RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Site Design By:
Blogs Gone Wild!

Powered by Blogger

Thursday, December 20, 2007

History of the Barbie Doll

As I've gotten back into my Barbie collecting mode, I've been afforded opportunities to share the Barbie message with many people who were not aware of the depth of the Barbie phenomenon.

I'll start with a little Barbie history. Now at the outset let me make it clear that I am not an expert. I do know a lot about Barbie but I've not enjoyed attending a Barbie Convention or meeting in of the Barbie designers. I'll get to that in future posts.

Let's begin with an abbreviated history of Barbie.

Barbie: History of a Living Doll

Author: Sherril Steele-Carlin

Did you know the original Barbie was named for a real young lady from California named Barbara Handler? It's true! Barbie, the teen fashion doll that debuted in 1959 was created by Barbara's mom, Ruth Handler, who named the doll after her daughter and the rest is doll history.

It all started in the late 1950s, when Ruth Handler noticed that her young daughter, Barbara, and her friends really liked to play with adult dolls rather than the common baby dolls that were common at the time. These adult dolls weren't three-dimensional, they were all made out of cardboard or paper, so Ruth began to design a three-dimensional adult doll that would make her daughter and her friends happy.

Handler and her husband Elliot had created the Mattel Toy Company in their garage, but by the late 50s it had grown to include a group of ad executives who quickly vetoed Ruth's initial idea and design. They thought the doll would be too expensive to produce and had little long-term appeal. Now we know how wrong they were!

Undaunted, Ruth continued with her idea. She traveled to Europe and when she returned she brought a German doll named "Lilli" with her. Redesigned, Lilli became Barbie, and Ruth continued to pester the Mattel executives until they agreed to produce the doll. The original patent date is 1958. Ruth even hired a fashion designer, Charlotte Johnson, to create a fashionable wardrobe for the doll.

Barbie, with her distinctive blonde ponytail and black and white striped stretch bathing suit made her debut at the 1959 American Toy Fair in New York City, and took the toy world by storm. The dolls literally flew off the shelves. Mattel set a toy selling record the first year Barbie debuted, selling 351, 000 dolls the first year. In ten short years, parents would spend $500 million on Barbie products for their clamoring youngsters.

Barbie was the first fashion doll, and she spawned many spin-offs, but she and her "family" of dolls are simply the most popular in history. Barbie gets at least 100 new clothing designs every year, and because they produce so many Barbie outfits each year, Mattel has become the biggest garment manufacturer in the world.

Today, Barbie has come a long way from that fashion doll who debuted in 1959. She has sisters, a boyfriend, and represents nearly 100 different nationalities. However, collectors prize the original Barbie and her 50s wardrobe above all else. Barbie and her clothing are one of the most popular collectibles in the world today, and a mint-condition original Barbie can sell as high as $10,000. So, check the attic, the basement, and the storage boxes for your old Barbie treasures. They could be more valuable than you think, and even if they aren't, they'll bring back lots of fond fashion memories!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Downsizing my Barbie collection

I received the Hollywood Hostess Barbie in the mail last week. Because of the packaging of the Silkstone dolls, I was able to remove the top of the display box to get a better look at it. I like the doll's hairstyle and much of the outfit. I'm not feeling the white sandals but I guess Mattel's options were limited. I would have preferred a similar style sandal but perhaps in a bronze color.

I want to keep the doll in the box but I'd love to redress the Lingerie No. 5 Barbie or the Sunday Best Barbie in these outfits. I popped online to the Barbie collector site and voila', it's sold out. I did find the doll on the My Favourite Doll site. I'd love to buy it now but I don't want to pay the $100 plus shipping.

I'm going to try to resist the urge. There was a time I'd have purchased it without a thought but I'm trying to be a better steward of my finances. As a matter of fact, I'm going to start selling some of my collection again.

I'm focusing my collection on Silkstone and Byron Lars dolls. I may keep a few of the Bob Mackies but for the most part, they must go. Be sure to visit this site again or e-mail me if you're interested in a particular Barbie.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Look-a-Like: Alice in Wonderland Barbie

I don't particularly care for some of the characters in the Alice in Wonderland Barbie line I am particularly intrigued with the Alice in Wonderland doll. Is it just me or does she not resemble Charo? I'd like to see the actual doll rather than the prototype.

Monday, December 03, 2007

What's your fashion style?

I am so feeling these Stuart Weitzman shoes. The list price is $270 but rhey're on sale for $130. Unfortunately, they're only available in 8.5 or 10 and I wear 9. Arrrgh!

My friends call my taste boring but I like what I like. A pair of tastefully ripped jeans are cool as long as they're paired with a crisp white shirt. Too short. too tight tight and too much skin doesn't work for me. A sexy split? Definitely, yes. But hoochification? I think not.

That discussion of my choice in shoes led me to the quiz below on fashion style. I think it is a rather accurate description of my taste. Classic clothing doesn't go out of style so my purchases are more like investments.

I can totally picture those shoes with khakis, a white blouse, brown belt, my brown Coach hobo purse, pink scarf to pull my locks in a ponytail and tortoise shell Ray-Bans.

Take the quiz and see what your fashion style is.

Your Fashion Style is Classic

You like what's stood the test of time...

Simple, well styled clothes that don't scream trendy

You stay updated and modern, but your clothes stay in style for a while

You wouldn't be caught in animal prints, fake fur, or super bright colors

Saturday, December 01, 2007

World AIDS Day 2007

Today is World AIDS Day. More than 30 million people have this condition. Will it ever end?

Too many children throughout the world have been orphaned because of HIV/AIDS. Millions of children growing up without parents is definitely not a healthy mental environment for the world's citizens. There are consequences for all of us.

HIV can be spread through sexual contact, through blood transfusion, through contaminated needles and the breast milk of an infected mother. HIV/AIDS does not discriminate against ethnicity, gender or sexual preference.

In memory of those who have passed away because of AIDS, I say I am sorry for the pain you had to endure. I apologize for my fellow humans who may have subjected you to physical and emotional pain, especially through isolation and stigmatization.

Let us continue to support efforts to find a cure for AIDS and to support organizations that help to bring comfort to the victims of HIV/AIDS.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Re-Launch of My Barbie and Fashion Blog

Welcome to my new blog! I have a new domain name: and a fabulous new blog design by my new best friend, seven of Blogs Gone Wild.

Both dolls showcased in the header are designed by Byron Lars. They are from his first Barbie series: The Runway Collection. On the left is Indigo Obsession with Plum Royale on the right. There are two more dolls in the series: In the Limelight and Cinnabar Sensation. Cinnabar Sensation was released in a black version and a white version --- my collection includes both.

Photographs don't do these dolls justice; you really have to see them in person to appreciate their beauty and intricate workmanship. I'll introduce you each of them as well as more of my collection. I'll also share some Barbie background information, talk about fashion and introduce you to some women that I think are real-life Barbies.

I hope you enjoy it here and will visit often. In the meantime, have a beautiful pink day.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Remembering Fashionista Dr. Donda West

The world mourns the lost of Dr. Donda West, mother of superstar Kanye. Let's keep him lifted in prayer. Personally, I liked her style. It's easy to fall prey to our society so enthralled with youth, thinness and beauty. But whose standards should we follow anyway? I could go on and on about diverse beauty.

Dr. West and I shared the same tastes in handbags, I love this photo of her rocking the Louis Vuitton Multipli-Cite'. She looks so young and vibrant. Rest in Peace, Sister Queen. Job well done.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mattell adds Black Silkstone Barbie for 2008 --- Toujours Couture

I must add at least two dolls to my collection over the next six months. One is the Hollywood Hostess Barbie that I already have on order and the other is the Toujours Couture Barbie.

The Toujors Couture is a Black Silkstone Barbie --- one of the very few black Silkstones. I'm going to reserve my final opinion when it's released in February 2008. Right now, I'm not feeling the color of the outfit or those boots. She would have looked so much better in the La Vie Rose wardrobe.

I'll likely sacrifice and buy more than one of her. For sure I'm going to opt for black pumps or slingbacks. Look for the photos in February.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Real-Life Barbie: Kimora Lee Simmons

Remember how I posted that I wouldn't pay full retail for the KLS Barbie? OK, I am so taking that back. I have become such a fan of Kimora Lee Simmons from watching her television show, Life in the Fab Lane.

What I'd perceived as kind of rude and crude is just her way of making sure that she and her daughters live a fabulous life.

Kimora is such an entrepreneur; I enjoy watching her mind work. She also feels entitled to all of the fabulosity she's attained and you know what? There's nothing wrong with that.

Kimora has worked hard to become a fashion, jewelry and entertainment mogul. I really became a fan when she visited Mattel for an update on her Barbie doll. Miss Kimora made sure that the Mattel folks made no mistake that she wanted her doll to be known as a Barbie doll --- not Barbie's sidekick.

Barbie comes in all flavors and that's something that Mattel seems to forget from time to time.

Kimora also made it clear that she wanted her doll to have a long coat and the accompanying dog. That may not seem to be a big deal but it is. The Mattel folks tried to convince her that she could only have a short coat with the dog but Miss Kimora wasn't having that, OK.

In a life of fabulosity, the KLS Baby Phat Barbie would only have the most fabulous attire exuding an attitude of ultimate fabulosity. Count me in for the purchase of the Kimora Lee Simmons Barbie at full retail price. It's fabulosity, folks!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Toy Recall bad for Barbie but to what extent?

The flawed Chinese-made toys will surely cause huge losses for Mattel. In an industry that has already seen Bratz overtake Barbie in the doll category, this latest flap will be bad but just how devastating remains to be seen. Click here to read more.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Baby Phat Barbie on hold

I don't know why, but the launch of the Kimora Lee Simmons Baby Phat Barbie has been delayed until February 2008. Perhaps the production of the doll was not up to Ms. Simmons' standards. The prototype can be so much better than what hits store shelves.

Anyhoo at an advertised $60, it's not likely I'll buy it any way. I really like that faux fur coat but not enough to pay full price.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Another reason why I don’t like Bratz

Movie Review

Unlike "Bratz," at least Barbie has careers

By Ted Fry

Special to The Seattle Times

"Bratz: The Movie," with Nathalia Ramos, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning, Skyler Shaye, Chelsea Staub, Jon Voight. Directed by Sean McNamara, from a screenplay by Susan Estelle Jansen.

110 minutes. Rated PG for thematic elements.

Based on the immensely popular character dolls with risqué wardrobes, creepy owl eyes and sassy plumped-up lips, "Bratz" is the second movie of the summer to spring from a line of toys. "Bratz" may not be as bombastic as "Transformers," but the target demographic will doubtless find it just as awesome.

The live-action versions of Yasmin (Nathalia Ramos), Jade (Janel Parrish), Sasha (Logan Browning) and Cloe (Skyler Shaye) aren't quite as disturbing as their synthetic counterparts. But they still bring to life the Bratz ethos of materialism and plastic friendship.

As the opening sequence attests, these girls think closets full of possessions are paradise; "I love the smell of retail in the morning," chirps one as they troll the mall. [Click here to read more.]

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cher Doll

I really want to add the 2007 Cher dolls to my collection. The photos of Cher in that Indian outfit and that black skimpy number are to die for in the photos I've seen.

The problem with photos in the magazines or on the web are that they are frequently of protypes of a doll and do not reflect how a doll actually looks when it hist the shelves. The facial mold may be a tad diffferent and my major pet peeve are cheap-looking materials.

In an affort to keep my collection focused, I really need to skip the purchase the Cher dolls. Since they are less than $40, it's likely I'd be disappointed anyway.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

New Dolls for Barbie Collectors; Have you seen them?

Mattel's Barbie Collector website is showing off 40, count 'em 40 new dolls added to the Barbie line-up. Some look very promising and I'll surely add them to my collection. Get a peek for yourself, go to

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Great for New Barbie Collectors: Barbie Collecting Start Page

For newbies to the world of Barbie collecting, the website is a must see on your list of sites to research. Their Barbie collecting start page is chock full of links that should satisfy your desire to learn all things Barbie. If you’re not a newbie, it’s a great site for you to visit also.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Must Have: Barbie Collector Magazine

With the discontinuation of Barbie Bazaar magazine last year, collectors such as I have been longing for a way to keep up with the news on Barbie as well as receive history lessons on the pink diva herself.

The editions of Haute Doll I received as a Barbie Bazaar subscriber were okay but not enugh to quench my thirst for all things Barbie. Call me a snob if you'd like but I don't particularly care for sharing space with dolls outside of the Barbie family.

Thank God a new magazine is on the horizon, perhaps you've already seen the first edition but I haven't had the honor. It's called Barbie Collector. It appears to start where Barbie Bazaar left off. I'll give you my opinion as soon as I receive my copy in the mail.

Unitl next time...Smooches!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Baby Phat Barbie

Mattel is releasing some great new Barbies in 2007. One of the soon to be released dolls is a "Baby Phat" Kimora Lee Simmons Barbie.

Now, I'm not so sure how I feel about this one. The facial features don't look enough like KLS but the outfit surely does. I am not feeling those boots but I'll likely purchase a few of the dolls for that fabulous faux fur coat. I love re-dressing my dolls and this is just, well, too fabulous.

I must applaude KLS for her business acumen. She is working a clothing line... fragrance... book...acting gigs... whatever. I'm not mad at her. You, go, girlfriend. Smooches.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Barbed Art

Here’s the story of an art show based on “restructured” Barbie dolls. Artists of various ages and walks of life re-created Barbie in various environments. There’s a mature Barbie, a Muslim Barbie in a burka, etc.

I’m not sure how I feel about this but since I haven’t seen it I’ll reserve my opinion. I know one thing, I’m not crazy about the photo at all. Just my opinion.

Friday, March 16, 2007

My latest acquisitions: Career Girl Barbie and Coco Barbie

I've definitely slowed my collecting pace. For one, I need to get my display space in order. Secondly, Mattel just hasn't been producing the variety and quality of dolls that I like. For example what happened to more Black Silkstone dolls in the Barbie Fashion Model collection?

My latest acquisitions include the reproduction of Career Girl Barbie and the third installment of Byron Lars' Chapeaux Collection, Coco Barbie.

I haven't opened the box to Career Girl yet. I plan to redress one of my Lingerie Barbie No. 5 dolls with her outfit. Lingerie No. 5 has to be the absolutely perfect doll model. I'll do a blog post just on her soon. I should have purchased more them when I had the chance.

Let me get to Coco Barbie. Now, whoever decided to cheapen this entire Chapeaux collection with those permanent gloves on the dolls gets a big fat 'F'. Generally, I love the Byron Lars dolls but I am not feeling the excitement with this collection. The cheap plastic necklace on Sugar Barbie did it for me. Yuck. That's so un-Byron.

Coco is cute and funky. It's likely that I'll purchase another one of these because I do like this doll's pose. I'll remove the clothing anyway a add one of those fabulous doll wigs. She will be beautiful.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy 2007!

It's a new year so I'll try to blog more frequently about my favorite vinyl, silkstone diva --- Barbie. I hate to admit that it's been awhile since I've really gone through my collection and made an inventory list. Tsk..tsk!

This should be the year that I just go ahead, get that really nice display case and show off my girls and boys. Anyhoo, here's to a perfectly pink 2007 for You and Yours! Smooches!

NOTE: I do not represent all of these photos as my own; these are photos of Barbie and other dolls that I find to be fabulous! If you are the actual photographer and would like to be credited, send me an e-mail.