Bill Greening has given the BFC his next installment in the Willows, WI line that is continuing to pay homage to Midwest Americana nostalgia. This one is only available to BFC members, and a nice perk of membership this year in my opinion. How can you not find this one adorable?!! That face!! Awwwww….makes me want to pull up an upholstered chrome stool and slurp down a milkshake. Nostalgia isn’t cheap though folks…she comes with a hefty price tag of $75. You do get some adorable little extras though. And, it’s pink and there is a poodle involved…enough said, I’m buyin’. Excellent work Mr. Greening!! One question though, where are the saddle shoes?! Guess they really wouldn’t have gone with the look.
Soda Shop Barbie® Doll ( BFC Exclusive)
Designer: Bill Greening
Release Date: 2/10/2016
And…what about that set!!! Me likes.
…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.
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
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.