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 http://www.wowdolls.com/collector/fairy.htm.) 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.

2 comments:

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.

jb

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).