What’s So Great About Raquelle?

4 Oct


I’ve got a new favourite Fashionista. Up until now, my favourite Fashionista was Raquelle in her earlier “clutch” incarnation with the hot pink frilly shirt, the pleather trousers and the piano handbag, but I think that this Raquelle is even better. I love the stylish, unBarbielike combination of black hair, heavy eye makeup and nude lips, and this version is even more panda-eyed and paler-lipped than before. As you know, I love Brunette dolls and I love pale dolls (although I’d like it more if she was paler yet). If only she was smirking instead of grinning, I’d probably be granting her a doll drawer all of her own.

I found my sparkly favourite online for a good low price, so I ordered her straight away. I think she looks so Amazon-ish – like the kind of girl who does a martial art and rides horses, cleaned up and dressed up for a night out. Maybe they should have given her a muscly, Get Real Girl kind of body, it would have suited her. Anyway, then I spotted sparkly Raquelle for sale at a bigger discount whilst out shopping, so I decided that I might as well pick up a second version to rebody one of my paler Basics with. I deboxed them both at the same time tonight to take some “twin” pictures before beheading one of them, but when I did, guess what?


My plans were scuppered. As you might be able to see, there’s a clear difference between the two. The doll on the left, who I bought from the shops, is much fuller-lipped and her lips are a slightly pinker shade. She also has slightly brighter eye highlights. Now I’m planning to keep them both because of this difference, and the poor old Basics will just have to hang on a little longer. I checked the Raquelle boxes – both were manufactured in China, so it’s not down to different manufacturing techniques in different countries, although I suppose there could be more than one factory producing these dolls, each with a slightly different interpretation. Maybe shop to shop there is often a noticeable difference between dolls that are meant to be identical, and I’ve just never noticed because I don’t usually buy identical versions of the same doll at different shops and then take them home to compare them. Has anybody else noticed this before?

Anyway, back to Raquelle. This isn’t the first time I’ve chickened out of beheading a Raquelle. While the “fur” wave was on general release I picked up a couple for rebodying purposes and only ended up using one, I kept the other. Once I had her, I really liked her. The tomato soup colour of her lips in this wave made her look even more pale than usual, and that strange pinkish dress looks great on her.

At first, Raquelle’s hint of racial ambiguity irritated me slightly, as I suspect that she is meant to suggest an Asian doll without actually looking Asian at all (as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve often seen her in Asian doll groups on Flickr and the like, and thought “eh”?). Now I choose to think of her as a white doll, but a rather unusual-looking one with her dark hair and eyes and her pallor. Well, I love a bit of Gothic glamour and I’ll be interested to see how Raquelle looks in future waves, even more so since this one.



16 Responses to “What’s So Great About Raquelle?”

  1. Ian October 5, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Reading about your impressions of this edition of Raquelle was interesting to me because, having fallen in love with the pre-release pictures of her I was SO disappointed with her in the flesh. I did buy her when I saw her (relatively) cheap in a supermarket, but purely to rebody someone else onto. Perhaps I was unlucky with the edition I purchased, but I simply found her unremarkable (though, once the plastic bodice was removed I did like the dress and so far the recipient of her body is still wearing it.)

    Perhaps I should give her a second chance and look more closely at her sisters when I have a chance, to see if they match up to my original opinion.

    My general opinion of the Raquelles has been positive – Mattel seem to be pushing the boundaries with her as far as fashion, make-up and hair goes. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with next!

    • barbielea October 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

      Aww, well I’m sorry to hear you didn’t bond Ian. Yes, maybe you just got one from the wrong factory or whatever, in which case you might find a better version sooner or later (although personally I like both the versions I have found). I too prefer the dress without the plastic bodice, I wasn’t sure whether to photograph her with or without, but I think it looks better in photos than in real life so I left it on. Best wishes πŸ™‚

  2. Sandra October 5, 2013 at 12:07 am #

    Stunning pics! I’m hoping to get this new Raquelle. Great blog post!

    • barbielea October 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

      Thanks very much Sandra πŸ™‚

  3. chicovintage October 5, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    At first, I was so furious with Mattel for replacing my beloved Kayla with that bland,watered version, even more ethnically ambiguous… Having said that, I was gladly surprised with the first wave, that frilly top with fancy trousers won me over. So, I am now in love with Raquelle… it’ s a shame this is supposedly the last wave….

    • barbielea October 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      Arghh! I’ve not heard that before … And just when I was starting to get into them too …well, I hope that whatever they replace them with is still pivotal and cheap, or bang goes my long-term rebodying exercise … Thanks for the info Chico x

  4. dollgirl October 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    The new raquelle in silver is awesome on the palm beach (especially), rio, and nails lea. The dolls are true to the race. You can not make little girls feel good about themselves when the asian dolls’ eyes get wider and wider. The eyelid surgery issue is still quite prevalent and such facemolds do not convey diversity. Raquelle rocks and is a face, but I also need the “original” lea.

    Thankfully mattel has it right with the so n style facemold FINALLY. The nose and lips are great.

    Barbie is a worldwide figure. More shades and cultures need realistic facemolds.

    Great blog! I will be following.

    • barbielea October 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      Thank you so much Dollgirl … I’m with you, I honestly don’t understand why they can’t make more diverse dolls. It’s hardly as if these dolls get remaindered or anything, they are always popular. It seems as though we are going backwards in terms of diversity rather than forward … You can probably see that I’m a big fan of both So in Style and Lea πŸ™‚ thanks for the follow, best wishes

  5. dollgirl October 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I swapped the heads. Raquelle, and three facemolds of lea form the best girl group in silver. A fantastic four. πŸ™‚

    • barbielea October 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      Great idea! As long as Chico has heard wrong about the future of the Fashionistas (or as long as they are replaced by something pivotal and affordable in a good range of skin tones) I’d love to rebody all my Leas. If you’ve got pictures up anywhere, please do leave a link – sounds wonderful πŸ™‚

  6. Andrea October 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    She is droolworthy! Congrats on getting these Ladies. I think of Raquelle more as a Hispanic than an Asian girl. Being a fan of Raquelle since Fashion Fever days, I have to get her as well. I just haven’t seen her in shops yet. Keep my fingers crossed though. I might be tempted to take out the tinsel streaks, because they quickly degrade with hairstyling.

    • barbielea October 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

      Hi Andrea πŸ™‚ you are absolutely right about the tinsel hair, I’ve had it before with various Skippers and Sindys and it’s a pain – the strands tend to stick up all over the place. I’m leaving these in for now but eventually I might have to follow your suggestion with this one …

  7. Taswegian1957 October 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I like Raquelle too. I have the one on the far left in your picture I hadn’t actually thought of her as either Asian or Hispanic, just brunette. I like the really dark haired dolls there are so few of them. I like short haired ones for the same reason.
    I don’t double up on Barbies often so don’t have the opportunity to compare differences but it seems very common with Ken. His hair length varies quite a lot. Maybe it is different factories as I think they pretty much all come from China now.

    • barbielea October 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Hi Taswegian – I’ve never noticed that with Ken, as I own relatively few – interesting. I love short haired dolls too! One of my favourite dolls ever is Speed Racer Trixie who has a Diva face and a sleek short black bob. I really wish Mattel would release more like this …

  8. amystika18n November 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    I’ve always thought of Raquelle and Ryan as being Eurasian, with Raquelle generally having a bit more of the Asian side in her looks than Ryan, but that’s just me. That’s the beauty of racially ambiguous dolls-the child/collector can make up her/his own backstory!

    • barbielea December 1, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

      Hi Amy πŸ™‚ yes, there’s good things and bad things about racially ambiguous dolls and the flexibility of character is one of my favourite things about it. Beautiful as Raquelle is, I’d really like her to be a leetle bit more ambiguous, though :-/

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