Phew! That’s a long title. Sorry about that but I wanted to make sure everyone understands this article is not just about the convention doll from Japan, but also about the entire controversy that has started after the reveil of the Paris doll.
Let’s first look at the Japan doll (if you haven’t already seen her). The Paris one is posted below this article.
Thank you, Mario Paglino for the images!
She is a variation of the Paris doll but with a slightly different makeup, darker hair color, different hair style, dress and earrings. She is limited to 900 worldwide and she is Gold Label. The box, shoes, bracelet and little doll are the same.
Now, before I get into my thoughts about the direction the convention dolls this year are going, I want to point a few things out. I am an honest person. If I see something that is wrong I point it out. If I see something is good I praise it. If someone that I had a quarrel with does something good, I acknowledge it. I am like that. I simply can’t lie or pretend I don’t see things as they really are.
Keeping that in mind please read what my thoughts are below.
The majority of collectors HATE these dolls. They simply hate them and there is no way of sugar coating this. They think they are too plain, they look too much like a Black or Pink Label doll, they dislike that the face of the doll resembles The Look Sweet Tea doll too much. Collectors want dolls like La Reine de la Nuit, Spring Break 1961, Tribute Barbie giftset and so on. I want that too! I want each convention to have an over the top convention doll like Empress Josephine or like the Faberge dolls that I simply adore. I want to have a convention in each country and I want Mattel to come out with Collector dolls just like they did back in the early 2000s and for a good price.
But that is NOT possible! It is not realistic, it is not doable in 2017. Let’s see why.
1. The economy simply is not the same as it was before 2009. Yes, it is better than in 2009-2010, but it’s not the same as before the financial crash and I don’t think it will ever be the same. This translates into less dolls sold, less money for the company and bigger production costs. Hence the poor quality of a lot of dolls.
2. Barbie sales are down. There is no denying this. When your sales are down you must cut costs. Yes, you could take a plunge and create better dolls for a small profit, but then what about your employees? Who pays them if the profit is small?
3. I bet I am going to make people angry with this, but there are TOO many conventions! And Mattel sponsors them all. Let’s do a recap: Paris Fashion Doll Festival, Portuguese Doll Convention, Italian Doll Convention, Madrid Fashion Doll Show, Convencion Nacional de Coleccionistas de Barbie en Espana, Roma Fashion Doll Convention, Japanese Convention, National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention, GAW, Kenvention and there also is a convention in Brazil and Australia. That is 12 conventions! Not sure about the last two or GAW, but I think the other all get free dolls. So sorry to say this again, but approving so many conventions and trying to give each a unique doll created this mess. Mattel just can’t afford creating a unique and elaborate doll for each convention and then giving it for free. It’s bad business and Mattel is a business, not a charity. Yes, that sounds horrible, but it’s the truth and we are all mature and we have to understand this.
Tommy Courtney pointed this out about too many European conventions and I have to agree with him. I love visiting different countries and I love going places, but first of all it’s very stressful on my wallet and second it’s bad for Mattel because they have to cut corners with convention dolls so the hole in their budget is not so big. Now you understand? I hope so.
Yes, Mattel NEEDS TO MAKE CHANGES! They need to do something about the BC site, the forum, the membership (hello, we want the 2017 club to start!!), the design of collector dolls, the amount of boring play lines that even small girls don’t want anymore etc. Try releasing less pink mermaids and focus on bringing back good articulation to the Fashionistas, details and accessories on Collector dolls, relaunching the DOTW with never used before countries etc. I fully agree with you all on these issues, but with the convention dolls I can’t just because I have managed to see their problems from a financial point of view. Yes, I know… Me of all people have managed to see Mattel’s innocence.
I hope I have managed to convey my thoughts correctly and if you are thinking how in the world I am defending Mattel, read again what I said above. I am an honest person and I can’t hold a grudge in a situation like this.
Feel free to disagree with me. I would love to hear all your thoughts.
P.S. Somewhere along the line we forgot that going to conventions is and should be about having fun with dolly friends, meeting new people and just simply enjoying ourselves.