Tag Archive | Mattel

Yes, It Exists: Robotics Engineer Barbie

robotics engineer barbie photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

When I was a little girl creating fun adventures for my Barbie dolls, her career choices probably included Fashion Model, Lifeguard, Stewardess, Ken’s Girlfriend, and that’s about it. Now of course, Barbie can be whatever the fuck she wants to be, even a Robotics Engineer. Yes, I just typed that. Here’s what Mattel’s website has to say about 2018’s Career of The Year Barbie:

Dream big with the Barbie® Robotics Engineer doll! This Barbie® Career of the Year doll comes with a laptop and robot figure to play out all kinds of cool stories. Kids can explore exciting opportunities in the high-tech world and code their own futures!

  • Great gadgets include a purple laptop that shows a screenshot of her robotics project — and a silvery robot with arms that move at the shoulder.
  • Barbie® has partnered with Tynker, a game-based platform that teaches kids how to code and inspires them to explore STEM ( which stands for science, technology, engineering and math,) opportunities!
  • Her versatile workday outfit is designed for success with a trendy graphic t-shirt and denim jacket, accessorized with protective goggles.

I love how they specifically say ‘kids” and not “girls” in order to be gender inclusive. And hey, if this fashion-challenged, nerd Barbie (this one has deep-purple hair, excellent) encourages kids to learn to code, I’m all for it.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Countryside: The Future Exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

Pink Thing Of The Day: Barbie’s Magical Motor Home

Barbies Magical Motor Home
Photo By Gail

Have you heard the expression, “I want to be Barbie, because the bitch has everything!” It is so true, and one of her prize possessions is a Pink Motor Home which is, in fact, a bit magical. Barbie’s Magical Motor Home is somewhat like a Transformer, in that converts from its van-like original form into both a sporty Jeep (for off-roading activity) and a “luxury home” for glamping! Barbie’s Motor Home has evolved over the years but this one is circa 1990 and currently sells on eBay and similar collectors’ auction sites for hundreds of dollars.

Photographed as part of Trenton Doyle Hancock’s Mind of The Mound: Critical Mass, on View Through October 31st, 2019 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA.

Pink Thing of The Day: Moschino Barbie!

Moschino Barbie Doll
Photos By Gail

Mattel launched the Barbie doll in 1959, but it was only in the late 1970s and 1980s that much of her wardrobe became a bright pink, known as “Barbie Pink.” Jeremy Scott of Moschino collaborated with Mattel on this Moschino Barbie (whose outfit is copied in fine detail from the pink leather ensemble seen below) that was available to purchase in the spring and summer of 2015.

Pink Leather Moschino Ensemble

Both the doll and the outfit above were photographed as part of the exhibit Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, on view at The Museum at FIT in NYC Through January 5th, 2019.

Moschino Barbie Outfit Detail

Moschino Barbie Doll Outfit Detail Above, and Runway Outfit Detail Below

Pink Leather Moschino Ensemble

Moschino Barbie Doll

Yes, It Exists: Rock Star Barbie

Rock Star Barbie
Photo By Gail

Is it really so strange that there is not only a Rock Star Barbie, but a whole gang of Barbie ‘Rockers’? Probably not. In fact, I think it is appropriate; because if Barbie can be anything she wants to be, why not be a Rocker, I ask yez? I’m actually quite surprised that it took Mattel this long to figure out that Barbie wants to Rock, Bitches! This incarnation of Rock Star Barbie (official name Careers Barbie Rock Star Doll) — which comes with a couple of thoroughly hideous outfits and a purple guitar — sells for $24.49 at Target, but I’ve seen others selling online for less. Rock on, Barbie!

Yes, it Exists: Andy Warhol-Inspired Barbie

Andy Warhol Barbie

From Hyper Allergic:

Leave it to Mattel, the maker of the Barbie doll, to fulfill Andy Warhol’s famous wish to be plastic.

According to InStyle, the children’s toy company has collaborated with the Andy Warhol Foundation to produce a Barbie doll that has all of Andy’s signature traits, from the white wig and sunglasses to the leather jacket and black-and-white striped shirt. It’s Warhol as we know him — with the addition of impossibly long legs, a teeny tiny waist, a disproportionately large bust, and thick, permanent eyeliner.

Warhol was actually fascinated by Barbies. He painted one the year before he died, Barbie, Portrait of BillyBoy (1986), which was inspired by a young jewelry designer and muse who owned tens of thousands of Barbies. He also painted figurative ones — women like Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy who are still widely known for their physical images, outfits, and accessories.

So, what does it mean that Warhol has taken the form of a plastic doll that’s hollow through and through? It’s tempting to philosophize about the deeper connection between a toy that’s come to represent superficiality and an artist who claimed to be a “deeply superficial” person (despite the complex biographies his life has inspired).

But it’s best not to think too hard about it. The doll (and the “lifestyle collection” that goes along with it) is just the latest in a string of consumer items — from graphic tees to designer purses — that capitalize on the selling power of Warhol’s iconic likeness and art … or, as Ron Robinson, whose stores in Malibu and Los Angeles are the sole brick-and-mortar-carriers of the Warhol Barbie, told Women’s Wear Daily, it’s perfect for “the hip, cool person who just wants something really unique.” Just in time for Christmas!a teeny tiny waist

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Escalator

Pink Escalator
Image Source

OK, I realize that this is just an enclosed escalator that’s back-lit by pink lighting, but still. Photographed at Mattel’s Barbie Store in Shanghai, China. Design by Slade Architecture.

Pink Thing of The Day: I Dream of Jeannie Barbie Doll

I Dream of Jeanie Barbie Dol
Image Source

Being old enough to have watched the TV sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie in its first run, I certainly would have been overjoyed to have owned a Barbie Doll as cool as this one, based on the character played by the lovely Barbara Eden. Designed by Robert Best and release in November of 2010 (on Mattel’s Pink Label®!) the doll originally sold for $34.95. Not surprisingly, it is no longer available from Mattel, so good luck finding this great doll on eBay or collector’s sites.

Vintage Barbie Tattoo

Vintage Barbie Tattoo
Image Source

Yes it Exists: The Joan Jett Barbie Doll


She Loves Rock & Roll

The Joan Jett Barbie Doll was released in December of 2009 as part of Mattel’s Ladies of The ’80s Barbie Doll collection (which also included dolls created in the likeness of Debbie Harry and Cindy Lauper). While the doll is no longer being manufactured, a quick Google search reveals that the fashionable and highly collectible Ms. Jett can be purchased at various locales on the Interwebs for between $44 and $56 — quite reasonable for such a find! Happy hunting!

Yes, It Exists: Mad Men Barbies!


Joan, Roger, Don and Betty in their Barbie-fied State (Click to Image Enlarge)

This news is mind-blowing on so many levels, I can hardly think where to begin, but basically what’s happening is that Mattel Toys has officially licensed characters from the best TV show ever in the Universe of all time, Mad Men to become limited-edition, collectible Barbie and Ken dolls. You can read all about the Mad Men Barbies at This Link, but first I would like to point out my personal-favorite few sentences of the entire article:

“The pairing of Barbie and Mad Men is more interesting than the typical licensing agreement, because of their shared history. Barbie was introduced in March 1959, and the first episode of Mad Men is set in March 1960.

Mad Men represents so beautifully the universe that created Barbie,” said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, “because the series is about the selling of the American consumer society.” The personification of Betty Draper as Barbie is particularly resonant, Mr. Thompson said, because she represents “the wife who lives in her dream house whose soul is eaten away.”

So awesome. The dolls will retail for $74.95 each.