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Saturday, March 29, 2008

I am guilty. My Barbie-sensitivity is showing.

Ashley Miller and Heather Johnson of Atlanta, GA were recently sentenced for bank robbery. The two, with inside help from a bank teller, got away with $11,000 and went on a shopping spree.

Feel free to google 'Barbie bandits' to get the gory details, if you so choose. On the other hand, I am so ticked that Barbie's name has been associated with these two young women.

They're both blonde and attractive but they're also stupid. Barbie is not stupid.

OK, that was my rant for the day. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kimora Lee Simmons Barbie Arrived Today!

Today was fabulous!!! My Kimora Lee Simmons Barbie finally arrived and, well, all the stress I've been dealing with at the office just went out the window. I must say she is fabulosity personified. I spent much of the afternoon showing her off to people in the office --- even complete strangers --- that probably think I'm certifiably crazy. Kimora was a Christmas gift from my boss and I'm just so appreciative that I could cry. My boss is so…there's no better word…fabulous.

Let me just say that the doll looks much better in person than she does in the Barbie Collector catalog. Quite frankly, I thought the photo made her look a tad hoochiefied.

Anyhoo, the floor-length faux fur chinchilla coat is to die for and the signature 'Kimora Lee Simmons' leopard print lining was not lost on me. I really wasn't feeling the thigh-high boots when I'd seen them in photos but the gold heels on the boots are just too fabulous with the fishnet hose. The gold 'KLS' appointments on the handbag and chiffon top are so Kimora. Let me not forget that she's wearing my favorite color --- pink!

I was a bit surprised that so many people at my job didn't know who she is; but they do now.

If there was one thing I'd change about her, it would be the sunglasses. They are positioned fabulously on the top of her head but there's not enough contrast between the color of her hair and the color of her sunglasses so they get lost until examining the doll closely.

If you like pink and fashion, you must add Kimora Lee Simmons Barbie to your collection. Now, it would be too fab of Mattel to make dolls in the likeness of her daughters Ming and Aoki. Think about it. It's fabulous!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How many different Barbies have been made?

Let's think about this. Barbie has been around since 1959. Since then she has changed in hair color and ethnicity. She's been pregnant, a paraplegic, several celebrities and almost every occupation known to mankind. She's even been president.

So what's your guess? 500? 750? 1,000? I'll save you the trouble ---I still don't know. According to doll enthusiast, Mary Wernke, there were 2,386 made between Barbie's beginning in 1959 through 1999. That's a lot of dolls and 9 years are remaining to make Wernke's list current. I must keep that in mind when my familly complains about the number of dolls I've collected.

Check Mary's site for her exhaustive lists! Happy collecting!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Happy Birthday! Barbie is 49 and she looks fabulous!

This Day in History

March 9, 1959

Ruth Mosko Handler Unveils Barbie Doll

At the International American Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959, inventor Ruth Mosko Handler unveiled one of the most loved, emulated, and criticized toys of the 20th century. The Barbie Doll, named after Handler's 15-year-old daughter, rocketed the Mattel company to nearly overnight success and became an icon of American culture.

Although Barbie has been roundly condemned by feminists as promoting an unrealistic body shape to young girls, Handler originally conceived the doll as a way for girls to imagine their futures as adult women. "I believed it was important to a little girl's self-esteem," she later said, "to play with a doll that has breasts." The development of the doll was also influenced by Handler's daughter's preference for adult paper dolls over the baby dolls that then dominated the toy market.

Although it was Mattel's first big success, the Barbie Doll was not the beginning of Handler's career as an inventor. While working at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Handler first went into business with her husband producing picture frames. Mattel, named for Handler's husband and a business partner, was incorporated in 1945. In its early years, the company produced a toy ukulele and toy guns; it was among the first to market toys directly to children, sponsoring a year's run of the Mickey Mouse Club television show. After the runaway success of Barbie, the company added Ken, named after Handler's son, and later additional dolls named for Handler's grandchildren.

After losing a breast to cancer in 1970, and leaving Mattel in 1975, Handler turned her attention to helping other breast cancer survivors. Unhappy with the available breast prostheses, she invented her own, which she sold through a new company called Nearly Me.

Handler received numerous awards for her accomplishments. The Los Angeles Times named her Woman of the Year in Business in 1967, the United Jewish Appeal named her its first "Woman of Distinction," and the Toy Industry Hall of Fame inducted her in 1985.

Ruth Mosko Handler died in 2002. Although often a subject of satire and social criticism, Barbie lives on, with more than 100 million sold annually. Professional outfits and ethnic Barbies have updated the original, but the grown-up doll continues to entrance both young girls and older collectors.

Sources: Ruth Mosko Handler, Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story (Stamford, CT, 1994);; Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, pp. 591-592; M.G. Lord, Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll (New York, 1994); Los Angeles Times, December 12, 1967, December 15, 1967; New York Times, April 29, 2002.

Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA Presents 'This Day in History' - March 9, 1959, Ruth Mosko Handler Unveils Barbie Doll." <> (March 9, 2008).

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.