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My Scene
"Goes Hollywood"
Barbie Doll
Toy Review

By Mark Patraw

Manufacturer Information:
Mattel, Inc.
El Segundo, CA



The Package:
This figure comes in a square, combination plastic/cardboard box. You can see the doll and all her accessories very well through the transparent plastic. There's also a small booklet, advertising various My Scene products, tied to the outside of the box with some ribbon. I opened this up awhile ago, and disposed of the packaging, so I can't recall too many details. What I do remember is that it was a royal pain to get Barbie, and all her accessories, out of the package--there were tons of ties, string, and tape everywhere.

The My Scene dolls, in comparison to 'normal' Barbies, have larger heads, lips and eyes. I don't know if it's true or not, but I've read that the My Scene line was designed specifically to compete with MGA's popular Bratz dolls--one can definitely see the Bratz influence in their features. Barbie's baby blues are painted peering off to her right. I prefer straight eyes, but all the My Scene dolls I've ever seen have their eyes painted this way, so I guess I'll have to live with it. The eyes have 'real' lashes, which I always enjoy seeing, rather than painted ones, as it adds more personality and looks more realistic. Above her peepers, Barbie has pink and purple eye shadow with sparkles in it and brown eyebrows. Her lipstick is pink, with purple lining around the periphery of the lips. Barbie's blond hair hangs about halfway down her back and is styled up in long, vertical curls (I'm sure this style has a name, but I don't know what it's called). There are some transparent rubber bands keeping some of the locks in place; you can remove them if you want, but I just left them as I don't intend to play with her hair. Her entire body is molded in flesh tone plastic. Even her sculpted-on panties are this color (no bra if you're wondering). In the articulation department Barbie has ball-jointed shoulders and neck, semi-ball joint hips (the rotate around and move outward and inward), and internal ratchet knees. Barbie dolls are pretty basic when in comes to range of motion, and I feel that hurts their play/posing value. I'm certain many Barbie fans would disagree with me on that point, but I can't help comparing her to other toys I own in this scale that are much more poseable. If I could add three more joints, I'd articulate the elbows and the waist, as I feel those additions would do the most good. I also couldn't get her to stand on her own, no matter how hard I tried--you need to lean her up against a wall or have a doll stand. She's just too tall and skinny, with small feet to boot, to balance properly.

Barbie's loaded, which is always great to see when it comes to toys. Here's what you get:

- A burgundy digital camera. This has a pretty nice sculpt, but it also has a lot of 'marble' effect going on inside the plastic, which detracts from its appearance.

- A metallic purple hand mirror. There's a reflective decal affixed to the front to act as the 'mirror'. Plant stems and a butterfly are sculpted in raised relief on the back. This has a hand slot sculpted next to the handle so that the doll can hold it.

- A burgundy stick of lipstick with cap. The 'lipstick' portion of this is painted pink and the base is sculpted to resemble a flower. I didn't even know what the heck this was until I asked around on a message board and found out the cap came off.

- A small, translucent pink bottle of perfume. The cap is painted silver and has a tiny flower sculpted on it.

- A large, translucent burgundy bottle. This has a cut gemstone design cap and a butterfly, sculpted in raised relief, down the side.

- An almost opaque pink bottle. Nothing exciting about this one, detail-wise.

- A metallic purple blush compact. It's butterfly-shaped, and the insect in question is sculpted in relief on both sides of the exterior. It has two decals inside, one side has a reflective 'mirror' and the other depicts a brush and some blush. This is hinged, but it's the crappy kind that wears out and breaks with repeated usage.

- A silver, heart-shaped object--I think it's either a purse or another make-up compact. It doesn't open. It has quite an intricate sculpt across the surface.

- A dark pink cell phone. This is hinged (the good kind that doesn't wear out), which allows it to open and close. A raised handle in the back allows Barbie to hold it. It has a fair amount of detail, but it'd look a lot better with some paint and/or decals on it.

- A large, rectangular purple make-up box. It opens and closes via hinges, and has two hinged snaps on top to keep it closed. Once again, the cheap hinges that wear out were used. There's a handle on top, but Barbie's hands are incapable of holding it.

- A long, purple tray for the make-up box. This fits inside, and Mattel's engineers were kind enough to design the box so that the tray sit halfway down, on raised wall projections that it can slide back and forth on, allowing you to stash stuff underneath the tray.

- A silver DVD player. It folds in half, via hinges, and the DVD drive door opens and closes too (we get the good joints that don't wear out this time--hooray). You can store a DVD inside the DVD drive. There's a decal, depicting the My Scene girls driving in a car, where the screen would be.

- Two black DVD cases. These open and close via hinges, but they're the crappy kind. One has a "My Scene Masquerade Madness" decal on it, the other has a 'My Scene Goes Hollywood' decal on it. The DVDs can be stored inside.

- Two DVDs. One is gold and the other is kind of a bronze color. These fit in either the DVD cases or the DVD player.

- A box of popcorn. A colorful, cardboard 'package' (depicting city buildings, light, and, of course, popcorn) is wrapped around the hollow, plastic form.

- Two, cardboard 'My Scene' magazines. The exteriors have art and nonsense words, like 'Puwu Kwu', on them, but the interior is empty (just brown cardboard).

- A cardboard, movie ticket assembly. This consists of a magazine, similar to those described above, with two movie tickets, and a flyer, affixed to the front. Again, there's nothing inside but brown cardboard backing.

- A pink director's chair. The framework is pink plastic and the back/seat are made out of purplish vinyl-like material. The back has 'Barbie' printed on it. The chair is pretty flimsy looking and feels fragile too. Barbie has a hard time sitting in it, and even when she does, it tips over, or spills Barbie onto the floor, easily.

- Two silver posts, connected by length of red string. This is one of those fancy barriers you see at movie premiers or clubs. It's nothing too exciting, but can be useful for dioramas or play. Scale-wise, it looks too small.

- A key chain. It features a My Scene Goes Hollywood decal on the front and 'My Scene' sculpted in raised letters on the back. The chain is metal, but the rest is plastic.

- Transparent, purple sunglasses. You need to stick the 'arms' into the hair to keep them in place. Be very careful with these, as the glass' arms are very narrow and it would take VERY little to snap them off. Keeping them on the head might be safest.

- A pair of metallic earrings. They're quite fancy looking and seem to have pearls hanging at the ends. These come in and out of the holes in the doll's ears via long pegs. These are fairly delicate, so take care that you don't brake them.

- A metallic necklace. It has an impressive design and appears to be made up of pearls. This just pops on and off the neck as it doesn't form a complete circle. It tends to wander around the neck on its own though, which can get annoying when you're taking photos! Like the earrings, this looks and feels fragile, so take some care with how you handle it.

- A long, fuzzy coat. Now this is one snazzy peace of clothing! The exterior has a woven pattern (pinks, reds, and purples over black) that has a very cozy, home-made look to it. The coat is trimmed with beautiful, faux purple fur. The interior is less exciting; it's just a simple whitish-pink satin lining. This coat is somewhat troublesome to get off, due to Barbie's lack of arm articulation, and really hard to get back on. When you're putting it back on, Barbie's fingers tend to get snagged inside the arms on individual threads, which can lead to much frustration. Note that the arms don't have interior lining, if they did, I don't think this problem would exist. However, if there was lining, the arms of the jacket would probably be ridiculously thick, which would detract from the overall appearance. Due to the problem mentioned, my advice is to decide whether you want to display it off or on, and then leave it that way. I would have liked to have seen a belt on this as well, so you could tie it closed in the front, but, alas, it doesn't have one (there are two slits where you would expect one to be, so maybe Mattel had planned to include one at some point--you can always add your own).

- Burgundy pants. These are covered with shiny purple glitter. They open and close in the back via velcro. They're pretty tight fitting, especially on the rump/hips, but they're not too bad to get on/off.

- A lacy halter top. The design is pretty intricate. It's kind of beige/white in color with a burgundy ribbon running around it. The ribbon is tied in the middle, below the bust line, and the center of the ribbon has two shiny sequins in it. This has straps, but they're made out of transparent, rubbery material, so you hardly know they're there. It opens and closes in the back with velcro.

- Two pairs of sandaled feet. Both of these pop on and off over her 'real' dainty feet. The first set, which she comes wearing in the package, have pink straps, a red bow tie, and tan soles/heels. Apparently the sculptor was lazy the day he/she made these, because there are no toes--it looks quite strange to have feet that end in featureless nubs. The second set, which I prefer, have a black and blue motif, with a burgundy flower on the lower strap. These ones do have toes by the way, and the toenails are painted red.

- A strapless, print dress. I really like the pattern on this: pink, blue, and purple butterflies and plants over a black background--it looks very Japanese to me. There's also a shiny blue and pink strap below the bust line. It opens and closes via a velcro patch on the back. Getting it on and off is pretty easy. Oh yeah, this dress came packaged on a transparent, plastic form shaped like a woman's body--I saved it and that's how I store mine.

- A shawl. This is meant to go with the dress. The exterior if black and made out of a fur-like material. The interior is pink and satiny. A purple ribbon ties it together in the front. You can tie/untie it when dressing Barbie, but rather than mess up the bow that's already there, I choose to slip it on over the head, which is less trouble.

I bought this, clearanced at $6.00, from my local Wal-Mart in February 2006, which was quite a steal. When they first came out, I think they went for something in the $20 range. I think that price tag was a little on the high side--$15 would have been more reasonable.

Final Analysis:

- Two complete outfits give you different display options and 'dress-up' play value. Both fashions are great and well designed. My favorite outfit pieces in this set were the dress, fuzzy jacket, and halter top.
- Face is well painted and the hair is nicely styled in curls.
- Lots of accessories with a good amount of variety between them. The interactivity between the DVDs, DVD cases, and DVD player was a great attention to detail.
- Clearanced for $6, sweet!

- Barbie can't stand on her own. You're going to need a doll stand, or lean her up against a wall, if you intend to display her erect. She also doesn't sit well in the director's chair. Unless you have the center of gravity just right, she falls out or the chair tips over with her in it.
- The jacket, while beautiful, is really difficult to get back on, if you take it off, because Barbie's fingers easily get snagged inside the arms.
- Barbie comes with a lot of stuff, but she can't hold many of the small accessories. Many of the items have a 'cheap' look and feel to them and the ones that have the bending hinge joints will eventually break with repeated use.
- Limited articulation. At the very least, Barbie could really use the addition of some elbow joints. To be fair, Barbies have pretty much always had this level of pose-ability, but I can't help comparing them to most other 1:6-scale figures that are much better articulated. Some female doll collectors that I've spoken to about this subject say they don't like a bunch of 'ugly' articulation lines/joints on their dolls and prefer this kind of smoother body. I can understand that perspective, but for myself, I like my figures to be as poseable as possible.
- While it's not really a problem if you only buy one of them, like me, there is a lot of re-use of accessories in this particular assortment of My Scene dolls (the girls all come with a director's chair, key chain, make-up box, popcorn, etc).

Where to Buy:
These came out a while ago, 2005, so they might be a little tricky to find, but not impossible. My Wal-Mart, where I got mine, doesn't have anymore, but our Big! Lots store does and is selling them for a very reasonable $10.00 each. If you can't find any in your area, try eBay, fellow doll collectors, etc.

In addition to the five female dolls (Barbie, Nolee, Madison, Chelsea, and--no, I'm not kidding--Lindsay Lohan), there are some male dolls (Hudson and Ryan), a limo, dressing room playset, DVD, and CD-ROM game available in the 'Goes Hollywood' My Scene assortment.

For Parents:
Mattel recommends this doll for ages six and up.

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