/// 11 February 2009 ///
A taste of things to come....

Sneak Peak of Barbie® 2009

Is this Barbie®'s old closed-mouth head?

Holy cow. Toy Fair starts this Sunday, but Jef at Keeping Ken® posted a scan from the current issue of Dolls magazine that shows a sneak peak of some of the things from the 2009 Barbie® playline we're (hopefully) going to be seeing next week.

I'm perplexed. On the one hand, I'm obviously very exited that Stacie® and Skipper® are finally returning. It's about time the real Stacie made a reappearance (although I was cautiously-optimistically expecting it since she appeared in the Barbie and the Diamond Castle movie), and it's great to see Skipper® finally reclaiming her body from all those High School Musical dolls and their brethren. (Well, it's really the Olsen Twins' body, but it's based on Skipper's anyway.) I personally prefer Skipper as a grown-up teen, but this is a fantastic way to bring her back in a relevant manner that capitalizes on the popularity of the HSM dolls and doesn't step on Barbie's toes. (I just hope that's Skipper's head and not Lara®'s. It's hard to tell from that picture.)

The perplexed part is, it looks like Barbie has the closed-mouth 1991 Mackie head sculpt, or a new sculpt that resembles it. I'm not sure I'm happy about the possibility of Barbie going back to her old sculpts. I've just started really liking the 2005 Barbie head (and I've only recently begun to feel comfortable painting it - it was a tough one to get used to), so I'll be very disappointed if this means it's going away already.

I'm chosing to ignore the fact that it also looks like it's the old smaller-size version of the head. (One big change is enough to get used to for now.) A lot of adult collectors would be thrilled if the playline dolls started using the smaller heads again, but I still like the larger versions better - and so do all of the non-collectors I've ever asked.

(On the other hand, if they do revert to the smaller molds, the boxes of old heads I have laying around and the shelves of old playline dolls I couldn't bear to part with finally become useable again... )

(Update: The heads are going to say "big" after all, and this is actually a new sculpt. Click here to read more about it.)

The return of Skipper and Stacie gives me hope that maybe of some of Barbie's other missing friends will return. Such as... hmm... Christie®, perhaps?? Because I hate the fact that the black dolls are still being called "Nikki®" instead of Christie. Barbie isn't treated as disposable, so her friends shouldn't be either - especially one who's been around for over 35 years and has become just as much of an icon to a lot of people as Barbie is. (Cavalierly changing her name like it doesn't matter sends a very disturbing message.)

"Quintessential Barbie®"

On a slightly less-bitter note, maybe if the heads get shrunk Teresa® will finally get her own sculpt back so she can stop sharing Barbie's already? (Update: Actually, it looks like Teresa will be keeping Barbie's head and Barbie will be getting a new one.)

Despite what Dolls Magazine says, I don't think Quintessential Barbie will be available to purchase - I believe the doll is just being used in promotional photos to show the "quintessenial" Barbie doll. (Update: Click here to read more about it.) I think it's great that she has the 1998 open-mouth "Generation Girl™" head. To me, that really is the "quintessential" Barbie face. (I still don't like the ModelMuse™ body though, but I know a lot of people do.)

Jef also links to a message board showing new My Scene® dolls that are appearing in Mexico. Most interestingly (to me) are new River® and Hudson® dolls. River has my beloved new molded-hair Ken® head sculpt in a super-enlarged version, and Hudson has an amazing new sculpt that's even better. (A Ken doll MUST be made with this head. ) And these guys also have new arms that look really good, too.

Doll Diary 11 February 2009