I’m sure you have already heard that Barbie are expanding its line of dolls, in fact I wrote about my first thoughts as the news broke right here. With the addition of three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – and a variety of skin tones, hair styles and outfits; this really is huge news. The new Barbie Fashionistas range will be released here in the UK next month but thanks to our friends over at Mattel, we got our mitts on four of the new dolls just the other day ahead of the launch.
We were sent ‘Crazy for Coral’ who is a petite doll, ‘Blue Brocade’ who is also petite, ‘White and Pink Pizzazz’ who is tall and ‘Chambray Chic’ who is curvy. It was great to see a variety of the new body types first hand to really compare them to the original Barbie doll shape. You’ll notice as well that because they are part of the Fashionistas range, they are named according to their outfits. I actually quite like that they are not being labelled by their shape or colour and that they are just dolls wearing jazzy clothes if that makes sense? I have to say that when we first opened them up, my nine year old was adamant that they were not Barbie though and immediately gave them all their own names. Fair enough. As a die hard Barbie fan, she has a very fixed idea of what Barbie looks like and I get totally get that. Of course, that didn’t stop her from still liking these dolls. In fact, the pair of them couldn’t wait to open them up and have a proper play!
As you can see when they are all lined up, there really is a visible difference in their size and shape. Interestingly enough, my daughters were more interested in the new hair styles than their size. They just saw them as new dolls and didn’t question why they looked different from the Barbie they know and love, they just wanted to play with them like they would any other doll. One of the concerns my nine year old had though was about whether their clothes would fit each other. We had a swap around to see and because they were all wearing dresses, they were really quite interchangeable. They didn’t fit perfectly don’t get me wrong but my daughters didn’t seem to mind that. One thing that couldn’t be swapped around though was the shoes. The petite dolls also have much smaller feet so normal shoes just don’t fit them!
The new Fashionistas were welcomed into the Barbie Malibu House and even got to have a try in Ken’s Mini! The curvy Barbie didn’t fit in the car which was a bit of a pest but the petite dolls fitted easier than the original Barbie and Ken dolls so my girls were happy with that. And even though the tall doll didn’t quite fit into the shower properly, they didn’t seem to mind at all and they played with the dolls just like they would their ‘normal’ Barbies (which included inviting a horse over for dinner!)
I have to say that even my nine year old (who really wasn’t very sure about the changes being made to her beloved Barbie) absolutely loves this new range of dolls. From a parent’s point of view, obviously the first thing that I want to know is if my children actually like playing with them. It’s all well and good us grown ups deciding that it is time for Barbie to evolve but what really counts is the thoughts of the kids who will play with them, isn’t it? And my two really do love them. I honestly don’t think that their shape or skin tone comes into it though, all they see is great dolls wearing cool outfits and fancy shoes. Of course that’s not to say that subconsciously the fact that these dolls come in different shapes and sizes won’t somehow filter into their little minds. Who knows?
I truly believe that while we might have been fans with Barbie just the way she was, diversity can only ever be a good thing. And yes, it’s makes a nice change to see dolls other than the standard blue eyed blonde haired Barbies in the toy box. The world is made up of many different people and maybe it was time that this was reflected by Mattel in their range of dolls? All I know is that they were a huge hit with my girls and at the end of that day, that really is all that counts. Barbie for us has always come with the message that you can be anything and I think that is more true than ever. Seeing how much my daughters have enjoyed playing with these new dolls has completely won me over. Well done Mattel!
The new 2016 Barbie Fashionistas doll line includes four body types (the original, petite, curvy and tall) seven skin tones, 22 eye colours, 24 hairstyles and countless on trend fashions and accessories. They are due to be released in the UK next month with an RRP of just £9.99 and are available to order now from Amazon. Mattel have released a great video all about ‘The Evolution of Barbie’ that you can see here – it’s well worth a watch!
Disclaimer: We were provided with four dolls from the new 2016 Barbie Fashionistas range from Mattel in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are of course our own.