Made to Move Barbie and Friends

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I ordered two Made to Move Barbies (red hair and African-American) on Wednesday and received them on Friday. That was impressive. That’s why I said you’re safer ordering a product like this–new, mass-produced–from Amazon. I expected the package to be delivered by the Post Office but it came UPS.

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The dolls don’t come with any accessories. Stands would have been nice but since the dolls are so poseable, they don’t really need them. The backs of the boxes show the six different dolls. All the dolls are identified as “Barbie,” but I thought that the redhaired doll looked an awful lot like original Barbie’s first friend, Midge:

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I did some googling and found this article on The Toy Box Philosopher. Apparently the redhead is an updated version of Midge, the brunette is Teresa, the Asian doll is “Lea,” with whom I am unfamiliar, the black doll is Asha, and the blonde with curls and olive skin remains a mystery.

While this is charming on Mattel’s part, most children today interested in Barbie are probably only familiar with Teresa. Asha (early 1990s) had no backstory, no “canon” connection to Barbie, and was always dressed in African-inspired outfits. Midge is a name from the 1960s, even though there are current Midge dolls, and Lea and the dark-skinned blonde are unknowns to me.

I’ll be honest with you . . . I bought “Midge” and “Asha” because I don’t have much interest in blonde Barbie. The only non-Caucasian, non-blonde Barbie-related doll I had as a child was Barbie’s nameless Polynesian friend. I still have her. I bought a 2014 Barbie Fashionista with streaked blonde hair, gave her bangs, redressed her, put a mini bouquet of roses in her arms and voilà, she is now Stevie Nicks. Polynesian FOB (Friend of Barbie) became one of Stevie’s backup singers, and Little Debbie Barbie is now the other backup singer. And that amuses me to no end. I redressed them in colors and styles similar to what the real backup singers wore during Stevie’s Belladonna solo tour.

So back to Midge and Asha. I thought that the Made to Move versions had the most lifelike faces and the most beautiful hair of the six Made to Move dolls. And I gave them unique names: Tigerlily and Marigold. I wanted fully articulated fashion dolls to dress, pose, and photograph, and I wanted to give them identities. Asha never had a backstory. Midge’s backstory wandered all over the place. She was Barbie’s age but looked 10 years younger. She was married and had children. Her family has disappeared over time. I’m sticking with my invented identities. I don’t know Tigerlily’s and Marigold’s backstories yet. I just know that they’re best friends and that they’re about to embark on a shopping spree in true Barbie style, because they can only wear their yoga gear for so long.

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Now, let’s discuss the dolls themselves. Each doll has one arm that only bends back at a 90 degree angle. I’m assuming this serves some purpose associated with accessories for the dolls. The articulation is very different from Monster High dolls. Barbie and friends are sturdier than MH, their joints (except the ankle, because the foot remains disproportionately small) are stiffer than MH, the mechanisms for the elbow and knee joints are impossible to not notice. The rotation of the torso, arm, and leg are nothing at all like MH.

***The next picture contains doll nudity for the purposes of showing all the joints in Made to Move Barbie’s body***

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Her upper arms rotate at the bicep, she “bends” at the bust by the same mechanism, and her legs rotate at the upper thigh. It’s interesting. Her thighs also extend out at a 45 degree angle. Her hands turn completely around.

She’s smaller in the bust and curvier through the waist and thighs than other Barbies. I took the dress that came on that Fashionista I redressed as Stevie Nicks and put it on Asha/Marigold over her yoga gear. It fit perfectly. So these dolls can wear Fashionista clothing except probably the petite Fashionista clothing. I’ve read that they can wear most other Barbie clothes. I can’t wait to find some sundresses that Tigerlily and Marigold can wear over their leggings. And shoes, they need shoes, and purses….

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