Monday, August 31, 2015

Tokidoki Barbie 2015 update: The Platinum Label version

It seems Mattel is not only releasing one Tokidoki Barbie but two. As you can read here, there is a Black label version of the doll coming out on the 1st of September but there will be a second version of the doll, as a Platinum Label edition (no more than 999 dolls available). The catch is that the doll will be available only to those that can complete a treasure hunt for her. It seems Mattel likes to put collectors through hoops to get their rare edition dolls - let's hope the newly updated Barbie Collection website will be up to par for the frenzy coming upon it in two days.

The news were revealed on the Barbie Collection website, first through a video exclusive to club members, but then there was a post for everyone to read. The process will be like this:

The Black Label® version of the doll will be easy to find, while supplies last – the last tokidoki® Barbie Doll was one of the hottest sellers of 2011 – but the Platinum Label® version will be much harder to find. Some will be mixed in with shipments of the Black Label® doll to select retail outlets, and some will be available in the online shop beginning on 9/1 at 9 am PT.Two webpages, somewhere on, will have a picture of the tokidoki Cactus Friend that comes with the Platinum Label doll:

When you find the Cactus Friend, click on it to be taken straight to the hidden shop page for the Platinum Label tokidoki Barbie Doll. What webpages will they be, you might ask? Since it’s a Treasure Hunt, we can give you a hint … one single paragraph in this very news story has the answer to which two webpages will have the Cactus Friend on them! It’ll be smaller than the example you see in this news story, but it will be up high, and not in any of the headers, footers, or sidebars of the site. Good luck with the Hunt, and don’t forget to pick up the Black Label version of tokidoki Barbie Doll as fast as you can.

I wish good luck to everyone who tries to get her, it will be hard. She does look better than the Black Label version but still not the kind of doll I collect.

All photos ©2015 Mattel. All Rights Reserved. ©TOKIDOKI, LLC. Designed by Simone Legno

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tokidoki Barbie: the sequel

Back in 2011, Mattel released their first Tokidoki Barbie doll, which instantly became the talk of the town, even outside the doll collector world. She was a step outside the box for the company, with her pink hair and body covered in tattoos, which caused a stir among parents. It was a huge success commercially and now commands high prices in the secondary market. No wonder then that the two companies work together again; I was expecting it sooner rather than later.

This time around she's a Black Label cool (not a Gold, like the previous one) and designed by Bill Greening and Tokidoki company. She will be probably be available for sale on the 1st of September, according to her now defunct page in the Barbie Collector site. She wears a sequinned top to show off her intricate tattoos. The skirt features many of the whimsical characters that have inhabited the world of Tokidoki for 10 years. With her Cactus Friend Polppetina by her side, she carries a chic silvery clutch and also comes with a Tokidoki gift bag. There will be a limit of 1 doll per order.

Body Type: Model Muse straight Arms
Skin Tone: Nostalgic
Facial Sculpt: Karl
Fashion Sewn On: No
Eyelashes: Painted
Included: Shoes, bracelet, pet, purse, doll stand
Customizations: Painted fingers and toes

The headpiece must be the same, just with different front and back to offer variety in styling. The sculpt is the Karl one, which was of course first seen on the Karl Lagerfeld Barbie doll. She's not articulated though, unlike that doll, which of course is always a shame. She's not my cup of tea but I bet she will make many collectors happy and many resellers even happier.

All photos ©2015 Mattel. All Rights Reserved. ©TOKIDOKI, LLC. Designed by Simone Legno

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A new diva coming from Mattel: Claudette Gordon™ Barbie® Doll

During the annual Barbie convention this year, new dolls were presented to the attendees. One of them was (finally!) an articulated collector's doll, in the spirit of the brilliant (and not repeated, unfortunately) Jazz Diva Barbie from 2007. Her name is Claudette Gordon™and she's a Gold Label® doll by designer Carlyle Nuera.

Her release date is the 8th of September. She is inspired by the great beauties who sang their hearts out on stage of the Harlem Theatre. She's wearing a sleeveless dress in flapper style, that features a drop waist bodice and embroidered peacock feather design in shades of teal, purple, and gold. Black point d’esprit material forms the dress’ asymmetrical skirt. The doll also has a 1920s era “microphone” stand.

Technical features: 

Body Type: Straight ModelMuse torso with poseable arms and legs
Skin Tone: Light Black
Facial Sculpt: Claudette
Fashion Sewn On: No
Eyelashes: Painted
Included: Doll stand, microphone, shoes, 3 beaded necklaces, headband
Customizations: Straight ModelMuse torso with poseable arms and legs
Price: $85.00

Yes, you read that correctly, she is a new sculpt, and one I really like. Sexy and elegant at the same time. Let's hope the produced doll looks like the promo photos. What I would have liked is that she had waist articulation as well. I hope to be able to get her.

All photos ©2015 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Bratz comeback: will it work this time?

Bratz was a playline fashion doll that threatened Barbie sales - maybe even surpassed them - when they first came out in 2001. Designed by Carter Bryant, a former Mattel employee, with 10" bodies, huge heads, heavily made up and dressed in what looked like the then current street style, they were an instant hit with girls that were bored with more conservative Barbie dolls and wanted something more like them to play with. They were so successful that Mattel issued its own line, My Scene. The battle reached its apex in 2004, when Mattel sued MGA (the Bratz maker) for copying, alleging that their designer was still working for Mattel when he came up with the concept. After a lot of legal wrangling, MGA was ordered to pull Bratz from selves. Even though the decision was later reversed, the damage had been done. Bratz sales went into a slump.

The line did try to come back once again. back in 2010, changing the size of the bodies (12"), new logos and slogans, but it did not make any waves. There were even complaints about quality being inferior to previous product. After some time, the company pulled back all lines in 2014 to overhaul the dolls and re-launch this year. As the tastes of their target group have shifted drastically, with the success of lines such as Monster High and Ever After High, they have some serious competition to beat. Not to mention the avalanche that Frozen dolls have been since that franchise surfaced.

I was never a fan of doll lines like this, so I cannot say if the attempt to brink back this line will be successful or not. MGA is suing Mattel for industrial espionage now (they filed a lawsuit back in 2014) so there are still issues to be worked out on the business side of things. MGA is trying to open up the line to social media as well, like instagram and youtube. They revamped their website too (see photo above) but it's weirdly devoid of product photos so far. There's even an app for smartphones. After this first wave, MGA is releasing at least three more waves until Christmas.

Photos courtesy of MGA

Saturday, July 18, 2015

IFDC 2015: JAMIEshow releases - Ayal Armon for JAMIEshow

It's not the first time that the talented Ayal Armon collaborates with JAMIEshow. He did a small collection for 16" ladies for the company a while ago, still available on their website. This time, for IFDC, he decided to cater for the big boys. The collection was so successful that it is now sold out except one outfit, the first on the list below. Modern design and high quality plus very limited quantities are to blame for the speed they were bought.

Afternoon stroll
Ltd. Edition of 5 Pcs
In Stock
(Doll and shoes sold separately)

A dark pink form fitting t-shirt. Made of mesh spandex. Closes in the back with snaps.  Low ride low crotch loose pants. The pants are made of dark brown and off white light weight linen. The front has a symmetrical closure and two side pockets. The pants are fully lined and had wide belt loops. Finishing the outfit is a sharp looking hip length jacket. The jacket is made of off white gold metallic linen has two front welt pockets and is decorated with buttons.  The jacket is fully lined.

Sharp Casual
Ltd. Edition of 5 Pcs
(Doll sold separately) .

A muscle t shirt form fitting and as cool as it gets. Made of grey mesh spandex. Closes in the back with snaps.  Form fitting pants, snuggly fit around the waist and hips has two pockets.  The pants are made of light weight black linen, fully lined, and are decorated with buttons on the belt loops. Finishing the look is a hip length pink linen jacket. The jacket has narrow collar, two front pockets with pocket flaps and is decorated with buttons. The jacket is fully lined.

Urban Sophisticated
Ltd. Edition of 5 Pcs
(Doll sold separately) 

A sharp looking outfit, inspired by street fashion but taken to a sophisticated high fashion level.  Off white sleeveless shirt. A sharp looking shirt with collar, welt pocket and front buttons. The shirt is made of handkerchief linen and is lined with the same fabric.  Low ride baggy pants, with dropped crotch, a sophisticated take on low ride street wear.  The pants are made of black light linen and are fully lined, has two deep pleats in the front and back, square pockets opening and decorated with buttons in the front and back.  Finishing the look is a waist cropped jacket with low collar and straps along the front and around the cuffs.  The jacket is made of terra cotta metallic linen, has two welt pockets in the front and is fully lined.

Photos by JAMIEshow