Friday, May 16, 2014

Mattel's Tika of the Flavas Rebodied

Tika of the Flavas

Going through my collection, I came across my Mattel Flavas dolls. I have previously featured the Choice Awards dolls, but I have more Flavas to share. For example, Tika, another Happy D and another Liam. (Yes, I have three Liams: they do have distinct face screenings.)  I am focusing on Tika for this post. I've wondered if she might  have been intended to represent someone with South Asian ancestry. The heavy eyebrows and the long eyes - even though her eyes are blue for this style - suggest so to me. Then again, with her light-brown complexion and textured dark brown hair, she could also be Black American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American. Her name origin could be Sioux or Hungarian.

P Bo is the tallest of the Flavas girls. Tika is not quite as tall as P Bo who is 11.5 inches - but she is taller Happy D, Kiyoni Brown, and Tawny who are 10 inches tall. I am not sure if Tika has the same face mold as Kiyoni Brown/Tawny. The difference could be that her eyes are painted longer. Her face doesn't have the same smirk as Happy D though. (Happy D's lips curl up on her right side.) Tika's head is not as long as P Bo's.

My biggest problem with the Flavas dolls was not whether they represented "hoodlums" or whether they weren't tough enough to be real thugs. My problem was the huge heads. I transferred my Street Kiyoni Brown head onto a Birthstone Barbie body, my Street Happy D onto a My Scene Vespa Barbie,  and my Party Tika onto a My Scene Vespa Madison body. Why? Because the Barbie Vespa bodies are jointed.

First, I show Tika on her "forever" body - a My Scene Madison Vespa body. Then you can see Tika next to her original body. Improvement, yes? I think so.

Tika Striking Poses

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll swings hair

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll reclines

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll excited - head back and arms in air

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll head lowered

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll shows her original body

Flavas Waves

Mattel created six waves of the Flavas: Street, Sport, Bike, Denim and Diamonds, Party, and Choice Award. I have these Flavas dolls:

Street Style
Happy D
Kiyoni Brown
P Bo

Sport Style
Happy D  Oops, don't have a Sporty Happy D

P Bo

I have no dolls from this wave 

Denim and Diamonds
Happy D
Kiyoni Brown 


Choice Award

Do you collect any of the Flavas dolls? Is your decision to do so - or not to - based on how Mattel marketed the dolls? On media response to them?


jSarie said...

I don't have any - when they first came out I couldn't get used to their in-between position between the ultra-stylized Bratz and the more traditional Barbies - but honestly the more I see them, the more I like them.

Either way though, your Tika looks great on her new body! :)

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I don't have any either; their fashions never really appealed to me. Your Tika head and new body seem like a good match. But then I vaguely remember My Scene being out at close to the same time, so they may have been using similar shades at the time.

jewel snake said...

Tika looks so much better now!
I have a few of Flavas, 10+ I think. I really like them, especially boys (big heads of girls are quite off for me). From girls I'm only using Happy D, repainted and rebodied on male obitsu body :D
As for thug style of those dolls - I think it was very good idea, this was of of the reasons I noticed them. I like street style on dolls (and I hate it on real people, haha), prefer it 10000 times over any princess, horse's hair stylyling, caring about pandas or other unrealistic Barbies and , for me, always awful My Scene dolls (enot only they had soo big heads, but also their make up and clothing were really off for me, too slutty).

Muff said...

I haven't a single one and have never seen one in person. They were released before my collecting time. I was unaware of their "disastrous" sales as so states the pedia page. I probably would have like them... well the boys at any rate.

D7ana said...

Hi jSarie, Barb the Evil Genius, jewel snake, and Muff!

@jSarie - yes, they were sort of between Bratz and traditional Barbies. And the girls' bodies all "twist" like they are doing extreme poses, lol.

They do grow on you though - I mean, they become more appealing - especially when rebodied.

@Barb - I like some of the fashions. The more conservative stuff like the Choice Awards fashions for the guys. On one hand, the stuff was not pink and only some of the pieces were sparkly, lol. The baggie pants gave me giggles - I mean Mattel being gangsta? Complete mismatch, I still think.

@jewel snake - Between you and me - I got the My Scene dolls for body swapping. The Vespa dolls came with the cool scooters AND articulated bodies. (Although, alas, the feet were tippy-toe rather than flat. Sigh.) And they had nice accessories, the My Scene dolls. I didn't and don't care for the big heads though.

I have GOT to check your blog for photos of your Happy D on an Obitsu body.

I agree that some fashions look cuter on dolls than on people. Shrug. As I mentioned to Barb, I cannot see Mattel dolls as hardcore thugs. They look too cheery and wide-eyed.

@Muff - the Flavas ran from 2003-2004 so they weren't around for long ;-{. In spite of their big heads and how the female dolls have twisted torsos, I like them. I hope you get to see some "in the vinyl" especially the guys. Tre pretty much looks the same, but Liam almost looks like a different character with each version.

They did get a lot of negative post: either people thought Mattel was making fun of hip hop or that Mattel was promoting thuggery. I thought Mattel was trying to make money on a "style." Although some times, it does seem as though Mattel is mocking itself and/or presenting something that will provoke its audience.

Fricskamacska said...

Hi! Nice to see your dolls and reading about new information. We actually have a name: Teca, diminutive form: Terézia. :) I'm keen on the Flavas dolls uniqueness: different size and face than the reality: Everyone is different. :) Best regards from Hungary!

lindaivette montes de oca said...

Hola, no las conocia, espero ver una en vivo. Saludos desde Mexico.

Vanessa said...

I like her on her new body, but I really like how they made her original body, too. It would make the perfect teenager body. I don't have any Flavas dolls. They came out at a time when I was not collecting.

RoxanneRoxanne said...

This is an improvement, I'd say. I've always liked the Flavas dolls. I have Tre, Kiyonni Brown, Liam, and Tika. I really like the boys. I'm sticking with the original bodies for the girls because they are teens here.

D7ana said...

Hi Fricskamacska, lindaivette montes de oca, and Vanessa!

@Fricskamacska - Glad you enjoy this post about Tika. Interesting that there is a similar name in Hungarian. I see you have Liam and Happy D in your doll stories; I will enjoy seeing them on your blog.

@lindaivette montes de oca - Voy a tener que hacer un vídeo de un día.

I will have to do a video someday ;-)

@Vanessa - lol, yes, the Flavas original female bodies are perfect teenager bodies. They have such attitude, lol.

Anyone interested in buying Flavas dolls? Please follow this link to eBay's Completed Listings for the Flavas dolls. The prices vary, but it seems possible to get them near to their original price.

Happy Hunting!

D7ana said...

Hi RoxanneRoxanne! Yes, I've seen the Flavas dolls on your blog. All my Flavas are in college - except for the Street Style Kiyoni Brown who dates Snoop Dogg ;-)

Cindi Mortensen said...

I don't have any Flavas dolls either. I guess they came out before I started collecting. Looks like Mattel was trying to do something different and it didn't work out for them. :-)

Roville said...

Interesting revisit, D. I didn't object to their urban appeal but didn't favor it either so never bought more than one, who, as suspected, was not a good fit.

D7ana said...

Hi Cindi Mortensen and Roville!

@Cindi - no, the Flavas did not work out for Mattel, alas. I give them B for the effort.

@Ro - Glad the post interested you. I think that the cartoony-look to them put some people off as much or maybe even more than the "urban" look.

Their desire to hang out at their wall made them less intimidating. I mean, they were so blatantly thug poseurs rather than scary punks.

Ms. Leo said...

I always love the clothing on the Fava dolls! Maybe not all as they styled them but I liked the pieces. The guys were the got to love their edge! Tika looks
better now. She looks balanced now. I don't own any of the girls but if I did it would be Tika. Nice post!

D7ana said...

Hi Ms. Leo! I remember one of your characters commenting on a young man who did not have his belt on. LOL. So I know that some of the Flavas looks would not appeal to you. Or at least, I thought they might not. (I'm not crazy about semi-sheer underpants popping out over drooped down pants myself, lol.)

I think we both like that the Flavas fashions are not all polyester. The pants are khakis or denims or jogging material. Much better quality, but then it was a different economy then.

Yes, see Tika needed that balance. Only wish is that her feet were flat, but I didn't have a flat-footed (gymnast?) body in her complexion. The Madison body is just the tiniest bit off-color too. Sigh.