Monday, April 30, 2012

Princess of Ancient Greece

I remember telling a colleague (a fifty something, ex Army Major with a tough exterior but soft, gooey centre) that I bought a Princess of Ancient Greece Barbie. He thought I meant "ancient grease barbecue" and asked if it was a Weber! Sigh... what is it when men and fire?

This Barbie is beautiful with dark brown hair styled in a Grecian chignon adorned with a gold laurel crown. She wears gold earrings and a serpent arm cuff to match the lion head medallions that are pinned to the shoulders of her dress. The dress consists of a copper pleated dress called a chiton and a sheer sheath embellished with a gold Grecian pattern is draped elegantly around her. Barbie wears gold sandals so one cannot deny that she is a Princess with all that gold! I'm sure this Barbie was released to coincide with the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.

Release date: 1 December 2003
Label: Collector Edition
Mattel price: US$19.95
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$70 - US$90

Friday, April 27, 2012

James Bond 007 Ken and Barbie Giftset

I’ve never been a James Bond fan, and only watched Casino Royale (2006 version) when it was released on DVD so this Barbie and Ken set was a spur of the moment purchase in June 2003. I’m not sure if previous James Bonds had such magnetism, but I must admit that Daniel Craig was awfully scrumptious in the role. The scene where he rises up from the water after his swim (you know the one!) was…mmmmm (sigh).

I think this Ken resembles Pierce Brosnan, who played Bond between 1995 to 2002 with his full brown hair, blue eyes and forehead with a slight etch of wrinkles (not that I’m ageist, but wrinkles on Ken?). Ken wears a lined tuxedo (apparently designed by Brioni)and shiny black dress shoes. He carries a slim line, grey suitcase filled with top secret documents – so he's an old school, pre-high-tech gadget James Bond!

Barbie as a “Bond Girl” is very disappointing. He long blonde crimped looking hair hangs past her hips and the only striking facial feature are her full plum coloured lips. She wears a gold y-necklace that was ubiquitous in the 1990s and matching drop earrings. Barbie wears a gold lace gown with a maroon lining with a matching red shawl. She has gold ankle strap high heels and has a “cell” phone (well it was released in 2002 so cell phones were the most advance form of communication compared to the smart phones we have today) strapped to her right thigh. Overall I find this set boring, but Ken does look good as an "accessory" to other Barbies in my collection!

Release date: 1 November 2002
Label: Collector Edition
Mattel price: US$75
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$31 - US$150

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Moonlight Waltz

This Limited Edition Moonlight Waltz Barbie was a birthday gift in December 1997, and although she is well designed and beautifully dressed, I find her lacking personality if that could be said about dolls! Dolls like Daria with her stereotypical fashion model persona, Capucine's aloofness or Muffy Robert's seething grumpiness adds interest, but nevertheless this Barbie possess fine details that I value.

Barbie’s black hair is in a chignon and she wears a pleated maroon taffeta headband with delicate black feathers and gold setting diamond ornament. She has blue eyes and plum close lip smile, and wears a pair of gold, diamond and ruby chandelier earrings. Her taffeta gown is dramatic, with a gathered sweetheart bodice held with diamond straps. Her dress has black tulle underlay with hand sewn black sequins and a heavier tulle beneath the skirt to give it volume. The dress has an elaborate bow feature accented with more black feathers and a large ruby and diamond encrusted brooch. A chiffon shawl is gathered in a puff and attached to the left strap so it drapes elegantly behind her back. She wears sheer black stockings and black high heels.

There were only three dolls in the Ballroom Beauty collection - Moonlight Waltz as well as Midnight Waltz (which I also own), and Starlight Waltz (which I didn't like). Considering the detail and quality of this doll, I'm surprised it it not worth more.

Release date: 1 January 1997
Label: Limited Edition
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$30 - US$100

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Society Girl

I bought this Society Girl Barbie in Singapore in August 2002 and Mattel describes her as "a big city girl with a hot, happening life! She’s everywhere that’s anywhere". Given Barbie's extensive career experience, surely Mattel could have come up with a less cheesy tag which makes her sound like a ditzy attention seeker which personifies the negative stereotype surrounding Barbie. Perhaps this doll could have been named "Fundraising Ball" Barbie? Alas I won't get into a discussion about Barbie being a bad role model, after all this blog is about my love for Barbie!

Society Girl Barbie does have a contemporary feel about her. She has long, super straight blonde hair, smokey eye makeup and pink frosted lipstick. I like her silver drop earrings and matching necktie chain necklace with 2 diamond studs at the ends. Barbie wears a black corset (which is sewn in panels so it looks like it has boning in the corset), teamed with a fine black lace, white satin mermaid skirt which flares beautifully. If I had a larger display cabinet I would love to spread her skirt out. Barbie wears long white opera gloves and black high heels and carries a black satin clutch.

Release date: 2 June 2002
Label: Collector Edition
Mattel price: US$49.98
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$30 - US$65

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Shopgirl

The Parisian woman is seen as the height of style and sophistication to be emulated, and I know the look that The Shopgirl Barbie is going for, but the black hair with the white steaks just makes me laugh! I call it the Pepe Le Pew Barbie!

Barbie has arched eyebrows, purple shimmering eyeshadow and cherry red lips. She has a beauty spot and wears white pearl earrings. A pair of black-rimmed glasses hangs from a gold chain around her neck, and a gold bracelet adorns her left wrist.

The Barbie wears a black fitted dress with white elbow length cuffs and collar with a chiffon bow. A white rose (or a Chanel signature camellia?) is attached to her dress, and a shiny black, gold buckled belt accentuate her already tiny waist. Barbie wears fishnet stockings and black and white sling back high heels. She carries a Fashion Model gift bag containing a bottle of perfume (for Pepe Le Pew!). Very chic indeed, but the hair! Hilarious!

Release date: 1 August 2008
Label: Gold
Mattel price: US$75.00
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$99 - US$250

Monday, April 23, 2012


Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the James Cameron's film Titanic, I ordered this Titanic Barbie online relying on the official photos released by Mattel. This Barbie was disappointing as it was poorly designed and made. Titanic was the most expensive film produced at the time (reported to be around US$200 million), and no expense was spared on the sets, props and costumes (Deborah Lynn Scott won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design).

This is a dismal replica of the gown that Rose DeWitt Bukater wore when she was contemplating jumping off the boat (actually referred to as the" Jump" dress). This Barbie wears a red silky gown with a black netting on top. She has red hair and wears green beaded earrings and red ankle length shoes. I note that this Barbie had a relatively low retail price, but Mattel had the opportunity to produce a finer quality doll with a more detailed dress (check out the beading on the Eliza Dolittle Embassy Ball Barbie). Even if the price of this Barbie was set higher, I'm sure collectors would have paid more for quality.

Release date: 1 June 2007
Label: Pink
Mattel price: US$19.95
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$30 - US$50

Friday, April 20, 2012

Daria Celebutante

The Daria Celebutante Barbie's has a model muse body with two bent arms, tilted hips, arched back and as its name implies, is posed like a model. It was her steely gaze and pose that appealed to me as it exuded so much attitude!

Barbie has her blonde hair in an up swept twist and wears a pair of long chain earrings. Barbie's makeup is simple and her lipstick matches her painted fingernails. I like her pale blue ruffled polyester charmeuse dress, and her faux lynx fur plush stole is lined with the same charmeuse fabric. Fine black fishnet stockings makes her legs look even longer and she wears  blue mary jane pumps.

Release date: 1 October 2004
Label: Gold
Mattel price: US$49.98
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$60 to US$70

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Badgley Mischka

I initially wasn't keen on this Badgley Mischka Barbie, but I have grown to appreciate it upon closer inspection (I bought it at a bargain price with the Monique Lhuillier Bride Barbie). Her hair is in a neat half ponytail where I found the ends a bit frizzy (looks like she has major split ends!), but it is not a distraction as her antique-like chandelier earrings are the focal point.

Barbie's halter dress is elegant, made of pink charmeuse with a flower embedded with pink sequins attached to the bodice. The white lace with hand sewn iridescent sequins and beads draws attention, and the flowing chiffon shawl adds a romantic touch. Barbie wears open toed strappy white high heels, and note her french tip nails!

Release date: 15 August 2006
Label: Gold
Mattel price: US$89.96
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$100 - US$185

Barbie Loses Her Shine?

This article was featured in The Australian newspaper on 18 April 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Winter Concert

I bought this Barbie back in August 2002 at a stop over in Singapore Airport and struggled to get it back home without denting the box! Oh the lengths I use to go through as I was so particular about the condition of the box... I'm a little less precious about them these days!

I don't have many dolls dressed in red which is a shame because this Winter Concert Barbie looks fabulous in the colour (though I must admit, Barbie looks fabulous in every colour!) This Barbie just oozes elegance, and her red velvet opera coat lined with a red and black jacquard print is luscious and dynamic.

Barbie's blonde hair is perfectly coiffed and her ruby dangling earrings are intricately detailed. Underneath her coat she wears a red strapless satin flared mermaid skirt gown with a red jewel in a gold setting sewed high on her waist. She wears black high heels with a bow imprint.

Release date: 1 July 2002
Label: Limited Edition
Mattel price: US$79
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$50 - US$120

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Scarlett O'Hara: Twelve Oaks Barbeque

Gone with the Wind has to be one of my all time favourite films, and I adore the green dress that Scarlett O'Hara wears to the Twelve Oaks barbecue. I read the book when I was sixteen and watched the film countless of times and yet never tire of it. I love the story of the courageous, determined heroine who did what she had to do to survive during trying circumstances. Sure she had to "lie, steal, cheat and kill", but she was a single (when she was between husbands) woman living during and post the American civil war, trying to protect her family and ensure its continual prosperity.

Mum pointed out that one of the main reasons I like the film is because of the costumes and I suppose she is right! I love the scene where Mammy is helping Scarlett dress for the barbecue and is aghast that Scarlett intends to wear her green dress, "You can't show your bosom 'fore three o'clock!" chides Mammy. I love how Scarlett looked as she ascended the grand staircase at Twelves Oaks while flirting with the men. I'm sure it wasn't a comfortable dress combined with the corset, crinoline and petticoat, but it was stunningly beautiful.

Mattel faithfully recreated the dress worn by Scarlett in the film. Barbie wears a wide brim straw hat tied with a green ribbon under her chin. She has green eyes with rooted eyelashes and gold stud earrings (I didn't notice this in the film but it would have been great if her coral necklace was included). I adore the sprig printed chiffon gown and marvel at the layered petticoat, hoop crinoline and lace edged pantalets - what a delightful addition! Barbie wears flat green shoes and carries a parasol.

Release date: 1 January 1995
Label: Collector Edition
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$30 - US$100

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dolls of the World: Princess of China

Mattel did a superb job with the Princess of China Barbie as the design is true to the Qing Dynasty period. Her face is delicate and feminine which complements the elaborate hat adorned with peony roses. Barbie wears a gold crown like ornament which matches her gold drop earrings.

Barbie's fuscia coloured dress is eye catching and but her "flower pot" shoes looked more like suede boots! Nevertheless, kudos for the effort!

Release date: 1 November 2001
Label: Collector Edition
Mattel price: US$19.95
Ebay price as at April 2012: US$31 - US$100