Thursday, May 31, 2012

Exotic Beauty

I bought this Exotic Beauty Barbie from a Singaporean based retailer in March 2003 when the dolls I wanted were not readily available in Australia. It wasn't worth the hassle as the merchant was difficult to communicate with and I waited several months for this doll to arrive, by which time, I had lost interest! Thankfully we have more Australian based retailers and eBay is a gem!

Barbie has black middle parted hair tied in a low chignon and a tan complexion. I adore her gold chandelier earrings and elaborate filigree like necklace. Her green and gold jacquard bodice is strapless and rather low cut (a lot of Hollywood Fashion Tape there I'm sure to prevent a wardrobe malfunction!). Her skirt is made of two shades of green satin and layered with gold glittered tulle which drapes elegantly around her waist and feet. Barbie wears gold strappy high heels.

There is a rare "Treasure Hunt" edition limited to 2,500 units worldwide with the necklace and earrings made from Swarvoski crystals which sells on Ebay from US$100 to US$130.

Release date: 1 November 2002
Mattel price: US$49.98
Ebay price as at June 2012: US$45 - US$75

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sugar Plum Fairy

I’ve never grown out of my childhood love of ballet with tulle tutus, pointe slippers and satin ribbons (and the dancing of course!). I even bought a pair a pointes few years ago and was annoyed when the sales assistant refused to sell me a pair because I “was not authorised to wear them”. Seriously? I then followed with “if I said I was an artist and needed the slippers as a subject to sketch, would you sell them to me”. She said “yes”, so now I’m happy as I have a pair of pointe ballet slippers I’m not authorised to wear, and the sales assistant can sleep at night knowing that I’m only using them for art class!

I love this Sugar Plum Fairy Barbie even though the target market was aimed at children (I suppose this includes the young at heart). Barbie is beautiful with a lovely complexion, shoulder length blonde hair wearing a tiara and rooted eye lashes. Her pink knee length tulle tutu is glittered, and her bodice is trimmed with pink and gold ribbons and bows. Barbie also wears tulle armlets, sheer tights and pink ballet slippers with lace-up ribbons. I would have loved to have taken ballet lessons as a child, but this Barbie fulfills my ballet fantasy.

Release date: 1 January 1997
Mattel price: US$29.99
Label: Collector Edition
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$15 - US$45

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Golden Qi Pao

Dad bought me this limited edition Golden Qi Pao Barbie in Malaysia in November 1998. This commemorative set was limited to 8,888 units to celebrate the first anniversary of the reunification of Hong Kong and China. Uncle Charles and I found it at Soho department store and he called Mattel Malaysia to see if there was another one available; and apparently for Malaysia, there was only one in Soho and one at the KL International Airport. This Barbie came in a suitcase like box which opens to reveal the doll, a numbered certificate and a gold coin in a drawstring pouch. This Barbie was also available without the certificate and coin for US$60.

Barbie wears her dark hair with red highlights in an elegant chignon with minimal makeup. She wears  a pair of green jade drop earrings with a matching butterfly brooch and bracelet. Her tradition "qi poa" or cheongsam as it is commonly known, has a layer of lace applique covering a gold background. It is decorated with rhinestones and gold ribbon rosettes. A gold "Barbie" is embossed on the stand, and Barbie wears wonderful gold high heels.

Release date: 1 January 1998
Label: Limited Edition
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$150 - US$240

Monday, May 28, 2012

Muffy Roberts

I ordered the Muffy Roberts Barbie online and I did not anticipate such a grumpy looking doll! Her side ways seething eyes with thick black eyeliner and pursed lips makes her look rather angry...or perhaps that is the look she is going for as she out on a "shopping spree and a bite with the ladies who lunch"? Such hardships, no wonder she is cross!

Barbie's ensemble is beautifully tailored consisting of a grey shantung skirt and a matching fuchsia-lined jacket. A fuchsia scarf is tried around her neck and her hands are covered with elbow length tricot gloves. Although I can't remove the jacket without untying her jacket, it looks like she wears a fuchsia sleeveless blouse. Her fine gold and diamond flower brooch adds an elegant touch.

Barbie's black straw hat doesn't sit well on her head which makes displaying her a bit difficult as I like it tilted rather than sitting on top of her head . She wears sheer black hose, and black sling back stiletto heels. As per the name of this Barbie, she carries plush, ebony muff!

Release date: 15 April 2005
Label: Gold
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$105 - US$130

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chinese Empress

From the Great Eras Collection, this Chinese Empress Barbie is beautifully designed and detailed. Her Qing dynasty costume appears pretty authentic with her elaborate black, gold and red robe featuring dragons as well as her high mandarin collar  and ceremonial collar which is fastened at the neck and spread out across the shoulders. Barbie wears a court hat as well as jade drop earrings and a long strand of gold and jade beads (“chao zhu”)  criss cross her neck. She wears red flower pot shoes.

Release date: 1 January 1997
Label: Collector Edition
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$20 - US$100

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Evening Sophisticate

The final doll in the Classique Collection series, I waited until this Evening Sophisticate Barbie was reduced before I bought it in 2000. Barbie has pale blonde shoulder length hair and wears pink lipstick and has a beauty mole under her left eye. Her ears are adorned with clear and pale pink crystal drop earrings.

Barbie's pink satin bustier is edged with gold trim and her green satin skirt with a side slit is embellished with rhinestones. Her pink coat makes an impressive statement and is draped elegantly around her shoulders. I think it is a little big for Barbie's lithe figure and reminds me of the high power suits of the 1980s. She wears sheer pink hosiery and pink mother of pearl sheen high heels.

Release date: 1 January 1998
Mattel price: US$59.97
Label: Collector
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$20 - US$150

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Expressions of India – Wedding Fantasy

Not just an admirer of Western white bridal dresses, I love bridal dresses of different cultures too. I adore the vibrant colours and textures of India fabrics, and would love to go on a fabric tour where I would probably spend a fortune on bolts of fabric that I would never cut!

Isn't this Barbie just glorious? Purchased in Singapore in 2004, I believe the Expressions of India series was only available in India (but obviously a few popped up in Singapore) so I was lucky to get my hands on it. If I had the luggage space I would have snapped up the other dolls in the series too which are just as beautiful. I had a hard time bringing this doll back to Melbourne as the box is cylindrical, which I ultimately had to destroy when I deboxed her.

The Wedding Fantasy Barbie is dressed in a traditional ghagra-choli (long skirt with bustier top) with zari work (gold and silver coloured thread inlay). I love her detailed jewellery which includes a maang-tika (head ornament), gold choker, a series of gold, red and white bangles, elaborate gold earrings and shining nose ring. She wears white high heels with a small doll stand strapped to her ankles.

Release date: 2002
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$170

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Solo in the Spotlight

To accompany my Enchanted Evening vintage reproduction Barbie, I bought Solo in the Spotlight Barbie from Ebay in September 2006. This Barbie also comes in a blonde version but I’m a brunette so brunette it is!

This Barbie looks demure with her brown ponytail hair with bangs, sideways glance and red lips. She wears a tight fitted, strapless black gown which flairs at hem which has a small red ribbon rose corsage attached. She wears black open toed high heels (with painted toe nails), elbow length black gloves, pearl earrings and a four stand beaded necklace. Unfortunately the necklace has oxidised so it has turned black! Barbie holds a pink chiffon scarf and has her own long stand microphone.

Release date: 1 January 1995
Label: Special Edition
Mattel price: US$24.99
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$15 - US$60

Monday, May 21, 2012


Designed by Robert Best, Capucine Barbie is an example of the fine detail that Mattel is capable of. I had trouble walking away from this Barbie when I saw her at the Halloween Doll Extravaganza at the Prahran Town Hall in October 2005. I had already spent a fortune on a Carolina Herrera Bride Barbie, but I knew I could not let Capucine get away. After much contemplation (by walking around the showroom several times), I bought the Barbie and quickly left the venue to avoid spending any more cash. I love my collection but it is a dreadfully expensive indulgence!

This Silktone Barbie has an air of sophistication (and aloofness) about her. She wears a strapless taffeta bustier and a lined mermaid skirt with a horizontal grain. The taupe organza jacket is embroidered with tiny gold sequins and trimmed with gold lace and a brown ribbon tied around her waist. She carries a thick luxurious brown faux far stole, and wears flesh tone hosiery and pale brown slip-on stiletto heels.

Barbie’s makeup is dramatic with smokey eye makeup, deep red lips (matching her fingernails) and a beauty mole. Her blonde hair is styled in a high chignon with curls, and her gold and rhinestone earrings completes her ensemble.

Release date: 1 December 2002
Label: Limited Edition
Mattel price: US$179
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$160 – US$300

Friday, May 18, 2012

Southern Belle

Southern Belle Barbie, from the Great Era’s Collection was a 21st birthday gift. Barbie has a lovely face with big doe eyes, rooted eyelashes and a closed mouth smile. Her brown hair is styled in ringlets (my doll’s hair is a bit matted) and covered with a headband of pink and turquoise nylon rosettes.

Barbie’s bodice is made of turquoise satin adorned with pearls and pink rosetts and her sleeves consist of layers of pink lace. Her loop skirt is made of pink satin, has a nylon ruffles and decorated with pearls and rosettes. She wears white slip on flat shoes embellished with a pink rosette.

Release date: 1 January 1994
Label: Collector Edition
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$25 - US$90

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grease, Sandy at Race Day

I liked the 1978 movie Grease and never tire of watching it. Although I don't like the idea of cheerleaders (what's with women cheering men who play sport?), this Sandy Barbie is pretty and wears a very conservative outfit compared to the cheerleaders of today. The Grease series was released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the film.

Barbie has blonde hair in a high ponytail tied with a red ribbon. She wears a long sleeve white knit with red peter pan collar with Rydell High logo printed on the front. Her calf length flaire skirt is fun, and she wears white ankle socks and white sneakers. Barbie carries red and white paper pom-poms, and her stand plays the opening song of "Grease" by Franki Valli.

Release date: 1 December 2007
Label: Pink
Mattel price: US$39.95
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$30 - US$60

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Heather Fonseca

The second release in the Designer Spotlight collection, the Heather Fonseca Barbie is an elegant beauty. Barbie's blonde hair is in an elaborate chignon - from the front it looks elegant, but it is rather big at the back - if this was on a real person I'm sure the weight would be causing her serious neck problems!

Barbie's dress consists of a fitted bodice made of black faille and is trimmed with black velvet ribbon emphasising her minuscule waist. The top skirt is made of luscious black velvet with multiple bustles on the right side, adorned with black organza ribbons, creating a flowing and full effect.The top skirt is longer in the back, forming a subtle train, and the top skirt is split in the front at the waistline to reveal a black and white foile print taffeta underskirt.

I like Barbie's diamond choker tied with a small black ribbon, white elbow length charmeuse gloves and black high heels.

Release date: 1 April 2003
Label: Limited Edition
Mattel price: US$49.98
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$90 - US$200

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spring in Tokyo

The fourth Barbie in the City Seasons Collection, Spring in Tokyo Barbie is demure and sophisticated. Mattel also released a Vintage version using the face sculpting and face paint for the original #3 Barbie.

Barbie's dark hair is tied back in a simple knot and has a side parted fringe. I like her hat with the netting, but due to the size of the doll, it is overwhelming and resembled a bee keepers hat! Barbie's makeup is kept simple and she wears white pearl earrings.

Barbie wears a Chanel inspired fitted cream suit, and the fabric resembles raw silk. The suit jacket and pencil skirt is trimmed with navy blue fabric and fine fringe. Even the rounded collar is fringed and is tied with a ribbon bow and fastened with gold buttons. Barbie wears gold and pearl chain necklace and carries a navy blue handbag with a gold chain. She wears a two tone white and navy blue mary jane high heels. Like Winter in Montreal, this Barbie comes with a square doll stand.

Release date: 1 January 1999
Mattel price: US$49.98
Label: Collector Edition
Ebay price as at May 2012: US$40 - US$80