Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Campaign for "Gardener Barbie" Begins

Being a big Barbie fan from way back -- 1971 to be exact. I was inspired by Ed Bruske's The Slow Cook blog post where he posed a Barbie with his cucumber to show to what large size it'd grown. (Okay, wipe that smutty smirk off your face ;-). This inspired me to get out my box of vintage Barbies from the attic crawl space and thinking about inventive ways to pose and use Barbie in garden photos. I looked at my selection and quickly realized that my dollhouse collection and other miniature garden tools I have were way out of scale for this 11.5" doll -- just like Goldilocks everything was too big or too small. Then I thought, "Hey, I bet there is a 'Gardener Barbie' that I can buy and she'll have cool garden accessories that I can use in these pictures." After all, there is a Barbie dogwalker who scoops poop, there is a Barbie astronaut with spacewalk suit, Barbie jockey, etc. Surely there'd be a Barbie representing the #1 hobby in the country!

So I looked and looked for a "Garden Barbie" and the only ones I could find were a "Garden Party" Barbie - who is pretty interchangeable with the annual Easter Barbies and Springtime Barbies. Basically, they all have on a nice party frock and some cute accessories like a purse or fancy hat. I like them, but not exactly what I had in mind.

I did come across this "Fairy of the Garden" Barbie pictured here. (Photo borrowed from As they put it, "Watching over buttercups and morning glories, she is a garden sprite young and old alike will adore." In short, she is a true faerie sprite in the original (ore-Disney) definition of those trouble-making creatures -- she is the kind that coddles and blesses our weeds! Still not what I had in mind.

So Mattel, I put it to you. Why is there no "Gardener Barbie"? I'm talking about a doll with jeans, a cloth shirt, a work apron with flirty flower-design pockets, and funky, bright garden clogs. She'd have a sun hat and her hair tied back in a jaunty ponytail. She'd come with a flowerpot with interchangeable plants. Maybe they even mechanical "grow" with a button push or turn-crank. She'd have to have the basic tools tucked in her apron -- gloves and a trowel. I realize a working pruner might be a bit dangerous, but a spade and rake wouldn't be too much to stick in the box with her. Throw in a pack of actual flower seeds and you'd have a real winner among the 4H set and many others who enjoy playing with dirt. Hey, why not partner with Burpee or Jackson&Perkins to throw in those seeds and cross-brand this spunky gal?

And oh yeah, Barbie would be domestically produced, lead-free, and dressed in all organic cotton. Mattel, you know how to reach me. The ball is in your court.


Anonymous said...

How is it that this doesn't already exist? And for that matter, why isn't there a Martha Stewart Barbie, the way there's a Cher Barbie? Imagine the product tie-ins. Just leaves room for . . . Washington Gardener Barbie.


WashingtonGardener said...

Yeah, JB - I thought "no brainer" for a gardener doll, right? Then looking at the 2007 I see an ugly "Dale Earnhardt(sp?)" Barbie and several other very limited appeal dolls - ugh! See my update on the Barbie issue posted last night (8/30/07).