Monday, August 11, 2008

Speaking of Gillian Anderson

Yesterday at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, I saw the Barbie & Ken X-Files Collector Set for sale. Okay, I'm proudbarassed to say I recognized Barbie as Scully at 30 yards. The friend I was with wondered what qualified the doll as "Barbie." He had a good point -- she has short red hair and really is more like a 12-inch-doll of Gillian Anderson as Scully, with Barbie branding.

The Barbie & Ken Classic Star Trek set, by contrast, consists of actual Ken and Barbie, in gold command shirt and red minidress respectively, along with a cardboard bridge and cardboard Kirk and Spock to scale. (And yes, the reason I know this is because I own one. What can I say, I have a fascination with clever licensing.)

Being the Marketing Geek that I am, this really has me wondering about the decision process behind these Collector's Editions. Are there different lines at the manufacturer, depending whether the release is a licensed doll or just props and outfits for the existing dolls? I think I personally prefer the latter -- Barbie in that case is a fan like us, with a Star Trek costume and an understanding boyfriend.

Because the "Baywatch" Barbie (and Ken) were in stores while I was working on Baywatch, I have quite a few of them, in their red bathing suits and lifeguard jackets. (As an aside, the Crew Jackets on Baywatch were identical to the wardrobe worn by the characters, with the addition of an embroidered logo on the back. As such, they are so similar to REAL LA County Lifeguard jackets that we were specifically asked NOT to wear them to the beach, to avoid being mistaken for Lifeguards in an emergency.)

My Baywatch Barbie lifeguards are out of their boxes and on display in my guest room, where they get played with frequently by my under-10 visitors. I have both the original and the African-American versions of Baywatch Barbie and Ken, and two beach jeeps for them to ride in. (I recently realized that the plastic jeeps include little plastic seatbelts. Safety first!) Since each doll came with different props, among them they have quite the assemblage of gak -- whistles, binoculars, cameras, sun visors, jetskis, a pith helmet, little tevas, a dolphin (?), and of course the iconic red 'rescue can.' On my trip to the Flea Market, I saw a NIB Baywatch Ken for sale, with a different collection of stuff! So my little lifeguard family is about to get a Frisbee, a boom box, and a wind up Waverunner with "Realistic Motor Sounds." Yeah Baby. Five Bucks well spent.

Ken's Tevas

1 comment:

JOHN MOSBY said...

Mommmmmmmmmmm, come here, I've found someone way geekier than I am!

(hides lego Indiana Jones and Watchmen hardcover edition)