/// 17 February 2009 ///
Barbie® from Barbie and the Three Musketeers (Pictures courtesy of ASM - click to see them bigger.)

In a world where people only seem to care about action figures and collector dolls, ASM once again comes the rescue of playline doll lovers by posting pictures of playline dolls from Mattel's booth at Toy Fair 2009.

Special thanks ASM for letting me use some of their pictures! All of the pictures in these entries will link to higher-resolution versions on ASM's site - so click on them! (And, if you appreciate their including these dolls as much as I do, don't forget to drop them a line while you're there to let them know.)

So. There seem to have been surprisingly few Barbie dolls this year for some reason. After all the hype, I was expecting a cavalcade of new things, but the pickin's are pretty slim and most of the things on display are things we've already seen.

There are a few new things, though. First up are dolls from the next direct-to-DVD Barbie movie, Barbie® and the Three Musketeers.

This is a good place to start, since the Barbie doll in this line (shown in the picture to the right) answers the question that's been weighing most heavily on the minds of people all over the world for weeks and causing them not to be able to go to sleep at night. That's right: She has what looks like the old 1998 "Generation Girl" Barbie head. (Or possibly a variation of it - the nose looks different). However...it's the enlarged version, so people who were expecting the playline dolls go back to the small heads will be disappointed.

And yet, ironically, I'm disappointed, too. I mentioned before that I like the 1998 head, but it didn't make the transition to the enlarged size very well. (That's my polite way of saying it doesn't look good. ) I definitely prefer the current 2005 sculpt. But, maybe the production doll will have an all-new sculpt that wasn't ready yet... (Okay, not much chance of that happening.)

Incidentally - if she does switch back to the old head, this will be the first time in 50 years that one of Barbie's big facial "makeovers" has been undone.

Only two other dolls on display have this sculpt - the rest have the current 2005 head. (I'll talk about the others with the old head in future posts.) However, the corresponding Teresa® doll still has the 2005 Barbie head. I realize now that when I said hoped Teresa would stop using the same head as Barbie, I should have been more specific.

Positive mixed with negative seems to be a theme with the Three Musketeer dolls. As you can see, the other three dolls are Barbie's friends - which is good. In theory. Theoretically, it's very exciting to me - it's a logical progression from Barbie and the Diamond Castle (which featured Teresa starring a lead role alongside Barbie), but I really wasn't expecting it to happen so soon. (The fact that the movie was going to be based on the Three Musketeers should have been a tipoff, but, hey. )

Of course, the obligatory "bad part" has to come along and ruin it: The friends starring in the movie with Barbie are Teresa, Summer®, and... Nikki®.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a travesty that after all these years, Barbie's friends finally get to appear in a movie with her and Christie® isn't one of them. That is not cool.

(If it were me, I would have had Barbie, Christie, and Teresa be the Three Musketeers and had someone else play the D'Artagnan character. Yes, I'm a "Barbie geek" and that's pretty "geeky", but occasionally throwing in stuff that's aimed at "the geeks" really can be a good thing. [Ask the people who make Power Rangers.] Barbie, Christie, and Teresa have been referred to as "the three musketeers" in the past, and a lot of people would have gotten a kick out of it. Oh well.)

The Barbie® and the Three Musketeers DVD cover

I imagine the dolls flip back and forth between "musketeer" forms and "princess" forms, since the display dolls are dressed as princesses but the DVD cover shows the other three characters in "musketeer" garb. Form-flipping is probably also the reason the dolls appear to be wearing chandeliers on their heads. (I don't know much about the plot of the movie, but hopefully at least part of it will deal with the many reasons you shouldn't wear a skirt while riding horses and swashbuckling. )

I like that they come with swords. (Well, sceptres-slash-swords anyway.) As far as I know, that makes them the second-ever Barbie dolls to come weapons. (2005's Barbie as Elektra came with sais, and I think she was the first Barbie doll ever to come with weapons, but I might be forgetting something.) The whole deal reminds me a little bit of the princesses from Shrek 3, which were turned into dolls by a certain other toy company. (I'm mostly mentioning this because I haven't had a chance to point out how brilliant the idea of princess fashion dolls with "kung fu action" was. )

(Although - did you notice that the little guy on the right side of the DVD cover also looks a lot like Shrek's Puss in Boots minus the boots?)

Whelp, silly me thought I was going to get through everything in the space it took to talk about this one assortment. Silly, silly, much-too-wordy me and my wishful thinking. There are still lots more things to pick apart, describe in depth, and say bad things about, so check back soon! (And remember to use your reload button so you don't miss anything!)

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Toy Fair 2009: Part Two
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Toy Fair 2009!!
Doll Diary 17 February 2009