Tag Archives: Barbie

First Look: Barbie Signature X-Files Scully and Mulder Dolls

It’s been 20 years since Mattel released the first ever X-Files Mulder and Scully Barbie gift set featuring the spooky duo in conjunction with the very first X-Files movie, all the way back in 1998.

There were two versions of the gift set produced, the first and rarer version, was quickly pulled from shelves because it was deemed that Scully’s hair was too long and promptly replaced with a second release with shorter hair.

Fast forward 20 years later and the first images of new brand new Mulder and Scully Barbie Signature dolls have leaked online showcasing brand new sculpts of the duo made specially for this release.

Each doll is packaged separately and while not 100% confirmed, may seem to include some points of articulation.  Both are dressed in screen accurate outfits from the show along with ID and FBI badges,

Slated to release later this month, one of the Scully dolls has already appeared on eBay (where the images came from) so it can’t be too soon before we see them hit our local retailers!

Case Pre-Order now up at Entertainment Earth!

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The History Behind Iconic Toys in Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us.

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Star Wars toys remain a big draw card for kids and adult collectors.

Every year around early December, it becomes clear that there is that one ‘must have’ toy that needs to under the Christmas tree ready for opening on December 25th. From Furbies to Tamagotchi’s to last years ‘Hatchimals‘ and to this years current fad of ‘LOL Surprise Dolls‘ these toys bring in big money for the toy companies that make and sell them and while hugely popular they may be, they don’t hold the interest or the market nearly as long as some iconic toy lines did in the early 80’s to the mid to late 90’s.

The new Netflix documentary series The Toys That Made Us takes a long hard and sometimes dark look behind a collection of the most iconic toys that helped shape companies like Mattel and Hasbro to what they are today.

The eight episode season one (four episodes are currently live for streaming with the following four to come in early 2018) offers a look at the early stages of mega lines like Barbie, GI Joe, He-Man and Star Wars and the sometimes chaotic and spur of the moment thinking that brought about some of our childhood’s most beloved characters, designs and the brilliant marketing behind these that made these toys still as relevant today as they were when they started out.

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Barbie’s origin is explored in depth and it’s quite racy!

Each episode (that runs at about the 45 minute mark) features vintage adverts, interviews with creators, designers and many many others involved with the creation of these toys with each episode (aired so far) showcasing the numerous minds behind these lines and the confusion (or difference of opinion) everyone seems to suffer from on just who should be credited with the creation of these toys.

The next four episodes are scheduled for early 2016 and feature Transformers, Hello Kitty, Star Trek, and LEGO with a second season already in the planning stages though what will be covered is still unknown.

Some suggestions though for season two:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Playmates / 1988 – present.

Original Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Originating as a comic book series, the action figure line by Playmates featuring four ninja trained turtles and their news reporter friend became a mega hit with kids and saw the company hit gold, releasing countless waves of variations of the four main characters and almost every single side character ever featured in the comics, animated series and live action movies.  Today, mint carded original figures sell for big dollars.

The X-Men: Toybiz / 1991 – 1998

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 After acquiring an exclusive license to Marvel Characters in 1993, toy company Toybiz set about releasing the first ever in-depth line of X-men and Marvel action figures that featured everything from 6″ figures to 10″ figures, vehicles, playsets and 12″ fashion dolls.  Characters like Wolverine saw 7 different variations, Storm featured a light up lightning bolt on her chest and so big was the line, lesser known characters like Kylun (who featured *barely* in the pages of X-Men side comic Excalibur) were even produced.

Value in original carded figures remains steady – pending the figure – at around the $20-$40 mark.

Celebrity Dolls: Mego / 1976 to 1978.

8861676521_e88590a1e7In 1976, Mego Corporation saw an opportunity to finally take on the massive Barbie market by producing a line of 12″ celebrity dolls with the first two off the ranks being Sonny and Cher dolls to coincide with their hugely popular Prime Time Variety Show.  The Cher doll featured an incredible 32 piece wardrobe designed by Bob Mackie and became the number one selling doll that year.  Off that success, other dolls including Captain and Tenille, Laverne and Shirley, Dianna Ross, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Suzanne Somers were all released.  After shifting their focus to electronic toys in the late 70’s to early 80’s Mego filed for Bankruptcy and closed in 1983.

Original boxed Cher dolls, fashions and playsets can fetch anywhere between $60 to $400.

The Toys That Made Us is now streaming on Netflix Australia.

Toy Review: 2017 Black Label Wonder Woman Barbie

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Taking inspiration from the up-coming live action Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot, Mattel are releasing three Black Label Barbie dolls based off three of the characters within the film.  Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta and Robin Wright as Antiope.  The first of the three to be released is Gadot’s Wonder Woman, seen first here in Australia.

While Mattel are still yet to officially reveal any images of the trio, this 2017 black label release has already begun to hit selected stores in Australia.

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Thepophub.com has got your first in-hand look at this new doll but note, as I am not a de-boxer, this review will only take in-to account what can be seen without removing the doll from her plastic/cardboard prison!

Releasing as part of Barbie Loves Pop Culture series, this new doll features many similarites to that of the Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Wonder Woman barbie released last year (that was never released in Australia) with the articulated body, the dark rooted hair and Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman facial screening.

The box art is bright and colorful featuring the movies Wonder Woman logo with the outside of the plastic sheet surrounded by a printed gold lasso.  The back of the box showcases a promotional photo of Gadot as Wonder Woman with a short bio of the character.

The doll features shoulder, elbow and wrist articulation along with articulation in the knees – the feet remains unknown as I did not take of the boots.  One hand is molded in a clasping pose to hold her sword while the other is in a fist, so as to hold her shield.  The shield itself is held by the doll via two straps that link over Wonder Woman’s arm.

Wonder Woman’s outfit remains screen accurate with the bodice made out of light plastic in the red and blue signature look with a faux leather pteruges skirt with gold imprinted details.  The bodice and skirt are somewhat flimsy to the touch and I cannot confirm how these are attached to the body.  The faux fur and fabric cape is quite lush and ample in size and while the official description does state there is in-fact a hood, the final product has no such addition to the cloak.  This cloak is held closed by a single button and elastic loop combo with the elastic loop feeling strong and capable of holding with some decent play.

Other accessories include a gold plastic armband, silver plastic bracelets and gold plastic boots with red imprinted details and black elastic.  There’is also a brown faux-leather scabbard with gold plastic hardware, gold cord lasso which appears to be non-removable, gold plastic sword with silver imprinted blade, gunmetal silver plastic shield with gold imprinted details and black elastic bands, and a clear plastic doll stand with black plastic base that is not branded in any form.

The hair is styled in loose ringlets and is held with some form of setting gel leaving parts of the hair feeling dry and ‘crunchy’.

Pre-Order your case of all three dolls from Entertainment Earth here!

The facial screening and mold remains stunning just as it was with last years release.

 

This black label release comes with a certificate of authenticity and remains an non-numbered limited edition release.

Currently available in selected stores in Australia (David Jones and GoFigureCollectables.com.au as of writing this) Wonder Woman Black Label Movie doll is scheduled for a USA release in mid April – though Mattel’s site is stating May 2017.

Also, check out the first look at the Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta black label Barbie below!

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First Look at the Black Label Wonder Woman Movie Barbie Doll

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The first sneak peek look at one of the new Wonder Woman black label Barbie dolls, based off the up-coming movie, has been leaked the final product looks amazing!  With three new black label movie based dolls due for release, only a blurry image of Robin Wright’s Antiope has managed to make its way online leaving us wondering about Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Connie Nielsens’ Hyppolyta releases.

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Prior this is leak, no images, previews or news had been released about these black label dolls – we just knew they were coming and now, a first look of the Wonder Woman black label Barbie has dropped showcasing the new doll with the wonderful Gal Gadot screening as used in the Batman Vs Superman but with the addition of the black woolen cloak Wonder Woman sports in the new movie.

Check out the two images below.

While some of the new movie based action dolls have begun to hit US Wallmart stores (We should expect to see them end of April here in Australia) there is no exact street date (April 4th has been floating around on some collector sites) and the rrp is around the US$50 mark.

Mattel Unleashes SDCC Exclusive She-Ra Figure

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With the insanely massive San Diego Comic Con fast approaching, Mattel have been quick to reveal all of their con exclusives ranging from a Ghostbusters themed Frankie Stein Monster High doll to a deluxe Wonder Woman action doll but it’s been their reveal of an 11″ She-Ra action doll that seems to be garnering the most attention.

Relive the glamorous, commanding adventures of She-Ra®, Princess of Power with this 11” highly detailed action figure. The Most Powerful Woman in the Universe features 24 points of articulation, rooted hair, 3 iconic fashions, 2 swords, signature shield, 6 interchangeable hands, a logoed stand, a 12-page mini comic: “The Story of She-Ra”, and a beautiful keepsake box with vivid imagery from the enchanting world of Eternia! Wage epic battle with She-Ra against The Evil Horde for the honor of Grayskull!

Check out some images of the action doll below:

 

New York Toy Fair News from Funko!

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Suicide Squad Pop! Vinyls. Original Funko/Instagram

New York Toy Fair 2016 is in full swing and news is pouring out about upcoming releases from Original Funko and their insanely popular Pop! Vinyl line. Previews from Suicide Squad, Avengers, Sailor Moon and much much more have been slowly revealed during the event.

Check out what’s to come!

80’s TV series Golden Girls with Blanche, Sophie, Dorothy and Rose AND Mean Girls with Regina, Gretchen, Cady and Karen….sadly no Glenn CoCo.
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Sailor Moon.

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Avengers Civil War with Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and Winter Soldier.

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The next wave of Game of Thrones with Melisandre, Margery Tyrell and Unsullied.

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Star Wars The Force Awakens with Rey and General Leia.

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80’s cult film The Dark Crystal.

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Original Funko also revealed a look at their new partnership with Mattel’s iconic Barbie..

You can keep up-to date with all of Original Funko’s reveals by following their Instagram feed!

Barbie: Now Available in all Shapes and Sizes

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New shapes, new sizes.

Barbie, as we know her, is about to shake things up with her iconic silhouette replaced with three brand new body types never before offered by Mattel.

In a shake-up to the brand, the new ‘fashionistas’ Barbie line features 33 brand new dolls with 4 brand new body shapes including ‘tall’, ‘curvy’, ‘petite’ and original, 30 assorted hair colours, 24 hairstyles, 22 eye colours, 14 face shapes and 7 different skin tones.

We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand – these new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them,” Mattel executive Evelyn Mazzocco said in a statement.

Last years ‘fashionistas’ line saw Mattel replace Barbie’s heeled feet with flat feet where 23 new dolls were offered with assorted skin tones and hairstyles.

 With the creation of the new body shapes, Mattel has also noted that these new shapely dolls will have dozens of assorted fashion pieces to mix and match though clearly “one size will not fit all” with these new dolls.

The new direction comes after the recently released “made to move” line which featured brand new extensive articulation that saw Barbie literally able to bend over backwards!

The fashionistas line is now currently online for purchase and pre-order for US and Canada residents with a staggered release for the dolls for shop sales worldwide set for March 2016.

What do you think of the new move for Barbie?  Sound off in the comments below!

Mattel’s Close but no Cigar Barbie Advert.

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Mattel challenging gender stereotypes with brand new Barbie advert

In a first for toy brand Mattel, a new advert for their new Moschino branded Barbie features a young boy playing with the doll, all smiles and winks with his female buddies.  ‘Moschino Barbie is so fierce!’ the boy says to the camera as he holds Barbie’s purse before placing it on her arm.

Check it out below.

Sure, It’s a brave and bold move for Mattel, aiming to bring down the “boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls” stereotypes we’ve been accustomed to for generations and the move in general is a step forward in breaking down those gender stereotypes that we were all brought up with.

While watching the advert for the very first time, I applauded the introduction of a boy into the girl aimed market which acknowledges the fact that yes, there are boys who like to play with dolls too, especially in an time where more and more parents are becoming vocally against toy segregation in shops and more viral videos are popping up showing young boys embracing the Frozen phenomenon, it was great to see Mattel step up  – or at least I thought…

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Close but not there yet.  This Moschino Barbie retailed for $150

See, then it dawned on me, this advert is for a collectible designer Barbie doll that retailed for $150 and not some jewel hair mermaid rocker Barbie that can be found in shops for $20+.  The target audience for this advert isn’t children who ask their parents to buy the dolls for them but for adult collectors who bought out the limited edition of 700 within an hour (and are now re-selling on the secondary market for $400-$800!!).

This advert won’t air on television during programs aimed at the 8-14 year old market or be found in catalogs crammed into mail boxes resulting in no little boys going to find this doll and thinking…”If the boy in the ad is playing with one, then I want it!”

It’s a kind of “the thought was there but we’re not going 100% with it” moment from Mattel.

Doing a bit of research it seems other people took notice of this fact which prompted Mattel to release the following statement to BBC News.

This video parodies iconic Barbie commercials from the 1980’s starring a young [Moschino creative director] Jeremy Scott look alike. The video celebrates how boys and girls alike play with Barbie – it’s all about self-expression, fashion, imagination and storytelling.”  Mattel added that the commercial (or fauxmercial as noted by Mattel) was created by them – but with Mr Scott calling the creative shots.

So yes, let us applaud Mattel/Jeremy Scott for breaking toy based stereotypes and finally including a boy into the world of Barbie doll advertising but let’s not be blinded to the fact that this is a marketing campaign about a designer doll played with by children that was directly aimed at an adult market.

Let’s just wait and see if this is only a  first move by Mattel into breaking down those boys toys vs girls toys barriers.

Oh, and by the way, the video is hosted on Moschino’s YouTube page, not Barbie’s.

Treasure Trove of Vintage Toys go Under the Hammer

Princess Leia, R5-D4 and Klaatu carded figures sold for £260
Princess Leia, R5-D4 and Klaatu carded figures sold for £260

It’s literally ever vintage toy collectors dream….busting into an old abandoned building and finding a gold mine of untouched goods, and that’s literally what happened back in May this year when the old, abandoned and boarded up building that once contained the Frank Beech Toy Shop in North Wales was opened up to find literally thousands of vintage collectible star wars, barbies, action man and GI Joe toys from brands like Hasbro and Palitoy.

The toy shop, which opened 70 years ago (the 1940’s), closed it’s doors in 1999, was boarded up and remained as such, filled with thousands of dollars worth of stock, until earlier this year when discovered by Vectis Auction House who went in to pack up whatever had been left behind when the store closed it’s doors 16 years prior.  Vectis were able to recover 120 pallets of boxed collectible figures, toys, cars, board games and dolls that would make every collector wish they had been the ones to find it.

The auctions, which have been split over a total of nine auctions, are continuing (part four ran last Wednesday October 21st) and are seeing collectors from all over the world from London to USA and to Australia, take part and bid on hard to find and elusive vintage items, most of which are still mint on card or still sealed in original shipper boxes.

Check out some of the items below from parts 3 and 4 actions.

The first auction back in April 2015 only represented about 10% of the items available and raked in over £58,500 pounds with auctions two through four hitting the same amount leaving most expecting the total sale to hit nearly half a million pounds.  One collector paid £200 for four empty cardboard boxes covered in pigeon droppings because they had labels on from manufacturer Palitoy indicating they once contained Star Wars toys.  Speaking with The Daily Post, John Cathrall, a cataloguer with Stockton-on-Tees auctioneers Vectis Auctions, said  “They used to have Star Wars (toys) in them so people wanted them but they were absolutely awful!  The highlight was that we got someone who came all the way from Holywell just to buy two or three lots because it was his childhood Christmas shop.  He wanted to take some back, that’s what we want to see happen with the toys – we want to see them go back to good homes.”

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The empty cardboard boxes that fetched £200 in the Frank Beech Toy Shop auction

The auction house says many of the Frank Beech Toy Shop’s most collectible items were brought back first and are “buried deep” in their warehouse and are most likely to feature in the final auctions.  Mr Cathrall added: “There was a heck of a lot of Star Wars grabbed on that (first) trip!

Dates are yet to be announced for the rest of the remaining five auctions.