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kbarber

Yuan Yuan Tan Barbie doll

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OK, that's a little weird. But certainly diverse. I have to wonder though if kids aren't still selecting a doll based solely on how it looks (and is costumed), rather than on a description like, "Polish journalist Martyna Wojciechowska".

Note the absence of Russian female 'icons'. Was that too controversial to deal with?

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I'm not sure if "Historic Women Being Made Into Barbies" is the happiest choice of headline, but progress of a kind, I guess.

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I have to wonder though if kids aren't still selecting a doll based solely on how it looks (and is costumed), rather than on a description like, "Polish journalist Martyna Wojciechowska".

I imagine they are, but even if these don't sell they're a way of deflecting criticism that the doll is retrograde.

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Johnson, 99, worked closely with Mattel to create her doll and ensure it looked as much like her as possible. 

Well, sort of. Not that I grudge her the pleasure.

 

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Obviously they couldn't bring them selves to give Frida Kahlo the unibrow. She was much more interesting looking that the doll! I think they should have a Serena Williams doll and give her the awesome, powerful Serena Williams body.

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15 hours ago, vipa said:

Obviously they couldn't bring them selves to give Frida Kahlo the unibrow.

I had the same thought, vipa. Amelia Earhart also looks, refreshed, shall we say. 

Thanks for posting, pherank.

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4 hours ago, dirac said:

 

Thanks for posting, pherank.

Credit must go to KBarber for that.  ;)

At this stage, it's really difficult to manufacture a 'Barbie' that is free of controversy. Plainly, many of these dolls are being collected by adults. But I have an issue with all the adult meddling: there's seemingly no 'carefree' childhood anymore, and dolls are simply reflecting the cultural/ideological struggles within the adult world. Fun fun, fun.

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Thanks for the correction, pherank, and sorry, kbarber. :flowers:

 

 

 

 

 

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As a child who was wild about everything ballet, I think I would have been swooning over the possibility of having a Misty Copeland or Yuan Yuan Tan Barbie. 

I suppose an Erik Bruhn Ken would be too much to hope for.

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My guess is that for the kids who get these, the dolls will lose their "identities" fairly quickly and become part of general dramatic play scenarios. My daughter had American Girl Dolls back in the day. There was the Colonial Girl, The Civil War Girl, etc. etc. The clothes got swapped and the accessories got spread around. After a while it was this is Kelly and her friend Susie, and they're going to a party.

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16 hours ago, Drew said:

As a child who was wild about everything ballet, I think I would have been swooning over the possibility of having a Misty Copeland or Yuan Yuan Tan Barbie. 

I suppose an Erik Bruhn Ken would be too much to hope for.

Bruhn actually looked like a more refined Ken, now that I think about it.

I'm surprised nobody thought of a Misha-inspired Ken, including Misha.

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30 minutes ago, dirac said:

Bruhn actually looked like a more refined Ken, now that I think about it.

I'm surprised nobody thought of a Misha-inspired Ken, including Misha.

LOL - I think Nureyev might have felt honored to be selected, but I'm not sure how Misha would feel about life as a doll.  ;)

Nijinsky in his Petrushka costume would be iconic too (and something children might be able to relate to).

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I figure if Baryshnikov could flog clothes and scent, he probably wouldn't balk at a doll. Rudi is a great idea, though.

I think a Petrushka doll around the house might freak kids out (?) It would likely freak me out.

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28 minutes ago, dirac said:

I figure if Baryshnikov could flog clothes and scent, he probably wouldn't balk at a doll. Rudi is a great idea, though.

I think a Petrushka doll around the house might freak kids out (?) It would likely freak me out.

To me, and out of context, all dolls, puppets and marionettes are rather creepy.  ;)

It's one thing to watch Punch in a Punch and Judy stage presentation, and quite another thing to enter a room to see Punch watching you from a shelf...

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Unfortunately, most of these dolls are not for sale.  It appears they were created as one-off prototypes just for this special promotion for Intl. Women's Day.  Four of the dolls, including Frida Kahlo and Gabby Douglas can be purchased online, but the rest, including Yuan Yuan Tan, are not available.  It seems like a kind of mean trick to play on kids or collectors who might actually want to purchase one of them after seeing all the publicity today.

 https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html

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2 hours ago, laurel said:

Unfortunately, most of these dolls are not for sale.  It appears they were created as one-off prototypes just for this special promotion for Intl. Women's Day.  Four of the dolls, including Frida Kahlo and Gabby Douglas can be purchased online, but the rest, including Yuan Yuan Tan, are not available.  It seems like a kind of mean trick to play on kids or collectors who might actually want to purchase one of them after seeing all the publicity today.

 https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html

I thought I read somewhere that they will all be available in due course.

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Posted (edited)

Decades ago multiple Star Wars action figures were [or re-]released.   I found myself attempting to get them for my children for Christmas and battling collectors at Toys R Us.   Some actually tried to pilfer stuff out of my cart.  Based on prior history I would be buying the Copeland and Tan Barbies.  Children would love Barbie clothes like Ratmansky's Praline, Tea Flower, or Czar Maiden.   At one Kennedy Center performance a little girl with her family exclaimed Barbie when the blond Kolegeva made her entrance.  

Edited by maps

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9 hours ago, laurel said:

Unfortunately, most of these dolls are not for sale.  It appears they were created as one-off prototypes just for this special promotion for Intl. Women's Day.  Four of the dolls, including Frida Kahlo and Gabby Douglas can be purchased online, but the rest, including Yuan Yuan Tan, are not available.  It seems like a kind of mean trick to play on kids or collectors who might actually want to purchase one of them after seeing all the publicity today.

 https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html

It takes quite a bit of work and time to prototype one of these dolls, so it does seem a little crazy not to make some money off these efforts.

3 hours ago, maps said:

Decades ago multiple Star Wars action figures were [or re-]released.   I found myself attempting to get them for my children for Christmas and battling collectors at Toys R Us.   Some actually tried to pilfer stuff out of my cart.  Based on prior history I would be buying the Copeland and Tan Barbies.  Children would love Barbie clothes like Ratmansky's Praline, Tea Flower, or Czar Maiden.   At one Kennedy Center performance a little girl with her family exclaimed Barbie when the blond Kolegeva made her entrance.  

Few things are more dangerous than a collector during the hunt.  ;)

Ratmansky/Ryden Whipped Cream action dolls is an interesting idea.

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Posted (edited)

Posted by the SF Chronicle:

New Barbie Role Model dolls include SF Ballet dancer Yuan Yuan Tan
https://www.sfchronicle.com/style/article/New-Barbie-Role-Model-dolls-include-SF-Ballet-12732805.php

'“I’m incredibly honored to be part of the “Shero” collection,” Tan said via email. “It’s important to me that young girls know that they can be anything they want to be, so they should dream big and never give up!”
The Role Model dolls are one of a kind and not for sale, a spokeswoman said.'

"Also honored as part of Mattel’s new Inspiring Women doll series, which looks to great women from history, are artist Frida Kahlo, aviator Amelia Earhart and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, all $29.99 and available for preorder. Mattel is seeking suggestions for more inspiring women via the #MoreRoleModels hashtag on social media."

Edited by pherank

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The "Shero" line is 99% OOAK dolls that Mattel creates to put a spotlight on various women who are prominent in sports or professions. Mattel makes quite a few of them. Only a handful ever make it to the stage of being mass produced as collector dolls, unfortunately. The ones they release are based on Mattel's research of which are most in demand/marketable.

Also, the Kahlo doll definitely has her unibrow, you just can't see it in those photos:

 

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4 minutes ago, orangerose said:

The "Shero" line is 99% OOAK dolls that Mattel creates to put a spotlight on various women who are prominent in sports or professions. Mattel makes quite a few of them. Only a handful ever make it to the stage of being mass produced as collector dolls, unfortunately. The ones they release are based on Mattel's research of which are most in demand/marketable.

Also, the Kahlo doll definitely has her unibrow, you just can't see it in those photos


I'm glad they got that detail right, and didn't try to "fix" that too. The Barbie physique is unrealistic enough as it is.

 

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In this photo I see that the unibrow is there but definitely understated. She had other facial hair, and unusual features that didn't fit the American beauty mold. I guess my point is that Kahlo's look was made into a preconceived notion of beauty as defined by the Mattel company. If they are serious about being inspiring they could dare to introduce different kinds of beauty. A child who has this doll would be shocked to see what Frida K really looked like.

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