Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Andy Warhol Barbie: a new storm is brewing

Back in early November, a story appeared on WWD about the Ron Robinson deal with Mattel for an Andy Warhol/Barbie collection, exclusive to the Ron Robinson shops: the one in Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue and the flagship in Santa Monica. The collection has many items in small quantities, designed by various artists and inspired by Warhol and Barbie. The collection will become available in the shops on December 1st but pre-orders have begun from November 15th online. What interests this blog is of course the doll. It is a Platinum edition of 999 dolls but they are nowhere to be seen on the Robinson website. What is really strange though is that the doll surfaced on the Bloomingdale's website on the 18th of November. I do not know if it was possible for anyone to make a pre-order (I did read in Facebook that some people did but nothing concrete), but the site shows the doll unavailable. Having in mind that it is supposedly an exclusive for Rob Robinson, it looks even weirder. I suspect a new storm will hit Barbie Collector with this one.

UPDATE: Barbie Collection will have the doll for sale on the 3rd of December, 10am Pacific time.

Doll details:
Platinum Label collector's piece with commemorative box and certificate of authenticity
Set includes signature Warhol Barbie doll, stand, accessories, decorative paint set and canvas
Doll measures approx. 11.5" tall, box measures 13.5" x 12.5" x 2.5" 
Plastic; accessories: acrylic/plastic/polyester 
Hand wash or spot clean 
Web ID: 1560278 

There is no price mentioned. Fro mthe packaging I'm guessing it will be around $150. The sculpt is the Mackie sculpt, made to look like the iconic artist. To me it looks cheap and hastily made. The fact that it includes painting brushes and colors shows either how ignorant is the one who designed the set (Warhol never painted but silk-screened the polaroids he took to add colour and effects) or it was a company decision to make the doll look more "artistic" - i.e. "let the ignorant buyers know that Warhol was an artist, let us include some paintbrushes and colours". It is insulting to the collectors and mainly to the artist. 

If you really want this one, get another Mackie Barbie cheaper, give her a razor cut and buy clothing and accessories to make the set yourselves. I bet one can find even a polaroid camera in scale from companies that make action figures - maybe even an older Barbie set. You can find the iconic Warhol Barbie portrait easily to print in scale too.

Photos courtesy of  Mattel.


  1. I actually like the doll myself, she looks stylish but it's so weird how there isn't much info out. I talked to a rep at Bloomingdale's and they are completely sold out and don't know if they'll get more in stock. Haven't heard anything from Ron Robison or Barbie Collector yet. I don't understand the decisions in making these dolls so hard to get (Karl, Tokidoki, Moschino). It's very frustrating to me and many others.

  2. Ditto what Talolili said. Bummer.

  3. Yeah - what's up. I'd LOVE to have the Andy Warhol - Barbie -- just saw the Bloomie's ad the other day and it is GONE BABY GONE already. Obviously there is a demand (and a need) - so may we please learn WHERE to get our hands on our very own Barbie Andy Warhol? It is frustrating to be sure!!

    Disco Lady

  4. I had ordered this doll from Bloomingdales and had a confirmed shipment of 12/23. Unfortunately, when I called the customer service line about a question on my order, the rep "mistakenly" canceled my order. I'm really disappointed in Bloomingdales as now I can't get this item! I doubt if I'll order anything from Bloomingdales in the future.