Tuesday, February 23, 2016

These Boots were Made for Walking...Classic Black Dress Silkstone...

Classic Black Dress Silkstone- the first articulated silkstone Barbie of 2016 has arrived and she is lovely. Here is the first photo of her in the box.

She comes dressed in a basic black dress, with black boots, no jewelry or purse and a stand. Her box is very classy, with a glossy finish. I love the packaging. 

There are plenty of bad reviews of this doll, such as Mike and Elio's Classic Black Dress Silkstone review- click on the above video...not good, and they do wonderful reviews of dolls. I highly recommend subscribing to them. (Just a word up- Silkstones are not their cup of tea, either, and they did a giveaway recently on this doll. ) 

Terri Gold did a wonderful review of this doll HERE which was also quite nice,
as well as Inside the Fashion doll Studio  did one on this doll too. 

But most of these reviews were all about what was WRONG with the doll. For me, I would like to focus what was is RIGHT with her...

My title of this blog post was These Boots Were Made For Walking...

Does anyone remember that song?? Nancy Sinatra anyone? 

I am wondering if Robert Best didn't have this in mind when he contemplated articulation for the Silkstones, yet attempting to keep their body mass intact. By that I mean, looking at this little lady at first glance, no, I'm not pleased with boots and a black dress. But now I think I 'get' the simplicity here. Barbie was a mannequin in 1959...along about 1965-1966 she began to 'bend' and twist and turn.....sort of like the Silkstones today. 

So I began to look at all the reasons I LIKE this little girl. And not all the disappointments, the unfiled seams on her arms and hands. But pose her, stand back and look at her objectively.When doll makers give a doll articulation it is all about movement, giving that doll 'lifelike ' movement of realism and poseability. For me, the Silkstones were beautiful, but that was about it. I could not sit them realistically in a chair, in a car, nada. Nor could I dress them with that bent arm at the side. 

Here are some photos of my little beauty.

Her arms are difficult to bend, her hands I like as you could probably put rings or jewelry on them. I adore her face. My dolls' hair was a little messed but I can fix that with some water spray. In my opinion her body is like a young teen Skipper, which I know freaks out alot of the hard core Silkstone collectors. For me, there is something about this little doll that really caught me and I think I understood when I compared the FEET of this little lady to the other Silkstone beauties.

Remember what I said about movement, realism, articulation? This is especially true in dioramas. When you are taking a picture in dioramas, or a scene, what creates life is how the dolls are 'moving' and Silkstones are good for standing in line, talking to another doll, but they don't really create life. Look at their feet. One on the left is just standing, and the other is striding in her high heels. The one in the middle? Well that is Classic Black Dress- these Boots are Made for Walking....

See what I mean about movement?  Classic Black dress in one fell swoop, has created the motions of 'living' with her articulated arms and legs. From the first picture her purse moves from her hand to her arm, and she breaks from the line at the door to the front of the step with her right hand flying up to straighten her hair. The other dolls, though they have 'moved' have not moved their poses, they are not really able to except to move a hand or an arm up and down. Those knees cannot bend. 

Voila' ! She's what Barbie should be...or evolve to. I think myself, the articulated line will probably move to a better articulation, given some time. I think I see what they are going for, if the collectors will have patience. 

I personally am happy with this doll and the articulated line up for Silkstones. Though I love the older Silkstones too, I adore movement. One thing I also love- is these dolls will look good in the vintage Barbie playsets and clothing too. 

Was she worth the price? At Barbiecollector.com she was priced at $40 with my $20 reward she was $20 plus tax and shipping, $25.95 ...so yes, definitely worth the price this time around.  I know the next two, Trench coat which is probably going to be priced between $75-95? and Glam Dress $99-109 are prices I have seen quoted for these two already at dealers. I hope to buy these two from Barbie Collector website. 


Phyllis said...

First, I do remember that Nancy Sinatra song "These Boots Were Made for Walking". Of course, it is now going to be stuck in my head the rest of the day. I also ordered this new Silkstone doll. I got her because of the articulation. I have read a lot of bad reviews on her both in the Barbie Collector forums and online. Yes, there are some issues with her. Let's face it, even the $100 and up dolls from FR have problems. For me, at this price point ($40) she is a very nice addition to my collection. Now that I have had a chance to pose her, I find her joints work a bid better. I notices that her knee joints were very stiff, and when I looked at the back of her knee, I could see some excess material caught in the joint. I pulled it out with a pair of tweezers and her knee movement is much smoother now. I agree totally with your comments on her and love that the joints give her some life! I am happy to have her in my collection.

monstercrafts said...

I think she's an overall nice doll. I'm not a silkstone collector (I still have Tout de Suite in her box), but probably that's because I don't know what to do with a doll that's not articulated at all. Sometimes I don't buy dolls because they're not articulated, even if they have a nice face. Probably, this change will get me into silkstones, and also this one is in a price range I can afford.


Lisa Neault said...

Monstercrafts, so glad you still have Toute de suite! I had to sell mine in a massive dolly clean out one year when I needed money for bills a few years ago. I've done that a few times and regret it. I understand what you mean about articulation- it is key with me. Alot of times my Silkstones were not used in dioramas because of their face ups, were too vintage or too 'Barbie' from the 1950's era and did not fit in with the realistic look I was going for, so they just sat. I can see a use for them articulated, now.

Phyllis, glad I could get a song stuck in your head! LOL! I couldn't help but think of that video and Nancy Sinatra was wearing a black outfit just like this doll. She does have issues, but I think because of all the 'bitching' on the boards, alot of people are not giving these dolls a chance.

Robert is a great designer, and Mattel is not the best at implementing new designs or innovations like Integrity, from what I can see.

billa's dolls and fashions said...

Great review Lisa! I never collected Silkies because of their stiff bodies, so I was looking forward to these new poseable dolls. I've been reading many awful reviews about this doll, and your equilibrated take on her is a breath of fresh air!
I believe they are working very hard at Mattel, and I don't like uncalled-for negativity.
Thanks for sharing!

Lisa Neault said...

Billa, you're welcome.

I love articulation, it is the breath of life to me in working with dioramas.

I also, truly love the Silkstones. But, I'm not a diehard either of 1959 like the hard core vintage collectors- some of whom I know, and respect, who collect them. These are the folks who are the biggest ones out there who dislike the new articulation on her.

While on some of the flaws I do agree- her seams need sanding, they need alot of work, her arms 'float', bust too small, feet too big, can't wear silkie clothes, yada yada bing bang, and on and on ....I myself see the positives. There are flaws with the Integrity dolls- hell, the bodies are 'exploding' or come apart now! Do I like it? Hell no but I stil buy them. I would never and have never taken them apart to this day- it still makes me shudder.

The new articulated Silkstones were not going to be new and improved on the first try just like the mannequin Silkstones did not go well- remember the green ear on Hollywood? I myself am not expecting much out of Mattel because they just don't deliver like Integrity- they believe they don't have to because the money keeps rolling in. They're complacent. But I also think that with the complaints of the body it may improve, given time and experimention, we will just have to wait and see. The material they using is the same type of material, which is hard to render in a jointed body. Overall I think they are doing something really radical, but new.