Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Cleaning Pt. 1: Mattel Fashion Fever Favorites - LOTS of Photos

Remember Mattel's Fashion Fever dolls from 2004-2008? I do. Those were nearly four of my most exciting Barbie collecting years. The hunt to find the new Waves and hard-to-find dolls like Desiree and Kayla from Wave L Well, I am going through my remaining tubed Fashion Fever dolls to see which ones stay and which ones go. You are invited to join me. I'm adding photos so you can follow my reasoning.       

Dolls in Waves A, C-F have either been deboxed already or were sold. Originally, I had the complete Wave B Fruits dolls: Barbie, Drew, Kayla, and Teresa. I sold Drew and Kayla some time ago. Shrug. No, I don't miss them. But I retained the Fruits Barbie and Teresa. Here's the Barbie from that set:                                  

Whole lot of pink going on here. Pink and blond hair, pink knit cap, and pink brocade tunic. But I think it works for this doll and this outfit. Check the view from this angle:

I love her pink and blond hair and the blunt haircut with bangs. I love her tanned complexion and kind expression. I love the pink brocade tunic and the dark denim jeans although I would have preferred that they NOT go for that scruffy, tattered style. Sigh. The white vinyl bag is okay. Maybe I will sell that? Not sure yet. I love the color - of the burgundy/maroon boots with their pink top-stitching. There is a story lurking in her.

Here is Wave B Fruits Teresa. Right off, I do not care for this face screening. It leaves me indifferent. I like the hair though. Hmmm ... nah, I don't feel like repainting her face to be more what I want. So, she can go? Not yet ...

I LOVE this outfit. I think I have kept her all these years because I think the outfit is fab. Barbie's Fruits outfit is attractive: I would even wear that one were the top in another color. This outfit, I would not wear - too trendy - but I enjoy seeing. It reminds me of Spring. Looks funky fun ... funky in a good way. The Asian Modern Trend from Wave T would look GREAT redressed in this outfit.

Decision: keep the Fruits Barbie and the outfit for the Fruits Teresa. Sell the Fruits Teresa doll.

Next up, Wave K's Gillian and Drew. I held out on opening Gillian and Drew because I wanted to open them on a special occasion. Never had any intention of selling them - just wanted to find the "perfect moment" to open them.

I like Gillian's freckles, her deep auburn hair color, and her solemn mien. She looks like a fashionable librarian. Just add wire-framed or frame-less glass spectacles. Poi-fect. Drew also has freckles, more of a strawberry blond hair color and an alert, friendly expression. Freckles aren't a feature I actively seek in my dolls, but sometimes, freckles will provide that extra distinction that tips a doll into my shopping basket. 

And for Wave K Drew ...

Gillian and Drew full length below. Decision: keep both.

Wave K Gillian

Wave K Drew

Wave N Shannen and Barbie Styled by Me. Shannen has the Tango face mold - one of my favorite Mattel face molds. I don't like this hair style or hair color on this doll. I would have given her center part black curly hair to her shoulders or a little below. I don't care for the outfit except the silver link belt. I LOVE that belt. It would look great against a black dress. Decision: keep Shannen AND the belt.

Barbie Styled by Me is a pretty doll. Her outfit is cute - lengthen that skirt so that it's midi length - and I could wear that fashion. My favorite item is the belt and the cap. Do I like those accessories enough to remove them? No. Better to leave the outfit intact. So she goes to the sale box. I like her, but paring down, I can let her go. The Oktoberfest Barbie will represent this Barbie look for me. So Styled by Me as well as similar-looking, Mackie-faced dolls can move on to new homes. Decision: sell Styled by Me.

Next, Wave R Modern Trend Kayla. Decision: keep her. She's one of my favorite Fashion Fever dolls. I had had TWO of her, but I sold one. She's shy but friendly. At one time, she was going to be Jilly after a character in Charles de Lint's urban fantasies. But with a Gillian already in the series, I canned that re-naming. Kayla she will remain until I find a better name for her. 

Wave R Modern Trend Kayla

Wave R Modern Trend Barbie - bye bye. Remember the comments about Styled by Me Barbie? Repeat here.

Wave R Modern Trend Barbie
I have a Wave S Modern Trend Kurt somewhere, but I know I want to sell him. The only tubed doll I have left in Wave T is the Modern Trend Asian doll. I don't think she was called Kayla. She's a definite keeper. Cute outfit, but even more, I like her face. She looks quiet and peaceful. 

Wave Benetton Paris Drew and Wave T Modern Trend Asian

Moving on to Wave U ... okay, I have a problem with how Mattel dressed one of these dolls. First, because the top doesn't seem age-appropriate. A teenager would not likely wear a fairytale princess top. Second, the colors do not suit her complexion. Third, did they have to place one of the three Black dolls in a top featuring a blond fairy princess? Really Mattel? Did you have to do that? 

Wave U Christie and Wave Benetton New York Christie/Desiree?

I think that this Wave U Black doll may have been the only Christie among the Fashion Fever dolls - unless the Benetton New York doll was also a Christie. (Kayla was racially ambiguous.) Wave U Christie looks timid to me. (Probably scared because Mattel made her wear that princess top - poor dear. Sigh.) Look how carefree and cheery the Benetton doll looks next to her. Even though Benetton New York wears the ugliest fashion in this series, she throws back her head and grins. She's not wearing the blond fairy top. Yeah, Benetton New York is a keeper - love her sassy strawberry blond curls and that wide grin. The outfit - shudder - goes on sale. It is incredibly ugly. Someone might find that remarkable.

So do I keep Wave U Christie? Heck, yes. Somebody has to get that top off her. And I like her two-toned hair and the surprisingly dark lip color. Re-dressed, she will look less stressed.

Here ends the first post on this theme. Part 1 of Spring Cleaning Dolls and Action Figures.

Happy Holidays, Easter and Passover.


Barb the Evil Genius said...

I miss the Fashion Fever days. Mattel was capable of making playline dolls that were fashionable, realistic looking, and nice enough for collectors. And just prior to that (I think?) was the wonderful Fashion Avenue line of clothes. Even the My Scene dolls got pretty cool outfits. Now it's mostly over the top glitter. Sigh. Hopefully Mattel can pull it back together.

I love your Fashion Fever collection. It's making me want more Barbies even though I do NOT need any.

Phyllis said...

I too have quite a few of the Fashion Fever line of dolls. I have rebodied the ones I want to keep. What I like about those dolls and the Fashion Ave clothes is the quality and fashionable-ness of that line. Much of today's playline clothes are way to glittery! My daughter, who is 13 says she wouldn't be caught dead in most of those outfits and the quality is definitely cheap.

Muff said...

So sorry I wasn't collecting back then. The fashions just looked so fresh back then and well... normal!

Now it's all pink hoochi glitter.

D7ana said...

Hi Barb the Evil Genius, Phyllis, and Muff!

I loved the chase for the Fashion Fever dolls and how fashionable they were.

@Barb - yes, you have that order right. 1994-2004 the Fashion Avenue outfits graced the doll runway. The Fashion Fever dolls ran from 2004-2008 if you include the Hobbit-bodied dolls. The My Scene dolls ran from 2002-2011; their outfits and accessories - playsets - were worth the cost. I do miss that quality. I'd be happy if Mattel made fewer varieties and produced better quality for the dolls they did produce.

@Phyllis - I'd like to rebody the dolls I keep, too. It is more fun to pose articulated dolls and action figures than it is with more rigid dolls. I think that the dolls are tested on 4-year-olds - do our tastes change so much? I started playing with Barbies around 6- or 7-years-old. Way back then, we used glitter for holiday cards and decorations and construction paper "artwork." LOL.

@Muff - oh, yes, those were some good years. I mean I love some of the character dolls today, but for the playline, there were better options. Even at that price point. Guess the still-bad economy has trickled down to zonk our dolls. (Not the Fashion Royalty stuff though - and ironically, Integrity Toys used to be a budget doll manufacturer.)

I don't notice real people wearing glitter - so I don't know where that sparkly stuff comes from. Shrug.

Roville said...

I loved that series! Some of the cutest little fashion pieces ever, some still work mixed and matched with today’s current fashions. Thanks for posting so many photos (your new blog format is ideal for showcasing photos). I enjoyed reminiscing and looking at those cute faces and fashions all over again. Those were the days when Mattel was still getting their playline right.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

You answered your own question about where the sparkly stuff comes from when you said you think the dolls are tested on 4-year-olds. :) That being said, I played with Barbie dolls far longer than most girls do today, and the lack of articulation never bothered me. I was actively playing with them far more than posing them. Of course, I don't suppose it ever occurred to me that the dolls could be articulated, either.

You are so right about the quality of the My Scene playsets. I still have several pieces from that era, and sold the spiral staircase from Madison's Party Pad for an insane amount a few years ago.

D7ana said...

Hi Ro! Yes, this is/was one of my favorite Mattel Barbie lines. Glad you enjoyed this post: I have MORE Fashion Fever dolls to share - some boxed and some loose. To think that the worst bit about these were the plastic handbags. Different fabrics for the outfits ... and everything was not polyester, lol.

I hope Mattel can bounce back and start making nicer playline things.

D7ana said...

Hi Barb! Me, too. I mean, I "played with" Barbie from about 6-7 until about 16. Then I started "collecting" them - had the DeWein-Ashabraner Barbie book to defend my new stance. Ha! Articulation did not interest me then. I thought Dinah-Mite looked as though she were pieced together by Dr. Frankenstein. Barbie has smooth limbs; Barbie was superior. I didn't care for articulated doll bodies until I met Petworks' Momoko. Ahhh, Momoko.

Ooohhh, I have the My Scene Madison's Party Pad with that spiral staircase somewhere. Maybe I'll sell it on eBay - then again, I doubt I would get much for it now. But that's a good idea to look into. Help to update my current collection ;-)

Thumbs up on the My Scene playsets. A little undersized, but sturdy and an asset to any playscale collection.

Vanessa said...

I wasn't collecting during this time, but the Fashion Fever line was the best. Do you remember what the retail price at the time was? I absolutely love that Benetton Drew doll. I have a few FFs in my collection and I am very happy with them.

Some adults still wear glitter, but they tend to do it in their makeup. Wasn't it just last year that glitter eyeshadow was all the rage again? Could have been a couple of years. Time is flying. I think in general young girls still enjoy that glitter. My 7 yr old neighbor loves it, and so did my 14 yr old granddaughter. Go figure.

Thanks for sharing your collection with us.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

So D7ana, are Momokos worth what is being asked for them, as regards value for money? From what I read at The Toy Box Philosopher, the bodies are prone to cracking and chipping just like J-Dolls, and while the clothes are fantastic, they also feel to me like they are overpriced. $20 or $30 for a pair of molded plastic shoes, for example, seems terribly high, considering my guess of what they cost to make. I've also seen prices for the same Momoko vary wildly, which seems like a case of not having a standard retail price but rather getting as much as you can sell it for.

Vanessa, my 15-year-old still loves some sparkle on her clothes, but not just flung on the entire outfit, like most of the playline dolls seem to do.

Ms. Leo said...

I loved these dolls! I still want that pink dress and the Drew with the Asian face! That was the last time that the clothing was something special! Thanks for posting!

D7ana said...

Hi Vanessa, Barb the Evil Genius, and Ms. Leo!

@Vanessa - oh, I noticed some FF faces in your character list ;-) Congrats on getting them; they are lovely dolls. The original price for them was from $9.99 - 12.99 for the basic dolls in tubes. I think that the Benetton dolls were a little more as were any dolls packaged with the equally neat FF furniture. I got my Benettons from Angelic Dreamz; I don't think I ever saw them in retail stores. Then there would be buy 1, get 1 free sales. Oh, yeah, those were some good doll buying days. Sigh.

I always worry that the glitter would get in my eye. I guess people who like glitter like the drama it brings. I'm too lazy to want drama ;-)

Glad to share the collection. Glad to have others appreciate them ;-)

@Barb - hmmm ... I have PAID for Momokos in the past. Can't believe what I paid years ago. Facepalm. I don't regret having done so - I had them for some years. Hard times hit and they were among the few things I could sell for at least face value.

From a value for your dollar point of view, Momokos - okay, I wince as I type this - are not "worth" high prices based on the sturdiness of the dolls and even the lovely tailoring of some of the fashions.

However, I enjoyed having the Momokos that I bought. They are produced in smaller batches than other dolls so there is some I-have-this-elusive-doll magic about them as well as the appeal of their look.

If you are interested in getting a bargain on Momoko, try for a nude or redressed Sekiguchi one. They cost less than the Petworks ones - usually. But even nude, a good condition Momoko will be pricey compared to Barbies because there are fewer Momoko dolls and Momoko fans tend to fervent ones ;-)

@Ms. Leo - yes, those were the last of the best playline clothes. Sigh. The Asian faced Drew was a Benetton doll. Regarding the pink dress - do you mean the pink satin tiered mini? That was cute ;-)

MissSpottyJane said...

The Fashion Fever years were also a golden age for me. I wish I had bought almost every single one I saw. I guess it's good that I didn't, I still need to thin down my collection.

D7ana said...

Hi MissSpottyJane! Much as I loved those doll days, I confess I have sold several dolls from that series and will be selling more. No matter how spectacular our collections are or could be, we end up thinning them down only to build them up. Shrug. Ah the nature of collecting. Wouldn't miss it though ;-D

Barb the Evil Genius said...

D7ana, I certainly don't begrudge anyone spending what they can afford for a doll. From my perspective, I don't have a very large doll budget, so I need to make the most of every dollar. Even the larger dolls I have were usually bought second hand, and also very often nude. I'm not interested in the dolls as much as the clothes, and so many of the clothes seem to cost as much as what I could get something in my size for. Yeah, I don't have much of a clothing budget either.

D7ana said...

Hi Barb! I amazed myself as I considered what I spent on Momokos and other dolls and action figures. You didn't sound as though you begrudged any spending - you sounded more like you wanted to know the quality of the doll as a doll. I found myself shocked because of the contrast between my doll budget then and my doll budget now ;-)

Some doll and action figure outfits cost what bargain dolls and action figures cost. (I'll try that someday.) In fact, if I split an older doll and her outfit, I could probably get more money from those sales than if I sold the doll intact in her box ;-}