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Barbie® in a Mermaid Tale™ beach Barbie® dolls
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Entertainment Earth put up pictures of the rest of the 2010 Barbie® in a Mermaid Tale™ beach assortment, some of the mysteries are solved.

First of all, it's true - this assortment includes two Barbie dolls and no Summer®. To add to the "strange factor", the two Barbie dolls have different hair colors. (Maybe Merliah™ gets her hair bleached at some point during the storyline? Or, maybe these dolls are somehow different characters?)

I hope the fact that Summer isn't included in this assortment doesn't mean she's being discontinued, although...

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Barbie® in a Mermaid Tale™ beach Teresa® and Grace® (or Nikki®?) dolls
(Click to see it bigger) turns I was right: Teresa® is changing to the 2003 Summer® head (), and the black doll is using the enlarged 2001 Adria (a.k.a. "Desiree®") head rather than the enlarged 1990 Asha® head. Teresa's also apparently ditching her darker-tan skintone in favor of the same skintone Barbie (and Summer) use. So, they match the non-blond Fashionistas™.

Entertainment Earth's listing still calls the black doll Grace®, so we'll have to wait and see if that's true or if she's actually Nikki®. I wouldn't be thrilled about Nikki changing to this head sculpt (even though I like it) unless Christie came back and used the enlarged 1990 Asha® head. (Fat chance though. ) It would make more sense if the doll was Grace (since this head looks a bit like Grace's 2001 Mbili® head with an open-mouth smile) - except, once again, Grace doesn't live near Barbie anymore.

BTW, if this doll is Grace and it's true that all of the black dolls in the 2010 playline are going to use the enlarged 2001 Adria (a.k.a. "Desiree®") head, I wonder if all of them will be called Grace? (If so, Barbie's getting even more fickle with her friends - Nikki's only been around for three years. At least Christie was around for 40 before Barbie dumped her. )

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Teresa® almost got Summer®'s head in 2007...
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...and Christie® almost got the Adria head in 2003.

Extra trivia: It's funny to see these dolls changing to these heads, because both changes almost happened in the past.

2003's Dance 'n Flex™ Christie® was shown in catalog photography with the Adria head, but the production doll had the then-standard reduced 1990 Asha® head instead.

And when playline Barbie dolls changed to the shorter 2006 "hobbit" Barbie® body in 2007, Teresa® was initially shown in photos with Summer's head. I think she was actually going to be produced that way at first, but the production dolls ended up using a new Teresa sculpt marked 2006 instead. (Actually, a new mold of Summer's head was created specifically for Teresa, but she never used it - the only Hispanic doll that actually did use it at the time was one of the no-name 2007 basic ballerinas... So, now Teresa finally gets to use it.)

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Barbie® in a Mermaid Tale™ beach Ken® and Steven® dolls
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Oh yeah - and there's Ken® and Steven®. Which isn't very exciting after the other dolls. They have cool swimsuits though. And I'm very glad Steven's still using Jamal®'s face. (Now watch his head get changed too. )

A far-away computer doohickey thinks these entires might be related:
   • Barbie® in a Mermaid Tale™ Beach Barbie®
   • Barbie® as Merliah™ from A Mermaid Tale™ (And Her Arms)
   • Barbie® in a Mermaid Tale™ Beach Barbie and Ken®!
Doll Diary 24 September 2009