LIBERATIONS 12, 13, AND 14: BUTTERFLY ART TERESA, STEVEN, AND BARBIE
August 3, 1999
In last year’s lineup, Mattel introduced these adorable play line dolls with one ‘permanent’ tattoo each and sheets of temporary tattoos for doll and owner to share. Many collectors missed these dolls initially due to an overwhelming number of collector dolls currently available and a general feeling of burnout on play line dolls. Recently, however, a rumor made the rounds that these dolls were to be recalled due to customer complaints, and they disappeared from store shelves across America. If you like variety in your collection, they’re definitely worth the effort to seek out.
The face paint here is pretty dull, all things considered. Steven’s is the best of the bunch in my opinion, since I don’t like male dolls with a lot of facial paint. He uses the lovely ‘Jamal’ mold from the much-missed Shani line. Teresa uses the standard new Teresa face with dark brown hair with lighter highlights. Her eyes are a weird combination of turquoise and tan, with matching tan eyeshadow, and mauve lipstick. Barbie has the Mackie face, with blue eyes, shiny silver shadow, and pink lipstick that looks rather odd with her strawberry blonde hair. Both Teresa and Barbie have a center rooted part that has crimped hair, which stands out from the straight hair used for the rest of the head. If anyone out there knows how to achieve a crimped look on saran hair without generating a horrible melted mess, please email me with details!
The girls in this line all have the basic Barbie body with Shani arms and flesh-tone molded panties. If you want a closer look at this body type, try Liberation 3. Steven’s body, pictured above, is the standard Ken body with palms-to-rear arms EXCEPT his waist doesn’t turn! Come on, Mattel, how cheap can you get? His legs have the same weak three clicks as current Barbies, except since his legs are thicker plastic it wrinkles a bit when bent all the way.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the tattoos!
There they are, cute little butterflies. Personally I don’t see what the big deal is, since I played with temporary tattoos all the time when I was a kid, but some people take these things way too seriously. Interestingly enough, the rumored ‘complaints’ didn’t hurt the line even a little… but they’re supposedly the cause of Generation Girl Chelsie’s lost nose ring and GG Barbie’s lost tattoo. If you didn’t realize the first GG Barbie had a tattoo, here’s a closer look!
Dolls Scorecard Faces: B- Body: A+ (’cause I love the tattoos) Hair: B Overall: A-
Tacky is the only word I can come up with for the crocheted bikinis. They may be lined, but they’re still strange, not to mention they’d be awkward to actually swim in. The girls also come with a denim micro skirt with a fringe that I’m guessing is supposed to simulate the look of cutoff jeans, although I’ve never seen a cutoff skirt myself. Steven’s outfit is only slightly less tacky, with a day glo yellow mesh top and cutoff shorts. Of course, it’s not like I bought them for the clothes…
Outfits Scorecard Fabric: B- Style: C- Execution: B- (the usual one grade velcro penalty applies) Overall: C+
What a disappointment- Mattel couldn’t even bother making color changes to the temporary tattoos. All the girls in the line come with the two sheets pictured above, while Steven and Ken have the two pictured below. Each doll also comes with two braided ‘friendship bracelets’ and a necklace. Steven was the only one with the foresight to knot the ends of his braids to keep them from unraveling! Each girl comes with a brush to match her swimsuit, while the guys got sunglasses. No one got shoes.
Accessories Scorecard Concept: A+ Style: C Playability: A Overall: B+
Each doll got a new outfit based on what I see as their personality. Teresa is a quiet type who likes to make people wonder, so she chose a mini dress that lets the bottom of her tattoo peek out below the hem. Steven can’t imagine what he was thinking when he got his tattoo, so he’s covered it up completely in this professorial suit. Barbie, of course, likes to be noticed, and she’s decided that less is definitely more when it comes to showing off her body art.