Perhaps one of the most enjoyable things about Barbie convention for me and many others is the room shopping experience. Many sellers will set up wares in their room days before the official convention starts and many many collectors will come early just to shop the room sales. You might think that people come for the deals to be found and the shopping. I believe that many come for the social aspect of room shopping as well. This is a time where you meet new fellow enthusiast friends and reconnect with the ones you have made in the past. Generally, we Barbie collectors are a sociable and happy crowd and we LOVE to talk all things Barbie. It is amazing to me that I have friends from all over the world and I came to know them through this fabulous hobby and these conventions. Barbie and the love of this hobby has done that. How cool is that?!!
So….day two of room shopping was highlighted by a OOAK ( One of A Kind ) party by Matt Sutton and Matt Trujillo. We lined up early for this one folks…about two hours before. I think just waiting for the show and talking with my fellow collectors was one of the best parts of my day.
And a rare thing for me….someone took my picture! Thanks Deb!
Now….time for the show. Matt certainly did not disappoint! He never fails to blow our socks off. This year, you took a number according to where you were in line and they let a few in at a time. No mad rush to get to the dolls. This made for a very enjoyable and wonderful selection and buying experience.
Yes….the pink one in the center went home with me
After the fun of picking out a doll and purchasing ( some managed to snag two…yes Barb and Mary…I’m talking to you), we had our annual “ buy a Matt Sutton and go get a cocktail” meeting.
I am posting an album with these photos. ****A special note to all you pinners on Pinterest. Please, please, please don’t grab the photos from the album and pin them. They will link back to my skydrive and not the blog. If you want to pin them, grab them off this page or go to flickr.***
I arrived in L.A. yesterday afternoon expecting to relax and settle in for a day before all the excitement began…..NOT. One thing I have learned about Barbiecon is that once you get there, you hit the ground running. I was very glad to see that many friends decided to arrive early so it was an afternoon and evening of hugs and quick catch-up on our lives conversations. There was also room shopping and of course I had to take my camera along and see what the goings on were. The Hyatt Orange County is a lovely hotel with some amazingly friendly and helpful staff.
It was time to catch up with Barbie buds…my friends Sheree and Susan
Then it was time to shop
And for all you vintage collectors out there….
It looks like my instant upload of photos is working! I have been able to instant upload to my flickr fairly consistently so I am encouraged it will continue to work well. I have to send out a HUGE “thank you” to my husband and in house technical support for getting this up and running for me. It was not the easiest thing to do and we had many trial and error moments yesterday
Here is a picture of the adorable key cards convention attenders receive
The pace will be fast and furious from here on out but I will try to blog everyday and multiple times a day if I can. If you want up to the minute photos without writeup, you should check my flickr. Will be enjoying the sites and sounds of the Magic Kingdom today but will be back with you all for an update this evening. More room shopping photos are available on my flickr account for those who are interested.
And so it begins. When this blog post hits the internet, I will be grumbling and shuffling my way through security at the airport. I HATE getting up for early morning flights. But then, I would do anything for Barbie so there you go. I will have my trusty laptop for blogging from convention and a new toy this year….an IPad. I have hopes of using the IPad as my internet hotspot so my photos will upload directly from my point and shoot to my flickr account. I am hoping to get some great shots of the OOAK parties and fashion show. I should be able to post from the events too but will have to see how this new technology really works. It all sounds great but I have learned that many times it just doesn’t work that well in an actual setting. I will have my laptop so at worst, I upload photos at the end of the evening…just like last year. I will have more to share from L.A. later today.
Everyone has their own personal favorites of convention. We all enjoy the room shopping, the events, the sales room and the convention dolls. But let’s face it….we don’t go to convention primarily for these things. At the end of the day, we go to convention because of the people. We go because of the Barbie friends we have made in the past and the new friends we hope to make at each and every convention. We go to share a love for a hobby that has grown beyond our own personal sphere. We are compelled to share this love with others who feel the same way. We leave with our emotional cups full to overflowing and many of us move forward with the exciting knowledge that we will have the opportunity to see friends and share again the following year.
Each time I have attended the National Barbie Doll Collector Convention I feel I have left the convention a better person. That is due entirely to the people I have met. This year I had the supreme pleasure of sitting at Judy O’s table 19. Words alone cannot express my appreciation for their generosity and welcoming kindness. I am never someone who feels they can effectively convey something in words….my preference is to pick up the camera and show it in a picture. So….here is the reason I go to convention……
New Barbie friend Debra and I (photo below is courtesy of Brad (starboy9 on BFC….Thank you Brad!!))
Barbie Buddy Supreme….Sheree
Fantastic Barbie buddies Barb, Mary and Barbara
The lovely ladies of Judy O’s Table 19!
And because a few photos is never enough for me…..a video with more photos LOL! Hope you enjoy.
Hope to see every one in California next year!!
Typically, the last evening of convention there is a final dinner and you receive the official convention doll. At this years convention, as it was Ken’s 50th anniversary, we received a doll set. A beautifully designed and crafted Barbie and Ken set designed by the very talented Matt Sutton and Matt Trujillo. I just can’t say enough about this pair of gentleman….LOVE YOU GUYS!
Here is a quote from Matt Sutton about the inspiration and ideas behind the dolls….
“They weren’t designed as “formal”– the thought expressed to us was that they were a young couple in 1961 in Ft Lauderdale, went to a lovely dinner, and found themselves taking a long romantic walk on the beach at night. It’s dinner jacket and party dress, not tux and ballgown. Matching ties and/or a cummerbund seemed too “formal” and “prom”, which wasn’t the esthetic we were going for. Plus we loved the idea that she was dressing in “his” color (the aqua) as a tribute to him, vs the matchy matchy…
We actually did a TON of research for the era, and made sure things were as accurate as possible, and still within our design sense. Ken’s jacket– did you notice his little gold cufflinks? (another subtle homage to the 50th) Her dress is very much of the era, and the sash is sort of a signature of mine– again, the aqua is Barbie paying tribute to her main squeeze. ^_^”
Still in the box…..
And…..out of the box and in the studio………..
Many people may not be aware that the NBDCC raises tens of thousands of dollars for designated charities each year. The money is raised through three functions. 1) The silent auction event where amazing items are generously donated( see blog post Beach Party and Silent Auction) 2) The live auction where doll artist like Magia2000, Matt Sutton, Artist Creations and Steven Frasier of Dressmaker Details donate some exquisite pieces of work that are auctioned off. 3) The raffle room where fantastic donations from Barbie lovers from every corner of the world are displayed and you put a ticket in the box in front of any item you hope to win. You can buy your raffle tickets in advance or they can be purchased at convention. Many conventioneers buy hundreds of tickets and help support the designated non profit charities of the convention. This years charities were The Children’s Home Society of Florida and The Poverello Center. Here are just a few of some of the amazing things you could dream of winning in the Raffle Room.
And the room was full with these amazing gift baskets!
To all those generous collectors who donated to the raffle room a big round of applause. To the lucky individuals who won something, “Congratulations”. A big personal “Thank You” to everyone who was in the raffle room when I shot these photos. I was constantly in the way with my big camera and monopod but everyone was so nice and patient letting me get the shot before depositing their tickets.
There is so much to do at the National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention. We had 6 main events over 4 days that people attend plus a multitude of workshops and “talks”. One of the most popular “extra” events is the Competition Room. Every year the convention has a theme and that theme typically drives the competition ideas. This year the theme were Ken and Spring Break 1961. Here are a few examples of what you could see in the competition room.
The detail these competitors go into is absolutely amazing!
To all the people who participated in competition this year, You are simply amazing! There was so much talent in that competition room it was ridiculous. Let’s also not forget that to put this competition room together and keep it properly supervised during viewing, you need many volunteers. A big thank you to the many, many volunteers who gave up some of their precious convention shopping and visiting time to volunteer.
The first scheduled social event of the official convention was a beach party. As we waited to enter the ballroom during cocktail hour, we were given Ken hand tags . A big “Thank You” to Pam for being my tag model!
There was such an atmosphere of joy and anticipation. It was so much fun to renew Barbie friendships and have the opportunity to make new Barbie friends.
The fabulous Barb and Rocky
Cheryl, Matt, Jenny,Ann and Cheryl
The nicest sisters you could ever meet, Joan and Pinky(Denise)
…and the silent auction too. I was too busy visiting to take photos of all of the silent auction entries but here are a few that I did get. There were some really phenomenal entries this year!
I am jumping a bit ahead in the schedule because I was excited to share these photos. The Fashion Show at NBDCC is always a favorite. Crowds start to gather at least 30 minutes before the door opens for good seats. If you are a photographer, you want to scope out the best vantage sites early. While I wish I had sat in a spot that did not have the auction dolls in the foreground (they have never had the live auction held after the fashion show before so dolls were never there), I was generally happy with my vantage point for photos. I especially liked the fact that I could catch the wonderful expressions from the Mattel crowd in a number of my photos. They looked like they were really enjoying the show and I hope so as the show is really a way of showing them how much we love what they do.
Here are a few of my favorites from the show.
Stan – how adorable is he! And…Bill Greening is smiling in the bottom corner.
Loved her attitude!!
Adorable Citris Obsession
Steven Frasier’s daughter stole the show with her outfit. She was fantastic on the runway!
The Palm Beach entries were a huge crowd pleaser…….all strutted to the theme from Austin Powers. It was fabulous!
Congratulations to all the organizers of and participants in the fashion show. It was a wonderful event!
Tuesday was definitely the day for OOAK unveilings. Magia2000, Ninimomo and Artist Creations all had their parties within hours of each other. It was a challenge to make it to all of them not to mention I was volunteering during some of the time too. Thank you all for your patience in waiting for updates and photos. I had such great plans of posting photos and blogging while at convention. You know what they say about best laid plans. Oh well…. perhaps I will be better organized next year.
The last party of the day was Artist Creations and they did not disappoint. I must say these was the most exquisite work I have ever seen them do.
The raffle doll for Artist Creations was gorgeous and sadly I did not win it…booohoo. But, it did go to a lovely Barbie friend and I am sooooo excited for her.