/// 14 February 2009 ///
It's a bloody mystery...

The Mysterious Bathing Suit Doll

"Number One" Macarena
(This has no significance - I just needed a picture to put here)

Some of the reports about Barbie®'s 50th anniversary have mentioned an upcoming doll that's an update of the the original "zebra-stripe swimsuit" doll from 1959. Here's the description:

"From the moment Barbie doll stepped onto the fashion scene in 1959 with her sassy ponytail and eye-popping black and white bathing suit, she became an international superstar. On March 9, Mattel will reveal a modern take on the original doll, which will launch an entirely new look for Barbie doll. Fans will need to wait until March 9th to see the new sculpt and hot new take on the original bathing suit doll, available at retailers nationwide that morning."

(As you probably know, March 9 is Barbie's "birthday".)

It can't be the Silkstone™ Barbie Fashion Model Collection™ Debut Barbie doll, since photos of that doll have already been released.

It could be talking about Bathing Suit Barbie. However, people have been selling that doll on eBay for a while - and, as you can see, Amazon already has a page up for it. Furthermore, this doll appears to have the existing smaller-sized original 1991 closed-mouth "Mackie" head sculpt - not a new one like the teaser describes.

That doesn't necessarily mean it's not talking about the Bathing Suit doll, though. When the Barbie playline largely switched over to the closed-mouth head in 1998/99, Mattel's advertising materials referred to it repeatedly as a "new sculpt" even though it had been in existence for 7 years at that point. The same may be true here - if they are talking about the Bathing Suit doll, this might just be a hyped-up way of saying she'll have a different head from the one Barbie's currently using. (And, since Bathing Suit Barbie is apparently considered a playline doll [I don't think the Barbie Collector™ logo even appears on the box], that would make sense.)

There are two other possibilities, though: That this is a new head that just happens to look exactly like the 1991 head (), or that they're talking about another doll altogether - one we haven't seen yet. (My money's on it just being the Bathing Suit doll, though.)

By the way - the fact that Bathing Suit Barbie is a playline doll and has the old, smaller-sized Mackie head could be further evidence that the playline dolls are going to return to the old head size this year. () Toy Fair starts tomorrow (), so it won't be long before we find out for sure.

UPDATE: The mystery is solved. Check it out here.

Doll Diary 14 February 2009