Lea 40 – Fashionista Summer

16 Apr

Yes, the Lea on the shelves at the moment isn’t a Lea at all. She isn’t even a Kayla. She’s a Summer! How bizarre that Mattel recycle the same names over and over … I was wondering today if these “stock” names might have been Mattel employees or something like that? If anybody knows why they do this, please do leave me a comment. 

Anyway, Lea: 


To me, she looks like an updated version of the Cali Girl, what do you think? However, together with her modern look she has gained an unfortunate characteristic that she shares with many modern Barbie dolls – she has what we would call a “wall eye”, an eye that turns slightly outwards from where it should be looking. It’s basically the opposite of cross-eyes, an affliction that has also affected several Lea dolls in the past. Oh well. I don’t mind it too much – I think it makes her look charmingly confused about something. 

Of course, I was not going to leave her on that offensive one-bent-arm body, so here she is on a Barbie Style (standard skin tone) that I picked up recently: 




(By the way, I really like her stock outfit – the grey teeshirt with the yellow skirt attached – but I looked at this doll for so long before I bought her that I’d got a bit bored of it by the time I got round to taking her picture, which is why I redressed her for the photos). 

At the same time that I sorted out Confused Lea, I also rebodied another one of my Lea-faced dolls, Really Rosy Kayla. Here they are together: 



11 Responses to “Lea 40 – Fashionista Summer”

  1. Taswegian1957 April 17, 2015 at 2:07 am #

    That is a pretty Lea/Summer. I think the friend faces are often better than Barbie. I find a lot of them have such blank expressions that I just don’t want them. I have often wondered about the naming thing too. It is so inconsistent the way they swap them but we’ve been getting Chelsea/Chelsie, Stacie, Kayla and others for years but on different dolls. I have a Really Rosy Kayla too, she looks way better on the articulated body. Where do you find your cheap donor bodies-and what do you do with the heads?

    • barbielea April 17, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Hi Taswegian! Yes, Chelsie was one I was thinking about when I wrote that that. From the black dolls, Nichelle, Christie and Nicki are common names that have been given to multiple sculpts and characters. Raquelle is another name that appeared in the Fashion Fever, Fairy Secret and Fashionista lines … Strange, isn’t it?

      Re: bodies – the problem is that they are not cheap over here! I try to stockpile when I spot a sale on eBay and Amazon (if I’ve got the money) and I managed to pick up quite a few cheap from clearance shops last year when the Fashionista line was ending. It’s getting much harder to source cheap pale or brown-skinned bodies recently, though. These (who have a standard “Barbie” skin tone) were £10 each, which is the cheapest I’ve seen them for ages. Second-hand Fashionistas only crop up on eBay over here, and they go for nearly as much as the boxed dolls anyway 😦

      I usually put the unwanted heads on the non-pivotal body that’s left spare, and every so often I have a big push and sell them off on eBay. If the old body is damaged, I list them as “heads only”. They always sell. Even if I only get a couple of pounds, they are out of my way and it helps to drive the cost of the rebodying exercise down …

  2. Holly April 17, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    Such a beautiful doll! Don’t know why I didn’t get her 😉 The name thing confuses me as well. This is kind of unrelated, but in one Sam and Mickey episode, Ken said: ‘…and then Mattel said we just change her name to Chelsea and we’ll pretend it was Chelsea the whole time’ and it reminded me of this. The second photo looks amazing, by the way.

    • barbielea April 18, 2015 at 8:39 am #

      Thankyou Holly! I think you mean the picture of Lea in profile? I think this one in particular looks great from the side (maybe because you can’t see her wonky eye so much!)

  3. Andrea April 18, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    I’m still on the hunt for this lovely girl. She looks indee like Cali Girl Lea’s older sister. Sometimes beauty lies in the little imperfections.

    The name swapping is annoying sometimes. Remember little twin brother Todd? He vanished from the scene and, bam, there is a Todd marying Barbie’s friend Tracy an some years later Todd returns with twin sister Stacie. They probably do it, because kids only know the dolls available in their play period and they don’t care who had this or that name before.

    • barbielea April 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

      Yes, Todd is another one Andrea – and Ryan too! I see what you’re saying about new generations not knowing previous characters … But why not just give them completely different, new names?? So puzzling!

  4. Andrea April 19, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    I think it’s the same reason why the AA My Scene was called Madison in the US and Westley in Europe, or the Asian Barbie Friend Kira in the US and Marina in Europe. The names must be popular with kids, so they might consider popular names result in higher sales. And maybe the familiar names ring a distant bell with non collecting mums, so they get the doll for their little girl or boy out of sentimental reasons. The names might be an item on the survey agenda, when they have test kids giving their opinion on the dolls.

    • barbielea April 19, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

      Yes, that’s a good point Andrea – thanks 🙂

  5. barbtheevilgenius April 19, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    Doll names have to be trademarked, and once a name is trademarked, no other doll manufacturer is allowed to use that name. It is more time and money consuming to research a new doll name and go to the effort of trademarking it, instead of just using a previous name.

    As far as names changing between Europe and the US, I think Mattel just switches the names to better suit whatever market they are selling in. How popular of a name is Madison in Europe, or even just in the UK?

    • barbielea April 19, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

      Ah trademarking! Of course that’s got to play a part! Thankyou very much Barb! 🙂

  6. Chicovintage April 19, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    I eventually found one not too wonky, as you said she looks charmingly puzzled about something, and the facescreen is really fresh and young looking. She reminds me a little of an ash blonde fashion fever. I love the fashion and the idea of mix and match all the clothing of the line

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