Thursday, December 18, 2014

New shoes, New Shoes, NEW SHOES!

I went to Walmart yesterday, the first time for December. I was braving the crowds because I wanted to get the current version of Clue for a present, I even had a coupon. However much to my dismay, they were all sold out! I ended up buying it online and being unable to use the coupon. It was either that or risk not getting it by Christmas. I sent Hasbro an email about the situation hoping they might do something about it, but they just sent me a reply explaining why I can't use a coupon online, which I knew. Oh well, it was only two dollars and I'm hoping I won't have to buy another Clue game for a long, long time.

Anyway, since I was in the toy section, I had to check out the Barbie section. I was hoping to find the Career of the Year Director Barbie since she has the new articulated ankles that I'm curious about. Walmart doesn't have her listed online yet, but I was hoping the store might get new toys first since it is the Holiday season and the more they keep the shelves full the more they sell. They didn't have her, but I did find something there I wasn't expecting.
*History Lesson Time* 
Back in the 1960's Mattel sold "pak" items for Barbie. They were an inexpensive alternatives to their full outfits. Most of them were single clothing pieces, but they did have some accessory and shoe paks. They were designed to mix and match so you could add them to what you already had for Barbie for a bigger wardrobe. Why am I tell you this, you ask? Apparently they are back!

Hanging on pegs at Walmart was the new version of it! Packaged in cardboard and plastic these new paks look a lot like the vintage ones. I glanced through them briefly. I saw a couple different straight skirts and a few different style of shirts. I didn't look at the clothing options too much because I'm not really interested in the clothes since I make my own. However, they also have shoe/accessory paks and those I was very interested in. I had actually found pictures of them online several months ago but didn't know this was that line. The online pictures didn't show packaging. One of the shoe paks I was very interested in, so I was very excited to find it. I didn't think I'd see them until 2015 but here they were literally dangling in front of me. They were priced at 4 dollars, which seems slightly high to me since they sell full outfits for around seven, but I will admit I'm cheap.
Luckily there was just one accessory set that was a must have so I put it in the cart. After I checked out I was looking over the receipt, it had only rung up at 2.44! I was still in the store at that time, so I rushed back to the toy department and picked up the other two accessory sets. They were a lot more tempting at 2.44! I freely admit I have a shoe addiction, but at that price I can totally justify it!

These new paks are in very simple packaging. It is a thin cardboard front and backing with a bag containing the items sandwiched between them. On the front is a picture of Life in the Dream House Barbie with a cut out so you can see the contents of the bag. In the upper left corner small icon denoting this is an accessory pak compared to one that held clothes. The packaging is held together by a pink plastic hanger. You need to remove this to get the pak open. I was able to monkey around with mine and open it without damaging it. It's a throw away piece, but I have an idea to reuse mine. You could also just cut the bag open or tear it free from the hanger.

I wasn't able to find out what this line is called, the package just says Barbie. It also doesn't look like the individual accessory paks have their own name. I'll be identifying them by their colors. I'll be showing them off  and talking about them in order of least liked to most liked.

Up first we have the bronze and turquoise pak. All paks contained the same number of items and the same type of item. You have something for the head, a necklace, a bracelet, and two pairs of shoes. One pair is for the traditional high heeled foot and the other is for the new flat foot style dolls. In this pack the turquoise shoes are the ones for the flat feet. I don't have any of the new flat feet Barbie dolls, but they did fit the Disney Princess dolls with the articulated ankles. I did try them on Francie, but her rubber foot didn't want to go into the shoe fully and I didn't want to force it. Both shoes are made from a slightly squishy rubbery material and have slits in the back, The wedge heels of the bronze pair have molded on roses. The bracelet is a simple bronze plastic piece molded to look like large circular beads. It's not very flexible, but is easy to get on and off and has enough grip to stay on the doll without worrying of it falling off. The necklace is molded metallic gold plastic. It is in the design of a chain with a watch hanging off the end. The necklace does not fit the best. It seems to float on the doll. If you push it down it lies properly on the doll, but just doesn't have the weight it needs to sit on the doll properly. The headband is my favorite piece from this pak. It has a molded on flower on the top. it has molded on studs to the top as well. This piece actually fits older dolls with smaller heads, I had it on Charlotte and it fits wonderfully. The purse is made from a slightly flexible brown plastic. It has molded on fringe. It's an okay item, just not my personal style. The strap on mine is slightly warped, not sure if this is intentional or it just happened in the package. A quick dunk in boiling water should fix it.

The next pak item is the silver and pink one. This one has a pair of flat sandals. They have closed toes
with an ankle strap. They are also opened in the back. These can fit the regular feet, but the strap doesn't wrap around the ankles as well as it should. These also fit the Disney Princess dolls, but their feet are wider at the toes so they don't fit as comfortably as I assume it would for Barbie. The heel shoes are made out of a fairly squishy pink plastic. They're cute, not exactly sure how to describe them, but they're cute. The necklace is another plastic piece with a geometric design. This necklace fits nicely on Barbie and sits on her where it should. It's the best fitting necklace of the group, I just wish I liked the style of it better. The bracelet is made from a slightly translucent pink plastic. It has molded in zigzags in it. It doesn't fit Barbie's wrist that well, the bracelet is more oval shaped than Barbie's wrist. It's not going to fall off right away, but I'd be concerned about it coming off with actual play. Luckily it's big enough that if it did fall off it should be easy to see. This pak comes with a pair of sunglasses. Made from a smokey plastic they are very geometric in design. So geometric they look pretty unisex. I haven't tried them on Ken yet but I bet he can wear them well. For the purse in this pak we have a silver bag purse. Made from a slightly flexible plastic it has molded design to look like it's quilted. It doesn't open (none of the purses open). It's very cute. It looks big, but it's completely hollow so it's also pretty light.

Our final pak is my favorite! I loved it when I found it online and when I found it in store I just had to have it! The flat pair of shoes are a pair of black flats. They have absolutely no heel and are the only pair that are right and left specific. They have a molded design on the toe, but I'm not sure what it is. These are my favorite shoes from all of the paks. They fit Charlotte (but tend to slip off), however they fit Francie like a dream! You can jam Living Barbie's foot in them, but they are tight. The Disney Princess dolls can wear them, but you see a lot of their toes. The heels are made from a slightly squishy pearlized pink plastic. They have a wedge heel and have cut outs.... in the shape of a cat face! Yes, this entire pack is cat themed! (Excluding the black heels). These are so cute, much cuter than I was expecting. The bracelet for this pak is made from a matte silver plastic. It has a little molded on cat had on the front! It also has little studs along the edge. The bracelet fits nicely so it will be hard to loose when it's on the doll. I seriously love this bracelet, it's so cute. The necklace for this set is made out of a slightly pearlized pink plastic. It's not the same material as the shoes, but they're a close match. It's molded into the shape of double chains with a cat charm at the center. The chain detail is actually molded in the front and the back, but the front is more detailed. This necklace also suffers from fit issues. It needs more weight to lay properly on the doll. I'm not in love with the chain part of the necklace, but I think the cat charm is very cute, I have an idea to reuse it. Not sure if it will ever happen, but it might be repurposed. This set came with another headband, and was a major reason why I wanted it so badly. It's made from plastic with a metallic silver finish. This head band has cat ears! It also has molded on studs along the edges, could do without those, but the ears are adorable. You will be seeing these next Halloween with my cat costume (well, the doll's costume, not mine). These also fit older dolls like Charlotte very well. She's wearing them right now. These are just amazing. The final item from the pak is the purse. It's made out of a black plastic and is molded to look like a cat head. On the back it has a fake molded on zipper, I like that they did that detail. The cat's face is painted pink to show off the details. This is the only painted item in all of the paks and is painted very nicely. In the package it's protected by it's own plastic bag, which I thought was a smart way to protect the paint. Much like the rest of this pak I absolutely love it. Not sure when I will ever find a use for it, but it's so blasted adorable! I actually went and bought two of this paks, I just knew that one wouldn't be enough!

Overall I'm very pleased with these new paks. I think it's incredibly smart that Mattel is getting shoe options for the new flat feet dolls out early and cheaply. My only issue with this set is that the necklaces aren't designed well and that one bracelet is a little loose on the wrist. I love that it has a variety of styles and they're so inexpensive. I was so impressed that the day that I got them, I emailed Mattel to let them know how much I loved them and that I hoped that they were going to continue the line. You all should know by now how much I love getting new shoes! (even though I have bags and bags of them I don't use). I just think of it as a collection within the collection! 

1 comment:

  1. Hello from Spain: congratulations. Great purchase. Keep in touch