/// 09 February 2009 ///
I got yer variations right here...

Beach Party™ Barbie® - Again with the Variations

Beach Party™ Barbie Three Ways

You might not be as interested in variations as I am, but, can you really resist when there are three versions of a doll as soon as it hits the shelf?

Okay, maybe you can. I can't.

I found all three of these Beach Party™ Barbie® dolls on the same day back in November when they first started popping up in stores. The one on the left was made in Indonesia; the other two were made in China.

The Chinese ones (click to see them bigger)

The two Chinese ones are really the same except for the hair. The early version has the curly side sections pulled back and secured with the rest of it; the revised one has them separated and arranged all pretty-like in front.

The Indonesian one
(click to see it bigger)

The Indonesian one has the curls separated out, too, but they did it so much more nicely. Is that a picture-perfect flip hairdo or what?? Yes, her mouth is too big, her teeth are painted in the wrong place (as usual), and the silver paint under her eyes is too thick, but I still think she's insanely pretty. She reminds me of this picture of Madonna.

(The revised Chinese one reminds me of Mary Tyler Moore. Not that I have anything against Mary Tyler Moore - I just think the style on the Indonesian doll suits her better. )

I may be slightly biased toward the Indonesian doll because the parts on the Chinese ones are rooted very badly. That was the case with the Surf's Up™ dolls last year too - but, at least the Indonesian versions aren't half-bald like they were last year.

In other hair-related news, the plastic strips they've been using to secure the dolls' hair to the box since the 80's are gone. New dolls are being packaged with the hair attached to their bodies with polybands wrapped across the back from one arm to the other. People have been complaining about those plastic strips ever since they started actually sewing the hair to the box about 15 years ago, but the polybands aren't much better - they leave dents in the hair that are difficult to get out, and they'll probably leave dents in the arms as well. (Plus, they're eventually going to dry out and snap off.) But, the dolls do look a lot better in the box.

Magical Tip: If you want to keep Beach Party Barbie's curls from getting messed up, do yourself a favor and cut the polyband off with scissors. You'll never excise it from the labyrinth of rock-hard curls without completely destroying them.

I'm still really glad Beach Party Barbie has a center part - and Nikki®, too. It's been very hard to get inexpensive dolls with center parts since they changed Barbie's head sculpt and started making the black dolls with a new skintone. Barbie's hair is also a really pretty lemon-blond color. (It's sort of like "mint condition" Malibu Barbie hair, except minus the greenish tint.)

Beach Party Summer® and Teresa® have side parts again, but they're on the opposite sides of their heads from last year, which is nice. What's not nice is that they both have chunks of hair cut off on one side. Beach Glam™ Barbie from 2007 had the same thing. There are only so many ways you can camouflage something like that when you're restyling the hair. It's supposed to be a "flippy" thing, but it really looks like someone snuck up behind them with pinking shears and chopped off a bug wad and they haven't noticed yet. Plus, you can't even see it because of the way they're packaged. (I think basic dolls should have more simple hairstyles. Kids can handle chopping off Barbie's hair on their own - they don't need a head start. )

I like these doll's swimsuits a lot - especially Barbie's. The prints and color combinations on the fabrics are really pretty, and the metallic beads are a nice detail. The packaging is cute too - although, I'm never a fan of extremely-difficult-to-open blister packaging. (I'll show you what it's like later - I still have to talk about Beach Party Ken®. )

Doll Diary 09 February 2009