Lea 32 – A New Ballerina

5 May

Guess what? Tonight, I’m writing my 400th post! So, I wanted to share something special and I thought a beautiful new Lea might fit the bill …

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I was excited when I found out that there was to be a second ultra-budget ballerina released, a follow-up to last year’s ballet-themed Lea. She’s similar to the last release, but more “doll-like” and sweet-looking, with heavy under-eye lashes and more pink in her makeup. I’m very pleased that she’s clearly different and I love this new face. Of course, Lea dolls are generally pretty collectable anyway, but some of the most sought-after Leas have the same pale skin, dark hair and doe eyes and I wonder if this has influenced her design – what do you think, have Mattel set out to create a collectable budget doll? Or have they just picked a pretty look that coincidentally appeals to collectors?

Anyway, I will be keeping one version on the original body as I did last time, although since deboxing I’m kind of tempted not to because she has a neck fixing that only gives her limited head movement. The poor love can only move her head from side to side, she can’t look up or down or tilt her head at all. This wasn’t the case with the last Ballerina, and its really annoyed me – I’ve found that dolls with fixed head positions are quite hard to photograph, as how we hold our heads are a really big part of how we express ourselves so its very difficult to get a lifelike pose.

Regardless of this, I do actually quite like her heavily molded Ballet body. I know that molded- or painted-on clothes are not usually popular with collectors (I’ve moaned about it enough myself at times) but still, I think its been nicely done. One thing I particularly like about this doll is the corset-style “closure” at the back of her bodice:

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Just a shame that they stamped her credentials on her back just above it, though … I also quite like the little flower-and vine motif which is molded down each side of her leg, which is something that the last doll did not have:

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However, I have noticed that the ribbon from her bodice which is headed around the back of her neck never gets there, it just stops in the middle of her shoulder. They put enough thought into this doll to design her ballet shoes perfectly, with creases where the fabric meets the sole, but they forgot to continue the ribbon around to the back of her neck? Strange.

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Anyway, I’m delighted to see Lea in the playline area again, and have high hopes that this will continue. Would it be too much to ask for a fairy or a mermaid next time, Mattel? If so, please feel free to continue churning out the gorgeous ballerinas …

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7 Responses to “Lea 32 – A New Ballerina”

  1. Taswegian1957 May 6, 2014 at 2:18 am #

    First of all congratulations on the 400th post, that’s a lot of committment. I do love your Ballerina’s face especially her eyes. As you know I have a soft spot for Lea too. As for the moulded on body I have to admit I don’t like it, are you surprised? No, didn’t think so. However, for a doll that’s just for display it does suit her although I agree it’s strange about the ribbon. It does seem odd to make a ballerina who has limited head movement doesn’t it? Will we see this head on another body later? As for Mattel’s intentions. No I don’t think they planned a budget collectible, I think you just got lucky :).

    • barbielea May 6, 2014 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks Taswegian πŸ™‚ no , I didn’t think the molded body would be very popular somehow! I think it’s because I would always have rebodied a version that I’m really not bothered (so yes, you will see that here at some point). You are right, for a ballerina particularly, the limited head movement is a problem – I quite enjoyed posing the last one in all kinds of ballet positions, but this one just looks stupid and unnatural in most of them because of her fixed head …

      You’re probably right about the collectibility aspect, I just mentioned it because my friend mentioned that there is talk in doll circles that the last Ballet Lea was based on another, highly collectible, playline Lea. Well, I don’t know any Mattel designers personally, but I once got a comment from a lady who says she used to design playline, who was asking me who or what a “Lea” was. This gave me the impression that maybe designers are not necessarily aware of collectors’ priorities and interests! Who knows what the truth is?? (Anybody who knows any designers, fancy shedding some light on this one??)

  2. kewpie83 May 7, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    Happy 400th post!!!! That’s LOTS of blogging!

    • barbielea May 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

      Thanks so much Kewpie – strangely it doesn’t feel like a lot of blogging … I’ve only just got started, really πŸ™‚

  3. Teresa B. May 8, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    Yay! 400 posts! Congrats πŸ™‚

    I love the vine motif on the leg however, I just don’t like the molded bodice. This doll for me would be a great candidate for a rebody. πŸ™‚ But she does have a very pretty face, definitely a perfect Lea.

    • barbielea May 12, 2014 at 12:22 am #

      Thanks Teresa πŸ™‚ Its the face I’m really interested in – she’s a great one, isn’t she? As I say, I’ll be rebodying her (or another version) at some point soon …

  4. Andrea May 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    Hi Lea, I’m glad you got her too! Her face is so lovely. I doubt that Mattel planned a playline collectible, or she would have been more expensive. I’m so glad we get a ballerina Lea at all, even though the molded bodice amd stiff arms and legs for a dancer are not so fancy.

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