8 things I'd love to see from Mattel in 2019

Hi again!

I know I should be editing my “How to make a doll TV” video, but instead of that, I feel more like writing. To be honest, this post isn’t what I had in mind when I said I’d like to write some opinion post, but thanks to Barb The Evil Genious’ latest post, I came up with this idea.



I know it’s too early to start making Christmas wishes, but anyway, here’s a list of the things I’d love to see from Mattel in 2019. Spoiler alert, several of them have to do with articulation.

Made to Move Ken with rooted hair and at least 4 different skin tones. Seriously, I think that Ken deserves more attention in the Barbie line. I do understand that people usually prefer female dolls, but I’m sure if they did give Ken and interesting design, he would sell well too. Of course, I would also love to see the broad and slim Ken bodies in MTM version, but we’ll leave that for 2020.

Petite and Tall Made to Move bodies. It’s damn about time Mattel! Yes, I’m aware that, from the new bodies, curvy seems to be the most popular, but our petite and tall dolls need elbows that work. But please, don’t make them hard to find or store exclusive.

An all curvy Made to move line featuring 3 or 4 different skin tones.Being the most popular of the new bodies, I’m pretty sure that this would be a success. We’ve got some stiff curvy Fashionistas to rebody!

Deluxe Fashionistas line with articulated bodies and decent quality fashionable clothes. They could even make themed waves such as “Spring Time”, “Back to school”, “Night out”... The possibilities are endless. Which brings me to the next point

Bring the fashion back! Remember the Fashion Avenue era? It was great! The quality was great and sometimes they had a theme to it. It even had clothes for Chelsea (Kelly back then). They could even make them match the current theme of the Fashionistas line I mentioned above.

Stop the “One size fits all”! because actually, it’s more like “one size fits none”. I’d really love to see unique designs for each body type. They could always come up with a small line to test the waters, and if it’s successful, make it bigger

More challenging designs in general. I’m sure that Mattel has the potential to wow us, but they sometimes play a little too safe. Back in the 90s, the playsets were amazing and nothing seemed too crazy to do. There even was a post office playset!

Start listening to their fans. There are plenty of bloggers and collectors out there that would be really happy to give them their honest opinion and make suggestions. And to be honest, what most collectors are asking for are quite simple things such as decent quality in their products and more articulated dolls.


It’s not that I think that Mattel is doing everything wrong, but I feel there’s a lot of room for improvement. And of course, this post is based mostly on my opinion and my personal taste when it comes to doll collecting, but I can tell that many collectors feel the same way as I do. If someone from Mattel ever reads this post (I wish!), I hope they would take it as a constructive critic and start making something about it. They’re never going to please everybody, but I know they could do better.

So what would you love to see from Mattel in 2019? Do you agree with my list?


M.C.

P.S. I don't know if you noticed, but I've added a "Doll Crafts" tab at the top of my blog, so you can find all my crafts in there.

Comments

  1. This is a very good list! I still love Barbie, but the clothes... not so much, although some are cute. And the wonky eyes and flaws of the dolls really bug me. I long for the "good old days" where fashion for Barbie was fun and more daring, and the dolls had well painted faces. And, articulation in both the legs and arms! I don't get why Mattel would use bendable arms in combination with straight legs, and yet they do it :-). And yes, poor Ken deserves more attention, and real, decent rooted hair. Great post!

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    1. Hi Linda! Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed my post.
      Just like you, I do like some of the clothes designs, but the quality isn't that great. Also, in my area, the price for Barbie clothes is higher than in USA, so I'm very reluctant to buy them because I don't think it's worth it.
      I do agree about the whole articulation thing. In the 90s the dolls had rubber legs that snap-bended, and some dolls even had articulated elbows (the chop-chop arms). Not all the dolls have to be Made to Move, but more articulation on the basic dolls would be more than welcome.

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  2. I love your list, but that should not be a surprise. ;) Thanks for the mention. Since you brought up an articulated Ken, I wanted to let you know that although the two professors in the new Harry Potter series have what look like articulated bodies, they also have elderly looking (pronounced veins) hands. I guess it's good that they are adding more realistic details for their characters, but the bodies are not that great for re-using. Unless you wanted to make a Halloween witch, or maybe re-body Grandma or Grandpa from the Happy Family. :)

    I would love to see better clothing too, and playsets. Some of the doll furniture that I own and value most is from the My Scene Madison's Party Pad set. That was a long time ago!

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    1. Hi Barb! I have a list of specific products that I'd love to see, but I feel like more people would relate to this. I actually do like some of the things Mattel is doing, the hair of some of the new Fashionistas is awesome. I do appreciate the details you mentioned on the Harry Potter dolls, but they're not what I'm willing to add to my list.
      I know that some collector Ken dolls are articulated, like the one Black Kitty mentioned below, but collector dolls are so overpriced in Europe sometimes that I'm not willing to pay that ammount for a doll that doesn't really deserve it in terms of quality. I just think we could have articulation in playline for a fair price.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Yes for articulation! I have a guy from the Hunger Games, Finn-something, he has articulation, rooted hair and was pretty cheap on Amazon. They can when they want! As for fashion... it looks like Babs tends to be more like contemporary teenagers instead of the other way around. They made "un-doll-like" bodies, curvy and curveless, and now they are copying the clothes. Have you noticed what young people wear nowadays? Printed seams, leggings instead of trousers and those hideous dresses that look like a cross between a man's shirt and grandma's nightie! No jewellery or "minimalistic" accessories. I hope this phase will pass soon, I can't even find clothes for myself, let alone my dolls.

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    1. Hi Black Kitty! I've considered getting some of those movie-themed guys for my collection, but the last one was Chris Pratt from Jurassic World and he was so expensive on Amazon that I didn't get him.
      I'm not a huge fan of fashion nowadays either, I feel like I'm too old to expose my belly to the world. I would love Barbie to represent different styles and trends, as well as different ocasions. Also, I feel like Mattel is not putting enough effort on Barbie's clothes: print only on one side, shapeless clothes... I really want to learn to sew to make my dolls some clothes that I really like. At least they would have print on both sides.
      Thanks for your comment!

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  4. I would definitely sign on to your list! It is very close to mine. Every once in a while, Mattel will do it right but then they take steps backwards and it makes me scratch my head! The latest group of Fashionistas had pretty nice clothes. Pattern all the way around, nicer fabric, etc. Then they release a fashion pack with the old mistakes. I agree with you about the one size fits all (or none) clothing and I too miss the Fashion Avenue doll line and clothes! They do some things right with the Signature and Collector Lines, and some thing are just a total miss. Like the guys having molded hair. One of the biggest fails for me on an expensive Ken was the King of the Crystal Cave Ken. They gave him great hair and the Superman articulated body in a pale skintone, but put his arms were in molded black! Why?????!!!!!! It is these kinds of things that have me shaking my head in sheer frustration! Anyway, good post!

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    1. Hi Phyllis! I don't mind boys having molded hair depending on the hair style, for example cornrows, but I'd love Ken to look more realistic and have a less cartoony face. I also don't want the only articulated Ken dolls to be collector, because in Europe they tend to be much more expensive. There's room for improvement in playline and I wish Mattel would take advantage of that.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I have one of those dresses, Black Kitty, that I wear with leggings. XD Of course, the one I have kind of reminds me of the prairie style blouses that I wore in the 80s, and is a calico print, so maybe I'm just reliving my childhood. I will also add that wearing an oversized top and leggings to run errands is terribly comfortable. Over here, though, "statement," aka enormous, necklaces and earrings are also a thing, so there's that. I will say that the Dancer has a hard time finding pants and jeans that are not super low rise.

    Learning to sew is a great thing, both to make clothes for yourself and for your dolls!

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    1. I'm not a fashion expert, but one of the things that I don't like are clothes with holes. I don't get it! Your dress sounds like it's kind of cute.

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    2. A dress like that with leggings is an entirely different look than either of those items by itself :) Yes, sewing is a very useful skill, one I haven't mastered yet.

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    3. I loathe clothes with holes. Done intentionally, too? Ugh.

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  6. Great post! I have to agree with every single point you made! I'm trying to be more selective when it comes to new Fashionistas as I find myself spending extra money on those MTM bodies. I really like the older Barbies and am hoping to try to stop buying current playline (except the ones I really LOVE) and add some of the nicer qualities ones to my collection. I also have loads of old Monster High to still collect so there is definitely not a lack of dolls on my wishlist, lol. But I totally agree with the MTM Ken dolls the most! :)

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    1. I'm trying to be selective too, because each year Mattel releases over 20 Fashionistas, and even though they're quite affordable, that's a lot of dolls to collect. Since I've quit my job, I think I'm going to focus more on the dolls that I already have and get only the ones that really speak to me.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Your requests are reasonable ones I think most collectors - as you see in the comments - would want. Quality control and articulation are the two requests I'd put first. Both their targeted playline market ("kids") and their adult market should be respected by not having glue-heads, wonky paint jobs, and/or damaged dolls sold. Maybe they could sell articulated bodies separately? To allow their fans to opt for more detailed bodies.

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    1. Hi D7ana! A Barbie collector posted on Tumblr that they would love to see Mattel sell every type of articulated bodies in all the different skin tones Barbie comes with. I think that would be a fantastic idea, as far as they shipped to Europe at a fair price.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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