A few weeks ago I had a job related thing up in Raleigh. It was an all day work event and the less said about that the better. Anyway, my father was my ride and spent the day at my sister's house. Since we were in Raleigh where there's a lot more stores than in Asheboro, I asked him to do me a favor. There are three newly released dolls that I've been looking for so I asked him to check Target to see if they had any of them. Out of the three, he was able to find one. The Barbie Eye Doctor play set. When it's in stock at Amazon.com (until it sells out in mere minutes) it's listed for 19.99, with prime shipping. Target sells it for 22.99. I had a 10 percent off coupon that brought it down to 20.69. So if you can find it on Amazon it is cheaper than Target, but only when it's being sold by Amazon and not a third party vendor that jacks up the price. I will be reviewing the African American version since that was the one they had at Target, but all the accessories are the same between the two versions. The only difference the head mold on Barbie and the doll's skin tones.
|Pardon the Reflection|
Moving on to the right side we have a repeat of the pink with pink sparkles background and a repeat of the Barbie logo. Not much to comment on.
On the left side we have an animated image of Barbie as she appears in the "Life in the Dreamhouse" series on Youtube. She's actually wearing the same outfit as the doll in the box, they even replicated the sewing construction in the image. I am impressed they even recreated the surging detail at the neckline of her shirt. However some creative liberties were taken of the image compared to the actual doll. The most noticeable one is that the image is of a white doll. Which I don't really understand. This is Barbie as an eye doctor, implying that the doll herself is Barbie. It's not Christie or Grace as an eye doctor, it's Barbie. They could have easily designed the box without displaying this image, or at least designed the image to look like the doll in the box. I mean wasn't that why Black Barbie in the early 80's so important? Because for once a black character was Barbie and not one of her friends? The image also features some other differences besides skin tone. The image has has silver colored earrings with pink stones but the actual doll doesn't have any earrings. She doesn't even have pieced ears. The box image also has different hair. On the box Barbie has a side part that's pulled back in the front and in the back part of her hair is pulled back in a high ponytail. In reality both versions of the doll just have a simple side part with hair that's slightly curled.
|Pardon the glare X2|
Didn't take a picture of the bottom of the box just know it's got the usual legal speak, bar codes, and whatnot. This particular doll set was made in China.
Opening the box was really easy. I was able to push in and lift up the plastic tabs at the top to open the lid with minimal damage to the box itself. After that I was able to just slide the entire cardboard backer out of the box. I appreciate being able to open the box without having to tear into the box destroy it. It's so frustrating having to arm myself with a bevy of tools to open a toy box and usually all that effort comes at the expense of my hand and the items itself. Hopefully this is the new way Mattel boxes their toys.
Removing all the parts of the play set leaves the cardboard backing as well as a small cardboard piece and the clear plastic piece the eye chart and small doll were attached to. Both of these pieces are easily removed by pushing in the tabs on them and sliding them out. Surprising to no one Barbie's office is very pink. I do appreciate the effort they did to actually make it reflect an eye doctor's office. They could have just slapped a vaguely doctor type office design on there and called it a day. If only it wasn't full of holes and tab slots, it actually could be used as part of the play set if it wasn't so damaged. I think it's really cute that Barbie has eyeglass wallpaper. Featuring pink on pink design it has repeated images of glasses. Looking closely at it you can see that the little glasses the set comes with are repeated of the images they used on the wall.
Barbie has a one room office. Now I've only been to a half dozen or so eye doctors, but usually the examination room is one room and where the glasses are displayed are in another room. I know this is just a box and they crammed it all in together since it's just a throwaway piece of cardboard. Starting from our left, on the side panel, Barbie's office has a display case full of glasses. It's black with a pink accented door. If you look closely at the glasses on display there's only two models repeated on all the shelves, just in different colors. On top of the display case is a circular mirror with a stand. I've looked into mirrors like that a lot when looking at myself trying on glasses. Above the mirror on the wall there is a picture of Ken (also his Life in the Dreamhouse incarnation) wearing glasses in front of a gray and white striped background. You do see a lot of glasses advertising at the eye doctor's so this is a nice touch. Moving to the center panel to the right of Ken's picture is a window. Apparently Barbie's office is in the city. The background features a window with the binds rolled up showing off the view. She is surrounded by several very simplified sky scrapers, including one pink one (shocker). Judging by the perspective it looks like Barbie's office is in the middle of her building. It's apparently a sunny day, but there are some clouds in the sky. Interesting side note, I'm not really sure how Barbie's window works. It looks like it has a traditional window set up at the top, but not at the bottom. It's either open or missing the bottom frame. If it's open, it must be some magic window because there's no way the visible frame could cover the part of the window that's open. Perhaps I'm over thinking it? Below the window and the biggest piece of furniture on the backer is Barbie's desk. It features a black desktop with white legs. On the far right there's a set of drawers with pink detailing and black handles. Also on the far right there's a chrome sink. Barbie also has a matching black, pink, and chrome stool for her to sit on. There is two spaces on the desk for seats, but only the stool is shown. Perhaps there's another chair out of view. On top of the desk Barbie has tissues, a vase with two pink flowers, five books of various colors and sizes, an eye machine (I think it's the tool they use to blow a puff of air into your eyes). Next to the sink they added a soap dispenser. On the wall Barbie has a mounted matte gray phone, with turquoise buttons and a pink cord. It's cute but I wish Barbie had a cuter phone. Yes, she's a doctor, but she still is a doctor with style! Diagonally from that we have Barbie's diploma, at least I think it's her diploma. It's a black framed image with a double black border. In the center it's yellow with the image of a pair of glasses.... I guess to denote she's an eye doctor. I guess we should all be so lucky it's not Barbie as a proctologist play set! It also features a black squiggly denoting text and a pink ribbon on it. Not sure how much I'd trust Barbie's degree, looks pretty home made if you ask me. Diagonally from that we have a shelf. It's a simple white shelf. On it there's a small display of glasses and two canisters, a smaller one with a chrome lid and q-tips, and a larger one with a pink lid and larger q-tips. Why does Barbie need so many q-tips?
Barbie has a basic body with 5 points of articulation (neck, shoulders, and hips). She has the belly button body with one traditional extended hand and one bent
Barbie comes with some clothing and accessories. I'm going to start off with her clothing.
Sadly despite looking like separate pieces, it's all one piece.
Barbie comes with three plastic accessories;
an ophthalmoscope (thank you Google),
and her shoes.The ophthalmoscope is made from a black slightly flexible plastic. It has molded on detail as well as a handle for Barbie to hold it. It comes bound to her hand with a clear elastic in the box. The handle is actually in the palm of her hand leaving the ophthalmoscope resting along the outside. Now I may be wrong but I always put the handle side out since that would make it more realistically that Barbie was actually holding the item. The ophthalmoscope is interesting, and I'm glad they included it but to be quite honest, it looks like a fancy microphone. I know why they didn't, but I wish it had some painted elements on it to help it read as a doctor's tool.
It turns out that eye doctor Barbie also practices what she preaches, she doesn't just prescribe them she also wear glasses! Made from the same slightly flexible matte black plastic as the ophthalmoscope, these glasses remind me of the ones that came with Reporter Ken, but with some key differences. The biggest one being that these have rounded lenses and Reporter Ken had rectangular lenses. (I say lenses but both glasses have empty frames). On these new frames the plastic is actually a little bit thicker than Reporter Ken's. Also they were just rubber banded to the doll's head instead of having those burrs that were embedded in Ken's head (thank goodness). It does look like the glasses were pressing into the doll's forehead and left an indent in between her eyebrows, but I'd much rather have that (which will most likely come out with a dunk in hot water), than two large holes in her head like Reporter Ken had to deal with.
Barbie's shoes are made from a shinier much more flexible black (I think) vinyl. They are traditional Barbie high heels. They have a strap design around the ankle (with molded in buckles), and feature a keyhole element near the toes. They have slits in the back so you can take them off and put them back on easily. I actually really like these, I wasn't planning on keeping them, but I think they'll be sticking around. I will say that for an eye doctor these are kind of a mature shoe choice especially for someone they imply is on their feet all day. I know Barbie wears heels traditionally, but in this case I really think the flat foot and one of the new shoe molds might have been a better choice especially since Mattel seems committed in including that new style of shoe across the lines. I know that the Babysitter in the line has the flat feet (only available in the white version), but the teacher has high heels. I'm not complaining since I like the shoes and out of all of the pieces of the play set, this one will be sticking around. I just think that in this case Mattel could have done flat feet and it would have been a nice change of pace. (No pun intended).
This play set also includes a small Kelly sized doll. As far as I can tell this doll is just a random character and does not have a name. The doll uses the classic Kelly body but with a different head mold, I think it's new. The body is the later classic Kelly body with the molded on underwear and the wider set legs. The doll has five points of articulation, the neck, the shoulders, and the hips which isn't surprising since that's the same that classic Kelly dolls have unless they had a gimmick and had additional articulation. Like I said I believe the head is new. This doll has painted hair, I assume for cost cutting reasons. It has a molded in center part that's pulled back into two buns at the top of the head. Sort of like Street Fighter's Chun Li or Sailor Moon's Sailor Moon (without the parts that hang down). The painted hair on mine is a bit off. In places the paint goes below the molded in hair line and in places it goes above. It's not too bad, just odd that Mattel can't color within the lines they created. The doll has large brown eyes and bubblegum pink lips. My doll's lips are off center, so it gives her sort of a smug smile. Eyes look good though.
Since Mattel went with painted hair, the doll is a bit unusual in construction. Mattel doll's have mold seams that they usually hide under the doll's hair. Back when they made Fashion Queen Barbie (and Midge) they hid the seam by putting it under the fake headband. This new doll's seam line is around her neck! This leaves the doll with this scar looking line all around her neck. On mine all of the extra vinyl wasn't trimmed off so it looks like she has hanging skin. I have NO idea what they were thinking. It looks like she's been Jack the Ripper-ed. They also put the copyright information under her chin in raised letters. It's not that noticeable from dead on, but if you look at her from the side you can see part of it. Not really sure what that's all about, poor design Mattel, poor design. Oddly enough, looking at Joe or the Disney store male dolls that also have painted hair I can't see a molding line, I guess some companies construct their doll differently when they have painted hair. My doll also has some more quality control issues. On her cheek close to where the extra vinyl was trimmed off she has a small gouge. I kind of think the machine that trimmed off the extra plastic slipped? She also has two lines across her legs where the plastic strap that held her in place was too tight and left a mark on her. Dolls really should not be getting damaged by the packaging Mattel!
In the package the doll comes wearing one of the pairs of glasses the set comes with. Mine was wearing the yellow circle frames, I bet they all do. It is cute they had the doll coming already wearing a pair, but with mine they put the glasses on when the hair paint was still wet. The glasses are fine, but all along the back of the doll's head there's a line where the clear elastic that was holding the glasses on where it took off the paint. So there's another example of the packaging damaging the doll. The straps being too tight is one thing, but they really should wait until the paint is dry on these toys. The glasses are cute, they're bright and fit the doll well. However I do worry about how small they are. They are tiny. I understand that that's just how they are, and I'd hate for Mattel to do something to make them bigger. I would just worry about a kid playing with them since they're so small and could be easily swallowed. I know the package says 3 and up, but I wouldn't give them to a kid that young. Maybe a 6 year old would be a better age choice. These glasses do fit classic Kelly dolls, but with a catch. Those new dolls have smaller heads, so the glasses can be worn but they tend to bow a little in the center to accommodate fitting on the larger heads of the classic Kelly dolls. It does look cute and shouldn't have too much of an issue. I just wouldn't leave it on them in case it warps the glasses. Should be fine for a day or two just don't forget to take it off them before too long.
This little doll comes wearing a pink floral sleeveless jersey knit dress. The dress is simple, but it is fully hemmed. It closes in the back with a small bit of Velcro. Mine does have an issue where the inside hems have rolled showing the un-hemmed parts through the sleeve hole openings. This happens a lot with Kelly doll clothes since the hems are so small. The dress does have a gathered skirt, which is nice since they could have easily made it one piece. The skirt features more gathers in the front than in the back, which is another cost saving measure. It almost has too much gathers in the front leaving the fabric a little too raised. It's very easy to see up the doll's skirt because of this. I wish the gathers were a little more spread out to make that less of an issue. The doll's shoes are bubblegum pink colored high tops. They have a slit in the back for easy redressing. They have lots of molded in details including a cursive B "patch" on the side, however they are unpainted so it's really hard to see any of the details. I honestly do not like them. Mattel has TONS of cute shoe molds for Kelly, these read as baby booties to me. I know Kelly is supposed to be an older toddler (before they aged her up to Chelsea), but these shoes are way too juvenile for her. They seriously do no go with the dress at all. I plan on keeping the dress, it's a cute Spring outfit but those shoes are not staying. They will most likely be sold with the doll. If I can find a buyer for the doll since she has so many quality control issues.
Now onto the play set itself. It's actually rather simple and just consists of two main parts, the chair and the eye chart. I'm going to talk about the eye chart first. Standing at a hair over ten and a half inches tall it's mostly made from a turquoise plastic. It comes fully assembled and there's no easy way to take it apart in case you wanted to. It consists of 5 pieces. The main body, the hot pink rack on the side to display the additional glasses, the pink support back along the bottom, and at the top the glasses decoration is it's own piece that snaps into the base (I assume the smaller piece is easier to paint and it's the only part of the playset with any painted detail). The eye chart itself is a sticker. Looks pretty close to accurate for an eye chart. Mine does suffer from some slight peeling going on at the bottom and top. I do worry how it will age over time since this is a new item and already having some age wear. I guess if need be it can just be glued down again. The light pink support beam at the bottom is interesting. It has a hole on the left side that looks like something could snap into it, but there's nothing to snap it. I think they used this to secure it to the packaging. Which makes no sense. They could have done something less noticeable but with the same effect. When writing this post I realized that the beam is actually really easy to remove. It's supposed to be part of the design, but it just pops right off, so no wonder they needed to support it to the package. However they still could have done it better for both staying in the package and looking good out of the package. The eye
chart comes with three additional small glasses for the little doll. (I wonder if these glasses would fit Dawn, great now I want a Dawn doll). They are all are held in place by clear elastics, which I already removed. We have a black pair that mimics the ones Barbie wears, a purple/pink cat eye pair, and a light pink heart pair (which I think classic Kelly or maybe Stacie had in a larger size). The glasses are all cute and fit the doll that comes with the play set well. Like I already said, they do fit classic Kelly, but do get a little bowed since her head is bigger. I do appreciate that Mattel included some pairs that were a little more unisex than just the pink and purple ones. I've already put the black pair on my Tommy doll and really like how he looks in them, even though he can't wear them full time since I worry about them getting warped.
And that's all you get in this play set. Including tax, I paid a little more than 20 dollars for it and do I think it's worth it? Kinda. I think this could be a decent teaching tool for a child who might need glasses or something fun if a child wanted to play at being an eye doctor. However for me, I think it's overpriced, but I'm not really the intended market for this item. I only wanted it because of the glasses it came with, specifically Barbie's. I have literally told Mattel that if they release a doll wearing glasses, I will buy it. Lately Joe has begun wearing glasses full time. I actually used to have only one pair of doll glasses (that belongs to Velma), but thanks to Mattel's newer releases, have managed to build up a small collection of eyeglasses. I really wanted these for Joe, and luckily since I bought it he's been wearing them. However, I think 20 dollars is too high for this mainly plastic set which is riddled with factory errors. I was going to resell it to recoup my costs, but I don't think it's worth it. I have seen it on sale (a while back) for 15, and I think that's a better price for it, IF you're willing to overlook all the issues it will come with.