really, some of the songs are pretty pop. (In the interest of full disclosure, I may have potentially at one point attended a Shania Twain concert. Whew. Feels good to get that off my chest.)

Now Mattel has introduced Tim McGraw and Faith Hill dolls as a set. (And we all know my feelings about this sort of thing.) According to Mattel, the set is a "celebration of country music's ultimate power couple."

The Faith doll has a beige and black gown on and big, big earrings. Tim's got on a black suit and the can't-be-without-it black cowboy hat. The two are available in September for $69.95.

Take a look at the expression on Barbie/Faith's face in the image. Do you find it a little... off-putting? That smile looks a little unhinged. Not the prettiest face Mattel has ever created.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Market Trends

I've been happily blogging away about Barbie since 2009, and during that time, some of you have contacted me via e-mail. (Thank you for your interest in the site and Barbie!) By far, the most prevalent type of communication I receive is people looking for advice about selling some or all of their dolls.

Sometimes, the person has come into a collection from a relative. Other times, its a collector looking to unload some of their dolls. Mostly, the person wants a good home for the dolls--but also a good price. The stories are different, the collections range in size, and the people are very nice and hopeful, though I'm afraid I never can provide the answers they are looking for!

I have to wonder if the uptick of e-mails in my inbox is because of people needing to liquidate some of the assets during the tough economic market. Choosing to sell is never an easy decision.

I'll throw the question out to all the readers: What is your advice for fellow Barbie owners (some of them very new to collecting) regarding selling dolls? There are many, many people out there interested to know!

Friday, August 19, 2011

At The Clubs

I'm part of a book club. For those who aren't part of such a group, this means we meet every month or so to drink, eat too much and discuss the different reasons why we had difficulty finishing the book. Or, in the event we read the whole thing, congratulate ourselves mightily--and then drink some more wine.

For those of you in local dolls clubs, what do you do together? I'm curious about what sorts of activities different clubs have and how they spend their time together. To meet and learn from other collectors in person sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Previously, I contacted a Barbie club in my area to find out what club-life is like for them, but alas, no one ever returned my queries--not the best way to build membership.

I was a member of the Barbie Collector Club in the past, but I let me membership lapse. I found the forums fun but time consuming, and I rarely used my coupons and other perks. And then the whole recession thing forced me to consider ways I could trim costs.

Are you members of Barbie or doll-related clubs? What are the best things about club-life? The worst? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eco-Friendly Dream House

 Where does Architect Barbie live? In an eco-friendly pink dream house, of course!

The American Institute of Architects hosted a competition to create a new dream house for Mattel's Architect Barbie.

The winning house design submitted by Ting Li and Maja Paklar features an entertaining space and chef’s open kitchen on the first floor, along with an office/library/meeting space. There is also a terrace on the second floor. The third and fourth floors hold Barbie’s bedroom and her inspiration room. (That's right. She has an inspiration room. What? You don't?) The roof has a greenhouse and a landscaped garden.


The design elements include solar panels, landscaped rooftop and irrigation system, operable shading devices, bamboo flooring, low-flow toilet and sink fixtures, and locally sourced and manufactured materials and furnishings.


While the architects’ submissions, including the winning design, will not be produced by Mattel, the creators of the winning design will have a $1,000 donation made in their name to CHAD, a charter high school in Philadelphia focused on architecture and design.

Read more about the project and winning design here, here, and here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Elliot Handler

Barbie's "dad" Elliot Handler died in late July. He was 95. This is the man that not only co-founded Mattel but also gave Barbie his name.

Oh, the things you'll learn by browsing TMZ instead of working!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Live Action??

A live-action Barbie movie still is in the works.

No, really.

Live action.

I'm not kidding.

::Sigh::

Does it seem like a strange idea to anyone else?

For those who are ready to line up at Midnight to watch such a flick, you'll be able to know some casting rumors are popping up. Trevor Donovan, a chiseled young actor from the latest 90210 incarnation, is a potential "Ken."

Check out his IMDB page here. Read about the rumors here and here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Crud

Hello Barbie friends!

I must apologize for my (what I now realize is a) month-long absence from the Barbie blog. The summer has grabbed hold of me and refused to let go, which is a nice way of saying I've been keeping busy in the sunshine and not in front of the computer.

Hold tight! Since Mother Nature is out to get us in the Midwest (blazing heat and super-sized storms) on a weekly basis, I intend to be back at the blogging on a regular basis again.

I still have a big, ol' folder of pix to share with you from my spring sorting party.