Muslim “Barbie” Dolls Coming To A Store Near You… Maybe

If you have ever left a toy store frustrated because you were not able to find a modestly dressed doll I have good news for you. An Indonesian mother who couldn’t find a Barbie-like doll dressed in conservative fashions finally took matters into her own hands. Sukmawati Suryaman spent months designing the Salma Muslim doll for parents out there looking to inspire the virtue of modesty among young girls. The 28-year-old mother-of-one’s new creation exploded on the toy scene and now the Salma doll is the latest must-have toy for girls in Indonesia. The name Salma is derived from the … Continue reading

Barbie Fairytopia: The Magic of the Rainbow (2007)

Elina is a hero in the land of Fairytopia. She saved all the fairies from Laverna’s evil plan to kidnap the guardian fairies and use their powers to become the most powerful fairy of all in the movie “Fairytopia,” and in “Fairytopia Mermaidia,” she became a mermaid to save her friend Prince Nalu from another one of Laverna’s schemes. But not all the other fairies appreciate her reputation, as she’s about to discover in “The Magic of the Rainbow.” The fairy guardians are each choosing an apprentice to learn how to do the dance of spring, a crucial ritual in … Continue reading

Barbie in Fairytopia (2005)

In this installment of the Barbie movie series, Elena is a flower fairy who lives deep inside a peony. She drinks nectar, plays with Bibble, her puffball friend, and shares secrets with her friend Dandelion. Only one thing mars this perfect existence: she has no wings. All the other fairies have wings, and some of them even tease her about it. She tries not to mind, but deep inside, she wonders why she’s different. Laverna has a deep and sinister plot to take over Fairyland. Always jealous of her sister, the Enchantress, she has found a way to usurp her … Continue reading

The Evolution Of Barbie

Is anyone in your family requesting a Barbie for Christmas? If so, he or she isn’t alone. In a recent survey of parents done by the National Retail Federation Barbie ranked as the top toy for girls this holiday season (TMX Elmo was first for boys). The news came as a surprise to some analysts who have been watching sales of the doll slump in recent years, as they did at the beginning of the women’s movement in early 1970s – when toy consultants say “girls weren’t supposed to just go to the prom and marry Ken.” I grew up … Continue reading

A Fun House for Little Girls… and Big Ones

If you have a Barbie fan in your home, then you might consider booking a flight to California before the end of the month. That’s when the curtains will be drawn on a real-life Barbie Malibu Dream House. But until then, you can try to snag a tour of an actual Malibu mansion that has been transformed into the popular doll’s dream home. Toy maker Mattel recently hired interior decorator Jonathan Adler to replicate Barbie’s pimped out pad in a real-life 3,500-square-foot beach house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The home is being decorated to honor the doll on her 50th … Continue reading

A Doll for Every Child

What better gift for a child who might feel different than a doll who shares her story? A well-made doll can help children feel that the way they are is beautiful. If you really want a doll that will reflect your child, right down to the freckle, birthmark, or adaptive equipment, you have several new options. Dolls Like Me carries a variety of dolls, including biracial African-American/Caucasian and Latino/Caucasian. There is also a line of poseable figures from African-American history, such as Benjamin Banneker and Harriet Tubman. My favorite item was a jigsaw puzzle depicting a ballet class featuring dancers … Continue reading

How TV and Movies Have Infiltrated the World of Toys

There are two items on my 3-year-old’s Christmas list that she would be crushed if Santa did not bring her—-a minivan for her dollhouse and Squawkers McCaw the talking parrot. Interestingly, they are among the only toys in all of Toyland that are not tied to a movie or TV show. (Though, for the amount of times we’ve seen that Squawkers commercial, he might as well have had his own TV show.) If you have children or are shopping for kids this Christmas, you understand what I’m talking about. From action figures to bicycles to books, stuffed animals, Play-Doh and … Continue reading

Could It Be The Next Hula Hoop?

Recently, my co-blogger, Libby posted an article about the hula-hoop’s role in the world of popular culture. Kids’ playthings have certainly made their mark on pop culture and each year toy makers take a stab at creating new products that may impact society the way items like hula-hoops have. Potential candidates were unveiled this week at the American International Toy Fair in New York. The annual event is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and this year more than 1,500 toy manufacturers, importers and sales agents came in from 30 countries to show off their new goods. … Continue reading

Turns Out it’s not just the Kids!

A couple of my blogs this week (“Cars” is Breeding in my House, and Counting the Years with Merchandising) have been pondering on the very successful merchandising efforts of Disney, and reflecting on how much stuff we’ve bought for our kids, and how payment for this must be helping to keep Disney employees paid. Continuing my thoughts on this (with 2 preschoolers, a freelance business, and a home – and hubby to take care of, you need to let your mind work on something pathetically unimportant now and then just to keep the stress levels down), I realized that it’s … Continue reading

Let’s Get Physical – Not Fiscal

DVDs, exercise equipment, gym memberships, workout clothes, personal trainers and fad diets are among the first things that come to mind when you say the words exercise or get in shape. The idea is to get physical and exercise, not get fiscal and flex your wallet. Yes, the fitness industry is a billion dollar one and there are new gurus throwing their hats in every day. You can get a tight body and maintain a tight wallet at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with that in a rising costs of our economy. So the following are some ways to … Continue reading