/// 08 April 2009 /// (Updated: 23 May 2009)
Click to see the original
Is this a new head sculpt for Barbie®? (Thanks to BarbieZania for letting me use these pictures!

About eight years ago, Richard B. sent me a link to this fantastic Toy Fair 2009 gallery by CarolynnW (a.k.a. BarbieZania). Her photos show a ton of dolls that no one else seems to have shown.

(Edit [23 May 2009]: CarolynnW was kind enough to let me post some of her pictures here so I can show you what I'm talking about! Thank you so much Carolynn!!)

I'm only linking to a few of the pictures - make sure to look through the whole gallery so you don't miss anything! If you notice something interesting that I missed, please let me know!

(By the way - there's a small magnifying glass icon at the top right corner of the PicasaWeb picture pages that you can click to see them much bigger.)

The big news (to me) are the best pictures I've seen yet of what looks like a new open-mouth head for Barbie®. We'll get to that in a minute, though.

First, there are lots of pictures of Barbie Collector™ dolls. Other people have covered the Collector dolls as well, but there are whole bunch that haven't been shown in any of the other Toy Fair pictures I've seen, including the Barbie as Marilyn Monroe and Barbie as Goldie Hawn dolls from the Blonde Ambition™ line, the Kentucky Derby doll (with the new "open-mouth Mackie" head), and the Pop Life™ assortment (Barbie, Christie®, and Kelley™).

After the Collector dolls comes a motherload of playline dolls.

Click to see the original picture
Those mysterious closed-face boxes

First, we finally get to see what the deal is with the closed-face boxes I pointed out in Toy Fair 2009 Part 2: They go to these dolls. (Actually, after seeing them up close, maybe they aren't going to have closed faces after all - they seem to be mock-ups [at least one of them has a blank back], so maybe the dolls will come in window packaging with the dolls visible inside?)

Could these be the latest permutation of the line that used to be called Fashion Fever®?

The interesting thing is, the display dolls don't match the ones on the boxes. The dolls in the box photos have the new articulated arms from last year, but the display dolls all have the old non-articulated arms. Also, Barbie and Summer have different head sculpts from the ones on the boxes, and some of the box photo dolls have rooted eyelashes (which the display versions don't).

I'm tempted to assume the production dolls will look like the ones in the box photos since Summer and Barbie have new looks. However, the display dolls have simpler outfits (with less-complex details like sculpted chains on their belts instead of real ones) the way you'd expect the production versions to be. My guess is the dolls will look like the ones in the photos (with or without the articulated arms), but the outfits will be like the ones on display. (However, the fact that there are multiple copies of each display doll makes me wonder if they might not be production samples, which doesn't bode well for the "makeovers" shown in the box photos...)

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This prototype doll has the new head and brown eyes and rooted eyelashes.
Click to see the original
Another prototype doll with the new head.

Perpetuating the "what head will Barbie have this time" mystery, all of the physical display Barbie dolls from this assortment have the 1998 "Generation Girl" head, but the versions in the box photos have a new head. (You can see the difference really well side-by-side in the original versions of the pictures to the left - click them to see.) It may be the same sculpt shown on the Holiday Scene doll at the end of this entry.

The new-head Barbie doll in the picture shown at the top of this page (and here) is really pretty. It's also neat that one of the dolls has brown eyes - there've been almost nothing but blue-eyed Barbie dolls lately.

All of the Teresa® dolls have Barbie's current head (both the display versions and the ones in the box photos), so it looks like Teresa will be keeping Barbie's head regardless of what happens with the other dolls.

But Barbie apparently isn't the only character who may be getting a makeover - the Summer dolls in the box photos look completely different from what she looks like now. (I pointed it out here, but now that we can see the name on the box we know for sure this character is Summer and not someone else.)

The boxes show her with light pink skin and a closed-mouth face. (Before, I wondered if it might be the 1998 "Goddess" head, but from these pictures it looks like the 2000 Lea® head - or, maybe it's another new one?) However, the dolls on display are more like what Summer currently looks like, with darker tan skin and a head that seems to be the current 2004 Summer sculpt (it looks different in some of the pictures, but that might just be the way it's painted).

Click to see the original
Is Summer® going to look like this from now on?

Side note: I love the way the "new" Summer looks, but it's kind of a let-down... I've been planning for a long time to make a Barbie doll friend with "carrot"-red hair using Fashion Fever Gillian® dolls (which have the 1998 closed-mouth "Goddess" head and light pink skin), but I've only had a chance to do one, and I couldn't get myself to reroot her because her original burgundy hair was so pretty - so I never did one that looked the way it was "supposed to". And now this "new" Summer is almost identical to what mine was going to look like. (Mine was going to have freckles and glasses though. And I'm still going to make her anyway. )

No Christie® or Nikki® dolls are shown on display, but you can see a black doll on the side of some of the boxes (like on Summer's in this picture - she's the second from the bottom).

The disconnect with Barbie's head continues outside this assortment; every doll that hasn't already been produced and shipped to stores has the 1998 "Generation Girl" head in its display version, but the artwork on the boxes almost always shows the new sculpt instead.

You can see it in the photos of the current no-name Fashion Fever line, which include a few that haven't shown up at stores yet, two of which have the old head (here and here). Maybe these dolls will have the new head when they get produced? (Edit [29 May 2009]: Click here to see catalog photos of these two dolls with the new sculpt, along with a third one.)

Similarly, this salon playset has a doll with the old head in the box, but the box artwork shows a pretty good picture of the new pointy-chin head.

This Three Musketeers Barbie as Corinne™ doll is the "regular" version with the costume-change feature that will be available at most stores that carry toys. (There will be dolls of the other three characters as well - I put links to pictures of them here.) Once again, notice that the doll has the old head, but the picture on the box has the new one.

There are also pictures of the simpler versions of Corinne™ and Viveca™, which don't have the costume-change feature. These are the versions that will be sold at places like discount, drug, and grocery stores.

And there's a picture of the Barbie doll from the Fairytopia® Wingdom line, who - once again - has the 1998 head sculpt, although in this case it looks like the doll in the box photos has it, too. (Edit [23 May 2009]: This doll is actually called Fairy-Tastic Princess Barbie. You can read more about her here.)

At long last, something that has nothing to do with Barbie's head - really good shots of the new Pink World camping-themed Skipper® and Stacie® and Kelly® dolls (who all have new logos in the style of Barbie's original vintage logo).

And, last but not least, on the left side of the top shelf on the right-most shelving unit in this photo, there's a new Spongebob Squarepants Barbie doll.

Thank you so much to CarolynnW for taking all of these photos, and for letting me re-post some of them here!!

Doll Diary 08 April 2009