Barbie Fan Club Experience

As an avid fan of the Barbie doll since I was about 12 or 13 years old, I decided to finally enroll in the Barbie Fan Club experience last year when the opportunity arose. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I will be renewing that membership for 2017…

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Join the 2016 Barbie™ Fan Club! As a BFC™ Member, you join a passionate collecting community with unparalleled access to the world of Barbie®. Whether you love collecting or just love Barbie™, you’ll jump for joy when you join the Club. Your membership includes:

  • Up to $80 in TheBarbieCollection.com Online Shop rewards – $20 per calendar quarter*
  • The opportunity to purchase four (4) Club-exclusive dolls, as announced** (doll purchase is NOT a requirement of membership)
  • Barbie™ Doll Chair*** – your gift when you join by 3/31 (and sent with free shipping)
  • Exclusive “first looks” at quarterly Designer Videos and sneak peeks of upcoming releases, plus downloadable calendars and goodies, and access to the exclusive Barbie™ Bulletin Board

These were some of the selling points listed on the BarbieCollector (now The Barbie Collection) when I remember spending $24.95 to join the membership. I had remembered wanting to join in the year before, but the free gift of a measly card case repelled me, especially when remembering the free gift of the previous year before was a Barbie mannequin! So, I guess as a big fan of Barbie, I decided to go for it for the chair…and also the $80 worth of shop rewards. So let’s delve into each selling point of the BFC membership.

Up to $80 in TheBarbieCollection.com Online Shop rewards – $20 per calendar quarter*

This sounds like a great offer, but, unfortunately, I was unable to use half of it. It was my fault as I forgot to utilize my second and third quarter $20 rewards when the time came. However, with the offerings currently up on the Barbie Collection website, it really left little to be desired for me. Unless I’d decide to spend money on the club exclusive dolls…

The opportunity to purchase four (4) Club-exclusive dolls, as announced** (doll purchase is NOT a requirement of membership)

The opportunity to purchase four club-exclusive dolls actually didn’t really mean much to me. I’m not one to usually splurge on the higher-priced dolls (that’s usually anything above $50) so I missed out here.

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Barbie™ Doll Chair*** – your gift when you join by 3/31 (and sent with free shipping)

Being able to add this chair to my collection was a tempting offer. I had missed out on the mannequin (I actually later tracked one down on eBay) and some furniture from Barbie’s past, like the Jonathan Adler couch, so I didn’t want to miss this. The chair is alright, but it doesn’t have a hefty weight to it. I would have expected to pay maybe at most $10-$15 for this item so, combined with the $20(4) rewards, I guess that makes the membership more worth it.

Exclusive “first looks” at quarterly Designer Videos and sneak peeks of upcoming releases, plus downloadable calendars and goodies, and access to the exclusive Barbie™ Bulletin Board

Unfortunately, the forum leaves little to be desired. I’ve been active on other doll-related forums before and I didn’t see much motivation to participate in this one with how “active” the forum is. The exclusive first looks and Designer Videos weren’t as exciting as I had anticipated.

Based on those factors alone, I’d already decided I wasn’t going to be returning. As a college student, my money needs to be directed elsewhere…or at least smarter when matters with Barbie are involved.

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[Party Perfect, Pool Chic, Luciana, Classic Camel Coat]

My biggest gripe was with how I had missed out on my two quarter rewards. Flashback to late 2016: With the end of the year quickly approaching, I weighed my options on what to utilize my remaining quarter reward on and, ultimately, decided to purchase the Barbie Look Party Perfect doll. I also had my eyes on one of the newer releases, Pool Chic, but upon adding both to my cart, the total of purchasing both was actually not a great deal in comparison to the sole purchase of one of the dolls from the Barbie Look collection. I had contemplated purchasing higher-priced Collector dolls such as Luciana from the Global Glamour collection or Classic Camel Coat from this year’s Barbie Fashion Model collection. However, after reading up on other collector’s opinions on these dolls and the quality involved, I decided to pass. Maybe I’d purchase Classic Camel Coat in the future, but perhaps on Amazon.

That was another thing. With the Barbie Collection offering dolls in the playline division of Barbie on their Collector-based website, it was easy to turn to Amazon to indulge in all my Barbie-purchasing needs. This was especially true when I could easily score the Collector dolls on discounted prices lower than the suggested retail price alongside the division of the season’s Fashionistas range. With my Amazon Prime membership that guaranteed free two-day shipping, the cons of ordering off The Barbie Collection just didn’t seem worth it anymore.

What was probably the nail on the coffin was an evaluation of what Mattel has been offering in the Collectors division. The offerings were really beginning to feel lackluster, especially in comparison to when I had first started getting involved in Barbie. Party Perfect from the Barbie Look is a good example of that.

[Barbie Look Party Perfect Front & Back Packaging]

Inspired by Barbie’s barbiestyle Instagram page, the Barbie Look captures that stylish lifestyle of Barbie doll. As an Asian-American, I had recently decided to focus my collection more on the Asian dolls. That aside, I also didn’t mind Party Perfect’s outfit. In addition, the doll at least comes on an articulated body but it pales in comparison to the Made-to-Move body now offered in the playline division in terms of mobility; if anything, it maintained the aesthetically-pleasing joints but that was it.

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The doll actually comes with a gorgeous face. It reads as one of the better ones as of late because some of the others released lately, especially the ones that utilize the Collector-sized Millie sculpt, have come off looking more cartoonish than the Millies released in playline. That’s really not acceptable.

 

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The accesories that come with the doll – a clutch, a gift bag, an invitation, and a picture frame – are appropriate to the name of the doll but also oh-so-dull. The part bag and invitation are items that can easily be made and the clutch has been heavily over-used by Mattel in recent years. The frame is okay, except you can clearly see that it’s a sticker (and it’s not even placed straight on mine). What’s interesting here is that the Barbie pictured here is wearing an outfit from a playline Fashionista and Party Perfect is pictured wearing a blue top instead of the pink one she comes with…interesting. While the pink works well, I think the blue would have been a welcomed piece to any Barbie wardrobe.

All in all, I suppose the Barbie Fan Club and my recent purchase of the Barbie Look Party Perfect doll have helped me realize I’ve reached a point in my collecting as a fan that doesn’t need to be as avid as before. If anything, I should be looking to downsize what I have…which I’ll be looking to do after I graduate. The sheer amount of my collection is beginning to stress me out, if I must be frank.

Have a natty day!

Natty

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