/// 19 July 2009 ///
Splash 'n Spray Friends™ Barbie® dolls

This is turning out to be a big year for exclusive dolls at Target. First, there was a Fairy giftset combining the pink and blue 2009 basic Fairy dolls with a child-size wand; then, a bunch of Pink World™ dolls; then, a beach doll giftset; and now, there's a new set of mermaids called Splash 'n Spray Friends™.

These dolls actually combine elements from a few existing assortments.

The dolls themselves have the same torso and fin sculpts as this year's regular-line basic Mermaid dolls (shown below), but with different paint schemes and no separate fabric skirts. They have the same hairstyle as the basic dolls as well, but without the color-change streaks.

Two of the 2009 basic Mermaid dolls

Unlike the basic mermaids - which have the 2005 open-mouth Barbie head - these dolls use the 1998 "Generation Girl®" head (more here), painted with exactly the same base face paint design as the Fairy-Tastic Princess™ dolls.

The Target dolls' packaging and assortment name are modified versions of last year's Splash & Style™ Mermaid dolls. (It even shows those dolls on the back of the box.) Their animal friends - a fish, a very small dolphin, and a freakishly large seahorse - are borrowed from the Splash & Style dolls as well, but they've been modified to turn them into squirt toys (because good friends always spit on each other ).

The blond Splash & Style™ Mermaid Barbie® doll

The color schemes of the pink and dark purple dolls match the two basic 2009 mermaids pictured above, but the overall assortment actually matches the colors of the Splash 'n Style dolls. (The third Target doll is cyan like one of the Splash 'n Style dolls, whereas the elusive third basic 2009 mermaid is a black doll with a light purple color scheme.)

I wonder how many more Target exclusives there will be before the end of the year? Based on previous years, we can expect at least four more before December - one at Halloween (possibly called "Pink Halloween") and three at Christmas (a customized ballerina, a Christmas Morning pajama doll, and a stocking giftset with a doll and a bunch of little toys).

Doll Diary 19 July 2009