So I did something I haven’t done in over a year–purchase collector Barbies straight from Mattel.
I am suspicious. I am not sure that they have learned from the Boucle Beauty fiasco and I really don’t want to get my hopes up for a fashion doll only to be disappointed, and I’m a little worried by the way they handled this launch.
They’ve got my email and I’m signed up for the lists–but I didn’t re-up my BFC membership due to their QC issues last year. I guess they thought that I didn’t want to buy any more with them period, because I never got one email about any new releases–let alone Hudson’s Bay. I only went looking on their website when a Facebook fan page I follow showed a picture of the doll.
What was encouraging was that there were a lot of collector comments that were very positive about Hudson’s Bay Barbie, and some that pointed out she looked better than the special BFC collector dolls, and this was a Silver Label. I am apparently not the only one who has been more excited about this than any other Limited Edition dolls geared to collectors. (I thought I, with my obsession for all things Canada, was an outlier. I am glad to say it looks like I was wrong.)
What is also nice was that even though this is a Canadian exclusive for Hudson’s Bay, an iconic Canadian business, the doll would also be available for US collectors on the Barbie website. (Sure wish we could get that going the other way round with AG products.)
I sent off a nice note to Mattel a few weeks ago asking to confirm if HBB would be available for US customers and what date and time it would be available in store. I never got a reply. I called customer service and they had no idea what I was talking about and they didn’t know anything about a doll by that name. I had to get my information from that Facebook page and Canadian news sources.
I stayed up until midnight and there was no doll, but Mattel has always been terrible about their websites. I think she went live early this afternoon. I checked throughout the morning and there was no placeholder, no announcement, no anything on the Barbie website. Customer service was clueless. I only found out she was live by a post on the same Facebook fan page I’d been following. But even then, I had to use her link–when I went to the Barbie homepage on my phone, I couldn’t find anything for HBB. Apparently she’ll show up if you click the “what’s new” tab, but there was nothing on the homepage at that time.
Oddly enough the Facebook page that kept me alert and updated and got me to buy the doll in the first place was Papusile Mele, the one that got a three day ban from Facebook at Mattel’s request for sharing a picture of the Star Trek Barbie dolls that did not have their “official” Mattel release but already had pictures floating around on the internet from various doll dealers. I realize that intellectual property, trade secrets, release dates etc are a thing but if it wasn’t for this person I would never have known about HBB.
I also ordered this:
I get it–if I had paid thousands to go to Milan and one of my perks was a special unique convention doll and one very similar to it popped up for sale for everyone for $40, I’d be pissed. That being said, since I don’t have that doll, I am willing to run the risk on an articulated silkstone for $40.
I order everything, so far so good. I see that it says “preorder” above the brunette but I don’t think much of it. Probably just a month or two, no big deal. I get the order confirmation. Then about two hours after I place the order I get another email saying that the brunette doll will not be shipped until next February. There is nothing on the doll’s page on the Barbie collector site that says this. Nothing on the order page either.
What, exactly, are they doing over there?
I am curious to see what HBB will look like when she gets here. If this doll or the Silkstone are problematic in any way, they go back. I am not even entirely convinced that Barbie wanted to make a sale to me today. The only thing that saved them today was my devotion and loyalty to my adopted nation.