Naomi and I have both always looked out for things the other wants when we go shopping. When we lived in Adelaide we had almost every toy department and toy shop in the metro area covered between us. In Tasmania there are not as many places to look and not as many dolls we want to buy but we still check out the local stores if we have an errand in town or the suburbs. Recently Naomi was doing this and she came across a Barbie she thought I might like but she noticed something odd about her. I will let her tell the story.
I had to go to the main shops in Glenorchy a Hobart suburb to buy some things I had run out of. I had a lot to do including popping into Big W. I wasn’t going to bother with the toy department at first but in the end I thought why not? I wasn’t in a hurry. There were more Barbie dolls than I expected. Usually looking at them in Big W these days only fills in five minutes for me. I started looking to see which ones had made it to the Big W shelves. What I usually do is look at the stock at the very back. Sometimes you find a hidden treasure or simply get something in better condition as they have been handled less often and not been dropped on the floor. I saw a blonde Barbie that looked a little different to the others. This one has a nicer face I thought. I am not a fan of the newer dolls. I was thinking that Vanda would not have this one and she was the only one there. She cost me $13.00 at the checkout and nobody said a word about her being the wrong doll in the wrong box.
I took her home along with printer ink, black biros and some toiletries. At home I examined her a little more closely and soon realised the box had been tampered with. Someone had covered up the number on the box. I noticed this Barbie was not pictured on the back of the box either. The box had some tape down the sides to reseal it and Barbie was neatly tied in. Ok so someone has done a shonky trick I thought but how did they do it? What happened to the #70 Fashionista who was meant to be in the box? I was able to find out which doll this one had replaced. Someone has nicked off with the #70 and stuffed the mystery doll in her box for some reason. They had gone to a lot of trouble to put this doll inside the box and it would have taken a long time so it’s left me very puzzled. My thing is if you steal something you should never try to put anything back or you will get caught for sure. This is good advice honestly. I heard it on a MASH episode.
This is a link to a picture of Fashionista #70
I spent hours and hours on the Internet with my eyes nearly rolling back inside my head and my back feeling like it was going to snap in two looking at Barbie dolls. I nearly went insane and I dreamed about the dammed doll even. In the end I found there were two Eden Starling dolls and she really looks like them.
(You can see a photo of Eden Starling Barbie here.)
I think she might be the one from the set with the Kelly dolls or Chelsea whatever they call her now. It would be nice to see if she is this doll or not. The pink dress is still a puzzle. I did come across a doll wearing a similar blue dress but would have to look for her again as I did not save the search. Well all from me in Oatlands. I have to say it is so typical of me to find something a bit out of the ordinary when I think I have just picked up some simple thing. This happens over and over. It really does like with the ugly red-headed clone doll I picked up for three or five bucks. She turned out to be something special in the end. More from me later.
Naomi wrote me an email about her strange find and both of us spent an evening online looking at literally hundreds of Barbies to try to work out what this doll actually was. We could not find a doll that looked like her in that exact outfit.
Naomi found a doll that looked like her though. “Barbie A Christmas Carol” was a Barbie Christmas movie where Barbie played a character called Eden Starling. She has the right hair style and the beauty spot near her eye. However the clothes were wrong and this doll was issued in 2008! What was going on? However, in all our searching neither of us turned up another doll that looked remotely like her. Naomi also found a photo of the pink dress with a jacket and shoes. My doll did not have the jacket and had entirely different accessories. It seemed as if someone had redressed a Barbie, inserted her into the Fashionista box and taped it up.
Naomi brought the doll to me on Sunday so today I carefully examined the box before taking her out of it for photos. As Naomi said the top corner had been covered in pink tape to hide the number and the box had been slit down one side to remove and replace the doll. I found the number 70 when I pulled the pink tape off completely. The box was then taped up with black tape to match the box. Barbie was secured inside with elastic bands at her waist and ankles. Someone went to a lot of trouble to make this look authentic.
Out of the box I could see that Barbie has the belly button body and ballet arms. Her legs are the bendable ones. She has pearl drop earrings but her necklace does not look quite like the one Eden Starling has although it is similar. Her shoes are the older style of shoe which was more common prior to 2000.
It appears that somewhere between the warehouse and the store somebody extracted the Fashionista who was supposed to be in the box and replaced her with Eden Starling Barbie in a different dress, taped it up again and put her at the back of the display hoping nobody would notice. It is kind of surprising that nobody noticed that this was a ten-year old doll. Should we have been mad and taken her back? Well, we didn’t. For one thing I’m not sure if anyone at the store would have believed it and if someone who works there had done the deed I wouldn’t want to be responsible for getting them into trouble. Actually I like this doll much better than the Fashionista who was supposed to be in the box and the mystery of how she got there has given us a lot of entertainment searching and talking about it not to mention a new blog post.
If anyone has another theory about whom this doll is we’d love to hear it.
Here is a link to another photo of Eden Starling Barbie but this time in a set with 3 Kelly’s. As you can see she is slightly different having a closed mouth smile.