Not too long ago, I posted about the Marvel/Disney/Mattel team up that could possibly see two long-time fan favorite mutants become part of the official Barbie line-up. X-Men characters Storm and Jean Grey were in the rumored line-up of upcoming releases (along side Princess Leia) but since the post, all is silent surrounding the project.
That was until the 8th of July when Marvel posted a photo to their Instagram from this years Essence Festival where Disney had a Marvel booth set up spruiking everything Black Panther and everything Wakanda.
Wakanda baseball jersey! Wakanda bag! What’s that to the left there?! A Storm doll?!
A few fans were wondering if perhaps the doll was a custom though when looked at closely, you can see she’s standing with a card noting the ‘Marvel 80 Years’ logo on it, the same one used in all the merchandise celebrating the 80th anniversary of Marvel comics.
Disney and Marvel are keeping tight lipped about the doll and from what it seems, no other photos from the booth have his the web. Could this perhaps be a first look at the Storm Barbie coming our way?
it looks like Barbie is set to get her superhero on again with some rumblings that several characters in the X-Men and Star Wars franchises are to be given the Barbie treatment.
Spain based, family owned toy and pop culture shop “Toys Damaso SL” have listed pre-orders for six brand new dolls that include some surprising additions to the Barbie catalog.
Three characters from X-Men’s upcoming Dark Phoenix have been listed for pre-order – Jean Grey, Storm and Mystique along with three characters from Star Wars – Princess Leia, Darth Vader and strangely enough R2-D2.
It’s a surprising announcement considering FOX’s staunch stance on any kind of toy/action figure merchandise for it’s X-movies.
Each pre-order states the following:
WE DO NOT HAVE PHOTOS. WE DO NOT KNOW THE DATE OF RECEPTION, IT MAY TAKE MONTHS TO RECEIVE
The Star Wars collection are currently listing for $220 AUD while the X-Men collection for $103 AUD
Currently, there is no official word from Mattel on these releases and Toys Damaso SL is the only site online with this information.
While this may be the first time Barbie has gotten her pristine plastic hands on these characters, it’s not the first time they have been immortalized in plastic. Princess Leia and Darth Vader have been produced in doll form numerous times over the years through Hasbro. Storm, back in the late 90’s got the 12″ doll treatment thanks to ToyBiz while Tonner doll company released two version’s of it’s 16″ Jean Grey/Phoenix doll. Mystique is the only character never to have been released in any kind of doll format before.
As stated, no official word as yet on release date, availability worldwide or price point.
Mid last year, toy company ThreeZero released a crazy detailed 1/6 scale figure of X-Files’ Special Agent Fox Mulder featuring incredible likeness to David Duchovny, tailored suit, alternate hands, weapon, badge and much more. Cut to almost 12 months later and now ThreeZero have released details on Mulder’s partner, Special Agent Dana Scully’s release.
Highly detailed figure featuring life-like realism that is crafted with the authentic likeness of the FBI Agent Dana Scully as portrayed by Gillian Anderson in the ‘The X-Files’ television series.
1/6th scale Agent Dana Scully collectible details:
* 11” (~28cm) tall, articulated figure
* Black 2-piece suit (coat and slacks).
* Formal shirt
* Black pencil skirt
* Black pumps
We’re in an era where Pop! Vinyls are literally everywhere and anything and everything pop culture related is virtually mass produced and heavily coveted, so trying to find that one unique collectible item or gift can be a tough and arduous task.
Having put myself to task to find something that was unusual and quirky, I stumbled across an etsy store that was offering something that was not only pop culture related but also rather uncommon in the collecting world.
Etsy store StuffedStars.com will turn an image of your choice into a very cute and collectible 9.5″ stuffed figure! Upon finding the store, I was immediately drawn to the bright iconic images of pop stars, rap stars and actors in fabric form, backed by eye catching backing cards and wrapped in plastic. I needed to know more!
From Stuffed Stars Etsy page: “Stuffed Stars is the perfect gift for the person that already has everything: Inspired by Music, Pop Culture, Artists and all Cultures , our Stuffed Star dolls are handmade individually in Campbell, CA.
Have an idea in mind and want to make it alive? I’m also happy to help! Please send me a conversation via Etsy and we can get started!”
So what exactly is a Stuffed Star?! Simply put, a Stuffed Star is an 9.5″ stuffed figure featuring a printed onto fabric image of your favorite star! It seems rather simple but the finished result is something quite spectacular and very quirky. With their current inventory featuring David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Kanye, Frida Kahlo and Billy Idol among a myriad of other pop culture icons, rap stars and TV stars you’re most likely to find something that fits your collection and if not, StuffedStars.com are more than happy to arrange a custom order.
Which is exactly what I set StuffedStars out to do. While their available stock is wide and varied, I wanted something just for me – of my favorite star – Laura Leighton of course, so I tasked Akim from StuffedStars to wow me with a design. Custom requests work best when high quality images are available so I sent the following image off to Akim:
For those looking at custom orders, you’ll be updated as progress continues from communication to image choice to digital drafts where changes can be made right up until the final work takes place.
All in all, through the duration of the work, you’ll be kept well informed just as to how your product is coming along and turn around time (depending on current orders) can be as quick as 4 days!
So how does the final result stack up? Check out the two photos below of my order sitting happily among my Melrose Place/Laura Leighton display!
I can’t really fault the work done by StuffedStars and an unexpected feature that I found when my item arrived is the ability for these figures to stand on their own via magnets in their feet that stand on a mini custom base!
Just read some of the happy customer reviews:
“The doll was fantastic! They also gift wrapped my doll as it was being sent directly to the recipient! Fabulous! They loved the doll! 🙂 Thank you again for such great service!”
“These turned out better than I imagined! Great idea and was nice that you are able to change the outfit. Also it’s fun that you can custom the name that they come individually packed in. Service was great! Fast and I got the product in the turnaround that was committed!”
“This item was bought for my wife on her birthday and she absolutely loved it!! I can say she totally was not expecting to receive this!! Thank you once again, brilliant service, fast shipping and even got a sweet little note to say thank you for the purchase!!”
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…
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.
I’m a sucker for games and apps that let my creativity run wild with character customization. I’ve probably spent more than a reasonable amount of time sitting in the character creation of Soul Calibur and Saints Row trying to perfect my character tweaking the eyes and hair and skin colour making sure everything is how I want it to be. Throw marvel superheroes, or more specifically, X-Men heroines to the mix and i’ll be un-contactable for days.
Doll Divine artist Candy’s World has brought those two loves of mine into one very cool and very slick online app that allows users to pretty much create any female X-Men/X-Force/X-Factor character (and more than likely marvel universe character) ever imagined and do them up with your own little twist.
X-Force’s Siryn with a twist on her modern look
Morlock leader Callisto get’s the X-Girl treatment
The layout and features of this app are very easy to use, starting from selecting skin color (Mystique blue is, of course, included) to eye colour, eye liner and eye shape, nose, lips and lip colour to pre-determined face paint. From there you select hair and color – with very cool options that allow you to add various bangs over the top of a base layer and added loose strands before hitting the uniform section. That area will take a bit to understand as the layering options and available items are crazy – but good crazy!
Once your heroine is complete – with power selection too – you get to add a background including an editable X-Men comic cover where you name the comic like I have below with my very own original character named Gravity and save to your desktop!
And one character not enough? X-Doll allows users to create multiple characters within the same base! My main image featuring Emma Frost, Battle Armor Psylocke, Vintage Jean Grey and Muir Island Saga Polaris is a single image!
From the website: Create infinite female character’s from Marvel’s X-Men universe! Now you can finally design your very own superhero costume, customizing the suit, sleeves, collars, waistlines and more! Gear up your hero for battle, empower her with mutations and adorn her with a dazzling array of hairstyles and accessories. When not on duty, you can even dress up your X-Girl in civilian clothing! A truly beautiful dress up game, featuring the flawless artwork of Candy’s World!
The only negatives I have with this app is the inability to save HQ versions of your work (print screen was my best friend here) and if I have to pick, it’s a shame there’s only one pose available for our girls.
While there are thousands of various dress-up doll apps available online, this one is easily one of the best I have ever seen. X-Doll is a free to use desktop based online app via Doll Divine! Make sure you share your creations on Instagram using the #XGirlComic tag for us all to see!