Petite Fashionista De-boxed

Fashionista Barbie Petite number 23.
Fashionista Barbie Petite number 23.

*Note: There is doll nudity in this post for the purpose of comparison.

Recently the new line of Fashionistas started to appear in Hobart stores. I haven’t commented on this line up till now because I wanted to wait till I’d actually seen them for myself.While I will say that I really like the idea of diversity in dolls I did feel that there might be problems dressing dolls of such different shapes and sizes unless Mattel were going to release appropriate clothing for them. I believe they have made a few outfits for them and it looks as if doll dressmakers have already started to cater to them as well.

The main thing that attracts me to buying a doll, any doll, is facial expression. As I’ve mentioned more than once I’ve been underwhelmed by recent play line Barbies because I felt they looked vacant.

The new line has a lot of dolls and naturally they have not all made their way to my local Target. There were about half a dozen dolls, a few standard size, purple hair, blue hair, curvy, tall and petite. Anyway this petite doll appealed to me more than some of the others because, as you know, I like short-haired dolls and she had an interesting face I thought.

Petite Fashionista de-boxed.
Petite Fashionista de-boxed.


As I said I do like this doll’s face. I like her short hair and her large eyes which give her face expression. I thought that her eyebrows were rather thick. Had she not had a fringe that might have been off-putting but hey, I never plucked my eyebrows so I won’t judge.

After I had deboxed her I decided that it would be interesting to compare her with some other dolls so I went and fetched two different types of Fashion Fever dolls and a Fashionista. Later I added a teen Skipper body and a new Skipper.

The first thing that is noticeable of course is size. Even on a stand she is tiny compared to the other dolls. As you can see the “Hobbit” Fashion Fever girl is a little shorter than the originals but not as much as this. She is actually the same height as the new Skipper dolls.

Her  body shape is similar to Skipper but a bit more mature but with a less defined waist than regular Fashionistas. Out of interest I put Skipper’s clothing on her and it fitted so I imagine this girl would do her shopping in girls wear.

At first I thought that her legs were jointed the same way as the “Hobbit” FF doll but looking more closely they are different. I actually like this arrangement better as she sits better. Although like the standard Fashionista she has hard non articulated arms and legs she does pass the “Sit like a lady ” test which the other Fashionista failed dismally.

The "Sit Like a Lady" test.
The “Sit Like a Lady” test.

Her legs have a better range of movement than the other non articulated dolls. She’s more like Skipper in this area but I would have liked knee and elbow joints at least. I was also a bit disappointed that she has flat feet as that is going to make finding appropriate shoes harder. Most of my shoe stash is heels. On the plus side she can stand alone while wearing her boots. It looks as if I will have to shop for Skipper shoes.


I have mixed feelings about the outfit. I like the individual pieces but I don’t really like them together. That’s just my taste I guess. I’m not young and prefer a more classic and coordinated look. This outfit looks like she threw it together from whatever came to hand. The skirt is a shiny fabric that is often used for party dresses. The waist is elasticised. I do like the colour but I think it would look better with a different type of top. The top is more like day wear and would be quite nice with jeans, leggings or a different style of skirt. I don’t understand why you would put one of those tacky plastic necklaces with it or brown knee-high boots. Incidentally I had a hard time getting those boots off even though they have a slit at the back. I had to use my hot water trick to soften them before they would move.

She and Skipper can share clothes.
She and Skipper can share clothes.


Despite my criticism of her body and her outfit I do like this doll. I probably wouldn’t pay a lot for one but as I bought her for $A12 I can’t complain. I’ll probably redress her now that I’ve taken pictures. How will she look in Fashion Fever outfits? I think providing they fit at the waist they will be fine as many of them are too short for my taste anyway.We’ll find out for sure at the next Fashion Fever Closet show.

I haven’t decided yet if I will buy a tall or curvy Fashionista. I have seen one tall one whose face I liked but I didn’t really care for any of the curvy ones I saw. I know I probably won’t be buying any of the coloured hair dolls as I don’t care for them. I don’t mind streaks but not all over colour usually. If I change my mind you’ll hear about it on this blog.




  1. So many new dolls by Mattel, I lost track. These dolls, the curvy, they’re not yet avail here. I noticed her dimples and liked the shape of her legs 😉


    • I like the style but am already developing a strong dislike for them as they are so hard to remove from the doll. I was afraid I’d break Skipper’s foot trying to get them off her and had to run for the bowl of hot water again.


  2. She is very cute, but I’m with you on the weird combination of clothes. The shirt is beautiful, but the skirt looks just like another “All little girls love glitter”-fashion. it’s nice that Skipper can share cothes with her. I love some of the girls in this line, but since all seem to have glue heads I’m not buying any more of them.

    Since we have hiot summers and cold winters (which means heating will be also turned on in my dollroom, since I don’t want to freeze in there), they will be bound to end up with sticky heads. It just doesn’t feel right to me to reward Mattel for a planned factory flaw by buying them. I really am a hardcore Barbie girl and collecting for decades, but now I’m reaching the point of “Well, dear friend Barbie, It was nice as long as it lasted, but this where our friendship comes to an end”. I’ll rather look for vintage and glueless dolls now.

    There is still a tiny spark of hope in me, that someone at Mattel comes to the conclusion, that the glue is also resposible for their sagging sales figures of Barbie and stops this madness.

    Sorry for the rant here, but that glue issue really makes me angry.


    • Hi Andrea. I feel a bit the same as you. I really feel more and more disappointed that Mattel keeps releasing dolls that I don’t like but hoping against hope that it will change again. I’d nearly given up when the Basics came out and they revived my interest. I haven’t had a problem with sticky heads but then my doll room is not heated all the time and luckily we have a cooler climate in Tasmania. I might have had more of a problem with this in my old house in South Australia in summer time. Mattel does not have a middle ground, it’s all either expensive collectible dolls not meant to be played with or dolls for under eights which are gimmicky and with no real thought about how they look it seems. i feel another ranty post coming on 🙂


  3. Yes to no middle ground, you nailed it. Even the under eight set seems to be unimpressed by the all plastic Superhero dolls as well, the Lea doll is sitting on the shelves for almost a year. Lea is the doll that is gone first usually.

    The Basics were really great and I am happy they were available here. The original Fashionistas were great for their posable bodies, until the glue syndrome started..

    I know Mattel wants us collectors to spend a lot of money on their collector dolls, but because they also have glue heads by now i do not see that happen for me. I’m a deboxer mostly and I want to handle and redress my dolls.

    There you go, lol. I was ranting again. 😉


  4. While I admire Mattel’s attempt at diversity with the new Fashionistas, I agree that their execution leaves a lot to be desired. They continue to make non-articulated dolls with horrible fashions both in terms of style and quality. The Style dolls were a good middle ground with articulated bodies and nice fashions but I couldn’t find one with a face I liked :(

    It’s hard to believe they created the Fashion Fever line which was superior both in quality and aesthetics. I am fortunate FF is available in the secondary market, and with the acquisition of the Lea animal print doll, I have now completed my collection of all the FF dolls on my wish list :)

    Following is a quote from the latest article I could find:

    Barbie doll sales are expected to rise in moderate single-digits this year and the fashionista line, led by “curvy” Barbie, was a bright spot, Chief Executive Christopher Sinclair told Reuters.


    • Obviously they do market research to realise that more diversity is required but they don’t seem to think that quality is. Perhaps their results show that parents won’t pay more for a doll for a young child that is not a collectible. I feel that marketing Barbie to the 3-7 age group means they dumb them down but how will children acquire good taste if they are only given cheap rubbish to play with?


  5. I guess this is why Fashion Fever and other Mattel dolls from over 10 years ago are popular and still sold in the secondary market. The FF dolls were very individualistic and the clothing and accessories had amazing details and complexity. I do wish Mattel had pride and would improve the quality of their offerings. I wonder if the Fashionistas will have any resale value 10 years from now?


    • The articulated ones probably will. They are more fragile but popular with adult collectors. The current ones maybe if this turns out to be another of Mattel’s gimmick ideas that doesn’t last.


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