I thought that in this post it might be interesting to compare some of the more recent Barbie body types. Then I realised that there are so many variations that it could end up being a very long post so I decided to split it up into two or three, or maybe more. I don’t know yet. I won’t do them in chronological order I’ll just do them as I find or take suitable photos.
*Warning: naked dolls shown here for comparison purposes.
The first time I recall seeing the Model Muse body sculpt was around 2004. At that time it was only used for collector dolls. I think the first time it was used may have been on the “Model of the Moment ” series. This body sculpt had a variety of arm positions and the dolls were made of a heavier vinyl. The dolls came in a variety of skin tones and were much more detailed than playline dolls as they were designed for adult collectors. There was no articulation other than shoulders, hips and neck and the arms and legs did not bend at the knee. It was a design which was probably meant to show the dolls and outfits to their best advantage when being displayed but I know that many collectors find this body sculpt a pain in the neck as it has limited poseability. A lot of people Frankendolly these dolls onto articulated bodies and I don’t blame them.
I only recently learned from reading the Model Muse Wiki that all the skin tones have names. Amongst my collection I have the following:
- LA Tan – Jennifer, Julia, Joanne, Sarah, Amy,Beverly, Gloria
- Nostalgic – Abby, Grace, Natalie, Margot, Kate, Jan, Gail, Becky, Nicola, Krystina and the as yet unnamed City Shine #8
- Neutra – Margaret, Cynthia, Belinda, Maddy, Ruby, Erin, Avis, April, Angelica, Sasha and the as yet unnamed City Shine #7
- Light Black – Desi
- Afra – Mbili
I don’t have any dolls with the Tropic Tan, Dark Brown, Light Brown, Peace, Pearl or other unique skin tones but I’ll put a link to the wiki at the end so you can see examples of them. Desi and Mbili are currently packed away so I can only show an older photo of them. I’m not sure if the difference in skin tone is very noticeable. For the lighter tones I have grouped three models who have different skin tones together. There is a much better comparison photo on the wiki.
I didn’t realise it but over the years there have been a lot of variations on this body sculpt. I’ll try to show you some of them.
This is Top Model Resort Barbie, I’m not sure of her year of release but it was prior to the Black Basics Barbies. She was my first doll with the Model Muse sculpt and is shown here in her original outfit. The first thing I discovered. None of my Barbie doll shoes fit her! In my opinion this particular style of arms is the worst as it makes them very hard to redress without stretching clothes although it is quite good for holding things.
This is Octopussy from 2010 now named Angelica. As you can see she has plenty of attitude.
Let’s see some of the variations in arm positions. One bent arm and one straight is the most common, the annoying two bent arms and the one I prefer, two straight arms.
As for legs most of the original Basics had more or less the same style of leg.They were solid and did not bend, a throwback to the vintage dolls of the early sixties. Then, as I started to collect the Denim Basics dolls I noticed a change. All the Black Basics, Red Basics and the first few Denim Basics I bought were made of the same material and were as I’ve previously described. However, when I bought the dolls who are now known as Nicola, April and Belinda I realised that two of them were different. Nicola and April had straight legs which were jointed differently from the others allowing them to do the splits!
Up until 2014 the playline dolls were mostly using the articulated Fashionista body but that year they switched to a version of the Model Muse body in a more lightweight vinyl and without the jointed legs. This body sculpt somehow looks cheaper and less well-defined than the original sculpt to me. Most dolls have either one bent arm and one straight arm or straight arms. The angle of the bent arm varies a bit too. Legs are hard and straight.
Although some of the Barbie Signature dolls are now articulated quite a few, like “The Barbie Look” dolls, still use the original Model Muse body.
If you would like to learn a bit more about all the different dolls released with this body sculpt check out the Model Muse Wiki – http://modelmuse.wikia.com/wiki/Model_Muse_Wiki
Fascinating post! I’m afraid I am definitely a Frankendolly creator when it comes to these dolls.
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Very informative. I have a few Basics and Fashionistas with this body type. Ironically, while the name “Model Muse” is very apt since dolls do look good in clothes and photograph well, it’s difficult to change outfits unless there is velcro on the back of the clothes.