Colour Reveal Barbies

I was watching some dolly YouTube the other day and happened to watch a couple of Colour Reveal Barbie unboxing videos. I found them interesting because until recently I really didn’t know anything about these dolls which seem very popular amongst the collectors in the Facebook doll groups that I visit. If you read JenJoy’s All Dolled Up you may have seen her post about Colour Reveal Chelsea not so long ago.

These dolls are not really my thing for a number of reasons but I was interested to learn more about them. I imagine that they are aimed more at younger children so are they good play value? Are the dolls themselves nice? I didn’t want to buy one myself. I can’t afford to buy dolls that I don’t want to collect so I decided to let YouTube be my guide to Colour Reveal as there are a number of unboxing and review videos about them. I’m going to try and look at these dolls from the point of view of something I might buy for a child, if I knew any children to buy for; or from the point of view of myself as a child. When my nieces were little girls there was one who liked Barbie and I used to get her doll stuff sometimes. Now they are all grown up though. One has two little girls of her own but as they live in another state I’m not sure if the older one likes dolls, the other is too young for Barbie even by today’s standards.

What I already know is that Mattel make both Barbie and Chelsea as Colour Reveal Dolls. Why not Skipper, Stacie or Ken I wonder? I guess Barbie and Chelsea are the best sellers.

Photo courtesy of Target

I also know that while the dolls are supposed to be a surprise when you open them there are codes on the boxes that identify them. If I was buying one for myself I would be glad of that because I like to choose myself not get a random doll. I’d be afraid of getting one that I didn’t like as one of the reviewers did in his video. I’m sure this would be equally true if I were a child. Maybe some children wouldn’t care what they got but I was the type who would fall for a particular doll and only want that one.

Forgive my ignorance but when I first heard about these dolls I thought that the dolls were just mono coloured and had no hair or faces. I thought the surprise part was which colour doll you got. It was only later I learned about dunking the dolls in water to reveal the doll’s features.

Since Colour Reveal was first released there have been several sets of them with different themes like mermaids, fairies, slumber party, pets etc. The first series of dolls were completely covered in colour and as you know you fill their tube container with warm water and the colour dissolves to reveal the features of the doll and the colour of her swimsuit. Then you can use the supplied sponge dipped in icy water to reveal her make up and coloured streaks in the moulded hair. They also came with a little skirt to put over the moulded on swimsuit, shoes and wigs to put on them.

Some of the reviewers revealed the doll by putting her in the tube and pouring the water over her rather than dunking her in the filled container. I actually thought that was better for seeing what was happening.

photo courtesy of Amazon

The mermaids and some of the other dolls have a normal Barbie head with rooted hair and you only reveal the body and tail or legs

Then there are the peel off ones. For this type of doll instead of dunking them in water you peel off some type of plastic coating from the doll’s body. I have to agree with the reviewer who said that she didn’t think this was as much fun as dunking but they do come with a lot of accessories, clothes, shoes, pets and other bits and pieces. These dolls come with rooted vinyl hair. The box for this one has a lot of little perforated shapes, kind of like an Advent Calendar which I think a kid would enjoy opening. Well, I like Advent Calendars so I imagine a child would have fun doing this. Peeling looks quite time consuming and tricky around the feet though. These dolls do come with a spare outfit but you only get shorts or skirts, no tops because of the moulded tops. Kids might like the included slime although I am not really sure how that relates to Barbie. Still, slime is fun to play with.

photo courtesy of Big W

OK, so after viewing numerous videos what do I think? Several of the reviewers were very excited and enthusiastic but I’m taking into account that they did get their dolls free from Mattel. A couple were not so complimentary about the quality of some of the dolls.

If I were a young child I probably would enjoy opening all the bags and finding all the little accessories. The Slumber Party set came with a board game included, the square you land on would tell you which box to open. I thought that was a fun idea but maybe some kids (and adults) might be too impatient to go through all that. There was a lot of stuff in that set so I think if I were buying for a child I might think that was good value for money depending on the price.

It is fun to see the water change colour when the dolls are dunked in and to see the features of the doll revealed. I think this would need parental supervision though. I don’t know about under sixes being allowed to play with warm water without an adult present. I’m not sure what is supposed to happen to the water afterwards. Do people keep it? It’s really something you can only do once though, same as peeling the vinyl off.

As an adult I’d be a bit disappointed in the quality of the clothes which are basically little elastic waist skirts or shorts for the slumber party dolls. The wigs, especially the pony tails that clip on, don’t look very good quality to me. A little kid might not care but maybe they would like more clothes to dress their doll in.

The other thing that as an adult I didn’t care for was so much plastic. All those little accessories in each pack are wrapped in little bags or boxes and that is a lot of plastic if they are plastic. As I said I haven’t bought one and no reviewer I’ve watched has mentioned this issue. I’m all for having surprises like a lucky dip but I would have preferred to see paper bags. Mattel uses way too much packaging material on most of their dolls I think.

I did like that each set comes with a detailed instruction sheet showing how to reveal the dolls. So many things don’t come with proper instructions these days.

My final thoughts. These dolls look like a lot of fun for a child to open and the themed sets do provide some play value but with the tube dolls that don’t have so many accessories I don’t think there is a lot you can do with them after the novelty of the colour reveal has worn off. They might work for a child’s first Barbie but I think that you would soon have to add more clothes or accessories to keep play interesting.

If any of you have bought these dolls for yourselves or for a child or grandchild I’d be interested to hear your views on whether or not they were worth it. As I said at the beginning I don’t know a lot about them. They don’t interest me as a collector because I don’t like moulded on hair or clothing and I’m not really interested in fantasy dolls like fairies and mermaids as a rule. I have tried to leave my own personal preferences out of this post and just look at it from the point of view of whether I’d buy one for a child.

I’ve included a few links to some of the YouTube reviews I watched for those of you who might not be familiar with them. There are loads more if you do a search.

By the way. All the photos in this post were pictures I found online from store ads. Usually I do prefer to use my own photos but in this case I just didn’t have any.



  1. I have three of these dolls so far two pink lids from the first wave and one orange lid from the second (I think) My daughter who’s in her 30’s and I had a lot of fun w/ the first ones putting hot water in the tubes and one by the head one by the feet dunking them, even my grand sons thought that part was cool. They are somewhat messy..but very cute. I did an orange one as one of my usual sellers had one of the orange ones. I did check with the pink ones the number on the top was not the same. So far I have used two of them as a basic doll to put the Disney cotume packs over. One I keep on display because she has biolet/purple coloring and I beefed up her style by adding a couple hair scrunchiesto make the skirt puff out and have ruffles..they are the easiest to style because they have the smooth plastic.I have the Barbie with freckles as seen on Kattis dolls.I am still seeking Alec the African American one from the pink set. I love these they have a canister you can keep tons of stuff in, they are molded so not naked all the time fit all Barbies stuff, fit in my granny bag to make stuff for,and wear most wigs great. They are way cuter than putting fashions on nangers and usuall fit my budget because target usually has the,so I antiscipate getting any basic non mermaid ones I might see.Btw, I think they blend very well w/ the new (basic) fashionistas. Oh year Happy mothers day everyone..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an adult collector with no children I wouldn’t buy any of the Color Reveal dolls, but I’ve enjoyed the video reviews I’ve seen and your post. I hadn’t seen the Slumber Party set so appreciated you including that Youtube video. At least that set mostly uses cardboard boxes instead of all the plastic bags for the accessories. I totally agree with your comment about Mattel over-packaging their products with all that plastic. Here in Canada the Slumber Party set is retailing for $80. So while there are some cute accessories in the set, I’d rather put that amount of money into a better quality Barbie or other brand of doll.
    If I was buying for a child I’d probably go with the basic Color Reveal Barbie. I think even that is overpriced, but the reveal process would be fun. And maybe get creative and make some props and/or clothes to go with the doll.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad it is not just me that was concerned about all the packaging. I confess that I did not bother to check the prices of the dolls. They are always more expensive in Australia anyway. I certainly wouldn’t pay $80 for a set. As an adult collector I’d be the same as you. I’d rather have a better quality doll. Whether I’d spend that much for a child would depend very much on the child in question. From what I have seen of the under six crowd who came to the Op Shop they would not be supervised while playing and the little bits and pieces would soon be lost so the basic doll would be a better bet I think. Many parents I met there were making their kids give away their dolls by the time they were about seven.


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