Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Very Barbie Christmas

As a general rule, I don't consider myself a Barbie collector. I love to look at Barbies, and as a kid I certainly had more than my share, but as an adult, they don't usually align with my tastes. I make exceptions for character Barbies, like my beloved Batgirl, 60's Catwoman and Wicked Witch of the West, and the Life in the Dreamhouse line has been calling to me, but that's about where it ends. Except when it comes to Christmas.

Sneak peek at the Barbie tree!

Years ago when I was just a kid, my aunt bought me the very first Hallmark Celebration Barbie ornament, which are designed to match the holiday Barbie doll that Mattel releases each year. In that instant, a collection was born, and this year I bought myself my 21st Barbie ornament. This year, the reins for the Barbie holiday ornaments have passed from Hallmark to American Greetings, and I was curious to see how the ornaments may change with the new manufacturer. This isn't really a review, really more of a show and tell, but I think it'll be fun. If you're curious to see what 21 years of Barbie ornament collecting looks like, stick around for lots of photos!

This is what 21 years of Barbie ornaments looks like. Pretty majestic, right?

So, let's start at the beginning, shall we? The Barbie that started it all!

 She's from 1993, and is a very traditional looking Barbie, with the bent elbows.

 Next we have Miss 1994.

And poor 1995 had an accident at some point in her life, but she's handling it well.

 Considering how many of these ornaments I have, and how many years they've been going on and off Christmas trees, having only one broken on, is a pretty good track record! I also have fond feelings about this one because I had a Barbie Christmas book where she wore this same outfit!

1996. I love her muff, and the texture of her underskirt.

 1997. The one and only brunette in my collection, interestingly enough! In more recent years they've begun making an African-American version as well as the usual Barbie, but I think this is the only brunette they've made. Her dress is also really something special, reminds me of something one of King Henry VIII's wives would have worn, maybe Catherine of Aragon.

 1998. I love this one! She's so glamorous and dramatic with the high colllar and the sharp contrasts in colour. A stand-out, especially in the early years.

1999. Barbie as the Millennium Princess. Love the colour combination on this one as well, blue and silver are some of my favourite holiday colours.

2000. The first year with added tulle and a lovely fur collar! Very pretty.

2001. This one is really gorgeous, with the silver stars and scattered glitter on her skirt. Beautiful and really catches the light on the tree!

2002. I love the deep red colour of this one, with the pink accents. It's simple but still very pretty.

2003. This lady is VERY glamorous! The kind of woman who wears silk robes and marabou slippers every day, don't you think? I love the movement they managed to get in this molded plastic skirt!

2004. If Barbie was a Slytherin?

2005. Both this year and the next one, the dolls were designed by Bob Mackie. I think you can really see his fashion influence in this one, with the intricately pleated tulle on the skirt, and the unique pattern on the dress.

2006. This is one that I imagine would be incredible as a real dress. In my mind, the dress is made of a rich velvet,  and the embroidery would be stunning.

2007. This year Barbie is doing Mrs Claus, her way. Very cute take on a traditional Santa outfit!

 2008. This one is pretty stunning, from the metallic silver skirt to the sheer top with sparkles drifting down her arms. This could be a red carpet gown!

2009. This is a favourite of mine! I love the pink and gold, and the sparkly pink tulle of the skirt is absolutely magical.

2010. Another simple, traditional take on a holiday dress, but beautiful, as we expect from Barbie.

2011. I think this girl has real attitude in her face! She knows she looks awesome, and she wants you to know it too.

2012. I actually think this one look a bit like Taylor Swift, and I think this dress is definitely something she would wear!

And now, we have this years, and the first one made by American Greetings and not Hallmark. I will admit that when I heard Hallmark was no longer going to be making these ornaments I was heartbroken. Especially after I saw the doll and how gorgeous her dress was! So when I saw this ornament in Toys R Us, I may have squeaked a bit in excitement, and she came home immediately. She's celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Holiday doll, so she's doubly special to me!

2013. She has a lovely layered over skirt, with a dangling 25th anniversary charm over one hip. She's very different from the Hallmark ornaments to my eye, and actually looks more like the dolls than they do. I think it's going to come down to personal preference in terms of what one people will prefer, and if collector's will follow Barbie over to American Greetings.

Here's a quick comparison. The first Hallmark Barbie, the new American Greetings Barbie, and the final Hallmark Barbie. All different, but all beautiful!

What do I do with all these Barbies, you ask? Well, since I was a little girl, my dream was to one day put all my Barbie ornaments together on a pink Christmas tree, and a few years ago, I realized that dream!

It's not a big tree, but I get a huge kick out of putting it up every year, and it makes me incredibly happy.

The newest girl gets to go front and centre!

And a few final close ups! They just look so cute nestled into that pink tree, I can barely stand it. It's almost too sweet, even for me, but it just works!

This year I added a Monster High ornament to my regular tree, so there's dolls all over the place all year round! Does your love of dolls trickle over into your decorating in the holiday season?

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