Continuing our look at the Millennial Barbies from Fashion Fever to Fashionista.
*Warning: Naked dolls will be shown for comparison purposes.
Originally I was going to lump the Fashionista’s in with all the other belly button body dolls but although they do share the same measurements more or less the Fashionistas of course had one important difference. They had articulation. Mattel had flirted with articulation for playline dolls in the past but mainly for gymnasts and dancers. A few of the later Fashion Fever era dolls had articulated arms but the Fashionistas had articulated arms and legs. At first I thought that although the idea was good the dolls seemed a bit fragile compared to the earlier articulated dolls I’ve seen. So far my articulated Fashionista’s are doing fine but I have read that especially in the 2009 Wave the joints did deteriorate over time. Much less time if played with by a child I imagine, that’s probably why I don’t often see articulated Fashionistas at the Op Shop.
I didn’t like the silly names they were given; “Artsy”, “Sassy”, “Sporty”, “Cutie” and “Hottie”. Even though I usually rename my own dolls I did prefer that the Fashion Fever dolls all had proper girls names. However, I came to enjoy the poseabilty of the dolls and as you know Marissa has been a favourite model over the past couple of years. Marissa is Raquelle from the 2012 Wave of Fashionistas.
There were several waves of Fashionistas between 2009-2013 all with articulation, even Ken and Ryan had some. I didn’t buy many dolls during this time because most were not available locally at a good price and I wasn’t crazy about them but in hindsight I wish I’d bought more because it’s been a downhill slide since then as in 2013 the articulated dolls were replaced with the cheap version of the Model Muse body, quality of fashions became very bad and for me the worst thing the dolls all started to have rather similar expressions. As I don’t know a lot about this era I recommend that you have a look at an excellent post written by Holly of “Adventures in Barbie Collecting”. It’s an interesting Barbie blog and I’ve left a link to her piece about Fashionistas at the end of this post.
These dolls, who first appeared in 2010, had the normal belly button body except that they had a mechanism at the back that allowed you to remove her head and shoulders by twisting it and replacing it with another. There were a range of spare heads sold although of course you had to match skin tones so there wasn’t as much choice as you might think. They did make them for a couple of years so if you had several you’d be able to ring the changes much better. I have two of these dolls with their spare heads that I bought or was given new and one more who I don’t have a spare head for. I thought that this was a pretty good idea that could have been expanded on as it would have been a lot easier than taking heads off and risking breaking their neck knobs. Too bad it didn’t catch on. Sandy still has her original head but Miranda’s I swapped almost as soon as I got her as I much preferred the spare head to the one she had. Miranda and Sandy are both from Wave 1. Here you can see my Swappin’ Heads girls and how the mechanism works. I could not help thinking of the Borg Queen’s head descending on to her body when I took Sandy’s head off for these photos. Once a Trekkie always a Trekkie I guess.
It was around 2011-12 that I began to notice that more Fashionista’s were appearing with painted or molded on clothing. I didn’t like that as it reduced the options to redress them and at that point my interest in Fashionista began to wane. In the next post we’ll have a look at today’s playline Fashionista’s. Below are links to several other Barbie blogs which you may enjoy reading. I found them very helpful as Fashionista is not really my area of expertise.