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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bye-Bye Barbies. Hello Frozen Dolls, Monster High, and American Girl dolls

Is Barbie being Frozen out? Doll sales plummet as kids favor Disney’s Elsa and American Girl 

  • Experts say Barbie doesn't have a rich enough story line to engage kids as much as competing dolls

Despite efforts to stay relevant, Barbie's popularity is on the decline: Mattel has reported a 15 per cent drop in sales for the blonde doll in the latest quarter.
However, the company saw a 6 per cent increase in sales of its American Girl line and also found success with toys associated with Disney's Frozen.
While Mattel has attempted to keep the brand up to date with the recent launch of Entrepreneur Barbie - a tech-savvy doll that comes armed with a tiny smartphone and tablet, and even boasts a LinkedIn profile - experts say that Barbie doesn't have a strong enough narrative to capture kids' imaginations.
Image problem: Barbie's sales have declined due to competitors with more engaging story lines
Image problem: Barbie's sales have declined due to competitors with more engaging story lines
American Girl, for example, features 'historical character' dolls accompanied by books that tell of the characters' adventures.
Jim Silver, editor of TTPM.com (formerly Time to Play Magazine), says that competitors such as Mattel's Monster High dolls do a better job of engaging children with more complex story lines.


'With Monster High, you have Draculaura, Lagoona Blue, Clawdia Wolf, and they keep developing more characters and more backstories. Barbie is a superstar, but she’s just one character,' he told the New York Daily News.

Pure heroine: Elsa, from Disney's beloved animated hit Frozen, has become an increasingly popular doll
Pure heroine: Elsa, from Disney's beloved animated hit Frozen, has become an increasingly popular doll
A doll's life: American Girl characters, such as Josefina (pictured), feature engaging backstories
A doll's life: American Girl characters, such as Josefina (pictured), feature engaging backstories
He adds: 'Kids are growing up fast, and lines like Monster High are much edgier than Barbie. Girls 3 to 9 used to play with Barbie. Now it’s down to girls 3 to 6. The kids have grown up faster. They’re on iPads. Their fashion is different.'
And having turned 55 years old this year, Barbie may have a harder time being viewed as edgy by children whose parents grew up with the doll.
Ghoul talk: Monster High dolls are seen as 'edgier' than Barbie, and more appealing to older children
Ghoul talk: Monster High dolls are seen as 'edgier' than Barbie, and more appealing to older children
'Barbie is a very nice girl, very pretty, very clean cut, very Caucasian. But girls very often are not as nice as their mothers would want them to be,' Lutz Muller, owner of toy intelligence firm Klosters Trading Corp. in Williston Hills, Vermont, told Canada's Financial Post, adding: 'What girls are waiting for is another icon, one which is different from the idealized Barbie … which the mothers and grandmothers of current girls played with.'
And, of course, it's difficult to compete with Elsa, the heroine of Disney's wildly popular hit Frozen, which has become the highest-grossing animated film of all time since its 2013 release.
'We’re working very hard to literally chase demand' for dolls based on Frozen characters, Mattel CEO Brian Stockton told the New York Post. 'It gets greater and greater every week.'



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2708598/Barbie-sales-Frozen-competitors-richer-stories-Disneys-Elsa-American-Girl-line.html#ixzz38ulge4QN
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Monster High Doll Dreams


Of course, since I'm not buying any dolls right now, I naturally come across new dolls I want. I went to Walgreens for some photos today. I had a little wait, so I walked down the toy aisle. I immediately noticed the cute Monster High dolls, namely the first and third doll in the picture. It took all of my willpower not to buy one, just one. They've probably been around for awhile, but today I discovered their cute faces smiling back at me. I'm so glad the Monster High doll creators paid special attention and designed adorable faces. I won't buy a doll whose face has been just slapped on, with no regard for detail. The Bratz dolls are a good example of that for me (apologies to all the Bratz collectors out there). Anyway, the lesson for today: don't go down toy aisles.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Doll Room Idea


July 24, 2014--Taking a break from writing my novel.

Oops, my hubby read my doll blog last night. Even though I bought most of my new dolls with gift cards, Mike is convinced that more doll collecting just means more to move. He's right. We don't know how long we will be in Santa Fe...depends on Mike's job. Anyway, I'm going to refrain from buying anymore dolls. Wish me luck!

In our new house in the Teton Valley, Mike has promised to build a doll room in the basement. The picture above would be a perfect doll room, with some adjustments:

#1--All shelves need to have glass doors;
#2--A built-in, big dollhouse will replace the settee;
#3--Need a built-in ladder to reach the top shelves (I'm only 5'3");
#4--On the other side of the room will be more shelves, some with drawers for doll clothes, accessories, and other collectibles;
#5--A comfy table and chairs in the middle of the room so I can work-on ooak's, restoring dolls, or changing clothes;
#6--I will keep everything white so the basement room is light and airy;
#7--Cushions on the floor for play.

Play is important for children and adults alike. I follow Huizinga's book, Homo Ludens, and embrace my fun, playful side. Here's a blurb from Wikipedia about his theory:

Homo Ludens or "Man the Player" (alternatively, "Playing Man") is a book written in 1938 by Dutch historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga. It discusses the importance of the play element of culture and society. Huizinga suggests that play is primary to and a necessary (though not sufficient) condition of the generation of culture.
 Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.


Go play today!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Boxed Dolls





Since my husband, Mike, and I moved three times in two years, most recently landing in Santa Fe, we decided to downsize; and, also, buy a future vacation/retirement home in the Teton Valley. Most of my dolls now live in a climate controlled storage locker back in Denver. My dear son, Steven, helped me wrap each and every doll in acid free paper, read all of the doll markings for my collector's catalog, and neatly box them all. I miss each and every doll. I can hardly wait for Mike's promise of building a basement doll room, or doll house, for me! The second and third picture are dolls we had to box-up when we moved to Santa Fe.   :(

I must admit to collecting a few dolls recently: all of the Disney Frozen Dolls and coloring books/paper dolls/sticker books; Angel Pulips, and the rest of the Hearts to Hearts dolls. At first, I easily found the Frozen dolls in the stores. However, I only bought a couple at once; and, when I went back to the store for more they were all gone. So I bought the rest, for good prices, on Amazon. Angel Pulips were very inexpensive on Amazon, too, as were the discontinued Hearts to Hearts dolls. All of the new collection resides in our office closet, and guest room closet, now.

Oh, I went to Tokyo a few months back! Mike had to attend a business meeting in Shiodome.



We even flew in our daughter, Jill, from her Peace Corps assignment in Albania. It was wonderful to see Jill for the first time in a year and a half! Anyway, we only spent part of the time at Kiddyland, where I bought some Licca dolls. My dear husband also took me to the famous store, Junie Moon. I bought a couple of Petite Blythe dolls there. Junie Moon has a museum-like aspect to it. If you want to see all things Blythe, check-out their online store:  http://www.juniemoonshop.com/  Of course, most of the dolls are the new Blythe dolls, not the old $1,000+ Blythe dolls from the 1970's. So wish I had one of the old Blythe dolls. Maybe someday...