/// 15 March 2009 ///
What's the deal with...

Barbie®'s New Head (Or Heads)

Barbie®'s new closed-mouth head on one of the Bathing Suit Barbie® prototypes (does she look a little "Lucy"-like to you?)
This prototype of the Pink World camping-themed doll has the new closed-mouth sculpt, too

We may have to wait a while before we get to see Barbie®'s new closed-mouth head sculpt in person (if we ever do). Until then, here's a summary of what we know about it so far:

  • It looks sort of like a cross between the 1991 closed-mouth "Mackie" sculpt and the 2005 closed-mouth sculpt that was used on the nameless Fashion Fever™ dolls last year, but the mouth looks more "pursed" and there are pronounced hollows where the smile lines would be.
  • Bathing Suit Barbie was originally going to have this new closed-mouth head. In fact, it was a major selling point in the press materials for the doll. There are promotional photos showing two different prototypes of her with the new sculpt. However, for some reason the doll was actually produced with the existing "collector"-size 1991 closed-mouth "Mackie" sculpt instead. This lead to confusion when people expecting the doll to debut "an entirely new look for Barbie doll" like the press release promised discovered that she had the old one instead.
  • In this entry I said that the "Glamping" Barbie doll shown at Toy Fair looked like it might have the 1991 head, but that it looked kind of "weird" and could actually be a new one. Now we can tell that this doll actually had the same new sculpt as the prototype Bathing Suit dolls. I also said here that it might be the original smaller head size, but I was probably just being pessimistic (I like the "big" heads ) - now it looks like it may be in line size-wise with the current playline heads.
  • One of the dolls in the FAB Girl™ Barbie photo has the new closed-mouth head; the other one has an open-mouth head. I don't know which one the production doll will use - this might be part of her color-change make-up feature (like, hot water makes her teeth show when she's happy, cold water makes them disappear when she realizes she's an intern instead of a CEO... ).
Sure, the FAB Girl™ prototype on the right has the new closed-mouth head...but, does the one on the left have a new open-mouth head?

There's one other head-related mystery: Why some of the dolls shown at Toy Fair (including this [different] prototype of FAB Girl Barbie) appear to have the 1998 "Generation Girl" head (or a new head that resembles it).

(Edit [2009-06-21]: Now we know why: The 1998 head is back in the playline.)

The open-mouth head in the FAB Girl catalog picture (shown to the right) obviously isn't the "Generation Girl" head. In fact, although it may just be the lighting, it looks like it could be a new open-mouth sculpt. (It resembles the current one, but something about it makes my "Spider Sense" tingle.) If it is a new head, that might explain why the dolls at Toy Fair had the old one - it may have been signified that the dolls would have a different head from the one that's currently being used, but the head wasn't available to use on the prototypes yet. Or, maybe it was going to switch back to the old head, but they decided to make a new one instead. Or, maybe I'm making it much more complicated than it really is... Yeah, I do that sometimes.

(Edit [2009-06-21]: For more info about Barbie's new open-mouth head, see this entry.)

Doll Diary 15 March 2009