2/22/2016

REVIEW: The New Articulated Silkstone "Basic Black"


Basic Black is basic as they come and they left out the panties!

The quality of the dress fabric is fair to middling—the type that leaves little pieces of lint on the doll. It's a cute dress and it closes with snaps. I could not remove her boots without having to cut the back part open. I could have warmed them up but I was frustrated and I have better boots for this doll.

Her high pony-tail styled hair is neatly and nicely done and her face painting is carefully but plainly applied.  She looks a lot less sophisticated and somewhat younger than prior Silkstones.


 UPDATE: Mattel's Promo Photo modifies the true doll by changing the elbow and knee joints and making the pony tail perfect. I just read the BC.Com forum and the complaints are the same and worse than mine and it's really a fiasco. I had such high hopes!



Mattel needs to rethink the finishing of the surface areas, the appearance of the elbow joints and the too-youthful appearance of her face. And...she needs earring holes.



If you enlarge several of my photos and look at the seams, you will see how poorly done they are. There are strange protrusions from the elbows. I am concerned about the knee joints as well as they are very stiff and I don't really trust bending them all the way.

On the other hand, she poses very well.



Here she is compared to the original Silkstone body front and back. She is slightly lighter than the original.


I didn't have a problem with redressing in any way. Everything fits perfectly.



The price was very good. On BC.Com, she retailed for $40. I used my $20 quarterly coupon and got her for $20. Dealers are offering her for about $49. I don't think she's worth a whole lot more.  I'll venture to guess that future issues will cost more. They will have to appear to be worth it to get my money.

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! TBH, articulated non-playline Barbie bodies (i.e., ones with Model Muse-like proportions) can easily run $30-40, last time I was looking around, so $40-49 for an articulated Silkie seems fair...ish :) $20 is a steal!

    Is her bust the same size as a non-articulated Silkie's? Her elbows look a bit suspect, hopefully they're sturdy.

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  2. I think 40 dollars is fair. I may actually go for her too at some point. But I just dont like the new proportions and the boyish body. It is just one straight line. No curves, no nuances. I dont know why they had to change that. She has no butt, no waist, small breasts. Her head looks huge in comparison to her body that, the more I look it, resembles that of a 13 year old prepubescent girl. I read somewhere that they initially were not going to change the proportions. I wonder why they did.

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  3. Wasn't crazy about the boots. Not exactly a 90s look-would need chunkier boots. Still wished she had the old vintage body and a more sophisticated face paint.
    I may get the redhead.

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  4. When she is dressed, what small changes there are don't really matter.

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  5. I love mine. The price is right. About the elbows: I found that when you straighten her arms out the "protrusion" locks the arm from going further. I think the doll's execution could have been better, but it what it is. I'm hoping that her limbs don't change colour, like we've seen before with other dolls from other companies.

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  6. I agree with pretty much everything you said. the joints are stiff, and overall the joints and body seams need sanding and refining. She is cute, Silktone clothes fit her, and I like her dress. She does pose nicely, although I am also worried that a lower arm or leg might break at the joint. the omission of the panties and earrings is disappointing. I look at those items as markers of quality and thoughtfulness in design. The boots were, so to speak, a misstep with this dress. I got the doll for $20, too, with my club membership coupon. I don't think I will pay any more than that for another unless Mattel improves the body.

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  7. I think she is a great "starter" doll. I only started collecting smaller size dolls this year. (I love the 16" fully articulated mammoths). It's the articulation and 16" size that got me into collecting fashion dolls a few years ago, so I was reluctant to lean towards the smaller size dolls and if it wasn't for the articulation and her low price, I wouldn't have bought her at all. So Mattel did a smart thing in lowering the price and "luring" me and other "newbies" in. My guess is that they wanted to "test" the market response to an articulated doll before investing increasing resources in a more elaborately dressed doll with improved articulation.
    Worked with me !!
    Tali From Israel

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    1. Tali: I'm not so sure about that because Silkstones have had a huge following. It may have faded in the last two years due to some ridiculous fashions but they are still very popular. I think this particular Silkstone will turn off many collectors who love the smooth and sophisticated original Silkstone. It's too bad they didn't work harder to raise the bar and instead cheapened the product.
      Where in Israel are you from?
      Terri

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    2. I am from the central area, a city called Petach Tikva, not far from Tel Aviv (a 20 min ride). I actually had no idea about collector fashion dolls (like many) and got to know them on a visit to FAO Schwart, a few years ago, when visiting family in the States - and I was hooked. Thank god my husband has his own expensive hobby (fish) or I would be toast.
      I Love reading your blog. As far as fashion doll collecting goes, living in Israel I might as well be living on the moon. We have no clubs that I know of and no local events, going to conventions is prohibitive - so blogs like yours are the only way for me to be in the know and feel like part of the community - a great thank you to you and all the other wonderful bloggers out there - keep up the good work.
      Tali

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    3. Tali: It's very special to me that a doll person from Israel is reading and posting here. You are only the second collector from Israel in all my years of blogging! If there is any way I can help you get a doll or information, don't hesitate to ask.
      Terri

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  8. Terri, question....Has (or can) a collector take a Dremel to the body to sand down the mold -lines? Since they don't have blushing on the bodies, maybe a simple pass or two will take care of the problem. Has anyone done this?

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    1. I suppose if you have the right attachment you can alter the surface but I think that's overkill.

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  9. My doll arrived today, and as I suspected, so much of the hoopla over at The Barbie Collection was vastly overblown. The people who said that she couldn't touch her hip either had bad dolls or weren't being truthful; mine touches her hips just fine, and her arms move easily. Yes, the elbow joint isn't the most attractive. That is something I hope they work on in the future. Her knees do have a strange feel to them when they bend -- and they don't seem to bend as far as I seem to think they should -- but they do bend. She can sit down, cross her legs, and look like she is "running" when posed on the stand. She holds poses beautifully.

    When I read about her horrible seams, I was expecting something ridged and obvious. Again, either my doll is different, other people have much higher standards than I do (entirely possible), or something else is going on. I can barely see or feel the seams. I've also read that someone used a wet Emory pad/board that easily dealt with the ones on her dolls. I have to be very close to the doll for me to notice them.

    She does indeed have a slightly smaller bust, but I took off Lavender Luxe's dress and put it on Classic Black Dress. There was a very small gap in the bust, but it is only noticeable from a side view. Not that that isn't important for some people, but it seems a very minor point for me.

    Yes, it would have been nice for her to have underwear, but I know that I have or can get that item very easily for next to nothing if it is that important to me. (Hint: It isn't.)

    Her boots came off for me within three seconds without needing to cut them or heat them. That is a whole lot better than having to fight with footwear on other dolls, such as Midas Poppy's gladiator sandals/boots or Eileen's boots that won't go on easily or at all if she is wearing her stockings. The boots aren't the most stylist or of the nicest materials (I like the Andy Warhol Campbell's boots much better), but they are true to the look inspiration photo people have posted. Again, something that is easily changed if it is a big deal. I redress most dolls anyway.

    Speaking of which, she wears other clothes well. Right now she is fitting perfectly into a Poppy Parker outfit I just picked up, Young Sophisticate. Even the shoes fit.

    I like her fresh, young face. It's a nice change of pace. Now I wouldn't every doll in the future to have this exact look, but I'm hoping they mix it up. It seems to hearken back to Barbie's roots as a teen model. There is no way the recent Silkstones look anything like a teen model. Perhaps people this bothers can think of her as an early Francie tribute for her 50th anniversary.

    So after all of that, she is a winner for me, and I am very glad I picked her up. I would even have paid the full $40 for her. As others mentioned, I think she is a good introduction to the line. Mattel was very smart with the price point, because I've read many comments from people that they were buying her despite all of the bad reviews/comments to see for themselves because of her price. Had she been $65 or more, that wouldn't have happened. If they needed to cut down on panties, jewelry, etc. to get to that price and generate enough profit for the company, that is fine with me. Again, that might be my attitude because of being a redresser.

    I'm looking forward to the future releases in the line.

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    1. Thanks for the great review!
      T

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    2. Everything Troy just said!! People spend more in a week on coffee... For $20 she's kinda perfect!

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    3. Agreed. Great review. I was excited when I saw that Mattel was trying something new for the Silkstone dolls. The reviews made me a little skeptical. (I think the fan really just didn't want anything to change.) But, I LOVE mine!!! The seams don't bother me. The outfit is classic and simple. Yes, the legs are a little dicey, but they work. The elbows seem fragile, but okay --- I just can't be a brute about it. I'm looking forward to more.

      And, as always, I LOOOOOOOVE your blog, Terri.

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    4. I'm glad to hear your views, Victor.
      Terri

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  10. I agree you. I've just received mine. I was thinking that maybe I wouldn't like her, but I really love her!!! this is my second Siltstone, the beautiful first one "Market day" is still boxed because i love posing my dolls and this one is so pretty and poses very well and even the fabric allows somekind of posing the skirt itself. I think she should have had some underwear, but this is not very important to me, and being used at Tonner doll prices, this one is almost a bargain. I'm getting the next one with the coat and sunglasses!!!

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    1. I'm glad to hear that you like your new doll. I also have Market Day and I debox all my dolls. You should take her out of the box and enjoy her!!!
      I don't know yet if I will get the next Silkstone. I'm wondering about her price point. Thank you for your comments.
      Terri

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  11. You know, after my initial reservations, I have begun to really enjoy this doll. She's so pretty and sweet! A slightly more sophisticated play doll, fun to dress and pose and not treat with kid gloves, as I do my higher-end dolls.

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    1. Karen...be careful with her knee joints. I've seen a photo of a snapped joint.
      T

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  12. At $20 she'd be a good inexpensive way to introduce a younger 11.5" fashion doll collector or an older doll collector on a tight budget to the world of Silkstones.

    At $40-$50 I agree she looks like a step or two down from other Silkies even with articulation (which I suspect will evolve and improve though the price point may have to go up).

    I will be interested to hear from collectors a year or two from now as to how the joints have held up.

    I wish someone would think about doing a 'gateway drug /entry level' fashion doll in the 15-17" scale world...something that retails for $50-$150, has some articulation, made a bit better than the AD & IT era Genes, the MA Alex dolls and the early Tonners but not necessarliy out of resin (Silkstone-like would be okay so she's smooth but has a substantial feel when you hold her). She should also be able to share clothes with as many other fashion dolls in that scale as possible.

    George Gonzales has the entry level resin dolls in 16" covered with JAMIEshow but these are more in the $300-$400 range and thus not something I'd get for a younger collector or something for the entry level collector (who could handle a basic doll in undies/leotard/bathing suit at $50-$75 or in a simple outfit if we're talking $100-$150.

    Horsman Vitas are maybe close to what I envision but they feel awfully lightweight in the hand and more like plastic than Silkstone.

    To me Tonner could potentially do this but I've been disappointed with the decrease in the quality of his doll clothes these past few years so maybe it should be someone else.

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    1. Tonner does this and always has with his basic dolls. They are dressed in a simple garment and sometimes come without shoes. Almost every single fashion line he's come out with in the last 15 years has had basic, low priced dolls.

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  13. Hm, I was wondering what the hidden faults would be with this doll. She did seem a little too good to be true. I'm glad I didn't get her.

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