By Amy Lipkowitz
doll is still going strong. This year marks the triumphant return of her
erstwhile sweetheart, Ken. The post-makeover Ken appears in the Beach Fun
line -- the brunet version in our photo gallery is a one-of-a-kind celebrity
styled customized Ken.
Fever line continues to expand. New additions include a portable styling
head that can fit in a snap-shut case for kids to travel with, and a styling
head with hair-coloring that children can share with the doll.
aspects of Barbie's life are explored this year, including her pets, her
family, and her careers (numbering well over 90). The pets are a beautiful dog
that "eats" kibble and eliminates it, requiring Barbie to scoop and
dispose of the waste in a trash can. The cat uses the clumping litter,
continuing the theme of social responsibility. Tawny the Horse (available as a
styling head and as a horse for Barbie to ride) really walks, and Barbie is
articulated to allow her to mount her steed.
family front, Little Sister Kelly has received another update. The new
Kelly is slightly larger than the previous ones, and includes a sound chip that
allows her to interact with various playsets. Barbie's under-teen sister
Stacey also returns in various two-packs with Kelly.
the tenth anniversary of Tickle Me Elmo, and Elmo returns as TMX
(Tickle Me Elmo Ten, or Extreme). TMX Barbie comes with Elmo-themed
clothing and a plush Elmo of her own. As TMX is still very much under wraps
until the grand unveiling on September 20th, the packaging for TMX Barbie has
TMX represented by a shadowy silhouette.
Barbie has her first ever three-story townhouse. The house features
lights and sounds, and the third level is removable for on-the-go adventures.
The townhouse is scheduled to be out for Christmas.
include the Party Bus. Continuing the portability theme, the playset
features a couch on the interior and a hot tub on the exterior, both of which
fold up and away for storage. The hot tub includes flashing lights and
world of Fairytopia continues in her first sequel movie, Mermaidia.
Besides the currently available mermaids, the toy line includes the Glitter
Swirl Fairy, with a swirling-glitter feature that sends glitter-infused water
rushing through her fairy wings. The Color Change fairies have hair and bodies
that change color as water is applied to them. Finally, the Sea Pixies are
tiny dolls that fit into pendants that girls can wear. The dolls themselves
can be removed from the pendant and worn as rings.
previous movie, Barbie in Fairytopia, is touring the country as a live
stage show. To commemorate Barbie Live in Fairytopia, a Collector's
Edition Barbie as Elina doll is being released. The doll wears a replicate of
the stage show outfit.
Barbie CG Fairytale movie is Barbie in The Twelve Dancing Princesses, in
which Barbie (as Princess Genevieve) and her eleven multi-ethnic sisters must
find the courage to save the kingdom. The dolls have poseable elbows and
various dance-related action features. Barbie and Genevieve, for example, has a
spinning skirt. Hadley and Isla, the twins, can spin on interlocking stands.
The Kelly-doll triplets can be wound up on their stands, and then released on
to a flat surface to spin and twirl like tops. The dolls also come with
collectible dancing-shoe themed necklaces.
to being a large articulated talking fashion doll with poseable knees and
elbows, the Let's Dance Interactive Genevieve can be placed on her stand
for three different modes of play. In Perfomance Mode, Genevieve dances along
to music from the movie. In Teach Me mode, the child places IR sensors on her
arms and foot. Genevieve can then detect the arm and foot movements, and
instruct the girl on the proper dance moves. A speech feature allows Genevieve
to correct the dancer if she makes any false moves. Finally, the Dance With Me
mode allows the girl to lead Genevieve in a dance using the IR sensors.
photographs were not permitted for the My Scene line. The big upcoming
line if the Fab Faces series, with five different animatronic facial
expressions; Surprise, Smirk, Smile, Talk, and Pout. Featured in this line are Nolee,
Madison, Chelsea, and newcomer Kennedy, a blue-eyed
blonde. Other My Scene series shown included the UnFURgettable line of
faux-fur fashions, the Let's Go Disco line, and a number of Swapping
Styles dolls accompanied by a single swappable head/torso.
non-Barbie news, the world of Winx Club has expanded to include
make-over heads and other electronically enhanced toys. The Magic Makeover
Bloom head cooperates with the child, closing her eyes to allow eyeshadow
to be applied, and puckering her lips. She interacts with the child through
speech and actions such as blowing kisses and winking.
introduced last year, are also available in Makeover format. These
feature color-change lips and light-up wings.
to singing songs from their popular cartoon show, the Singsational Winx Club
dolls feature a "working" microphone that makes the sound quieter the
further it is from the doll's lips. The regular fashion dolls do not sing, but
will have new Beach and Disco themed outfits.
Ami Yumi series is focusing on roleplay items and small figures rather than
10" fashion dolls this year. The main themes are make-up and music, with
hidden make-up and applicators studding the guitar and other toys.
Holly Hobbie returns with a Direct To Video
feature in March 2006. The new Holly Hobbie has a contemporary flair, while
keeping wholesome themes of friendship and activity. The 12" dolls
include accessories and activity kits such as beading and stickers that can be
used to decorate the doll's clothing. There will also be separately sold
accessory fashion packs. Holly and her friends all have pets, who will also be
sold with decorating activity kits. The Holly Hobbie Clubhouse Girls
series features smaller dolls with removable fashions. There will also be poseable
bendable dolls with plastic non-removable clothes.
of Teen Trends is expanding with a new character, Rayna. Each
Teen Trends doll has a personality and unique fashion style, and Rayna's
fashions are inspired by Asian Fusion fashion.
dolls on display were dressed in their Back to School clothes; the
unpackaged dolls are from the Winter Cool assortment. There will also be
separately sold fashions, as well as separately sold pet dogs for each girl.
fall, a series of accessories called Create-A-Spa will allow children to
build their very own Teen Trends spa. They can choose from various sets
ranging from a hair salon to a manicure station, with separately sold hair
falls and other clip-on accessories.
Chix series of digital girl friends are continuing to expand in 2006. The
new additions include the Road Trippin' Cars, which link up to the Pixel
Chix houses to allow the digital characters to leave the home and go on
adventures. The Love 2 Shop Mall also connects to the cars, and allows
the Pixel Chix to work, make money, and shop. The two-story malls can be
connected to make a mega-mall. The Pixel Chix can traverse the two floors of
the mall using an innovative flip-up LCD screen. This screen will also be
featured in the two-story Pixel Chix houses, coming out in the Fall.