Barbie for big girls.

Posts tagged “Platinum label Barbie

IDC 2016–Cocktails and Barbie for President Gala

After the amazing fashion show, it was time for cocktails, nibbles and a really amazing dinner and convention doll reveal. 

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

 

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

Once Cocktail hour was over, it was time to go to the Gala dinner.

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

The amazing Monica Nuñez del Castillo!

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

And our fabulous table host Rogier and OOAK artist and table hostess Corinne Thorner.

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

It sounds like the evening was a huge success with lots of money raised for charity…approximately 20,000 Euros!!

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

The end of the evening brought the anticipated convention doll reveal!  Many were thinking it was time for a brunette articulated silkstone…and they were proven correct.

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

Photos below are courtesy of Jim Taylor {Hugs}.  Thank  you for letting us use these photos!

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Scrumptious!! 

Last but certainly not least…our Rogier received an award tonight from the IDC!!!  A well deserved recognition for his efforts and work in the collecting community. Congratulations Rogier and Dutch Barbie World!!!  ** Thanks to Jim Taylor again for this photo!!**

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©2016 Dutch Barbie World

Happy, Happy Mothers Day!!  Sales room photos will be coming your way soon!

Rebecca


Presentation Luncheon

Miss Classic Black Dress joined Rogier for the luncheon in Paris today.

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

The schedule today at the Paris Fashion Doll Festival started with the silent auction.  It would appear that the big ticket item was a prototype of Water Sprite Barbie® Doll from Mattel

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

Upon entering the dining room, a few gifts were set on the table.

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World©2016 Dutch Barbie World

The Barbie Collector catalog had some interesting pages with new promo shots!

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

They say “coming soon” and “discover other partnerships in spring of 2016”…hope they mean that!  Would love to get my hands on these silkies this Spring.

After lunch it was time for a fashion show and doll presentation.  Had to share this one from the show…. Cinderella and her prince!  How adorable is that?!!

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

Lot’s of creative people showing their talents in Paris for this luncheon.  But wait….who is that lady on the left…with the white collar??

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

But wait….who is that lady on the left…with the white collar??

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

The convention doll was introduced in a fun and new way this year!  She walked out in the fashion show.  Too fun!

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

It’s the flaming redhead for Paris.  J’adore!!!!  I know a number of us collectors were hoping that this hair color was going to be produced after seeing the photo earlier this year in a Wall Street Journal article

©2016 Mattel, Inc

A nice touch they have added this year to the convention dolls are boxes that specify these are platinum dolls.

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

©2016 Dutch Barbie World

That wraps it up from the Paris Fashion Doll Festival today.  Tomorrow it concludes with the salesroom.  I am sure Rogier will have photos and stories for us on this tomorrow.  Winking smile

–Rebecca


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. 


A Tale of Two Dolls and the Race for Platinum

Ok..so I have been gone for about a month and this was really not how I wanted to get back into the blogging routine…with a sad tale.  I didn’t want to do it but there was simply no other way.  If you heard wailing and moaning yesterday morning, you most likely were in the vicinity of a Barbie collector or more specifically a Tokidoki Barbie collector.  Here is a picture to start our journey.

©Mattel 2015

The doll above is a Black Label Tokidoki doll that Mattel offered up for sale yesterday morning at 9AM to all collectors.  It was an announced, anticipated, blogged about and hyped to within an inch of its life sale.  This doll was in itself interesting and highly collectible and worthy of excitement and anticipation.  Mattel, in an effort to relieve a system/server bottleneck instituted a high volume go-to solution called the “waiting room” where people, once they have selected to buy, are essentially  put in a queue to wait for their turn to pay.   The trick is getting to pay before the doll sells out. It is very civilized and diplomatic and used in many concert ticket sales sites as well as Comic-Con.  It is not infallible or perfect but it is better than system-crashing gridlock.

That sale on its own would have been enough, but wait…there’s more.  Mattel had to raise the ante a bit and also offer, at the same time, a platinum level doll.

©Mattel 2015

Here is the platinum label Tokidoki Barbie also offered up by Mattel this morning at 9AM.  This was again an announced sale and was open to all collectors not just BFC members.  It was advertised, talked about, blogged about and anticipated since the day it was announced over a week ago.  Mattel decided to spice things up a bit and held a treasure hunt to get the doll.  This entailed finding one of two little icons (like the icon below) hidden somewhere on The Barbie Collection website.

©Mattel 2015

Once you found the icon, you clicked on it and it would take you to a secret sales page through which you could purchase the exclusive doll.  So, you have 1) a platinum doll up for sale which means there are only 999 or fewer of them, you have 2) a black label highly collectible doll up for sale, you have 3) a system that has failed before when it comes to platinum sales and 4) you are now going to ask people to not just go in and click on one page, you are going to ask them to click on many, many pages to find a little icon.  Sounded like a recipe for misery and disaster to me.  To be fair, Mattel has updated their website (my review of that is a whole other tome waiting to be written) and they gave cryptic clues as to which pages the icons could be found on.  Ever the intrepid doll hunter, I said to myself “Well allrighty then, I’m hunting for it.”  And with this decision, a new phrase entered my doll collecting vocabulary: Platinum Hunting. Let the race begin.

Runners on your Mark!!    Per Mattel, We knew that they were offering “some” of the platinum label dolls for sale but not all.  We knew that some would be offered through other retailers but did not know which ones or at what time. All we knew yesterday morning was that at 9AM PST some platinum label Tokidoki dolls would be available for purchase at $75 if we could find the icon that unlocked the secret sales page. 

Runners Get Set!!  I knew I didn’t have a snowball’s chance in…well you know where…of getting this one but I wanted to try.  I wanted to take the clues they gave us and try out this new system.  I expected the whole experience to end as it does in one of my favorite scenes from Shakespeare in Love: “How is this to end?” one character asks,“As all stories do when love is denied – with tears and a journey,” is the prophetic reply. I expected the frustration, I expected the tears, I expected the journey to end in disappointment and anger.  Sadly, this indeed appears to have been the most common experience. My own race, however, did not go as expected.

Go!  I went in with a few guesses about where the icons might be based on the clues in Mattel’s write-up.  My plan was simple: I would try the “platinum label” page or “black label” page, see if the icons were on these pages and if they were not, that was that… no platinum for me.  Something I had noticed earlier about the Barbie Collection website came in handy and was (in hindsight) instrumental for me in this race.  I had realized that it was very difficult to find basic things using the site’s built-in search box with terms such as ”Black label”,  “Platinum label”, or the names of designers like “Bill Greening” or “Robert Best”.  The old Barbiecollector site would return the content I expected when I searched for these things.  This new site?….not so much.  Before the sale began, I had issued a search on Bing that returned links to the “platinum label” and “black label” pages within the Barbie Collection website.  I had these links on hand for the big sale and it was these pages that came in handy and not the searches using the search box within the Barbie Collection site itself.  When the 9am hour hit, I refreshed my “platinum label/Barbie Collection” Bing search, clicked on the first Barbie Collection link and got…

Tokidoki Platinum hunt_edited-1

See the funny link on the bottom left?  Yeah…I did too.

Tokidoki Platinum hunt2_edited-1

In programming terms, this is a syntax error. Most commonly it happens when a programmer introduces a typographical error.   I saw the icons I was looking for and I also saw that they were attached to “Bill Greening”.  I saw the icon and I clicked.  Invalid syntax or not, the icon was still live/active and it took me to the hard-to-find sales page where I was able to purchase and check out successfully.  I immediately tried to tell a couple of friends where the link was and I thought telling them “find Bill Greening” was the thing to do.  It wasn’t…Here is why.

You could not search for “Bill Greening” on the current Barbie collector site and get the page you needed.  That search functionality doesn’t work on the current site.  WHAT?!!!  The only way that I have seen to get to his page within the BC site was finding a doll that Bill designed and clicking on that product page, then clicking on his name in the product description under designer.  Once you got to his page, there was the icon right next to his name.  The easiest way for people to get there would have been clicking on the other black label Tokidoki doll that was for sale. But here’s the problem with that: Mattel had just spent the last couple of hours training people to think that if you clicked on the Tokidoki link, you got sent to the waiting room. I would venture to guess that many people were concerned they would be put into the “waiting room” for the black label doll, thereby missing their chance to get the platinum label doll. That left them trying to figure out which dolls Bill Greening designed while hearing the clock tick, tick, ticking away in the background.  In retrospect, the most efficient way to get to the magic sales page was to abandon the website search functionality and search using an outside search engine such as Google or Bing.

So, the race is over…what did we learn?  Here is one thing and I will relate this to fashion: there is a well-known rule that you don’t accentuate your flaws in fashion.  For example, if you are wide in the hips you don’t wear horizontal stripes…especially around your hips, right?  If you are short or petite, you don’t wear anything that accentuates the fact that you are vertically challenged.  Well, if you have a website that does not have good search or even logical search functionality, then don’t ask people to search for something!  This isn’t brain surgery people…it’s common sense.  Now I know there will be people who will say “Well perhaps they didn’t know there were these problems until this sale showed them.”  My answer: that excuse doesn’t hold water. There’s a well-known history of the site failing when stressed (see this about the last Platinum sale).  Before re-opening a sales site (after having it closed for over a week I might add) the first thing many companies do is usability testing.  One of the many things this kind of testing does is to check the functionality of the website.  Was this done for the new site?  I am left to wonder on that one because yesterday’s exercise in frustration showed many glaring issues with usability.  If Mattel is looking for feedback,  I have a couple of suggestions for The Barbie Collection website.

1) Fix the search functionality on the site pronto.  Make sure that key logical searches are working like say…your designers, or your label categories, the actual names of products, etc..   Here are a few to help get you started..A) Bill Greening doesn’t work, Bill works but not the full name.  Will Greening will pull up a few because apparently your search tool can “infer” accurately but not come up with results if you search the actual name. B) When I searched “Robert Best”, the site came up with exactly one Silkstone doll…one. You might want to check that one Mattel. C) A Lynda Kyaw search doesn’t do any better. It comes up with mighty Aphrodite but that’s all folks.  D) Try typing “platinum label” into the search box and see what you get.  I will tell you…nada…no hits which is why I went to an outside search engine to search the site and came up with better results.   2) Test your system!!  When it comes time to test the completed system, you might want to get a few users who actually use the site to purchase something..oh like say your customers do…you might in fact want to hire a few customers to go in and actually take the site out for a test drive AHEAD of launch.   3)  Check for errors!!  When you launch something like this treasure hunt, you might want to check your site for blatant syntax errors.  They were at the top of every Bill Greening product page during the treasure hunt on the website ( wish I had grabbed a screen capture but did not).  Just saying…not a professional look.  I will give the website this though, it appears that the “waiting room” did help with stress on the system.  The website did not crash and people were able to check out with their black label Tokidoki dolls.  For myself, once I had the platinum doll in my cart, I was able to check out without issue or inordinate delays.  This was an improvement over past platinum label buying experiences. 

I want to love and stay loyal to the Barbie brand…I really do.  It is really hard to do when they appear to treat long standing and loyal customers the way they did yesterday.  There appeared to be way too few dolls allotted for the sale.  We have yet to hear how many were actually put up for sale yesterday.  I am thinking out of the 999 that were made, only 100 or fewer were put up for sale yesterday. The Barbie Collection website’s lack of functionality in it’s search tool hindered many collectors attempt at finding the icon.  Even if you knew the icon was on Bill Greening’s page, you were asking, “where is Bill Greening’s page?”.  I happened upon the link by pure dumb luck and an outside search engine that just happened to pull up a page with the link on it. Here is the take away for me… Why hold a contest for clients and prospective clients but give them very little chance of succeeding?  Do you garner good will that way?   It’s like inviting a large group of hungry friends to a party and once they arrive you set down a can of coke and an airline bag of pretzels.  I fail to see how Mattel or the Barbie brand added new buyers for their product on this one.  The treasure hunt was a novel and cute idea for sure but did it bring in enough visibility and new business to make up for the loyal buyers you just royally pissed off?  I am just not seeing it.  I guess time will tell.  Not a good business plan in my opinion.  I think it will take a while for the bitter taste to leave collectors mouths on this one.

***UPDATE***  Per Mattel, the remaining platinum dolls will be sold at ToysRUs, Target and FAO.  They will receive them randomly mixed in with black label TokiDoki Barbie’s.  The hunt for  many of this platinum doll continues…


Valium Wasn’t Enough

Nope…Can’t touch this

Classic Evening Gown Barbie® Doll

©Mattel

 

Apparently even Valium wasn’t enough to carry the day for Mattel’s latest scheduled platinum sale.  According to Mattel, a server error before the sale even started was enough to cancel the entire thing for that day and no date has been named for its release as of this posting.  I have experienced Mattel and Barbiecollector system issues for years (YEARS!) before this hence my previous blog post “Get your Valium Ready” but even I did not anticipate a complete customer fail.

Customer Fail = to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved. 

What?!!!  This begs the question, if one server error was enough to bring this sale down, exactly how many servers were allotted to this event?  I am thinking….2.    Come on people.  It is a platinum sale.  You hold it once a year.  You know…I can believe that weird system things happen.  Believe me, I have experienced just such a thing.  The system issues that Mattel and BC experience at these platinum sales are consistent not just a “one-off” thing.  To come in two minutes before kick-off and say “We are sorry, but we have a system problem”, just comes off as poor planning to me. 

Don’t want to arm chair quarterback here but, if you don’t have the server capacity or you have had problems previously with the capacity, one would think you would have a back up plan…perhaps RENT some additional server space or start to question the ability of your system to handle  the load you place on it during these high volume sales.  There are companies like Amazon and Microsoft that offer up services to handle and solve such issues each and every day.  If you can’t diagnose and treat the issue, perhaps it is time to seek outside help.  Just a thought.  In the meantime, Mattel and the BFC have left their most avid and loyal collector customers with a decidedly sour taste in their mouths.  I have no idea if it is the IT staff at Barbie collector who plan poorly or Mattel Inc. itself that simply has not allocated the funding and resources necessary to handle these sales.  It is entirely possible that Mattel has told Barbie Collector and its IT staff they must make bricks with no straw on this one.  If that is the case, I feel for them.  Either way, it leaves the collectors questioning whether they want to purchase the product or not.  Not a positive customer experience.  Not a good day for Mattel and the BarbieCollector brand.

Thumbs down

As of this posting, no available date of sale has been given by Mattel or Barbiecollector for this doll.


Get Your Valium Ready

Mattel is serving up their first platinum edition doll of 2015 to BFC members next week.  You have to be a BFC member to have a chance at this doll and you have to be a prepared and ready BFC member to have a chance at her.  I highly recommend valium while doing this LOL!  There will be system delays ( cough…crashes…cough), there will be frustrated collectors, there will be disappointed collectors and there will be euphoric “ I made it through the obstacles and got it” collectors.  There will also be, I suspect, a fair number of scalpers in there just trying to score a doll they know they will be able to make a profit on later.  It is the nature of the beast when you have low supply and high demand.  So what is all this fuss about you ask…..let me show you.

Classic Evening Gown Barbie® Doll

Platinum Label®

Designed by Linda Kyaw

Release Date: 5/13/2015

Product Code: CGT31

No more than 1000 units produced worldwide.

Retail:  $85.00

©Mattel

 

©Mattel

©Mattel

Doll Details

Body Type:
ModelMuse

Skin Tone:
Neutra

Facial Sculpt:
Aphrodite

Fashion Sewn On?:
No

Eyelashes:
Painted

Included with doll:
Shoes, Earrings, Bracelet, Doll Stand

I have to admit…she is pretty.  I would not expect anything less from Linda and her beautiful and classic sense of style.  The jury is still out in my mind if I will enter the shark tank for this one but I wish luck to everyone who wants to try for her.  May the force, fast internet connection and the healthy spirit of the hunt be with you.


A Glimmer of Inspiration

Many of you may remember the platinum edition BFC exclusive Glimmer of Gold™ Barbie® Doll.  I was lucky enough to be able to get this one.

 

source:  www.barbiecollector.com Glimmer of Gold

While engaging in my favorite pastime  {cough} obsession {cough}, I came across a photo on Pinterest (Thank you Ana Labato!! http://pinterest.com/anaquell/the-world-of-fashion/)that showed me a likely inspiration for this doll design.

sources:  Style.com and barbiecollector.com

Glimmer of Gold inspiration_edited-1

Cool!  And since I know a friend of mine is anticipating the arrival of the platinum edition AA Golden Gala into their collection, I took some photos with her in the Glimmer of Gold fashion.  And it’s in THE window. Smile

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Get Your Valium Ready….

…There is a platinum release Barbie available for purchase to BFC members next week.

** Photo credit: Mattel Inc. **

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Her name is Beaded Gown Barbie® Doll and she is the first in a new series of black and white themed Barbies®.  Linda Kyaw is taking over the drivers seat for the platinum editions and I would say she did a beautiful job with her first in a series design.  This elegant lady was designed exclusively for the BFC and at $85 she will go on sale online Wednesday, May 22nd, at 9:00am Pacific Time.  BFC exclusive means you have to be a member of the BFC to purchase her and platinum edition means there will only be 999 available for purchase.  Typically these are extremely hot sellers and they have been known to sell out within minutes.

I swore that Pinch of Platinum was my last platinum purchase because I needed a bucket o’ valium after fighting to purchase her online.  I am hoping that for those who are going to try for this beauty the phrase o’ the day won’t be “SERVER ERROR”. 

Beaded Gown closeup 2

 

Beaded Gown closeup

Have the tums and the valium ready for this one folks…it’s going to be crazy at 9AM on May 22nd.

Hope everyone’s experience is this…

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rather than this….

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Platinum Violette

Okay…this one is for the Silkstone lovers.   I could not let this diorama go without putting one of my favorite Silkstones within its shabby chic yumminess.  Robert Best’s “Violette”, in my opinion, is one of the most feminine doll designs of his career at Mattel.  She embodies gentility and spring to me.  Perhaps it’s the lilac print on her gown, the large flowing design or the flowers in her hair…I don’t know…but put it all together and I feel the pull of springtime.  It’s just so girly!  She is also a platinum edition Silkstone which means she is not photographed often.

I have to give credit to my daughter Megan for this one.  She took one look at the diorama I was working on and said “ Mom, you should put the doll in the purple gown in this one”.  She was right!

 

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What the set up looks like when I have to pull the big lights out.  It’s a much more involved shoot…which is why you may see this diorama for a while. Smile

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Getting Ready for the Oscars

When I was doing  multiple posts on award show fashions, I was thinking wouldn’t it be fun to do a photo of Barbie getting ready for the Oscars.  I needed an appropriate background and Mattel provided that with their amazing new Barbie Look Wardrobe.  It also needed a bigger than life dress because it is…after all…the Oscars. Who better than Jason Wu and his talented team at Integrity Toys could do that?!  Finally, I needed the prefect model for the dress and I wanted someone who is not seen that often.  Since I am a deboxer, I have the luxury of redressing a rare or low production number doll.  For this photo shoot, I decided to use Pinch of Platinum.  She is a platinum edition doll which means there are no more than 999 of her in the world.  I also felt , given the pain and aggravation of her entry into my collection https://insidethefashiondollstudio.com/2011/05/25/pinch-of-platinum-how-about-a-bucket-of-valium/ , she deserved her moment to shine.  No valium necessary with this one .wink

Model, earings, shoes:  Pinch of Platinum Barbie

Bracelet:  Showgirl Silkstone Barbie

Gown:  Dark Romance Giselle NuFace Fashion Royalty

Set:  Barbie Look Wardrobe, Horsman pink chair and scroll side table, Jonathan Adler side table,  Randall Craig zebra rug and too many little items to name individually.  If you have questions on any item, just ask .

Stylist:  ITFDS

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How about this fabulous closet and it’s potential!  When it comes to diorama pieces folks…it doesn’t get any better than this.  My only complaint is the price.  It is pricey ( $70!!).  I purchased this one on sale and received $20 off.  That definitely made it more palatable.  It comes with three interchangeable backgrounds ( I love the black and white one!) and you could make your own too I suppose if you had big enough paper.  Oh, and drawers open and it comes with a bunch of hangers.  Someone mentioned on the doll boards that it would be great if Mattel could offer an extra set of hangers on their website.  Excellent notion!

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And… because Rebecca loves her macro lens…a few more shots of the doll and her accessories.  Love those shoes!  If you click them together three times and say “There is no place like Mattel” do you think you could be transported there?

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Music from the shoot…..