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.
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 …
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.