Lea 42 and Lea 43 – Fashionista Neko and Barbie Style Glam Night

10 Oct

I have spent the last few weeks well aware that I have some major catching up to do, but unable to decide where to start. I reckon I’ll have to get ten-ish posts written before I’m even verging on comfortable about it, but after all the prevarication I reckon it’s best to not to think about that. Let’s get started. 

My next two Leas are both current releases and I adore them. Let’s start off with Neko: 

Neko is from the current release Fashionista range. As you can see, I’ve rebodied her to a lovely pivotal, as I’m not a big fan of the stiff, one-bent-arm bodies these dolls are sold on (I’ll explain where I got the pale-toned body another day). Neko’s face paint is incredibly simple, but I still think she looks very appealing. I love the fact that she’s a truly Asian-looking Lea, I don’t have enough of these in my collection and it’s a great look on her. It’s also nice to see Mattel doing something about one of the biggest criticisms they tend to face from both collectors and the general public – the lack of racial diversity in the Barbie range. 

A lot of collectors have started calling this doll “Neko”, I’ve heard a rumour that the name is mentioned on some packaging somewhere although I couldn’t find it on mine. “Neko” is Japanese for “Cat”, so perhaps it originated from the picture on her dress? Love her outfit, by the way – it reminds me of the way that Barbie outfits from the 80s cleverly balanced what might be appealing to a child with adult chic. 

Next, Barbie Style Glam Night: 

Glam Night took me by surprise, in all kinds of ways. Firstly, after weeks of looking out for her online and in various shops, I suddenly came across her, on discount, when I was looking for something else entirely. Secondly, I’d presumed that she would be more like Neko but since seeing her in the plastic, I’m not even sure if she’s representing the same character. 

Thirdly, there’s her outfit. I was never going to abstain from buying a Lea because of her outfit, but I really disliked it when I first saw photos – I thought it looked cheap and nasty. Since getting her, I have warmed to it a bit, although I still don’t like it as much as Neko’s. 

The thing I like most about this Lea is her wonderful face. She is just unbelievably gorgeous – although her face-up isn’t much more detailed than Neko’s, there’s just something special about it. Maybe it’s the raspberry lip against her very pale skin, or the straight brows? I just can’t put my finger on it … 

Unsurprisingly, maybe, is the fact that I disliked her strange hybrid body even more than I disliked her dress. Although I warmed to her dress, the body has disappointed me even more than I expected to be disappointed. Not only does she have non-pivotal knees, her legs don’t even have a click, so they can’t be bent at all. Completely stiff! I suppose I could rebody her, but then I’d lose the shoes. This doll is one of the new, flat-footed Barbies and she does come with some pretty lovely silver platforms. I still haven’t decided what to do …

So, what do you think? Are you interested in either of these dolls, or do you have them already? Let me know. 

One more thing: when I was preparing this post, I noticed that I have only featured the current-release Leas for a while. Such a shame! I have so many older unfeatured Leas – in fact, I’ve bought two more Lea-faced beauties in the last fortnight. I need to get more Lea posts written, and I promise I’ll get on to it over the next few months.



7 Responses to “Lea 42 and Lea 43 – Fashionista Neko and Barbie Style Glam Night”

  1. Andrea October 10, 2015 at 9:30 pm #

    Congrats on getting these two beauties! Both are adorable. I’m still on the hunt for “Neko”, but I was able to snatch the Glam Lea a couple of weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t have a glue head.This makes me wonder, if Mattel is getting wiser, or if a production worker just skipped the glue process? (From my two Barbie Style Midges, both made in China, one has a glue head and the other one doesn’t.) I wasn’t too keen on Glam Lea’s outfit either, but I think from the three girls in the line her’s is the nicest. I thought of rebodying her, but this would mean sacrificing a Raquelle, so I’m a little undecided at the moment. May be I can snatch up a second Head to Toe Glam Raquelle when they go on reduced sale.

    • barbielea October 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      Hi Andrea 🙂 I noticed my Neko had a little bit of glue in her hair but I managed to get most of it out with my fingers. Glam Night seems pretty glue-free – I agree, it’s great when that happens!

  2. Jane October 11, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    I’ve got both dolls and I really like them. I’m pleased to see Mattel are doing more Asian dolls in the playline although I don’t like the lack of poseability in the dolls. Which doll did you use to rebody Neko? I’ve always fancied trying rebodying but I’m a bit scared in case I end ruining two dolls.

    • barbielea October 11, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

      Hi Jane 🙂 I used a Chinese-produced clone doll – I’m going to write a post about it some time in the next week. Rebodying might be daunting at first but when you get into it, its easy. If you’re nervous, I suggest practicing with an old, second hand doll first. The neck is much less likely to break if you warm it before you take the head off, either with a hairdryer or hot water. Makes the vinyl stretchy. Give it a go! It’s pretty addictive 🙂

  3. Chicovintage October 12, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    You know i´m always partial when it comes to Lea, but this pair is just adorable. I love love every single detail on the style version, green is not the usual election and it´s a refreshing change. I love the fact she has saran hair, while Neko has kanekalon. The fashion on Neko is too cute! What is cuter than a kittie? a kitty with glasses!!!. My only complaint is, these girls are getting generic looking, all are the same. No eye shadow and just small variation on the lip color, almost bare faced, very natural looking. If you have seen the next wave prototypes you´ll know what I mean. Having said that, i could not be happier with Lea coming back to the playline, she´s been missed.

    • barbielea October 12, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

      Hi Chico! Yes, you are quite right, the green is an unusual colour on this kind of doll, and it also a very modern shade – ok, you’ve made me warm to it a bit more now 🙂 I’d also noticed that Neko had very fine, fluffy hair but I hadn’t thought about materials. That’s sad, I hate the way kanakleon breaks and frizzes up over time.

      Regarding upcoming releases – I’ve seen a yoga girl, the one with the new body, who looks very similar to this Neko. However, there is also a packaging photo of Fashionistas 2016 doing the rounds which seems to have Lea/ Neko with red lips, in a charming little rockabilly outfit. The picture was blurry so I’m not 100% that this rockabilly doll is a Lea, but I’m hoping so! Hugs x


  1. Adventures in Rebodying – Chloe the Chinese Clone (or, how to convert a clone neck fitting for full head rotation)  | barbiebeauties - October 18, 2015

    […] see, the clone body is a pretty good match for her, colour wise (as it was for my recently-featured Neko). As a further illustration of her colour difference, here’s a unfiltered picture of Albino […]

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