* Prices may differ from that shown
Last Christmas Hollie asked for Barbie dolls so I set about scouring Ebay and Amazon for something a little different as Barbie's are so samey when you have three daughters' who all have loved this type of doll. I hadn't bought a Barbie for a few years as my older two grew out of the doll phase so passed all theirs on to Hollie, it was only a few months ago that she became interested enough to want some of her own - and I found myself gobsmacked at the price of them these days, is there a plastic shortage on or something?!
I found this Marie Alecia doll on Ebay; from the Barbie Co-Star range, this dark haired doll comes complete with a small solid plastic dog and removable necklace and sunglasses. Let's forget about the tiny glasses and necklace, they were lost within days of the doll arriving in the house simply because they're so tiny - I don't feel they really add much to the appearance of the doll anyway, particularly as if this were a real woman I doubt she'd team bulky (in relation!) black frames with this style of dress! Mind you, Marie Alecia comes from the Barbie Fashion Fairytale film so they obviously know more about current accessories than I do!
Marie Alecia's limbs are rigid, her right arm being permanently bent to hold the dog. The shaping means she holds the dog securely in place but when pooch is being used for other purposes the sharp bend of her arm looks really odd. She won't stand on her own and the bent arm also throws the balance of the doll out to such a degree that she doesn't lean well either - that's a shame because the fact that she's so 'different' to Barbie means she's naturally the doll Hollie wants when playing a role play game, the fact that she can't stand at the kitchenette or sit comfortably on the motorbike makes her quite useless at times!
She is gorgeous though, a really pretty Barbie-type doll. Her brown hair is shot through with purple streaks which compliment her beautiful blue/purple dress perfectly; the hair was initially in a small beehive with loose locks cascading down her back, but unfortunately it's suffered the same fate as the hair on other Barbie dolls and now looks a ratty mess. This doesn't seem to bother Hollie but I yearn for the day when they produce a doll whose hair can be brushed tidily like a humans! Marie Alecia's dress is ankle length and extremely pretty - I love the way the blue satin of the skirt has been overlaid with a glossy purple netting as this gives it a shimmery pearlescent look, the glittery fitted bodice and shorter netting completes the dress and makes Marie Alecia look like she's off out to a red carpet event. Her shoes are much trendier than I'd expect considering the olde worlde femininity of the dress, I'm not sure the heeled Converse style boots are the best accessory but in a strange way they actually look great!
There's a problem with the bodice which has only very recently become apparent, it does up with Velcro but the fitted nature of the bodice means that unless the dress is PERFECTLY straight on the doll the Velcro won't grip properly - and then the bodice moves and exposes both of Marie Alecia's boobs. The perfect look for a newly founded girl group, not ideal when your five year old decides this is the doll she wants to play with whenever you have visitors! I'm thinking of popping a couple of stitches in the back of the bodice actually, not because I'm particularly prudish about naked plastic breasts but simply due to the fact that Hollie has so many unclothed Barbies that her play area often resembles a porn film anyway - we can definitely do without a semi-clad Marie Alecia performing her bodice losing strip act!
I do think this is a great doll though and she's very regularly played with so Hollie obviously agrees, which is the main thing. She's not a favourite because she's not as versatile as the Barbies who can bend their arms and legs, but this one tends to be used as a 'conversation doll' when Hollie is holding a doll in each hand so they can talk to one another. With her typical five year old's brain she's worked out which games Marie Alecia can get involved in and will often snake the story round to fit in with why this particular doll is leaning against a scrunched up t-shirt or lying down (she was run over by Thomas the Tank Engine last week...). Being produced by Mattel she's of the same high quality as Barbie (ie. will be found in landfill in 1000 years time) and all her joints are well secured to the body of the doll. The minimum age is three years which makes sense when you think about the necklace, shoes and sunglasses but if these were removed beforehand I can't see why a younger kiddie couldn't play with her - obviously it's not a good idea to give this type of doll to a baby as they'll no doubt start chewing the hair, but you'll know if this means your child so it's up to you to make the decision.
When I had Barbies around 12 years ago, Barbie was so different to what she is now.
Barbie is harder plastic now as before she used to be rubbery and I remember always chewing Barbie's feet. My daughter Hollie is 2 and a half and loves to use her imagination to play, so when her Grandad came round with Christmas presents and let her open one early, she picked the Barbie!. I was quite excited by this present too when I saw the box. I haven't seen a Barbie in a long time so was quite eager to see if she still had her robot like body. Barbie seemed much more curvaceous when 10 years ago and now she has conformed with the size 0 fashion.
This Barbie Marie came with a Small dog which sits on her arm and is also made from plastic. The dog is white with brown ears, wearing a pink scarf and appears to look rather snooty. Marie is wearing a purple and Aqua dress which does up at the back with velcro. The top of the dress is fitted tight to her chest and the front fabric is a glittery embroidered fabric and the back is silk. The bottom of the dress is an aqua silk with a plain purple mesh/netting fabric on top and on top of that is a patterned mesh/netting fabric.. She is wearing purple heel boots with a white heel and sole, A purple necklace and black glasses which come off and can be put on again. Marie's hair is pulled back at her fringe and tied up in a half up half down hair do. Her hair is brunette which is rather different for a Barbie to be, but as her name is Marie-Alecia, i'm guessing she's not Barbie!. In Marie's brunette hair is some purple streaks to match her dress which looks rather lovely for a Barbie product to be so different.
After doing some research on Marie, I found out she is featured in an animated film with Barbie which is out on DVD. Marie is a 2010 fashion doll which you can also buy Barbie in her beautiful frock.
I found this quote of who Marie is on the Toys R us Website:
"Marie-Alecia and her dog are the hottest fashion designers in Paris and become the best friends of Barbie in her movie as they help save the fashion house!"
The DVD is available on Amazon for £4.38.
If like me, you haven't seen a Barbie in a long time and only remember what you had yourselves, Barbie's are totally different to what they used to be. Barbie can now move her legs all the way round as they are on a ball in the socket, whereas old Barbies could just move their legs up and down and her knee was in a constant bent position. After a lot of looking up Barbie's dress, I was so suprised they've adapted her to be able to move differently. She can even do the splits which was only possible in the 90's after gymnastics Barbie came about but she was very limp and wobbly. I remember having Baywatch Barbie which was the best present I'd ever received. I was so excited that Hollie had gotten her first Barbie as I hand make children's clothing and now know i can try out making Barbie clothes! I have an image of Hollie and her Marie doll wearing the same outfit!
In my opinion this Barbie is a brilliant present for any little girl 3 years old. The box states of being for children over 3 as small part are in the box, but Hollie is 30 months and I highly doubt she is going to be putting shoes or glasses in her mouth anytime soon. We will definitely be buying Barbie's for her birthday in April and look forward to her growing collection. If your child is much older, then maybe get the DVD with the doll so they know who Marie is. The Barbie doll from this DVD in her pink dress is £14.99 in Toys R us, again being cheaper than online with Amazon selling it at £24.99.
This Barbie is £9.97 in Toys R us which is the cheapest place to buy. Amazon are selling it for £14.99. If you have a Toys R us near by then it is worth getting it in store as the postage is £4.95.
Hope you enjoyed my review!