/// 24 November 2010 /// (Updated: 26 November 2010)

If you've been following along, you know I've been having computer problems for a few months. I'm still not dead - but my computer took a turn for the worse while I was in the middle of a big project and I had to get a new one. So, amongst other things (including getting sick twice ), I've been busy getting it set up and haven't had time for much else.

I'm still far from done, but I miraculously got my website stuff working (not easy) so I could write about some of the interesting dolls that are coming out for Black Friday this year. (I'm not covering everything that's going to be on sale - but you can search "Black Friday 2010" on Google to see complete scans of different stores' ads.)

Kmart's Glam Bike and Clean Up Pup Barbie dolls

This is part of the Kmart ad. It shows the Beach Party/Riviera Doll & Bicycle giftset from 2009 (box date 2008), but the set in stores is actually a new "hybrid" version packaged in the same box as the Glam Bike! doll - which is still technically only available at Target stores in the US. The Clean Up Pup doll in stores is also a "refreshed" version with new artwork and the 1998 "Generation Girl" head. (Hopefully I can write about these dolls later. )

Walmart's "Fab Life" hairplay dolls and Barbie in a Mermaid Tale mermaids

Here's part of the Walmart ad. They're getting two exclusive collections - a set of four Barbie in a Mermaid Tale mermaid dolls (blond, brunette, redhead, and black), as well as a set of two (apparently nameless) hairplay dolls.

The hairplay dolls are interesting.... They have very long hair for US$5 dolls. Their dresses are made from the same pattern as a pre-existing carded Barbie fashion (which is also very similar to the "reimagined" SuperStar Barbie dress). In the picture the blond doll is shown with a bent right arm (the opposite of the black version), but the actual doll has a bent left arm instead. More interestingly, from the pictures I've seen it looks like the blond doll has ModelMuse arms! It's true - all of the ModelMuse arms fit perfectly on the Secret Messages "belly button" body (and vice versa), but it's never been done before on a production doll. (The black dolls I've seen all have regular arms like in the photo in the ad.)

I'm repeating to myself that it's not worth going to Walmart at 4:00 in the morning with nine million other people just to see ModelMuse arms on a production Secret Messages body. Writing it out like that helps, because it does sound nuts. I hope I'll be able to see one eventually!

Kohl's Barbie & Tawny giftset

Here's a Barbie & Tawny giftset Kohl's is advertising as an exclusive. (I haven't seen it anywhere else before. The box has two stickers on it that say it's a Kohl's exclusive, so maybe it really is. ) The Black Friday price is 50% of the regular US$39.99. They also have two I Can Be giftsets featuring dolls packaged with pre-existing fashions, but they aren't included in the Black Friday sale.

Walmart's Barbie & Tawny giftset

Not technically related, but Walmart's after-Black-Friday ad shows yet another new Barbie & Tawny giftset, this time with a non-walking Tawny. I haven't seen this set anywhere else, either - maybe it's really an exclusive?

Toys 'R' Us's Barbie and Champion Tawny

Even less-related, but a theme is developing - Toys 'R' Us stores in the US are currently selling their own exclusive Barbie and Tawny set - Barbie and Champion Tawny. Actually, this set has previously been available in foreign markets, but in the US it's exclusive to TRU.

As for their Black Friday sale - in terms of Barbie it's very lame.

(26 November 2010)

Like some of the other people I talked to last night, I mis-read the Walmart ad. Those dolls at the top aren't part of the Black Friday "doorbuster" sale - they're on sale at the special prices all day long, until 11:59pm tonight - and the sale started last night at midnight. (Some of the other stores are doing something similar.) There are no 24-hour Walmarts in my city, so having one stay open for 24 hours was kind of cool.

Against my better judgment, I went last night and was able to get some of those nameless hairplay dolls. They didn't have the black version (again ) which was the one I really wanted, but they did have the blond shown in the picture above, as well as two more - a second blond with platinum hair and blunt-cut bangs and a brunette Summer-faced nameless "Teresa" doll. And it's true - all three of them do use ModelMuse arms on the "belly button" body! They're also very pretty. Almost pretty enough to make it worth literally freezing my hands off (since they'd put the toys in the outdoor garden center ) and then standing in line for an hour and 15 minutes to get out. (At least the feeling had returned to my hands by the time I left.)

BTW, they had the mermaids as well. Except for the black one, of course. And they had the toys from the next Barbie movie, A Fairy Secret - except for... you guessed it... the black one. The Fairy Secret Dolls weren't discounted though.

Anyway, almost nobody was paying any attention to the dolls at the store I went to, so if you were wanting any of them you might try going there today - they may not be flying off the shelves (or the pallets as the case may be) at your store either. (Who knows - there may even be some left over afterward.....)

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Doll Diary 24 November 2010