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Barbie armor Kickstarter photo
Barbie armor Kickstarter

Get Barbie ready for the renaissance faire with this Kickstarter

What's this? A Kickstarter that gives you something useful for a buck?
Mar 18
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
Barbie is known for having taken on a lot of jobs over the years, but soon she may be able to add roles like Greek goddess or medieval foot soldier to her resume. Thanks to a new Kickstarter called Faire Play launched recentl...
The Walking Dead photo
The Walking Dead

Custom Delights: This Michonne Barbie can slay any zombie

No Daryl Ken doll is needed
Mar 10
// Vanessa Cubillo
Peewee Parker is a talented fashion doll creator. One of their recent custom works is a Barbie doll that they turned into Michonne from The Walking Dead. It’s great how much this doll looks like Michonne. The clothes, ...
Doll photo

Lammily, the average-sized doll, is looking for funding

The artist who made the average-sized Barbie is trying to put out his own doll line
Mar 06
// Vanessa Cubillo
Many months back we had an op-ed titled, The War on Barbie: Assault of the ‘real woman’ fan-Barbie. In the article, Scarecroodle discusses artist, Nickolay Lamm’s project where he made a Barbie with the pro...
SI Swimsuit Barbie Cover photo
SI Swimsuit Barbie Cover

Sports Illustrated chooses Barbie for its swimsuit issue

HARHAR they're all plastic anyway yukyukyuk
Feb 13
// Andres Cerrato
I never thought that in my time here at Tomopop that I would write about the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, but yet here we are. The special issue, which gets people who don't have internet connections to buy print media,...

The War on Barbie: Assault of the 'real woman' fan-Barbie

Oct 20 // Scarecroodle
This version of normal Barbie is work of a young artist named Nickolay Lamm, who also did one of those "what if a normal woman looked like Barbie" stories. The story works on the same tired premise that the Barbie's non-realism is harmful to girls (in the same way that Bugs Bunny has set an unrealistic expectation for rabbits) and tries to "correct" said perceived problem (in the same way that the rabbit lobby tries to explain that rabbits can't stand up on two legs and talk). Lamm based his "realistic" interpretation of Barbie on CDC statistics for the "average" 19 year-old girl in the United States (which is a somewhat flawed way to go about it, but these correctness movements rarely make use of logic). As such, this version of Barbie is probably a good deal heavier than the Barbie made for some other countries. The story's first major appearance was in the Huffington Post back on July 1st (the same day that Lamm released the original story), after which several other major outlets ran with it. While you'd expect that to be the end of the matter (other than the occasional reference back to it), surprisingly the story has continued to make its rounds as if it were just announced. Most recently it popped up on Geeks are Sexy on October 18th and a few days before that on Same Facts. In short, it's getting hard to ignore the story so perhaps the time has come to address it. The idea that Barbie needs to be re-designed to look like a real person happens so frequently that the notion should be passé. These attempts attack anything from Barbie's proportions to her make-up, such as the case with the most recent "what if Barbie wasn't wearing make-up" (amazing how her eyes physically shrink without make-up, by the way) which is another subject Lamm has "tackled". While adjusting the doll to match the real person (rather than vice-versa) is a bit less common, it's something that I recall seeing at least a few times before. The movement behind these efforts is ludicrous on a fundamental basic level because it presumes that something is inherently wrong with Barbie, and tries to make her into an every-girl. Barbie's proportions were never intended to be wholly realistic; like most toys, there are artistic liberties taken and subsequently the design seems to have a more stylistic approach in mind. As such, Barbie is meant to work more as a vague ideal than a real person, which one should keep in mind as they remember this is the same Barbie who can't hold down a steady job and has had hundreds of careers in the past few decades. Of course, the real issue driving these complaints is that the subject is click-bait. People like Lamm recognize how much attention the subject garners and take these kinds of potshots to promote their websites or names (assuming that the complaints aren't born from some deep-seated self-esteem issues or something). The stories appeal to the same crowd with an axe to grind and their level of interest helps keep the story in circulation. In Lamm's defense, I will say that his Barbie doesn't look terrible. Sure, the head looks a little odd with that body type, but the overall look still works. I half-wonder if it could work as a toy or whether the political correctness that drove its creation would subsequently turn the doll into a Lisa Lionheart. As for the greater question of whether there's something "wrong" with Barbie, I've always felt that it's a matter of the negative hype far outweighing its scapegoat. Barbie has generally been one of the most popular targets for feminists and such, given the doll's high level of visibility as a popular toy. The name has come to be associated with groups like vapid Valley Girls (as immortalized in the popular Aqua song Barbie Girl, for example) and, as such, Barbie has come to be attacked for being a facet of a despised materialistic culture. Feminists like Marge Piercy have written poems disparaging what they feel Barbie has come to mean and advanced the notion that these toys are negatively influencing our culture by reinforcing perceptions of beauty (and yet rarely do we see complaints that boys' playthings are reinforcing certain perceptions of masculinity). Toys have never needed to be realistic. Up until the past few decades, most were relatively crude representations of characters. While we have the capability to make a more realistic product (which isn't necessarily cost-efficient in all cases), I'm a little alarmed that the accepted dialogue (as proposed by Lamm among others) is "Why shouldn't we do this?" Should we, as a culture, really be trying to force our social beliefs on children in every facet of their lives rather than let them decide what they like and who they may ultimately want to be?
Barbie photo
Still waiting for a "real man" He-man
One of the great truths of the universe is that if something is known to exist then somebody out there will invariably hate it. And the more popular that thing is, the more hate it will attract. Rarely is that ever as true as...


Barbie in the galaxy: NASA and Mattel send Barbie to Mars

Barbie, straight to paradise
Aug 09
// Vanessa Cubillo
It looks like Barbie will be heading to space! NASA is teaming up with Mattel to release this special Mars Explorer Barbie. This Barbie was made to commemorate the anniversary of the Mars Curiosity Rover landing. She'll come...

Children's Museum picks top 100 toys as voted on by fans

G.I. Joe and Transformers top the list
Sep 12
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana recently held an online pole taking votes on the top 100 toys that define our childhoods. In a list that included everything from Silly Putty to the Jack-in-the-Box and gath...

FemShep Barbie kills Reapers with a smile

Jun 28
// Pedro Cortes
If you talk to many Mass Effect fans, they'll tell you that their preferred way to play the game is with a female Shepard. It's hard to argue: Jennifer Hale's performance as FemShep is fantastic. Even though she sha...

Cthulu Barbie won't give you body image issues

May 29
// Tianxiao Ma
You know, I was never really intimidated by traditional artists' renditions of Cthulu. A giant green squid monster? This is the thing that's supposed to be the stuff of my nightmares? Please. I beat down Malboros all the time...

Think Geek's April Fool's Day section is a trap!

Apr 02
// Natalie Kipper
Think Geek always has outrageously brilliant April Fool's Day products and this year is definitely one of their best. The site had clever clothing items as well as toys, which are what I am here to enlighten you abo...

A Barbie made for a cure

Jan 12 // Andres Cerrato

Subjects like cancer are especially difficult to explain to children, even more so how to cope. For a pair of friends, there is something that could be done. Friends Rebecca Sypin and Jane Bingham have come together to pitch ...

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