Friday, July 27, 2012

Bye Bye Barbie

By this time you should be aware that Hallmark no longer has licensing rights to the Mattel properties which include Barbie, Fisher-Price, GI Joe, and Hot Wheels to name a few. The Fisher-Price ornaments have certainly been very popular since they were first included in 2007, but it is Barbie that will leave the biggest hole in next year's Keepsake line.

 The first Barbie ornament included in the Hallmark Keepsake line was the 1993 Holiday Barbie #1. Dressed in a glittering red dress and sculpted by Patricia Andrews, for many years this particular ornament demanded a pretty penny at secondary market shows. This series was quite popular and was based on the annual Holiday Barbie Doll; some collectors consider the Holiday Barbie and Celebration Barbie series as one series.

In 1994 Hallmark introduced the Barbie, Nostalgia series. They began with a splash featuring an ornament modeled after the 1959 Barbie Swimsuit. In 1995, in response to collector requests, Hallmark included the brunette version of the swimsuit Barbie as a club exclusive. In the Spring/Easter line, #1 in the Springtime Barbie was released.

Beginning in 1997 Hallmark began including non-series Barbie ornaments in the Keepsake line. These ornaments have been based on vintage Barbies, as well as, current Barbies. In recent years there have been many beautiful ornaments based on the Barbie Fashion Model Collection and ornaments based on the current Barbie "movie" for each year.

As a collector and a mom with a daughter, I am happy to share that I have most of the Barbie ornaments for those years that my daughter loved everything Barbie. As she outgrew Barbie, I stopped including those ornaments in my yearly "wish list." But I know that one day, she will enjoy having those reminders of her childhood hanging on her own family's Christmas tree. 

In recent years, the number of Barbie ornaments included in each year's Keepsake line has continued to grow. By far the most sought after of the recent Barbie ornaments are the Porcelain Club Barbies. These porcelain ornaments with fabric accents feature designs that are very fashion forward and quite simply beautiful sculptures. Many of these club exclusive designs have become quite difficult to find and so prices have continued to rise on these pieces.

This article would not be complete without mention of retired Keepsake Studio Artist Patricia Andrews. She was the sculpting artist behind almost all of the Barbies, her designs and sculpts have continued to be used past her retirement. She was responsible for the first Barbie ornaments in 1994-1995 and many of the 2012 Barbie ornaments are her sculpts.

Here are links to the different Barbie Series and Collections listed on Hooked on Ornaments:

The number of Barbie ornaments included in each year's line has certainly grown in the past few years. Last year there were over ten Barbie ornaments offered. There have been over 200 different Barbie ornaments issued from 1994 - through 2012. Whether you are a Barbie collector or not, I believe next year her absence will certainly be felt.

... Enjoy this special offer ...

Happy Collecting,

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