Hello all – did you have a lovely Christmas?
In previous years, I have let my Christmas present posts drag on and on and I never got round to writing about some of my gifts at all. This time, I am going to try to get them all written about before February arrives. Which should be do-able as long as I don’t allow myself to get distracted. Ha ha.
Anyway, my first present (courtesy of Mr Bat – thanks love) was something I have been eyeing up in the discount shops for a while – two packs, each containing two dolls from the Barbie Sisters range.
In the UK, these dolls are usually relatively expensive, but these were quite reasonable. I’m hoping they herald the arrival of more affordable Barbie Sisters, we will see. Let’s look at who we got –
First off, we have the lovely Babs herself. She’s a pretty standard contemporary model with her mega-blue eyes and her Generation Girl face. I’m not a fan of this sculpt, but I don’t massively dislike it either so I’m neither pleased nor disappointed. I actually don’t have many true Barbies in my collection (most of my crew are “friends of Barbie” rather than Barbie herself) so maybe there’s a place for the odd one. She’s dressed in an extremely playline pink one-piece that’s probably meant to suggest a very glamorous riding outfit, although I don’t think her inner thighs would thank her if she tried to ride a horse in that skirt. I do not like any body type with bent arms so I’m not very pleased with her upper body, but she does have hinged knees which is always a bonus. Of course, I didn’t want this set for Barbie, though. I was attracted to this set because of her box companion, Stacie.
I am surprised how much I like this incarnation of Stacie. I could never get on with the early nineties Stacie, who was smaller and younger than this one. However, I think this contemporary Stacie has one of the best child sculpts I have ever seen – she’s cute without being saccharin and I think she looks quite plausible and realistic. I love her “natural” colouring, the dull green eyes and the darker blonde hair. Her riding outfit is surprisingly detailed and well made, and I like it despite the girly pink and blue colour scheme. Although Stacie also suffers from “one bent arm” syndrome, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that her knees do click (I presumed that they would be solid) which almost makes up for it. The only problem with Stacie is her head, which feels wobbly and loose on her neck, making her quite difficult to pose. This is the first of a few quality control issues I have noticed with the two sets.
Next we have Skipper, who is my favourite and the reason I asked for these sets in the first place. Can you believe that I have somewhere over twenty Skippers (I’m not even sure how many) and up until now, I’ve never managed to get hold of a contemporary version? I am so pleased that I have finally got one, as she’s even prettier in the plastic than she is in pictures. If I could have asked for a modern Skipper to be designed according to my taste, doubtless my Skipper would have ended up a bit like this one with her closed-mouth half smile and her dark hair. That one bent arm is still present and still getting on my nerves, even more so with Skipper as her fingers are arranged in a sort of ballet position that is going to look unnatural in almost every pose. Other than this, I can’t complain at all. Skipper and Chelsea come with a nice selection of props including a campfire and marshmallows on sticks to roast over it, and I was amused when I realised that in her other hand, Skipper is holding an iPad with a picture of a ghost on it – obviously, technology plays a role in spooky campfire ghost stories as well as everything else now.
Lastly, there’s poor little Chelsea, or “Sloth” as I’ve started to think of her as (ever watched The Goonies?) Chelsea looked sort of OK in the box with her head tilted at a certain angle, although looking back at the picture of her in the box I can see the problem straight away now I know its there. The problem being, her eye is not just wonky, its WONKY. Its the wonkiest eye I have ever seen on a doll. How did she make it into the box in this state? What were they thinking? Is this the reason that this set ended up in a discount shop? Judge for yourself:
In this picture you can see a “hollow” under her left eye – this is where her eye should have been. This is a real shame, but I’d still have wanted the set for Skipper and the campfire even if I’d known about this problem. I just hope its only evident in the dolls on the discount shelves – I’d have been really annoyed if I (or Mr Bat) had paid full price for a set including a doll like this.
Anyway, regardless of the Sloth-eyed Chelsea, I have thoroughly enjoyed deboxing and photographing this set today. I used the boxes as a background for the pictures because they are just so detailed and nice to look at – playline box art just seems to get better and better.