If Barbie met Star Trek, would it be a Barbie-Q? TrekMovie has already reviewed the extensive line of Playmates figures for the new Star Trek movie (including the 12" figures), but Mattel is also producing a line of Star Trek Barbie dolls. Join TrekMovie for a review of the new ST09 versions of the world’s most famous doll line.
There are three dolls in the ST09 Barbie line, Ken as Captain Kirk, Ken as Mr. Spock, and Barbie as Uhura. Each is about 12" inches tall, which is the standard size for all Barbie dolls. Each retails for $50, which again is standard for collectible Barbie dolls.
The facial sculpts are not meant to resemble the actors (and hence differ from the Playmates Toys 12" action figures), yet are supposed to be Barbie and Ken as the famous Trek heroes.
What is nice is that Mattel has given each doll Star Trek features such as very nice uniforms that include the slightly embossed delta insignias or Vulcan hairstyles and ears for the Spock version of Ken. The hair is comb-able as would be the norm for Barbie dolls, which does give Kirk a kind of Duran Duran look, yet this playing with hair is some of the major fun of dolls. The Kirk and Spock dolls articulations are very good (wrists, knees, arms, etc.). Uhura’s arms are not jointed at the elbow, yet this is normal among most dolls. The dolls are a great blend of the best of Barbie and the best of ST09.
The packaging is classy, with a clear box that allows the dolls to appreciated because of all the light allowed in. Ultra cool is the lenticular and colorful delta insignia and lettering on the packaging. Inside the box is a backing board that features the art from the promotional character posters. These backings could be preserved if the package is opened carefully and used for a nice bonus display either on their own or with the doll in front for those who like to open their toys.
Each of the dolls includes an excellent display and appropriate Star Trek items. All of the dolls include a phaser that is nicely rendered despite its size and includes the changeable "stun" setting feature. Spock has a tricorder and Kirk a communicator, both of which open and have good detailing.
One of the more prolific licensees this year for Star Trek, both classic and new versions, is Mattel. From the SceneIt? game to Hot Wheels starships, Mattel has been bringing fans Star Trek items from all versions of the franchise. These Barbie dolls have, though, been the most anticipated of the Mattel items, even garnering attention in the media (like USA Today and TV Guide) when they were announced a few months ago. And while this isn’t the first time Barbie has been Trekified (in 1996 there was a two pack of Ken as Captain Kirk and Barbie as Janice Rand), the new line features even better costuming, accessories, packaging, and detailing. 2009 is the 50th Anniversary of Barbie and the year that Star Trek has returned to the mainstream. The ST09 Barbie dolls are a great way to commemorate the year and a nice product because it appeals to all kinds of audiences. Kids will enjoy playing with the dolls. Older collectors and fans will enjoy the careful detailing of the Barbies and these make for a great display together on the shelf because of the bold colors and excellent designs. Happy Birthday, Barbie. Welcome Back, Star Trek.
Star Trek Barbie Dolls are available at Wal-mart and walmart.com (for $43.88 each), and other online retailers.
NEXT FOR THE COLLECTIVE: A ‘Collective Collective’
The new Star Trek products are piling up here at TrekMovie Collective Headquarters so we will do one artcile covering a few of the smaller and ancillary items like keychains, cereal boxes, tins, Hallmarks cards, gift cards and whatever other new stuff we have got in the last couple of weeks.