Friday, January 9, 2015

Sixth (and finally), my mother's Kellies meet the Sparkle Girlz Minis

For Christmas, I brought my mother some Sparkle Girlz minis, thus allowing myself to indulge in crooning over the minis without having to own any.

We are the Sparkle Girlz legion!
The backstory is that we'd been discussing the decay of Mattel's holiday costuming for Kelly from fabulously detailed to "heck, stick her in a dress and put a pumpkin on it," along with how the main Barbie playline had, since the 1990s, gone from being visibly ethnically diverse to looking like a bunch of white girls on the beach.

Sparkle Girlz to the rescue!

Acquiring them turned out to be more challenging than just walking into Walmart and buying a range of skin tones and head molds. We in Arizona have been visibly affected by the problems at the Port of Long Beach -- a shortage of trucks to haul containers, plus a strike -- and the minis were apparently very popular. I would go to a Walmart and it would have two minis, one with messed-up hair. I ended up boil-washing several of the girls because accepting messy hair was the only way to be sure of getting one at all.

Since I relate to things by classifying and researching them, I did a sample line-up of some of my mother's Kellies by age. (Then this morning, I looked at Li'l Friends of Kelly and discovered I missed a lot of face molds. *sigh*)

Three mid-1990s dolls (including one with jointed knees!), a Lemonhead, and the later, taller Kelly.
The Sparkle Girl is gobsmacked by so many Kellies!

Then, because it seemed to need to be done, I posed each Sparkle Girl with a roughly equivalent Kelly. 
SG: I've clearly spent more time playing in the sun than you have, Kelly.
Kelly: My, you have a big forehead!
Take a look at the hand molds. Early Kelly, to the right, has super-detailed hands. Much Later Kelly, in bee costume, has developed mitten-like hands only slightly more detailed that the Sparkle's hands.
Taller Kelly takes shorter Kelly and a Sparkle trick-or-treating.
Aren't you cold, Sparkle Girl?
It was decided that the dark-skinned Sparkle with the more reddish tone can be East Indian, since there's a distinct lack of dolls labeled with that ethnicity.
Did we run out of Christmas pageant costumes AGAIN?
Help! I just lost about ten minutes to a Cuteness Fugue, in which one stares at the Sparkle Girlz minis and is overcome by a need to pet them and comb them. Seriously, if I were shopping for a small child, I'd be buying Sparkle Girlz in preference to Barbie because it's so very cheap to establish an entire civilization with pleasing ethnic diversity (which would be more perfect if they'd do an Asian head mold, but life is compromise).

This ends the story of What I Did with my Christmas Vacation, just in time for the weekend's progress on New Year's resolutions.


  1. Heh, I can imagine that "Cuteness Fugue" - these dolls are adorable!

    And wow, I'm impressed that you have a mini doll from the '90s with jointed knees - that's fantastic!

    1. Yeah, I had no idea Kelly ever *had* jointed knees, until my mother pulled out her Kelly boxes! She's apparently been acquiring them since the mid-1990s, and people give them to her (you know the routine -- once you have a few of something cute, everybody gives you more).

      This is an area where I'm trying not to overlap with Mom's collection, really, seriously, for certain. The scope creep into acquiring Stacies is as young as I'm going to go.

  2. They are TOO cute! You've had some wonderful Christmas Vacations.
    Kisses Billa

  3. Oh. You know, I never noticed that there wasn't an Asian Sparkle Girl/Kid. Granted I never paid much attention to the little kids but now that you say that, I don't recall a teen one either. I wonder if they will add that to their line.

    1. Yup, no teen Asian... the teen line has a gal with slightly sallow skin, dark hair, and brown eyes whom I read as Latina, and she's also used as Jasmine in their princess pack -- but her head mold and hair are in the territory of "you could find an Asian person who looks like that, but it's not the look that first comes to mind."

      I'm hoping we see Sparkle Girlz additions this year, since they're doing well.

  4. Oh, look how cute they are! As many times as I've admired the diversity of the Sparke Girlz, I somehow missed the absence of an Asian doll. I blame it on the fact that Mattel doesn't really make Asian dolls anymore either. They just make their white dolls a little whiter and give them brown eyes and jet black hair. It's like I've been tricked into accepting a lack of Asian dolls without even realizing it. I really hope they continue to expand the Sparkle Girlz line and add some Asian dolls, too.

    1. I would never have noticed if my sisters weren't Asian!

      The rise of "ambiguous brown" as the all-purpose handling of many ethnicities also serves as a distraction, since it's so easy to read that as so many ethnicities that you really have to be paying attention to notice which ones don't really fit.