Monster High: How the Beastly Beauties Are Beating Barbie

(image credits: http://fontmeme.com/)
(image credits: http://fontmeme.com/

Fashion dolls have been around for a very long time now. Its earliest incarnations were Bisque dolls made in France and Germany during the mid-19th century. These were created using unglazed porcelain. Fast forward to the present time, contemporary figurines are produced out of different types of plastic. Manufactured either as a toy for children or a collectible for adults, its reason for existence never changes: to be dressed in order to reflect fashion trends. One name that has long been the figurehead of the fashion doll market is Barbie. Designed by the American toy company Mattel, Inc., shehas been the brand that others try to catch up to, if not equal with for over five decades now. Unfortunately, recent numbers show a significant decline in Barbie sales with a loss of $11.2 million in 2014. And this turnaround all points to the monster dolls of Monster High. So, how exactly is this happening?   Kids These Days The 21st century is a major reason for this. With its various technological advances come a change in relatibility, especially for the children who were born in the new millennium. Their tastes and interests slowly shift from the classic and analog to the hip and digital. Just how many 3-6 year olds today can we see tinkering and playing with their parents’ phones and tablets with know-how comparable to adults? In this media-saturated age, child values inevitably shift just like the trends that influence it, which can explain the recent triumph of Monster High over Barbie.   Story Time! Launched by Mattel in 2010, Monster High’s franchise offers an expansive line of products. Aside from its flagship toy dolls, it also includes bags, stationery, accessories, TV specials, movies, webisodes, and video games. With these bevy of merchandise goes a whole linear narrative that the children can follow, and this could be an edge Monster High has over Barbie.   Pop culture also has a hand in this. The physical appearances and backgrounds of each character were inspired by various monster and sci-fi movies, as well as horror and thriller stories. These details set them apart from other fashion dolls available on the market. And with the numerous media franchises proliferating today telling stories about love struck vampires and zombies, it’s no wonder why children seem to gravitate from the classic to the complex sense of beauty.   Flaunt Your Flaws It can be said that the brand’s message of celebrating one’s flaws, whether related to looks or personality, is Monster High’s prime highlight and selling point over its long-tenured rival.  Barbie has long been an aspirational figure of uber-beauty for the young little girls, and with this she also has been criticized time and again by that seemingly unattainable standard.

(image credits: http://www.barbiecollector.com/)
(image credits: http://www.barbiecollector.com/)

The main characters of Monster High have their own individual imperfections. Frankie Stein has stitches that loosen at the worst possible times; Clawdeen Wolf’s fur grows back swiftly; Draculaura can’t see her reflection in the mirror; Cleo de Nile is a monster who’s afraid of the dark; Ghoulia Yelps can only speak zombie; and Lagoona Blue’s skin tends to dry out fast is she’s out of the water for a long time. The Ghoulfriends stay as BFFs amidst these blemishes and they find ways to excel in Monster High, which could also be a timely reminder now that bullying is such a contested and prevalent issue within the youth and their educational systems.

(image credits: http://www.fanpop.com/)
(image credits: http://www.fanpop.com/)

With that, it seems that Barbara Millicent Roberts has a lot of thinking and reflecting to do. Will she make a comeback?   Check out our Monster High Collection:  Monster High Ghouls Rule Locker Vanity Monster High Dawn of the Dance Frankie Stein   Thoughts? Comments? Come share them below.

Barbie by Stefano Canturi: The Most ‘Valuable’ Barbie in History

 

(Photos taken from: www.canturi.com and www.google.com.ph)
(Photos taken from: www.canturi.com and www.google.com.ph)

 

Who is Barbie?

Barbara Millicent Roberts, internationally known as Barbie, has over 50 years of popularity. She has been every little girl’s favorite doll. She takes on different roles, providing girls with lots of fun opportunities to dress her up. At the same time, she also serves as a role model they can look up to. She reminds little girls that they can be whoever and whatever they want to be.

She has become a renowned fashion icon and having been dubbed with such a title, Mattel made sure that she lives up to the expectations of her fans. And that’s why, to this date, Barbie has already worked and modeled for world-famous clothing and jewelry designers, throughout her years of popularity.

Barbie-2

Each specially designed Barbie is treated as collector’s edition which not only commemorated Barbie’s milestones, but also answered the yearning of Barbie collectors which have already grown in number. These exclusively designed Barbie doll versions were auctioned, setting the record as the most expensive Barbie sold, one after the other.

In 2009, in time for the launch of the Barbie® Basics Collection in Australia, Mattel invited Stefano Canturi to work with Barbie in creating her most precious and valuable look. Now, if you’re not a jewelry enthusiast, the name Canturi may not be enough to wow you but let us give you an idea about who Stefano Canturi exactly is.

Who is Stefano Canturi? 

Have you seen this sophisticated and intricately designed jewelry anywhere? (Refer to the first photo on the left) If you’re a fan of romantic or musical films, then you probably guessed right. It’s Satine’s necklace from the film Moulin Rouge. Stefano Canturi is the jewelry designer behind this perfectly crafted piece, he created the necklace for Nicole Kidman’s role in the Academy award winning motion picture.

Stefano Canturi is an internationally celebrated fine jewelry designer known for his designs crafted with soulful cubist inspiration – a look that’s modern, timeless, and iconic. His designs also shone in other movies including The Matrix and Superman Returns. Necklaces and bracelets made by Canturi Jewels have also been scouted on the arms and necks of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Christina Hendricks, Kylie Minogue, among others.

Barbie® by Stefano Canturi ­

Barbie-1When Mattel asked Canturi to ‘create a world first – the rarest and one-of-a-kind Barbie’ – that was exactly what he did.

Canturi was given complete freedom to stylize Barbie from head to toe. From the hair, the make-up, the wardrobe, and even her pose. But of course, the highlight of his Barbie masterpiece is a diamond collar necklace that he designed especially for the timeless fashion icon.

It took Canturi 6 months to create and stylize a very original Barbie and according to him, “… he loved every minute of it.” He thought of every detail and his designs were centered on Barbie’s very own persona. “Barbie is iconic and so I didn’t just want to cover her with diamonds, I wanted the jewelry design to pay homage to her modern yet timeless style, this is why I applied my Cubism design concept to her look; it is perfect for her.” He stated in an interview.

The diamond Cubism necklace, which features a bunch of white diamonds surrounding a precious 1 carat Australian Argyle pink diamond collectible, makes Barbie® by Stefano Canturi the World’s Most Expensive Barbie. She also wears a Canturi diamond ring on her right hand, matching the intricate neck piece. The doll went up for auction at Christie’s in New York and has been sold in October 2010 for $302,500.

Most Valuable Barbie in History

The Barbie made by Stefano Canturi is considered the most valuable not solely because of the West Aussie pink diamond that she wears, nor of the auction price with which she was sold. Her value is considered most significant for the cause she stands for.

After Canturi received the commission from Mattel, he thought the undertaking much too decadent during that time, and decided to take on the job if Mattel agrees that all proceeds from Barbie’s auction, be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. As much as Canturi wanted to pay homage to Barbie’s “modern yet timeless style”, he also wanted to dedicate his masterpiece to the women who inspires his art and for which he designs all of his fine jewelries.

And so, as soon as Barbie® by Stefano Canturi arrived back at Christie’s New York from her World Tour, she was sold for $302,500 and as promised, benefited The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

Barbie is definitely one extraordinary woman, with 150+ career experiences and a beauty that’s immortalized all around the world. Though she’s made of plastic, she lets little girls know how fantastic it is to dream big and keep going. As long as her true calling remains the same – to encourage generations of girls to place no limitations on their ambitions – she is sure to be celebrated for more and more years to come.

References: 

http://www.canturi.com/
http://www.wnyc.org/story/98765-barbie-fashion-creating-worlds-most-expensive-doll/
http://www.barbiecollector.com/news/barbie-stefano-canturi

The Bombshell: Top 5 Barbie Controversies You Probably Don’t Know

The Barbie doll was invented by Ruth Handler, founder of the toy company Mattel, naming it after her daughter Barbara. Through the years, Barbie became a cultural icon. The fashion doll is sought after not only by young girls but also by collectors all around the world. However, popularity sometimes comes with a price – criticisms and controversies, criticism and controversies that Barbie faced head on and survived since its invention on 1959. These are the Top 5 Barbie doll controversies which caused uproar to young girls’ parents and to concerned citizens.

 Barbie

5. Barbie Video Girl and Child Pornography

In 2010, Mattel released its new version of the Barbie doll: The Barbie Video Girl. This Barbie doll features a pinhole video camera on its chest, disguised as a necklace. The camera can record clips of up to 30 minutes and can be uploaded to a computer using a USB cable. However, on November 2010, the FBI issued a warning in a private memorandum saying that the said doll can be used in making child pornography but it was said that there were “no reported evidence that the doll had been used in any way other than intended.”

(Photo from: http://resources1.news.com.au/images/2010/12/08/1225967/456625-barbie-video-girl.jpg)

 

4. Barbie and Tattoos

Barbie and Tattoos

Toys play a large role in influencing a child’s lifestyle. That’s why a lot of concerned parents reacted when Mattel launched the Totally Tattoos Barbie. The said version features a myriad of tattoos, including a lower back tattoo, which really stirred up a controversy. This also happened when the toy company released its Tokidoki Barbie doll which has pink-dyed hair and a lot of tattoos. These dolls stirred up a lot of issues and made parents angry because of the thought that it can influence their daughters to be “rebellious” at a very young age.

(Photos from: http://www.nykola.com/images/tattoobarbie.jpg and http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/hot1073jamz.com/files/2011/10/tattoo-barbie-doll.jpg)

 

3. The Sweet-Turned-Sour Idea of Oreo Barbie

Oreo Barbie Back in 1997, a cross-promotion of Barbie dolls and Oreo cookies was done. The result was the Oreo Fun Barbie, a doll in an Oreo cookie-themed outfit produced in both white and black. However, this caused an outrage among the African-American community. Critics said that the word Oreo is a slanderous term used to describe a person that is “black on the outside but white on the inside”, just like the cookie. This caused a backlash and resulted to a product pull-out.

(Photo from: http://www.thestrong.org/online-collections/images/Z001/Z00151/Z0015175.jpg)

 

2. Happy Family

HappyFamily-Barbie

In 2002, Mattel launched a doll set with Midge and her baby. Midge is Barbie’s girl best friend. Midge was shown to be pregnant lady with her attachable baby in the womb in the Happy Family Doll Set. The doll set was complete with the baby’s needs, crib, table, and even a cradle. However, there is one which is lacking in the set – the father. The set was supposed to teach values of family life to children but since it lacked the father figure, parents were outrageous saying that it was promoting teenage pregnancy. Due to this unfortunate and unforeseen event, the dolls were immediately pulled out from the market.

(Photo from: http://g.foolcdn.com/editorial/images/105589/pregnant-barbie_large.jpg)

 

1. Don’t Eat!

 Dont-Eat

One of the most common criticisms of Barbie is the issue of anorexia since Barbie depicts an image of a lady who has an unrealistic body for a young girl. This leads to danger when girls attempt to imitate her and tend to become anorexic. Not only that, the Slumber Party Barbie and Barbie Baby-Sits versions of the doll came with a book entitled How to Lose Weightand guess what it advised. You’re right! It advised, “Don’t eat!” The Slumber Party Barbie set also came with a bathroom scale which was permanently set to 35 lbs., which is underweight for a woman whose height is 5 feet and 9 inches. These really caused issues and worried parents. In Mattel’s defense, they said that Barbie’s waist was made smaller because the waistbands and seams of her clothes added some weight to her unrealistic figure.

(Photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbie#mediaviewer/File:How_to_lose_weight_II.JPG)

What do you think about these controversial dolls? Did we forget something? Tell us about it! We’d Love to hear from you!

 

You may want to check out our Barbie Collections at http://theescapeplace.com/. Click on each doll to purchase and go directly to our Ebay Store.

Mattel-Silkstone-Lingerie-Barbie Mattel-Silkstone-Barbie-Model-Redhead Mattel-Midnight-Tuxedo-Barbie-Doll-2000 Mattel-Fashion-Insider-Ken-doll-Giftset Mattel-Dusk-Dawn-Barbie-Doll-Limited-Edition-GiftSet