RESOURCE: Amazingly Beautiful! Brown Skin and Natural Hair

If you love having a diverse set of dolls then you will want to take a look at what doll artist Ms. Loanne Hizo Ostlie puts out there. She takes fashion dolls (mostly Mattel Barbie dolls) and re-does their hair in cute curly styles, locks (they aren’t called dreadlocks anymore, just locks), short cuts…you have to…

PLAYER PROFILE: Adult barbie Enthusiasts

When you start building your barbie collection you inadvertently run across a world of barbie enthusiasts you had no idea existed. There are thousands, seriously, thousands upon thousands of adults who love dolls and especially love dolls like barbies. The adult enthusiasts fall into several broad categories: NIB Collectors – these are the collectors who…

Definition: Barbieland

Our Barbieland is the sum total of all our dolls, furniture, cares, homes, schools and other accessories. Your Barbieland is all your stuff. On this blog we use the term to Barbieland to refer to the sum total of “our barbie stuff”. It’s not really a place as much as wherever you happen to set…

OPINION: Why barbies turn out to be a good choice for environmentalists

Barbie play could be judged more sustainable than many other kinds of play. If one measure of sustainability is the degree to which it is Reduced, Re-used and Recycled, then barbie stuff is a real winner.   FIRST: REDUCE Barbie items are much smaller than other Role-Playing and Imaginative Play toys. Especially the play kitchens, play stores,…

OPINION: Why barbies turn out to be a feminist choice

I am a feminist. I am raising my daughter to be a feminist. For some, feminism is about choices. The choice to work or stay home. The choice to have kids or remain child free. The choice to wear red lipstick or lip balm. The choice to pursue any hobby or career and not be…

RESOURCE: Van’s Doll Treasures Furniture

Most of the living room furniture Mattel creates is not 1:6 scale. It’s small. I don’t know if they do this to save money or space or both. Maybe they do it so dolls without articulated knees can appear to be sitting comfortably. Because  of this fact, most people who play with barbies a lot or…

OUR COLLECTION: The Ramesh Family

This is the Ramesh family. Rajeev Ramesh is a Project Manager in Information Technology. They live in Boston, Massachusetts. Rajeev’s wife is named Sushmita. His daughter is Ishanvi. They look at you like you are stupid when you say, “Indian? Dot? or Feather?” The reason they look at you like you are stupid when you…

OUR COLLECTION: Fulla Hassan

This is Fulla. Well, it’s OUR Fulla. Fulla is actually a doll marketed for Muslim girls so that they can have a Barbie-like doll. We bought a Fulla hijab on ebay and put it on one of our existing dolls.  I am very pleased with how she turned out. She will become a Character Player most likely….

OUR COLLECTION: Our Core Players

We have a number of Core Players that Leah nearly always chooses in sets of two. She generally chooses two girls who are always “sisters” in her description. Then she nearly always wants them to fall in love with two guys. From there I am always pushing to go beyond the romance angle by introducing other…

The Happy Family – Alan, Midge, Ryan and Nikki Hadley

Mattel came out with a follow up to the Heart Family in 2002. This family was called “The Happy Family” and was made up of Midge Hadley, husband Alan, son Ryan and baby Nikki. Just as we’ve modified our Heart family, our version of the Hadleys is also different than the family originally marketed by Mattel. …

SCENARIO: Fire Rescue

I bought a new set of Barbie clothes at Target the other day.  It’s called the “Barbie I Can Be…Heroes Fashion Pack” Super cute Firefighter outfit. Somewhat trashy policewoman minidress(?). We used the great Firefighter clothes to create a Firefighter Character Player. She was so cute she immediately impressed upon us a role for herself…

OUR COLLECTION: Character Players

Mattel has a long history of creating careers for BBBBarbie. This is known as their “I Can Be…” line and I am a staunch supporter of this product development effort. The impractical side of these dolls is that they are all the same gal. You can’t very well have BBBBarbie News Anchor interviewing BBBBarbie Firefighter….

The Heart Family – Mr. & Mrs. Heart, Meghan and Matty

Our Heart Family is a bit different than the one originally released by Mattel in the late 1980’s. We use the original mom and dad, but we replaced the original children with Kelly-sized characters because the original children were so freakish.  We treat the Heart Family as Character Players which means they don’t change clothes, or…

My Long Lull in Barbie Playing

So I haven’t blogged in months. The plan was to start the blog, build up a respectable number of posts and then start inviting barbie enthusiasts to let me interview them. I actually stopped blogging because I wondered if I had made the right choice by introducing barbie-play to my daughter at such a young…

SCENARIO: Dance Contest

Last night Leah came up with the idea of Break Dancing contest. We laid a peice of carboard in the center and each barbie took a turn. After a while she wanted one of her barbies to sing so it sort of became a talent contest. Finally, she decided her doll would teach my doll…

BEYOND: Painting

Ever since our first Re-Ment stuff arrived we have been bored by our Mattel accessories. We decided to start taking some of the less interesting accessories and painting them. Any acrylic paints are fine. Testor Model paints(Acrylic not Enamel) require soap and water for cleanup but they require fewer coats and dry with a satin…

Scenario: Classroom relationships, Teaching & Learning

The opportunities for using a classroom scenario are endless and Mattel has offered a number of education-themed playsets over the years. We have purchased various pieces from sets put out in the 90’s and we are able to create a lot of different classroom configurations. You can purchase a “I can be.. a Pre-school Teacher”…

RESOURCE: Re-Ment barbie-sized Food and Accessories

Re-ment is a Japanese company that make tiny (1:6, Playscale) little food and other accessories. Their website “explains the name” by expanding it to “Reform the Entertainment.” A lot of people on eBay call them “the Mattel of Japan” – though there are a lot of reasons that is not true.  For starters, they don’t…

SCENARIO: Accents and Origins

I like to do accents. British, Indian, Australian, West African, Jamaican – you name it. It’s fun for me. Sometimes Leah wants to play a scenario that I feel we’ve already “played out.”  But children need repetition, and I want to allow her the practice of whatever situation she’s interested in so when I acquiesce to her…

Scenario: Petshop

I find that playsets are necessary in order to keep scenarios going. When you don’t have some kind of props or accessories you will run out of play scenarios pretty quickly.  A theme that Mattel seems to have come back to over and over again is pets so you don’t need to buy the latest…

SITUATION: Long Plane Flight

We recently took a four hour flight to Boston and all we had with us were Leah’s So-In-Style collection (Grace, Chandra, Kara and Trichelle). We also had Darren and Zahara. First, we used our tray table as a stage for Chandra to dance but then Leah decided the tray table could be an operating room…

RESOURCE: Free Super Cute Printables

This site is exceptionally cool. People submit tiny graphics that you can print out in order to make little posters, books, money, file folders – you name it. Remember that barbies are in 1:6 scale and use those printables when equipping your barbies with the aforementioned items. HTPWb loves Jim’s Printable Minis!

Definition: barbégé

Pronunciation: barb-uh-zhay. When you are a Barbie-Playing-Mentor you have people that you are mentoring. The “mentored” person in a relationship is usually referred to as a “Protégé”.  This is a french word and it is pronounced “pro-tuh-zhay”. I thought about calling the players a Barbie-Playing-Mentor mentors “barbie-playing-charges” but the use of the word “charge” as a…