/// 06 October 2009 /// (Updated: 08 November 2009)
Barbie® stars as Merliah™, one of those fabled mermaids with legs and armholes in her tail.

B0ttledBarbie on Flickr found pictures of one of the Barbie® as Merliah™ dolls from Barbie in a Mermaid Tale™, which were posted on Amazon.com by an evil over-charging scalper person (so no links ).

(If you noticed something weird about her arms, keep reading.)

This particular doll has a "magical transformation", which involves her totally inconspicuous-looking () hoodie vest turning into a mermaid tale.

Dressed like this, no one would suspect she was hiding anything.


She also comes with a glitter-encrusted dolphin (that can't be healthy) and yet another new brush (some mold-maker guy somewhere must be getting rich off of all these brushes ). Of course, this is only one of the inevitable 900 million Merliah dolls that will be released - hopefully there will be another doll with a "normal" mermaid tale. Amazon also has a listing up for another doll that comes with a necklace, which may be the less-espensive version that will be sold at grocery, drug, and discount stores.

You can form your own opinions about the aesthetics of this doll (), but two things about it jumped out at me.

Easy For Me 1 2 3™ Barbie® and her arms, which Merliah™ borrows

First, she has the current flat-footed legs from the beach line - which is bad, but she does have some sandals, which means there may finally be a pair of shoes that fit these particular feet. (This is the the third flat-footed leg sculpt since 2005, BTW, and all three legs have had differently-sized feet.)

here Secondly, the doll in these photos appears to have the arms from the Easy For Me 1 2 3™ dolls from 2006, which have no separated fingers at all - not even the thumbs. This was a great idea on the Easy For Me dolls because it makes the dolls much easier to dress (which would have been especially nice if there had actually been any clothes for them ), and I'm glad to see them again. They'll look much better on the 1999 Secret Messages™ body - they're way too long for the diminutive 2006 "hobbit" body and made the Easy for Me dolls look a bit neanderthal-y.

However, hopefully the sleeve-friendly hands were only used for this doll to make the "transformation" easier - I like them and it would be great to see them used occasionally, but I wouldn't want them to replace the current Secret Messages™ arms.

Merliah® and her new tail

(Edit: 2009-11-08) Here's a new picture of this Merliah doll which shows her with a much better tail that covers her legs all the way. Hopefully the production doll will be more like this!

Doll Diary 06 October 2009