Liberation 2: Generation Girl Chelsea

Mattel really is paranoid about the B-girl’s image. The Generation Girl line wasn’t even available nationwide when this poor girl got ‘updated’ with Generation Girl Tori’s face mold and no nose ring. Despite having reduced the nose ring to minuscule size from the original prototype, apparently it was still too much for some people. If you’re wondering how to easily tell first run Girls (all of them, not just nose ring Chelsie) from second run, just look at the logo. The new logo, shown below bottom, is less colorful and more stylized. (You can also check the booklet photos- the new booklet has the nose ring airbrushed out.)

The Doll

That may be a new face mold Chelsie’s sporting, but it bears an awfully strong resemblance to the familiar ‘Superstar’ mold. I guess Mattel didn’t want to take any other risks with this doll. Her face paint is nice, if uninspired, and I’m quite fond of the deep purple lip color they chose. Her silver earrings are trendy little nails. I can’t quite get over what they did to her hair. Instead of the soft curls pictured on the prototypes, her bangs look like she fried them with her curling iron! The rest of her hair is a shapeless mass, with body but no real curl definition. The color is red red RED! Next time I go see my colorist, I’m taking this doll instead of trying to explain the color I want. That tiny speck of white you see in the photo is the infamous ‘nose ring’, which also bears little resemblance to the prototype’s larger, silver ring. Her necklace can’t be removed without taking off her head!

Mattel shows off their wonderful ability to reuse existing parts in the ‘all new’ Generation Girls. Chelsie owes her legs and torso to the Teen Skipper Dolls. The good news is, the TS feet can wear all of their own shoes, and quite a few of Barbie’s. The bad news is, those knees have three really pathetic positions. The bent leg in the middle picture above is the maximum angle, so a lot of more active poses will look downright silly. Interestingly enough, although her upper arms are the standard poseable ones, her lower arms appear to be all new, and the elbow joint is much sturdier (and holds a pose better!) than the original poseable arms. Those stupid molded white panties are here, and as is typical for a lot of Mattel product, quality control is nonexistent. I gave up a long time ago on getting Mattel to give dolls even haircuts, but one section on her head is an inch and a half  longer than the rest of it! And what’s with the permanently spread legs?

Check out the nice sculpting on these hands! They’re really delicate and graceful looking, and look awesome when Chelsie’s strumming her guitar. The big ring is a nice touch… too bad the earrings don’t match.

Doll Scorecard
Face: B+ (nothing special, but hey, it’s body jewelry!)
Body: B- (ho-hum)
Hair: D-
Overall: C

The Outfit

I know that teenage ‘style’ can be a little lacking, but who says Mattel has to immortalize it? The above pieces are supposed to represent two complete outfits, a ‘dressy’ one and a ‘casual’ one. Interestingly enough, the same badly formed socks and black combat boots with neon ‘laces’ are supposed to go with both of them. The dress is almost cute, in a tacky sort of way. It’s a cheap purple rayon with bright pink ‘velvet’, with the usual micro mini skirt. The see-through shirt is okay, although why is the fabric lavender and the trim blue? The tank top is the cutest piece of the bunch, in my opinion. The fabric is brightly colored and stretchy, and looks adorable when on. The jean shorts are uninspiring, but at least they’re long enough to be different from the others in Barbie’s wardrobe. The velcro used on these pieces is thinner and less likely to snag other things than the usual stuff, which is nice. The whole bunch is already in my box of mix-and-match, waiting for better matches.

Execution was sporadic as usual here also. How come no one noticed this big tangle?

Outfit Scorecard
Fabric: B
Style: B
Execution: C+ (note: one letter grade was lost because of use of velcro)
Overall: B

The Accessories

This is one area where Mattel really shines… cool little accessories. I love the guitar! It even has six little strings, and the strap is removable so you can replace it with one you like better. The personal CD player is nice, although I wish they had made the headphones out of a softer plastic.The oversized purple bag is cute, especially the braided strap. Topping off the accessories are a silver bracelet, a cell phone, and some really ugly combat boots. The cardboard pieces, being cardboard, are pretty useless. I like that they include a stand, but it doesn’t really work too well with these dolls- the calves on GG must be skinnier than on the doll it was originally designed for.

Oh, yeah. There was one other thing included: a cardboard bookmark. If you look closely you can see the lines from where they taped it in place!

Accessories Scorecard
Concept: A-
Style: A-
Playability: A
Overall: A-

The Result

Amazing how the right clothes and a quick trip to the salon can enliven a girl’s image, isn’t it?

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