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Barbie for big girls.

2016 BFC Membership Renewal Open to Current Members…

…and I am honestly conflicted about it.  I went ahead and purchased a membership ( and had difficulties doing it see story below) but I am conflicted as to whether this is something I would really recommend to a new or even seasoned collector at this point. 

©2016 Mattel, Inc.

©2016 Mattel, Inc.

Here is what I am liking about this years club.

1) AA Silkstone in a blue suit looks scrumptious!!  She will be a BFC exclusive so only available to the club.  This may be worth the $25 alone and is perhaps the main reason I signed back up this year.  Mr. Best, you get my vote…your tech department does not.

2)  Soda Shop Barbie ( part of the Willows, WI  line) is ADORABLE.  Love the poodle skirt and love where Bill Greening has taken and seems to be taking this line.  Well done Mr. Greening.

3) The Free gift is a chair!  And it seems to be the same pattern as the gilt chairs in the dioramas we all love so much from BFMC.  But…it’s black and not gold or gilt.  Hmmmmm… see more on this below.

 

Here is what I am not liking about this years club:

1) The chair is black and not gilt or gold.  I mean we can spray paint…no problem … but there is some work involved with that one.  You need to make sure it’s the right gold…and does that white seat cover come off?  Is it cloth or is it plastic?  It’s totally doable…just wish they had sprung the extra buck and had them sprayed gold is all.  I was kind of primed for the gold based on what was said in the promotional video about the articulated silkstone’s.  But…free is free so guess I really can’t complain.  Will take it and say “Thank you!”

2) The free gift doesn’t come until March?  Why the three month delay?  Yes, I say three months because I suspect this puppy won’t be mailed until late March.  Oh and read the fine print people…in order to get said chair, you need to have signed up by 03/31/16.

3) NOT liking the troubles I experienced on the “improved” website.  I had to sign in multiple times to get my account to recognize me as a BFC member and therefore allowed to purchase a membership today.  Once that hurdle was jumped,  I experienced the “waiting room” and once I made it out of the waiting room and had the item in my cart, I attempted to actually pay for my membership.  Here is what I got

BFC 2016 2

What!!  My response to the screen was “ You have got to be kidding me!  This was supposed to be the “improved system”.  Do you want my business and money or not Mattel?!!

After about 4 minutes, I went back in and was able  to re-enter all my payment info and successfully complete my transaction but for 4 minutes I contemplated whether or not it was worth it.  This BC website is seriously affecting my love of Barbie and my collecting mojo.  I am just not feeling the love from Mattel when stuff like this happens and the more it happens, it makes me question why I am giving my money to them.  I hate to say it but there it is.  Just expressing my concern and sadness.    Oh and the graphic you see above…the nice one with the pictures and explanation of the club…it’s only visible if you sign out of your membership account and are looking at the BC site as a non -member.  What?!!  So members were not able to actually see the free gift chair on the product page when they paid for their membership but people who are thinking about signing up for the first time can see it?  Can someone please, please explain this one to me?!! 

So…here I am….conflicted because I am in essence advertising the Barbie Fan Club and including links in this blog post for people if they are interested and yet…I am really disappointed at how the roll out of this club has played out.  Is this a harbinger for tough times ahead?  Will I continually have problems purchasing?  Will I have to log in and out of the website to see content that I am interested in?  Will I ever be able to search the BC website and find what I am looking for?  I remain hopeful but guarded.  Mattel, are you hearing any of this?

I guess what I will leave potential buyers with is a big fat CAVEAT EMPTOR .

                                       Caveat Emptor – let the buyer beware

If you are a current BFC member, you can sign up for the club now.  If you are a new member, you can start signing up a week from now on 1/19/2016. 

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31 responses

  1. You always make me smile … even if Mattel doesn’t 🙂

    January 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm

  2. Karen

    we shall see….I’m considering 2016 their year on probation with this collector

    January 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    • Smart play Karen 😉 Right there with you.

      January 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    • Me too !! Not off to a great start !!

      January 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm

  3. Deb

    I’m not re-signing – I’m over it. If they really were a premiere world collector club as they intimate on their website they’d fulfil some basic customer service concepts.

    January 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    • I completely understand Deb. I was thinking about doing a blog post on the verbiage used in the BFC sales literature and calling into question whether it was false advertising or not LOL! Maybe I will still do it.

      January 12, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    • Sad , but true !! Not world class at all, but love Robert Best’s creations 💗💗💗💗

      January 12, 2016 at 5:29 pm

  4. bevey99

    I’ve moved father away each year. I think I can count on one hand the number of dolls I purchased this past year. Quality continues to plummet IMO. And, you would think as a Charter Member from Day One I would get some sort of notices. Nope, never, no e-mail alerts ever. Thank you I finished my rant. Sorry

    January 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    • Don’t ever be sorry for stating your experience Bev. They are all very valid points and important for Mattel and other collectors to hear. We are all wishing that Mattel would step up to the plate so to speak and restore our faith in this company and product. So far…crickets. Thanks for sharing your experiences 😉

      January 12, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      • Feedback is always crucial, especially in a very competitive market !!

        January 12, 2016 at 5:33 pm

  5. Lucy Stollsteiner

    I actually had the exact same thing happen to me. Been a member over 11 years. I love reading your “stories”. You word things just wonderfully. Lucy

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    January 12, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    • I am glad you like my writing Lucy. Thanks for the encouragement :-). Wishing us both a better year ahead in Barbie collecting.

      January 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      • Such an amazing legacy to maintain. Mattel is having some hiccups !!

        January 12, 2016 at 6:19 pm

  6. sheba

    I have a problem with the waiting room waited 6 hrs and got cut off.called customer service and they couldn’t figure it out. By some miracle i was able to purchase the membership. and now i will see if it is worth it. I just hope I am able to purchase some high end dolls or just get kicked off again.

    January 12, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    • Yikes Sheba!! Well done you for sticking with it for 6 hours then going the extra mile and trying customer service. I am glad to hear you were successful in renewing your membership.

      January 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm

  7. Maybe its because I havent had as many troubles as everyone else or because I am still new to this but I decided I was going to renew my membership. I wish the chair had been gilt or gold so that is bummer. I love barbie and dont want to stop collecting her. I didnt get as many dolls as last year because I simply didnt have the funds. I enjoy going onto the boards to see what everyone is saying and the photos they are posting. The complaints all make me sad. Maybe this year will be better but for some I dont think it will.

    January 12, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    • Hi Heather! I am glad to hear you are having a positive experience or more positive than many others. It is important to make this point. While some of us are experiencing nasty gremlins, others may not be. I love your enthusiasm for collecting and am hopeful that the collective enthusiasm within this community will elevate those of us experiencing disappointment right now. Thank you for putting that enthusiasm out there for others to be encouraged by. 🙂

      January 12, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    • Fingers crossed !!
      Mattel got too big, and too lazy 🙈

      January 12, 2016 at 5:35 pm

  8. LauraLA

    I really hope to see some high end designer collaborations like 2015. It would be lovely if being a member helped to get some of these dolls instead of being an exercise in hair-pulling-out frustration. At my age the tresses have thinned enough without the added stress, LOL. Mood: tentative optimism!!!

    January 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    • Yes Laura…let’s reinstate the “perks of membership!”. I dream of these too. I would also love to see more collaboration with designers in the year ahead with better availability and delivery. Let’s learn from the mistakes last year and strive to do better. You are always so optimistic Laura and a credit to the community. Thanks for being you. 🙂

      January 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm

  9. Corijo

    Over-all I am super happy and I just renewed my membership….what other membership offers you $80 in discounts, and so many great sales during the year. and free shipping deals. Honestly, I rarely pay full price for any doll on their site…

    I am finding that the quality of most doll companies is declining, sadly, and I decided to end my love affair with another one, because of their massive amount of quality control issues and having to jump through hoops with their customer care (used to be great) and months and months of waiting for replacements….and well, a lot of ugly wonky facepaint and eyes,mold….the few times that I have had an issue with BC, I had customer care treat me with respect and in a timely manner….that means alot to me.

    I am 100% back to my first love Barbie, no regrets here.

    Sorry you are so frustrated with their site! I hope they get it worked out soon!

    January 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    • Hi Corijo! I am glad to see another happy camper here! I am glad you are taking advantage of the benefits of the BC and it’s discounts and sales and are receiving good care from customer service. I hear you about the quality issues and am sad to hear you stepped away from a product because of it. I am hoping that the fustrations of this BC website and strange marketing strategies will be temporary and not systemic. I thank you for your enthusiasm and willingness to share it with us here. Go Barbie!

      January 12, 2016 at 2:40 pm

  10. I don’t know – it they don’t start providing fan club members more perks (as in perhaps some photographs and timely information of what is new), and stop sellng platinum level dolls to the masses, I might not have such hesitation on rejoining. I know I will, but not today. I’ve ben a supportive fan club member for many years, and the past few years I feel that I am not receiving the customer service that a fan club member should receive. The club lacks a lot, and I know a lot of my friends are not rejoining this year. I sort of hope that less people join and a message is sent to Mattel loud and clear!!

    January 12, 2016 at 2:27 pm

  11. Well, I just renewed my membership and it was really quick and easy. Maybe because I waited a few hours? I usually only buy one or two dolls from the site each year, and I too have taken advantage of their good sales. I’m really looking forward to articulated Silkies. I can’t wait!

    January 12, 2016 at 3:45 pm

  12. I totally agree !! I felt like this was Mattel’s last chance to retain their Silkstone lovers and blow them away with GORGEOUS Silkies and great items (the gold Charivari chair), and excellent customer service, with their re-vamped website.
    So far, they are missing it in spades !!
    This debacle will make Intergrity Fashion Royalty fans happy. Their formula has been working consistently 😘

    January 12, 2016 at 4:07 pm

  13. I was so disgusted by what happened in 2015 I did not purchase one single doll and will not be renewing my membership in 2016. I would rather spend that money with Integrity on their 2016 releases. I have never once had a bad experience with their company.

    January 12, 2016 at 7:09 pm

  14. MindB

    What a mess!

    January 14, 2016 at 5:46 am

  15. Vicki McKie

    Thanks for posting this page and the picture of the chair. I renewed my membership the day they sent out the email saying renewal time was open. Like you, I’ve had multiple problems signing it. I’ve had to call Customer Service three times and have them change my membership name/password so I could log in. That worked until the next time, and then it wouldn’t let me in again. So I’d have to call again. Finally the third time they did something different and since then I’ve been able to get in without having to call somebody. I will say that their customer service people are great once you get them on the line, and they have helped me get logged in every time I’ve called them. But then again, we shouldn’t have to call just to log into a website. Another time I found a doll I wanted on sale and put it into my cart, went through the entire process of checking out, up to the point of paying and it wouldn’t accept my payment. So I called Customer Service again. The lady did see the doll in my cart, but said that particular doll had been sold out for a year. So why was it listed in their featured sales? You are right about their new website being a nightmare. Anyway, I renewed my membership on Jan 12, 2016. By Jan 20th, I got an email saying the membership card and chair were on back order till Feb 29th. Today I got another email saying it was on back order till March 8th. If they know how many members they had in 2015, why didn’t they have enough product on hand to fill the orders they should have anticipated? Until I saw your page, I had not even seen a picture of the chair. So thanks for posting it. I went back to the Barbie Collection site and logged out, then clicked on the join the club logo. I still don’t see the picture of the chair, so they may have removed it. I’m with you about the chair not being up to par, but at least a chair is better than the eyeglass case or card case they sent in previous years. I’d rather have something that will contribute to my Barbie collection than something that will just sit in a drawer. I’m going to browse the rest of your site which looks to be very informative, and sign up for your newsletter. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise with the rest of us Barbie Fans.

    February 29, 2016 at 5:20 pm

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