Barbie, Barbie Silkstone, Fashion Dolls, Integrity Toys, Mattel, W Club
Comments 4

Mattel! What are you doing??

I have been collecting Barbie for decades.  But I’m not sure I can support Barbie for much longer.

First there was the Boucle Beauty fiasco.  Barbie collectors started receiving dolls that looked like this:

Picture taken from Doll Genie's Facebook page.

Picture taken from Doll Genie’s Facebook page.

If I am paying $100 for a doll, then it had better not look like a hot mess.  Her eyeliner is applied worse than mine is.  What was Mattel’s response?  It was “normal variation” and “based off of Robert Best’s sketch.”

Another member of the Barbie Fan Club posted this picture comparing Boucle Beauty with her Daria:

83Daria (on the left) was made in Japan.  Boucle Beauty (on the right) was made after Mattel switched factories to Indonesia.  Apparently quality has gone downhill since then.

After the pictures of the defects started being shared on social media, a BFC liason gave (in my opinion, a rather half assed “apology”) of “We messed up.”  They promise that all Boucle Beauty dolls will be inspected before they go out, and full refunds given to anyone who returns their doll.

I’ve quietly watched the drama on the BFC board and seen pictures from collectors who received defective dolls–one of them had a purple spot on her face, another had a broken eyebrow and smudged liner–and several people have reported (with pictures) getting BB’s with crumpled tissue paper–much more crumpled than if it had been merely “inspected”–and with ribbons wrinkled, the hairnets noticeably dislodged (like they had been pulled off and then pulled on again).  They think they were sold previous returns and I’d have to agree.  I was up in the air about ordering this doll…and there’s no way I’d do it now.  This has really taken the wind out of my sails regarding collecting any of the current Barbie Silkstone.  It’s a shame because I was so excited about the new Silkstones for this year, but right now I’m not even sure I’m willing to take the risk for Lavender Luxe:

Picture taken from amazon.de

Picture taken from amazon.de

With paying this price point for dolls, I shouldn’t have to feel like I have to cross my fingers and whisper “do ya feel lucky, punk?” before I submit my order.

Offer me dolls that have outstanding quality and I’ll pay what it’s worth.  This goes for clothes, accessories, playsets, furniture.  I know that it’s a delicate balance to please shareholders, work profits, get that bottom line.  I don’t pretend to know how things roll in boardrooms but I can take a guess.  Mattel.  For god’s sake.  We all want the line to succeed and do well–give us quality pieces that we want to buy, with no bloody defects!  

This all went down about a month ago.  The dealer Doll Genie never did get an answer on what Mattel was going to do about insuring quality control of their product so they cancelled their order for Boucle Beauty and refunded their customers.  I have to tip my hat to Doll Genie for how much they care about giving their customers a quality product.

So then the Platinum sale comes around.

from Barbie Collector

from Barbie Collector

These sales are legendary for being a “diving in the shark tank” sort of affair.  Servers crash regularly and often you don’t know if your order actually went through or not until you get an order summary email and your card is charged.  The dolls are in low quantity, only BFC members can purchase, and every single year I’ve decided to participate it’s been an ordeal.

The sale was set for last Wednesday morning…and then postponed because of “server issues”.  (Because apparently they can’t check their servers until the morning of the sale.)  It’s been rescheduled for Thursday, 21 May.

The reason this makes me angry is because every single time I have ordered a Platinum doll, it has been a fiasco.  For some reason they can’t prepare their servers to handle a large sale…and there’s another part of Mattel that has had this problem too…American Girl.  From multiple copies of one product dumping itself into my cart after a server lockup to items mysteriously disappearing from my cart…I’m tired of it.  Mattel websites are the ONLY ones where I have these problems.  Mattel knows they have an IT problem (with both BFC and AG).  The fact that these problems never get fixed and instead are compounded with MORE problems tells me that they don’t care enough to fix the issue.  So why should I care enough to spend money with them?

I was going to roll for this year’s Platinum doll because I really liked her–but after this latest cancellation and rescheduling…AND after attending my first Integrity Toys W Club webinar…I am going to PASS on this year’s Platinum and spend that money on dolls from Integrity instead.  The product that Mattel offers simply isn’t good enough to put up with the amount of hassle they’ve made collectors go through anyway.  Seeing as how they report Barbie’s sales are down–WAY down–I’m at a loss to explain why they would want to treat their diehard collectors in this way.

Do I want to see Barbie go down in flames?  I do not.  The dolls hold a lot of happy memories for me and usually bring me lots of joy.  I am really hoping that someone can get things turned around.  Move production back to Japan.  Fire your entire IT department and start over new.  I don’t care–figure something out–do what it takes.

Then my very first W Club webinar was yesterday.  And it was a BLAST.  Joining that club may be more expensive than BFC, but the excellent customer service, the way they include and welcome collectors and the many perks they offer for membership make it fantastic.  I am probably not going to renew my BFC membership next year so that I can concentrate solely on Integrity’s offerings.

Such as:

From Integrity Toys

From Integrity Toys

When I saw this sitting in my inbox my mobile did something weird and skipped to the bottom of the email, so I had to scroll back.  Oh God, I thought, I love them all.  I need to rank them to figure out which ones I want for certain…and then…I realized that it’s a gift set with three heads that use the Quickswitch feature.  So one body, three outfits, appropriate accessories, and three heads.  All for $160.  I placed my deposit at once!

From Integrity Toys

From Integrity Toys

Does this remind anyone else of Megan Draper from Mad Men?

And I love this redheaded look…when I thought they were three separate dolls I knew that this was the one I was going to absolutely have to get.

From Integrity Toys

From Integrity Toys

And this…I love it.  “her modelling shoot for Way Out! magazine”…

From Integrity Toys

From Integrity Toys

Yes.  Yes to all of it.

I have to keep everything from webinar under wraps until at least tomorrow, but I plan to share some of my favorite pictures of the new releases here at that time.  Hopefully I can chase down the two Poppy that I want–more experienced club members say that she always goes fast.

During Webinar every new reveal was just amazing–even if I didn’t care for the doll itself they handled each new release perfectly.  I am sold–now Integrity fan for life.  Are you listening, Mattel?

4 Comments

    • I’m excited about the stuff they just released (mainly Maryellen’s items) and I’ve been hearing good things about AG’s CEO Christopher Sinclair, and I hope that he can turn things around. I think it will take time for them to dig themselves out of the hole they’ve put themselves into over the past several years and I hope he can lead the charge and get it done. Give us high quality for the price, make me feel secure about shopping on your website and make interesting products I can’t find or duplicate anywhere else and I’ll throw money at you. No matter if AG/Mattel figures it out or not, at least I’ve got Maplelea!

      When the Hudson’s Bay Barbie promo shots were released there were some comments on another blog I follow that this Black Label doll looks to be of higher quality than some of the collector level offerings. I’ll buy just about anything with a Canadian tie in so I’ll try to purchase this doll–but this will be the first Barbie purchase I’ve made in almost two years, maybe two and a half. My AG purchases really slowed down too once I ran out of Costco cards. No Costco card + no free shipping = low to no chance of an order from me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am so happy to hear about the new CEO, I am quite nervous about the future of AG. I have a few PC items that I received secondhand from an American friend and I was so impressed with the quality. I certainly hope that this quality returns with the change of CEOs. I wasn’t really interested in the Hudson’s Bay Barbie, but after what you just said, I may have to check it out. I was totally into Barbie when I was younger, but when I went back to them after I had my daughters I was nothing but disappointed. Let’s hope to see some improvements at Mattel.

        Like

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