Thursday, October 6, 2016

Curvy Barbie Exposed

Barbie Fashionista #26
Spring Into Style - Curvy

I only just got on the Curvy Barbie train about a week ago so please excuse my delayed enthusiasm for this latest doll evolution. Not even Made-to-Move Barbie has gotten me this excited over a playline doll in a while. I mean, look at her. The doll's got glorious thighs!

When I was a kid, Barbie was just a pretty blonde doll with cool clothes. I didn't care that she had big boobs and a non-existent waist while I grew up with a house full of Asian women who didn't quite have those measurements...or blonde hair for that matter. However, I do understand why some mothers of today would be concerned about the kind of message that Barbie might be sending off to the young impressionable minds. Ergo, I commend Mattel for taking doll play to a whole new level of diversity.

Renamed Javiera
(after a Chilean singer that my sister is
currently obsessing about at the moment)

So here she is in all her glory! She does not have the bendy legs. She doesn't have pierced ears. She has the typical articulation on the neck, shoulders and thighs. Nothing more. Very simple really. The takeaway from this doll is the bigger than typical Barbie sized hips and thighs, and rounder bottom. I specifically didn't put her beside an old Barbie doll because on her own, she looks totally normal. (There is an amazing review HERE by the ToyBoxPhilosopher with tons of pics next to Lammily.) She only looks big next to a stick thin Barbie doll. I daresay that most of us women out there have shapely thighs...and if you devour chocolate like I do, it's a guarantee!

Here's the thing: Barbie's been skinny for 57 years so imagine the wardrobe dilemma that Javiera is facing. The curvy doll incarnation that I got had a floral print dress. Depending on execution, I'm almost always not a fan of floral patterns and her default attire was no exception. I chose her because I loved the simplicity of her facial screening color palette and her brown hair. It's easy to forget how curvy she is as a stand alone doll until I tried some old Barbie clothes on her. Total disaster. Luckily, she looks good naked! Hahaha!

(Dressed in a not-so-fitting Made to Move top,
and a Takara Jenny jumper)

Ok, so I did find something else to put her in. It was a struggle to put her in that top. She could only fit into one sleeve...oopsy! She's rockin the jumper though! Super fun doll! And the best part is she was less than ten dollars!

Friday, September 16, 2016

50th Anniversay Francie

50th Anniversary Francie doll
Barbie Fan Club Exclusive
by Mattel
(literally taken fresh out of the box)

I rarely ever take box photos before I rip a doll out of its package. For Francie, I'd do it. She's always been kinda special to me that way. Opening her box has been just as much a celebration as the doll itself. I had been particularly excited about the 50th Anniversary Francie because the promo shots looked closest to the original than the previous reproduction dolls. I wasn't disappointed.


Let's nitpick (and I say that while rubbing my hands together excitedly and with a smile). 

Would I have chosen a pink box to put her in? Probably not. I'd never associated Francie with pink like her older cousin Barbie. I'd always thought she was more into yellows, lime greens and oranges...the citrusy stuff. But it's just a box so meh. It might interest never-remove-from-box collectors to know that she did come with a dust cover for boxed-in purposes. Again, to a collector like me who has no ounce of self-control when it comes to keeping dolls in their original boxed state, I say, 'meh'.

If you know your Francie, a prom type of outfit as such in this 50th doll is not typical of this gal. When it came to Francie, you could tell it's Mattel, not because she was swell, but because she was groovy. Nothing in this outfit is groovy. No blindingly bright colors or geometric patterns. No mini skirts, tall boots, hoop earrings, fringed hems, etc. etc. Instead, she's a goody-goody Miss Teen Beauty. It looks and feels like a very well-made attire though. And for her 50th year, I kinda get it. She's half a century old. It's a big milestone so why not do it with class. Groovy Francie had always been more a great mix of sweet yet flashy than coy and classy. And I like her that way but I don't mind this other side of Francie one bit. Plus, I think the original version of this outfit is supposed to be rare.

From left to right:
50th Anniversary Francie doll and 1966/68 Straight Leg Francie

Now the face...oh, joy, that pretty face! I do like the face of the 50th doll. This is the first time she's been reproduced without the rooted lashes and with the straight legs. I love the no-lashes Francie just as much as the one with them so it's not a deal breaker to me. 

Someone finally got the hint that to capture the essence of Francie isn't just about her funky wear, it's also the doll's face. To a Francie enthusiast like I, that means ensuring that her doe-shaped eyes were indeed that. This one sure has fact a little too doe-ish if I dare say. Again, I don't mind. I don't expect a reproduction to be a carbon copy of the original. It would be nice but probably not gonna happen. The way her lips are shaped also very much resembles the 1966 version. That made me happy!

The shape of the face on the new reproduction doll is where I found this Francie really missed the mark. This is consistent with the past reproductions. The original Francie does have a rounder shaped face, say, compared to Barbie, but the reproduction takes that to another level of 'round'. There's too much cheeks where cheeks are concerned. And her eyebrows are a tad bit higher than I like...but that's just me being an ass about it. She's still super cute! And her skin tone is nice. It's not overly pink-ish like the 30th Anniversary Francie doll.

The hair flip on the new doll is also not much of a flip but rather a curl as opposed to what the original Francie has. After googling Francie images, I came into the conclusion that the hair color varies in different shades of brown on the brunette versions. I don't know if that's just her age, lighting during the photo shoot, or my computer screen, affecting the color or what. So I really can't comment on it other than how nice, properly thick, and brown the new one is. It's a very rich shade of brown and I like it.  

It's important to note that even though 50th Anniversary Francie had the plastic head wrap, typical to how the originals came in their box, her hair has gel. I had to comb my doll's hair a bit to fluff it out after I took a few pics of her right out of the box.

Overall, I approve this reproduction doll. She exudes the Francie that I know and love. Best reproduction of her yet! (...I expect the next one to have less puffy cheeks...please with sugar on top... ^___^)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Wedding Belle No More

Wedding Belle Poppy Parker
by Integrity Toys 2015
aka Ziya

I think this doll is really underrated. I don't see very many photos of her around. Even I have passed over her many times in my collection to pick up another doll. I think it had something to do with the wedding outfit she originally came in...and I'm sorry to say, the ugly half ponytail too. Not to mention, she might have sort of left a bitter taste in my mouth when I first opened her box and found that she had uneven eyes, as in one eye was literally bigger than the other, and I had to ship her head out again for an exchange. By the time I got her back, I wasn't too keen on playing with her anymore. It took me some time to debox her in the first place.

It took almost a good year for me to actually remember what it was that had me buying this doll to begin with. I remember liking her Hungarian skin tone, that is like a light tan. And I love the aqua color of her eyes. It's riveting. I have boring dark brown eyes so I like it when my dolls have different eye colors. Wedding Belle's eye color is by far my favorite from all the Poppy releases.

I had to take down her ugly ponytail too. I'm happier with her like this. It makes her look more sultry instead of being a drab bride. In the end, I'm glad I finally picked her up and decided to tinker with her looks. Not wanting to disturb too much of her curls, taking her ponytail down was a bit of a challenge. I may have snapped and pulled some hair out...still looks good though!

Here's a little secret about her photoshoot: She's only wearing one earring. The other one broke when I tried to put it in her ear so I said screw it. Hehehe!

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