Author: DOLLS Magazine Contributor

Mattel Launches New Barbie Basics Line

DOLLS writer and photographer Chris Varaste visited Mattel headquarters in El Segundo, Calif. He met with Mattel designer Bill Greening and Melissa Terrick in marketing to talk about the brilliant new line, Barbie Basics. Without further ado, we bring you the special interview the three conducted among themselves. Bill Greening (BG) (pictured left): Hello readers of DOLLS magazine. I’m designer Bill Greening from the Barbie Collector (BC), team and I’m really excited to present a new line of dolls called Barbie Basics, a really fun line of dolls perfect for adult collectors who want to play with their “Barbie”...

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Making a Doll List and Checking It Twice

Black Friday is here and the local morning news stations seemed to be at every shopping location to interview the blurry-eyed, giggly, sleep deprived consumers. As a service to the community they periodically provided tips to their viewers and at one point this morning, a shopper distilled the reporting into one concise message. In a matter of seconds she passed on her expert, motherly advice. Like most wise statements, her message was deceptively simple and easy to dismiss as obvious. But that is what makes it difficult to follow. She asks her children to make a list and give it some consideration. At the official start of the holiday shopping season, this mom was still full of cheer and goodwill. Perhaps that will change, but it was clear that she knew how to share the spirit of the season with her children, along with the example that responsibility doesn’t have to damper their spirits. She asks her children to make a shortlist of the things that they really want so they can accept that it won’t be possible to get everything on their long list. Like a list of pros and cons, this system can help to see a situation clearly and know what is really important. I realize that getting the right doll for Christmas might not be the most critical issue during this season. However, making a...

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American Beauty Doll

Apples and oranges and fashion dolls. To compare them, I think that Barbie and Tyler are apples to Gene’s orange. Barbie is melons (obviously) to the grapes of Bratz. As a consumer and collector, I appreciate them all and I am glad that the manufacturers have given us a wide range of styles from which to choose. But two of these dolls have informed my life. Barbie may have brought fashion dolls into my world, but Tyler brought them back. Upon her introduction, I had to pass on Gene due to my circumstances at the time. But I was instantly struck by her and that there was an artist who had created something to embody my ideals of the Golden Age of Hollywood and 20th century fashion. Mel Odom is to be praised and thanked for his accomplishment and artistic gift. He shared his dream with us. Gene may be retire, but her world will remain so we can revisit it like old Hollywood movies. But Gene is unique and cannot be compared to the modern girl as fashion icon. Similarly, I don’t believe that a Bratz can be compared to other fashion dolls. I think they have been a cartoonishly fun addition to a collector’s options and could not have been made to be taken so seriously. Their controversial reign many end but, right or wrong, Bratz grabbed...

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Change for a Doll or …

The ultimate doll, Barbie has always been about connecting to the world around her and staying true to herself. Whether she was a fashion model, astronaut or teacher, she was Barbie. In play she might have another name, but she was the embodiment of Barbie. Through her girls have been shown that they could be anything they wanted to be. Barbie may have changed her make-up, hair and facial features, but she was still simply Barbie. The uninitiated may believe she is a faulty role model, but she remains true to herself in that quiet knowing way that she has. She offers herself as a mirror. She lights up a room, but doesn’t say too much. She instructs by example. She is the doll that we hold like our own personal Oscar. She is our golden idol that teaches us to enjoy the journey, accept the rewards and reach for more. Perhaps that is why the women that surgically transform themselves into a human Barbie remain plastic. To be real we must accept ourselves, our abilities and our gifts as unique individuals. Barbie is confident, fearless, hopeful and true. Barbie may be viewed as an empty plastic vessel; everything about her may seem disproportionately large or small. Barbie may be given our labels: bad hair days, behind in every style race and spread too thin by trying to be...

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Living Dead Dolls

Living Dead Dolls are not your mother’s collectible dolls.  However, they just might be your kind that is if you are into the dolly dark side of collecting. These horror movie inspired dolls are designed in America and have been manufactured by Mezco Toyz since 2000. Living Dead Dolls were created by Ed Long and Damien Glonek back in 1998 and made their debut at a popular horror movie memorabilia convention called Chiller Theatre in New York City. Both creators were raised on horror movies—mostly those Saturday afternoon, creature double-feature kind. These plastic dolls are 11 inches and sold...

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Meet the “Bad Vamps”

Oh, those ever-so-pretty, brooding vampires that we love so much and call our very own. The Twilight series as everyone knows by now is a modern-day love story between a teenage girl and the “good” vampire, who feels he must protect her from the “bad” vampires and yet still resist his own natural instincts. Earlier this year, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan (as portrayed in Twilight by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart) were the first Twilight characters  realized in doll form by Tonner Doll Co. As of November 2009, you can add the three new baddie vamps from Twilight...

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