I talked about the mysterious 50th anniversary "bathing suit Barbie® doll" before.

Well, now the plot thickens. And thinnens.

Mattel released a press release which says,

"On Monday, March 9th, 50 years to the day she was first introduced at New York Toy Fair in her now famous black-and-white striped bathing suit, Barbie(R) will reveal an entirely new look with the unveiling of the 2009 Black-and-White Bathing suit doll. Designed as a modern interpretation of the original 1959 doll, the new BathingSuit [sic] Barbie(R) doll unveils a brand new face sculpt for Barbie(R) doll."

It seems pretty clear that they're referring to P6508 - Bathing Suit Barbie, the doll I described in the previous entry. Amazon has removed the page they had up for it (I linked to it in the other entry), which pretty much seals the deal. (It must have been put up by mistake, or maybe it wasn't made clear to them that it was to be held back until March 9.) If it really is referring to that doll, the "intrigue" thing didn't work out very well; not only are there pictures of it all over the internet - people have been selling in-hand dolls on eBay for weeks.

So, that's the "thinnening" part. The "thickening" part is why the release is still claiming the doll has a new head sculpt when it clearly has the 1991 closed-mouth "Mackie" sculpt. (Or a new one that coincidentally looks exactly like it.) I haven't posted a picture of the doll since it's supposed to be "secret", but you wouldn't have a hard time finding one on Google if you were so inclined.

The press release also says,

"Additionally, the new doll - to be revealed at midnight on Monday, March 9th - will have a throwback price, sold at Barbie(R) doll's 1959 price of $3 for one week (March 9-14 at participating retailers)."

Are you picturing a feeding frenzy at Toys 'R' Us? Millions of clueless consumers fist-fighting in the aisles thinking the doll will pay for their kids' college education? (Or gastric bypass surgery. Whatever.) If that happens, I'd just wait until the $3 sale thing ends, since the shelves will remain fully-stocked with the dolls at their normal price point (around $15).

By the way, there is another 50th anniversary doll - a limited edition Barbie Collector® dealer exclusive - which has successfully been kept under wraps. The only photo available so far is a silhouette. To me, it looks like a Barbie Fashion Model Collection® Silkstone® doll (or, at least, it looks like it has the Silkstone body). A normal photo of the doll will be released on March 9th as well. I wonder if there's a chance these two dolls have gotten mixed up in the press release or something? Maybe this doll has a new head sculpt?

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

Doll Diary 04 March 2009