Mattel chose the 2010 San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) to publicly unveil three new pop culture Barbie dolls from the 1960s. The three are Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, Samantha from Bewitched, and Elly May from The Beverly Hillbillies. Unfortunately I couldn't find out much official information on these dolls as the booth attendant informed me that no Barbie designers were at SDCC because they were all at the Barbie Convention in Cleveland, OH. What I can tell you is that all three are vinyl and use the vintage face mold and that they are prototypes for a future release. I can also tell you that there was a fair amount of grumbling on the Barbie Collector website that these dolls were shown at SDCC and not at the Barbie Convention. I actually was a little surprised about that myself, but I'm happy they chose SDCC to unveil them so that I could take pictures and show them here.
First up is Jeannie. Mattel originally produced Jeannie in 2001 as part of their Barbie Loves Pop Culture series. In that rendition, Jeannie's arms are folded in front of her in her iconic wish-fulfillment pose. While some may wonder why Mattel chose to recreate this doll, I'm glad they did. I didn't purchase Jeannie the first time around so I'm happy to rectify that mistake. At SDCC Jeannie was shown with a very cool miniature of her bottle. There was no mention of the bottle on the write-up next to Jeannie and the attendant couldn't tell me if she will be sold with the bottle.
The next character is Samantha, another doll that Mattel originally produced as part of the Barbie Loves Pop Culture series for 2002. I think it's wonderful that Mattel has decided to recreate these characters using the vintage face mold. These shows originally aired in the 60's and so I find it very appropriate that Mattel is using a face mold from the same time frame to represent these characters. Some collectors have argued that both Samantha and Jeannie should have used the Twist 'n Turn (TnT) body and face sculpt which began selling in 1967. While that body and face mold would have also worked, Bewitched debuted in 1964 and I Dream of Jeannie debuted in 1965, which makes the original vintage face mold perfectly acceptable. Plus this gives Mattel the ability to come out with an updated set of dolls in another 10 years.
The last character is Elly May Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies. Elly May is a new character for Mattel and one that may find a home with more than just pop culture afficionados. Many vintage and repro collectors have stated how nicely her blue and white checked blouse and jeans outfit will go with the vintage/repro Picnic Set outfit. Elly May is adorable with her blonde curly hair and two ponytails in back done up in pink ribbons. Included is a really fun accessory, her slingshot.
To see more photos of these dolls, please visit my flickr photostream.