Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Is Barbie Over the Hill?

At 48 is she an 'old-hag'?

According to Sean McGowan, an industry analyst, Bratz has now captured 40 per cent of the fashion-doll market, compared with Barbie's 60 per cent. Chuck Scothon of Mattel's girls division admits, 'The competition has changed. There's no denying it.'

Bratz dolls have large heads and skinny bodies. Their almond-shaped eyes are tilted up at the edges and adorned with thick crescents of eyeshadow.

Their lips are lush and pillowy, glossed to a candy-apple sheen and rimmed with dark lip liner. They look like pole dancers on their way to work.

Bratz dolls don't have Barbie's pin-up-girl measurements - they're not as busty and they're shorter. But their outfits include halter-neck tops, faux-fur armlets and ankle-laced stiletto sandals, and they wear the sly, dozy expression of a party girl after too many mojitos.

Barbie hasn't been replaced by Bratz yet but in just 6 years since they were introduced, they are closing in on her. 125 million of them have been sold so far. What is this country coming to? Barbie is as American as Apple Pie and Viagra. And what has this blog come to that I’m putting up a post defending Barbie?

While the Bratz don't have the perfect figures of Barbie, they have a much trashier look. If Barbie is a high-priced escort service girl than Bratz are more of a streetwalker type of girl. Barbie is Champagne and Bratz are Budweiser. Barbie is filet mignon and Bratz are ground round. Barbie is my wife’s blog and Bratz are my blog. Who would have thought Barbie would be the classy one. She was considered risqué when I was growing up. Having a naked Barbie lying around the house was a near occasion of sin.

I just wonder if Bratz' heads pop-off just as easily as Barbie's? Switching my sisters' Barbie’s heads with my GI Joes heads was a favorite pastime when I was a kid. You could entertain yourself for hours doing this. If this got boring I would have GI Joe beat the pretty off of Ken’s face and run off with Barbie to Barbados. And once that got old I would give Barbie a Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, head-shave. All this might explain the wedding gown wearing post and my weekly sessions with the therapist.

As far as I know my girls (and please dear Lord not my boys) don’t have any Bratz. I’m not sure if we even have any Barbie’s in the house. I’ll have to check with the Honey. The boys and I could have lots of fun the next rainy day.

Racy in 1968

Racy in 2008


wife said...

Of course you would stick up for Barbie...don't you remember when you dressed her for one of the girls years ago, and decided that you were now engaged to her? I will stick with playmobil princess' anyday!!!

Rachel said...

Autumn has tons of Barbie. I gotta say that after Andy and Ben and their Jurassic Park dinosaurs, Batman, Spiderman and Power Ranger action figures, I couldn't wait to buy Autumn her first barbie. However, she has scrapped them for Webkinz.

I *do* remember my Barbies much preferring GI Joe to that pansy Ken. I loved Joe's crazy velvet head and beard.

Bratz scare me on so many levels that I won't even begin to comment. However, I will say that if one is grooming one's daughter for "Girls Gone Wild" fame, then Bratz are a good start in that direction.

Simcha said...

Do you know those poor Bratz can never even take their spike heels off? Their shoes are molded onto their feet. If the kiddies want different shoes, they pull the whole foot off and replace it with a different foot-in-shoe. For some reason I find this aspect the creepiest of all.

Mylhibug said...

I have always found the Bratz to be rather trashy, and will not allow my daughters to have any. Period. Of course my girls are smart enough to not want anything so classless anyway.

Maybe I'll go out and buy them a few Barbies to help the 'cause.' :)

momto5minnies said...

Why is it that that doll(BRATTZ) has one the big TOY AWARD??????

I am okay with BARBIE (when she is dressed). Just last week she came to the pool with us. Thankfully she is a MERMAID/Fairytopia one that never really looks naked(painted on undergarments) ... 'cause on that day she didn't feel like wearing her skirt or wings.

Catherine said...

I will never say never.
My mother refused to buy me Barbie.
A strange idea of her generation, I guess. That was a great regret of my little girl's life.
When Alexandra didn't even ask for, I bought her a Barbie, and she has never played with it. So, I was wondering what was these family's members to impose toys.
Here, our children are or have been all three "PLAYMOBYL kind of kids". Our family members better identify themselves to this little square plastic
(wo)men, can you imagine us with this strict coiffure as an helmet, very German indeed.

Rob said...

Catherine we are a Playmobil family also. We have 100's of the little figures and the things they paly with.