I'll be the first to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with Barbie. The feminist in me blames her for the pinkification of girls' toys that seems to have taken place over the last twenty years - a subject I could rant on about for hours, but which might have to wait for another post. The problem is, however, that there is an eight-year old girl inside me that comes out to play and gets very nostalgic about certain toys that I remember fondly from my childhood, of which Barbie is one (Lego and Playmobil being the other two).
Does every girl remember her first Barbie? My first - and only (they were expensive in those days!) - Barbie was "Superstar Barbie" complete with feather boa, long evening gown, necklace and earring, and star-shaped stand. My daughters are spoilt in that even at their young age, thanks to friends and relatives they own several dolls each. When the guys at Mattel therefore offered me a full set of the new Team Barbie dolls in exchange for a review, I hesitated slightly as to whether they would actually be appreciated or not!
It cannot have escaped anybody's notice that there is a large sporting event taking place in London over the summer, and just in time four new Barbie dolls with a sporting theme have been released (although not official O.l.y.m.p.i.c.s merchandise) - a swimmer,
and a tennis player.
The last three are similar in terms of construction , all having jointed limbs that bend at the arms and the legs for added movement (a vast improvement on the rubbery bendy legs that some Barbies have, I must say).
The swimmer doll differs slightly from the rest of the collection in that it not only comes with its own dog, but in that both dog and doll possess a clockwork windup mechanism that means they both actually swim. I have to say this was definitely a big hit - not only with my daughters at bathtime, but also for my husband, who took great delight in setting both figures up and racing them around the bath, exclaiming that they swam so much better than a lot of the wind-up toys we used to have at bath time. Whilst more expensive than the other three dolls, this little gimmick definitely made swimming Barbie the favourite of the four.
Even if she does have a pink swimming costume.