Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I’m Not Sure Why The Black Celebration Barbie Is Selling Worse Than The White, But The 2011 Black Celebration Barbie Is A Better Ornament!

The Good: Good sculpt, Cool metallic accents, No cloth, Vibrant eyes and good-looking hair.
The Bad: No flexibility, Poor balance.
The Basics: Ironically, the Christmas-edition Barbie with the darker skin looks more natural and better than the Caucasian version, despite faring poorer in the marketplace!

As bargain hunters like me scour every last Hallmark in their area (or go online hoping for deals there), there is a good chance that some of the real gems of Hallmark’s 2011 Christmas season will be overlooked as buyers snatch up the more flashy or expensive ornaments. Arguably at the top of the list of most likely to be overlooked ornaments this year is the black Celebration Barbie ornament. The Caucasian version of the Celebration Barbie ornament did not fare terribly well in my review (that is here), but the Celebration Barbie presented as a person of color actually solves several of the issues I had with the other one. So, despite the two being cast from the same mold, the black Celebration Barbie is the one to buy!

For those unfamiliar with them, Barbie dolls have been a leading trademarked doll (and model for unrealistic female bodytypes!) from Mattel for over sixty years. Hallmark Keepsake picked up the Barbie license in order to produce Christmas ornaments and Celebration Barbie is one of twelve Barbie ornaments produced for 2011! It is worth noting that there are two versions of the Celebration Barbie, the black and white versions. After Christmas, I started finding the black version popping up more and more, which surprised me because several stores near me were sold out of it before the holiday.


The Celebration Barbie ornament recreates the Celebration Barbie doll with Barbie in her rich green Christmas dress. The ornament features the black version of the Celebration Barbie with her long brown hair cascading down over her right shoulder. She looks like a glamour model and is pretty much exactly what one expects when they think of Barbie; thin waist, busty and a neutral smile on her face. The Celebration Barbie is the latest in the series that replicates the popular doll in ornament form.

The ornament has Barbie wearing a flowing green Christmas gown with beautiful gold accents to it. This Barbie ornament is 4" tall by 3" wide and 2 3/4” deep because of the solid bell form to the dress. The Hallmark Celebration Barbie ornament is made entirely of durable plastic and has the feminine icon standing alone, with her right hand on her hip and her left arm straight. Her dress is colored deep green and has a gold front panel on the skirt as well as gold accents all around the stomach and chest area. She does not have feet molded on, so the bottom of the ornament is a single, flat piece.

This Barbie has the doll’s usual make-up coloring to her face and eyes, so she looks made-up for a Christmas party. On this version of the Celebration Barbie, her bright gold earrings stand out in front of her dark brown hair. As important, her bright red lips and luminous eyes are accented. One of the major defects of the blonde version of this ornament was the hair looking particularly fake. But on this version of the Celebration Barbie, the hair looks wonderful and nicely detailed.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Celebration Barbie could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a low-cost (comparatively) option for fans of Barbie. I think it's disappointing that Celebration Barbie does not have any articulation to her limbs. It was well within the abilities of Hallmark to make the ornament articulated at least at the shoulders or neck, but they opted for a boring statue look for the ornament and that disappoints some.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Celebration Barbie ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Barbie Christmas Tree, the Celebration Barbie ornament is a mediocre addition. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top back of the character's head. From there, one hangs the ornament and this Barbie ornament is unfortunately backheavy. The weight of the dress, the way it is molded, pulls the back of the ornament down some. As a result, the Celebration Barbie ornament has about a fifteen degree pitch, that is somewhat awkward.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). Since then, they have branched out into every major franchise from Barbie to Gone With The Wind to Twilight. The Celebration Barbie ornament is selling surprisingly coldly, which might have something to do with the sheer number of Barbie ornaments that Hallmark flooded the market with this year. This one is one of the easier Barbie ornaments to find on the secondary market, especially now. I have no explanation for why the black version of Barbie is a pegwarmer, but its collectible value does appear lower.


Fans of the Barbie franchise might overlook the season’s lone black Barbie offering, but the 2011 Celebration Barbie is a worthwhile addition for any Barbie ornament collection!

For other Barbie ornament reviews, please check out:
2011 Campus Sweetheart Barbie
2011 Prima Ballerina Barbie ornament
1996 Enchanted Evening Barbie ornament
1994 Barbie Debut ornament


For other ornament reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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