Today Show: Barbie and a “tramp stamp”

On the Today Show this morning there was a segment that  discussed a Barbie doll that had a tattoo on her back.  One expert wondered if she had a tramp stamp (we couldn’t really see if she did).   At first, the panel wondered if the doll was really a Barbie from Mattel.  While the issue has stirred up strong opinions all day on the blogosphere, the use of tattoos in toyland is not really all that new.

Temporary tattoos are common at children’s events and you can buy many kits from reputable companies that offer themed tattoos.  So I was a little surprised by the uproar.

This new Barbie is for real.  She’s called Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Barbie. The set includes a Barbie and 40  temporary tattoos that kids can place on Barbie or themselves.

Would this make our list? No.  We’re not big on tattoos or role-playing wearing one. Some of this is generational and some of it is just a matter of personal taste. Tattoos fall in the realm of grown-up decisions…and much like our opposition to breast-feeding dolls, we don’t think that young children need to role play all aspects of being an adult. On the other hand, there are many young moms with tattoos that may have no problem with this type of role play.

I should note that  Barbie with a tattoo bothers me much less than a  Barbie that has a light-up bustier top (a la Katy Perry) – and I mean literally lights up.  Watch our video of her. Somehow this seems less empowering to me.

Barbie's shirt (stars) light up

 

Doll Wars…Barbie, Liv, Moxie Girlz and Princess Tiana Go Head to Head

I’ve spent a lot of time this season defending Barbie and her friends. Odd since I would never be caught dead playing with a Barbie as a kid.  But with my professional toy reviewer hat on…I dug really  deep…so here are the results of our testing this season.

Our Favorites:

Disney's Princess Tiana

1. Princess & The Frog Princess Tiana-  As the first African-American Disney Princess she is notable just by her existence, but we really like the Just One Kiss Doll…and the silliness of her gown lighting up.  Watch our video.

Liv Dolls from Spinmaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Liv Dolls- Spinmaster’s new line of fashion dolls. At first I was a little freaked out by their heads (you can take off their wigs and replace with new ones!).  Underneath they have painted heads-very short. Think Annie Lenox–and then a little post chemo therapy.  Yes, it’s a little odd–but let me tell you the girls that played with these dolls loved the hairplay action of popping new hair on.  That’s right– the dolls’ have a hole in the top of their heads so the wigs really stay on.  They look like teenagers -something our early school year girls loved!  They don’t look like street walkers (a la Bratz). Read our full review.

3. Moxie Girlz Best Friends- New from MGA, the makers of Bratz.  Hats off to the toned down new collect of Moxie Girlz. They look somewhat related to the originals–think of the sixth grader who wants to look like the 11th grader but can’t pull it off exactly.

Moxie Girlz Best Friends from MGA Entertainment

They are sweeter looking–but they still wear a little fishnet (worked into their shirts instead of on their legs).  Our testers enjoyed this collection as well.  They come with ridiculously fun and silly big wigs that you strap on to the dolls head.  Our testers preferred the snap in feature of the Liv dolls on this point. Read our  full review.

4. Barbies of Note. We’re always big on Barbies that take an active role beyond going to the mall.  This year we have given awards to

Barbie and The Three Musketeers Doll

Barbie I Can Be…Pet Vet

Barbie I Can Be TV Chef

Personally, I love the Three Musketters because of her wickedly great purple boots…but our testers really loved playing vet and TV Chef!

Barbie and the Three Musketeers (Mattel)