Barbie Fashion & Accessory Pack Haul

It has happened. I have started to give in to collecting Barbies too.

Starting a collection of a new kind of doll usually means starting with nothing clothing-wise. While I have patiently sewn and collected Animator’s and Ever After High outfits over a few years, I have decided to take the easier approach this time and buy a few basics to jump-start my Barbie wardrobe. Let’s see if they live up to expectations!

Note: Due to a problem with my SD card, I have lost nearly all my photos of the accessories still in the package. The above photo only shows a few of the items I will discuss. The remaining items were packaged in a similar style bags with the pink-striped background as well.

But first, let me briefly introduce my today’s model:

I bought this doll on sale for practically next to nothing. I shall call her Tania. I have had her for a couple of months, wondering whether I should give her away as a gift, but I always felt the little girls in my life already have enough blonde Barbies. In the end I decided to harvest her for her clothes and shoes. Every little helps πŸ™‚

It’s a doll from a budget line – as ‘budget’ as it gets. She can’t lift her arms to the side – only up and down – and she can’t nod her head ‘yes’, only ‘no’ – to the sides. Despite that, and the fact that she is a fairly generic blonde Barbie, she has a very sweet smile πŸ™‚

Her dress is made of a t-shirt-like fabric. It has a velcro-type closure in the back. Unfortunately, the print is only in the front, the back is solid black.

Her shoes were not visible in the box, so it was an unboxing-time surprise. They are very… sweet – they look like they came straight from the Fairytopia line – and perhaps they did. Probably not very useful with modern-style outfits, but hey, they might come in handy one day:

Now, to give her some new options!

Barbie Career Teacher Fashion Pack (DNT92)

POSITIVE:

+ the pattern on the shirt goes all around

+ the top closes with a velcro (so you don’t have to squeeze the doll in)

+ the skirt is ‘denim’ all over as well

+ feels well made

+ cute glasses and books

NEGATIVE:

– the skirt is a little bulky around the hips on the classic Barbie

Comments: I bought the set because I especially dislike sewing tops, and because I like the collar. It is to be expected, but the white ‘shirt’ is sewn into the top. The books don’t open, but they still make for pretty cool props. The skirt doesn’t have a velcro, only an elastic waist-band.

 

Barbie Dolphin Magic Tropical Set Fashion Pack (FBD85)

POSITIVE:

+ classic, realistic cut

+ cute opalescent pattern

+ closes with a Velcro

+ fun accessories

NEGATIVE:

– the swimsuit is not elastic at all and it doens’t fit very well

– the print is only in the front

– the swimsuit was pinned to the cardboard and the tabs left little holes in the fabric

– the velcro gets caught in the fabric and leaves marks in it easily

Comments: The bottle of the sunscreen bottle has a ‘peg’ that fits Barbie furniture with corresponding indentations (so as not to move or fall). It also has a loop that fits around the doll’s finger. Both these features are handy, but they also detract from the realism. The puppy is too unrealistic for my liking, but it is vinyl-like to touch and overall well-made.

 

Barbie Fashion Pack, Pink Plaid Shirt (DMB38)

I have no idea why it’s called ‘pink’, it’s definitely more red πŸ™‚

POSITIVE:

+ feels pretty well-made

+ made from cotton fabric

+ the pattern continues to the back

+ realistic cut and pattern

Comment: I hesitate to name any negatives, but I will say what would fit my taste a little better: I think the shirt should have the closure in the front, not the back, then it could be worn undone. It is also slightly more loose-fitting than I imagined, but it’s not objectively a problem.

 

Barbie Fashion Pack, Heather Heart Tank (DMB36)

POSITIVE:

+ trendy, contemporary look

+ fastens in the back

NEGATIVE

– slight defects in the hem

– not as well-fitted as I expected

– a little bit short

 

Barbie Fashion Dress – Sweet Casual Dress (DNT81)

POSITIVE:

+ feels well-made

+ velcro-type closure for easy dressing

+ pattern continues all around, the stripes align neatly

+ really brightens up the doll!

NEGATIVE:

– the ‘belt’ is only in the front

 

Comment: I wasn’t initially going to buy this dress because dresses – especially sleeveless ones – are relatively easy to sew. Since this one has a t-shirt top, I made an exception. I’m so glad I did! It’s so lovely and joyful-looking πŸ™‚

Barbie Accessories Original & Petite Doll Shoe Pack (FCR92)

POSITIVE:

+ a nice collection of basics for a decent price

NEGATIVE:

– …except for the orange ones, I don’t really need those πŸ™‚

– could use a touch of paint

– why put flat and high-heeled shoes in one pack? What if I only have one type of Barbie?

 

Comment: I thought the white sneakers were for the high-heeled foot type, but they really have flat soles – in case someone was wondering.

Barbie Accessories Curvy & Tall Doll Shoe Pack (FCR93)

POSITIVE:

+ again, an affordable boost to your Barbie shoes collection

NEGATIVE:

– again: lack painted details

Β – again: a mixture of flats and heels

Comment: Why areΒ there separate shoes for Curvy and Tall Barbie? It turns out there is a slight difference. They are slightly big on the Classic Barbie – which is OK, the manufacturer did their best to warn me πŸ˜‰ The shoes are still usable just not as snug-fitting.

Barbie Fashion Accessory Pack, Pink and Red (DHC55)

POSITIVE:

+ nice sculpted details

+ cute designs

NEGATIVE:

– mixture of flats and heels

Comment:Β Because I really like the shapes and textures of these items, the lack of painted details doesn’t bother me with this pack. I love the red boots and I definitely wanted some girly flats in my collection. I only wish they had skipped the pom-poms. I’m not a huge fan of the bracelet and the necklace, but it’s highly subjective.

* * *

This concludes my Barbie haul.

D’oh! I forgot to order a pair of jeans 😦 I guess I will have to do some sewing after all.

Overall, I am pretty pleased. My most pleasant surprise was how much I enjoy the yellow-blue-and-white dress. I really like the teacher set as well. My biggest disappointment was the swimsuit. I might have still bought it even if I knew its downsides because I have something special in mind for it, but it feels the most flimsy out of all the items.

It seems to me that Barbie clothes and accessories are more affordable then they used to be – or perhaps I have learned to find better deals online – but the cost of a decent wardrobe starter is still high. Normally I would choose to spend the money on a new doll, but going for the outfits lets me skip the sewing part – which is a chore πŸ˜‰ – and get straight to the photography part – where the real fun is for me πŸ™‚ And that’s a good deal.

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Rapunzel and the great outdoors

We have already had a full season of Tangled: The Series showing Rapunzel’s adventures after leaving her tower, but I still think back to how it must have been like for her to touch the grass and see the world for the first time. Or even the first couple of times. Whenever I take my Rapunzel doll outside, these ideas come back to me. I’m not certain if it can in any way show in photos, but in my head I imagine her filled with a sense of wonder.

My recent trip was to a park with a small castle which also loosely reminded me of Rapunzel’s tower – not in it’s shape particularly, just by virtue of being a castle. Here, above, I imagine her sneaking out. She looks more cheeky about it than scared, and, honestly, it’s better that way.

The purple dress that Rapunzel is wearing is of course her signature outfit which came with the set – not my own work. Even though I’ve had this doll for nearly a year, I have not previously posted photos of the doll in its original state. I was so sure I was going to do a proper review, but I utterly hated all the photos I took for that purpose – and not just once! So, in case it never happens: I do recommend her, but be aware that the articulation is not as great as you might expect – the joints are numerous, but have a relatively limited range of motion.

The day I took the trip was sooo beautiful. Spring in full bloom. I think it’s very fortunate, because it mimics the beautiful locations that Disney gives Rapunzel to traverse (well, except for the scary parts). I really like the charm of Corona’s sights in Tangled, but, happily for us, the real world can compete πŸ™‚

The doll certainly has a lot of charm as well, and I love how well she reflects the style of the animation of the Series. I like her more than the classic Disney Store dolls for this character.

Then… another lovely spring day, I took the doll along for a walk and a picnic by the lake. This time she’s wearing my own creation – it’s a simple dress, but luckily, a sundress can get away with being a little simple πŸ™‚

Oh, and Pascal came along too. Not only that, he came back home safely too. I’m always a little worried about these little parts getting lost outside. This is exactly what parents warned us against as kids. Well, a doll photographer lives dangerously.

Some of these photos, especially the horizontal ones, look better on a slightly bigger scale. Which is a good opportunity to mention that they can also be viewed on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147182045@N05/27296279317/in/dateposted-public/

I must say that all those failed attempts at reviewing this Rapunzel doll – all the horrid looking photos with an odd tint (not available for public viewing ;)) left a bad taste in my mouth and affected my enjoyment of the doll overall. Thankfully, I feel that these recent experiences have covered that up. After all, she really is a pretty doll – and certainly a unique one.