People who know me or read our doll blog will know that for the past week we’ve been celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Barbie. This iconic doll has been around for most of my life and all of Naomi’s although we didn’t meet her until she was already five or six years old.
Most of this weekend I’ve been busy dressing dolls and setting up displays to photograph which has been lots of fun even though it’s been very time-consuming Here’s one of the pictures I took.
I thought that it would be fun to do some portraits of Barbie over her nearly six decades of dolly life. Non doll people please be aware that there are many styles of Barbie and Barbie friends, different hair and eye colours, different body shapes and sizes, different ethnicity. This is not an attempt to show that. Naomi and I have a doll blog where you are very welcome to visit if you’d like to see more dolls.
Barbie is first released in 1959
Barbie changes her hairstyle several times. During this decade Barbie also got a boyfriend, best friend and little sisters as well as a whole wardrobe of fashions and accessories, a car and a house.
My titian Swirl Pony tail Barbie.
Naomi’s Swirl Ponytail Barbie
A reproduction Barbie with “Bubblecut” hairstyle.
The Mod Era began in the late 1960s and carried on for nearly a decade. Barbie gets a new body with a twist and turn waist.
The Superstar Era begins. The first Barbie with the “Superstar” face actually appeared in 1977 but this face predominated the Barbie line in the 80s and 90’s.
Most Barbie’s had the Superstar or new “Mackie” face with closed mouth smile.
Lynne has the Mackie face
One of my Barbies from the late 1990s.
Fashion Fever. Barbie gets a new body with a belly button. The Fashion Fever line of dolls appear from 2004 onwards.
Barbie Basics. Starting in 2009 Mattel release a line of higher quality but affordable dolls with a different body sculpt. These were aimed more at collectors than children.
Fashionista era. The current Barbie playline has a diverse range of dolls and Barbie appears much younger than in previous eras.
In her reply to this prompt Tracy at “Reflections of an Untidy Mind” quoted this unnamed CEO.
“Casual observation and simply having knowledge is not enough. Insight definition takes work; it’s a skill that requires creativity, persistence and deep thinking to craft. The most powerful insights come from rigor and serious analysis to translate large amounts of data into concise and compelling findings. Organizations who want to use insights as the platform for organic growth require a process that is both scalable and repeatable so that it can become routinized within the organization with predictable long-term results. Use written insight statements guided by five key principles to turn research data into actionable insight to inspire new ideas for product and service development.”
This starts off well but descends into unreadable claptrap halfway in my opinion. However, I do agree that businesses would do better if they had a real insight into their customer’s needs and in some cases who their customers are. I won’t turn this into a rant about WordPress because we’ve all been there already.
I am a doll collector and one of my interests is Barbie dolls. I started collecting modern Barbies about 20 years ago and it was fun because I could buy some very pretty modern dolls and clothing in places like Target and Toys’R’Us without having to spend a lot.
Fast forward to today and there is very little I want to buy any more. Mattel and other toy manufacturers say that children are more interested in electronic toys and they now market Barbie to a much younger age group 3-7 year olds. Consequently they make much simpler dolls with non-removable plastic clothing and lots of gadgets,they are many fairies, princesses and mermaids although lately they are diversifying the playline more. There are not so many outfits you can buy for Barbie and the quality is poor.
Mattel also recognises that there are adult collectors and for that market they sell expensive, better quality dolls in elaborate costumes which are only meant to be put on display and never removed from their boxes.
What they do not have the insight to realise is that there is a large group of adult collectors like me who want good quality dolls and fashions because we customise, redress and photograph dolls. Adult collectors make dioramas and write stories. We don’t want to buy cheap rubbish but we don’t want to buy two hundred dollar dolls that we are going to take out of the box and play with.
I have my doubts that Mattel or for that matter any of the other toy companies will ever realise this but if any of them do they can have my money.
Today I’ve been busy taking doll photos and haven’t got out of the house to photograph anything new for this blog so I am going to do something that I rarely do and post a doll photo.
This was taken using the photo cube and lighting that I bought recently. The kit came with additional backgrounds so I used a dark blue one for this shot. I’m still experimenting with this set up but I think this one came out not too badly.
As this is a fun foto challenge my photos this week are some that I took for my doll blog. I am trying photograph all my Barbie outfits for my own benefit, it helps me keep them in order, but it is fun to share them on the blog with the dolls modelling each outfit too. Sometimes I make up a little story about the “fashion shoot” or try out different backgrounds.
The Fashion Fever series from the early 2000’s were often colour themed and after pink shades of the purple family seem to be the most popular colours. Here are a few of them.
You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?
I used to think that I’d love to travel for a whole year. Now I’m older I’m not so sure. it’s a long time to be away from home. So many things change. I think I’d rather take my year in three month batches but that’s another story.
Obviously I’d want photographs of the people close to me and of my pets and I’d want some of my favourite books but a laptop or tablet would be able to take care of those needs and I’d be in constant contact with home I’m sure. But what item would I want to take that’s not practical or useful but I can’t do without? It didn’t take long to decide that I could not go a whole year without a doll. I’m sure I’d acquire new ones along the way of course but I think that I’d want to set out with a doll in my luggage.
I’d pick a small one, probably a Barbie that I liked and she would become my travel doll. I’d pack her a small travel wardrobe, just what would fit in a sandwich bag, and I’d photograph her at various places I went and write about what I saw from her point of view. It would be fun to do for my doll blog and I would enjoy having a doll to play with. Several years ago I participated in a travel doll project with some internet friends. The doll was sent to each participant and everyone photographed her and wrote about her adventures. I was the only one out of the USA & Canada I think. It was a lot of fun and that is what gave me the idea to travel with a Barbie. The only question would be which one to take?