Definition: barbie, barbies

When I blog about “barbies” I use it as a generic term for all 11 1/2 inch dolls or 1:6 scale dolls as some like to call them. They are also sometimes referred to as “fashion dolls” or “playscale”. I understand that Mattel owns the trademark but, like most people, I use it generically,  like saying “Kleenex” when I mean “tissue.” 

With that said though, I totally give props to Mattel for making the 11 1/2 inch doll market the powerhouse it is and will continue to be. 

I am not too much of a barbie-snob to buy Polly clothes at the dollar store. Polly has more modest clothing tastes than Barbies do and sometimes our barbies need an outfit to clean out the garage in or just run errands. Then again, I would never allow a Polly doll into the collection. Their faces are whacked and the bodies would collapse easily under Gordo’s rough and tumble play style.  

Disney has a complimentary line of Princess and Prince dolls . They are complimentary in the sense that the Princessess fit into Barbie and Polly clothing. Leah has Tiana and Naveen of course but we don’t really let Tiana and Naveen play with Trichelle and Darren at our house because their faces are just too moon-pie. I end up unable to get into Bavatarbie character because I spend the whole time feeling sorry for Tiana because she has such an oversized head. In short, you can mix Mattel’s Barbies with Disney but we don’t.

Bratz never excited me because the greatest thing about barbies is that, thanks to Mattel, you can buy 50 years worth of used Barbie stuff from garage sales, Craigslist and eBay. Bratz is already gone (though LIV and Moxie and others are trying to capture the market, and Bratz is supposed to be making a comeback). I feel confident that Barbie will still be around 30 years from now when Leah has little girls of her own.

So – to wrap up – when we talk about playing “barbies” on this blog, we mean 11 1/2 inch dolls – no disrespect to Mattel.  When we talk about “Barbie” – capital B – we mean the Mattel brand and Mattel products and when we talk about BBBBarbie – well, read that definition to find out what we mean.

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