I’m sure you’ve noticed my doll collection revolves mostly around Disney and Ever After High. I’ve yet to review an actual Barbie, and the doll clothes I buy or sew are always for a Disney or Ever After High character.
Well, that’s because I don’t collect Barbies.
Oh, I love Barbie! I just don’t love some of the changes made to her in recent years. The new Fashionistas are fantastic. Their diversity and uniqueness are amazing, and I get the urge to buy one every time a new line is revealed.
What holds me back? Their cheap, unarticulated bodies.
Seriously, I’d have a lot more Fashionistas in my collection if it weren’t for their hard, plastic bodies. One look at those unbending limbs takes away any desire I have to own one.
Yes, but Made-To-Move Barbies are hard to find and often overpriced thanks to doll scalpers😡. I can’t afford to pay $7 for each Fashionista then another $20 or $30 to give her an articulated body!
So, I stick to admiring the New Crew from afar and spend my money on dolls with better articulation, such as Disney and other character dolls.
However, one Fashionista won me over and convinced me she was worth adding to our doll family.
It was love at first sight! With that sparkly blue hair and unicorn t-shirt, it looks like this doll just stepped out of a fairytale (and I’m a sucker for fairytales)! Even though she has zero flexibility, her charm alone seemed worth the $7 (plus I intend to give a minor upgrade😉).
On our next shopping trip, I stopped by the toy aisle (a usual habit) and, as luck would have it, there was Fashionista 88 sitting on the shelf waiting for me to swoop her up.
This Barbie Fashionista is doll 88 also known as Unicorn Magic.
She comes in a plain black and white box, which is understandable since Fashionistas are budget dolls. On the back is a picture showing the other dolls released this year, and that’s about it.
So, let’s get on with the opening!
Meet Unicorn Magic:
This doll is “Original with Purple Glittery Hair” on Mattel’s website but on Amazon she’s called “Unicorn Magic“. Wow! I’m going to refer to her as Unicorn Magic for now; but, rest assured, she will have a new name by the end of the review.
Unicorn Magic is an original Barbie and is 11 1/2-inches tall.
She has grey-blue eyes with brown eyebrows and wears mauve colored lipstick. Her skin is quite pale with a tinge of pink, but we’ll talk more about that later.
This Fashionista has lavender hair with aqua highlights and strands of sparkly tinsel woven throughout. Her hair is completely straight and layered in the back.
How Well Does She Pose?
I went into this knowing Fashionistas have little articulation, so I won’t harp on her lack of joints and how much I dislike them. We’re just going to cover what she can do and leave it at that.
Barbie Fashionistas have five points of articulation:
- They can turn their head from side to side.
- Lift their shoulders to the side and swing their arms to the front or back.
- Rotate their legs forward and backward at the hips.
I have no problem with dolls who have basic articulation, especially mini dolls. However, I feel Mattel could (and should) do better for Barbie. I’m not saying every Fashionista must be Made-To-Move, but they ought to at least have elbows and knees. But I promised no Barbie bashing so that’s all I’ll say.
I love Unicorn Magic’s fairytale hair and charming smile, but it’s the outfit that really excites me. Being a horse lover, I simply can’t resist the unicorn cuteness!
The outfit consists of:
- A unicorn shirt.
- Jean shorts.
- A watch.
- A pair of boots.
Let’s start with the shirt. Upon closer inspection I realized the mythical horse printed on the shirt isn’t a unicorn, it’s an Alicorn–it has a horn and wings! How awesome is that!
The shirt is white with colorful dots sprinkled all over. The neckline and sleeves are hemmed with lavender thread. Then, of course, there’s the charming equine on the front. The horse’s body is white (save for some areas of shading) with a rainbow-colored mane and tail. The shirt is tied in a knot at the front and has clear elastic sewn around the bottom edge.
Next, are her blue jean shorts.
The shorts are light blue denim with distress marks on the front and back. The legs are frayed and, instead of gold, the decorative stitching on the front and back is white. Like the shirt, the shorts close in the back with Velcro.
Then there are her cowgirl boots!
These western style boots are the perfect accent for this outfit! They are light brown with molded details, like leather straps, studs, and fringe.
Finally, we have a clear watch which snaps around her wrist.
The Transformation–Take One:
I already had a Pink Top Made-To-Barbie on hand and was hoping she would be a suitable match for Unicorn Magic.
Unfortunately, that idea went up in smoke! The Pink Top Barbie has a much darker complexion.
Honestly, I’m surprised just how tan Pink Top doll is. Barbie obviously spent her summer at the beach! I guess I needed the Purple Top Made-To-Move doll, which I don’t have…or do I?
Actually, I do have one other Made-To-Move doll:
Belle has had a Made-To-Move Barbie body for over a year now! I used a Purple Top Made-To-Move doll (per My Froggy Stuff’s suggestion) to give my Disney Store Film Collection Belle the ultimate Barbie body!
So, I’m going to use her to see if the Purple Top doll would’ve been a better match for Unicorn Magic.
It’s not a perfect match, but I think it would work. Unicorn Magic’s skin has a pinkish hue (I think it may even be a new skin tone), so finding an articulated match is difficult. Still, I think the Purple Top doll’s complexion is closest.
The only downside is that the Purple Top doll is very popular and hard to get at a decent price. I’ll spare you the boring details of my scouring eBay for used ones, checking Amazon multiple times a day, and researching alternatives for the highly coveted Purple Top and skip ahead to the good part where I open the Amazon app and see the Purple Top Made-To-Move doll had dropped from $70 to $22!
OMG! This doll is going in the cart and I am checking out right now!
To say I was stunned is putting it mildly. Even after buying her I was still skeptical she would arrive. I kept thinking I would get an email saying the order was canceled due to not having any in stock or something like that.
Thankfully, I was wrong. Ten days later the prized Purple Top-Made-To-Move Barbie was setting on my countertop!
Now let’s try this once more!
The Transformation–Take Two:
There’s really no right or wrong way for body swapping a doll; but, for those who’ve never done it before, here is my preferred technique.
How To Body Swap A Barbie Doll:
- Place the dolls inside a plastic bag (I use a Ziploc) and submerge their heads in warm water. This will soften the heads and make them easier to remove.
- Once the heads are warm and squishy, take the dolls out and carefully remove the heads. Make sure to hold the doll near at top of the neck (where the head and neck connect) to reduce the risk of breaking the neck peg.
- Once the doll’s head is off the old body, put it on the new one and push it firmly it over the neck peg.
That’s it! Both dolls are A-OK after their operation, and Unicorn Magic now has the ultimate poseable Barbie body!
This doll started out as a typical Fashionista–beautiful but barely articulated. Now she has more articulation than my treasured Ever After Highs!
After a bit of customizing, she’s everything I want in a doll. Her whimsical appearance, magical outfit, and new poseable body make her perfect.
After the swap, I braided the sides of her hair and tied them in the back to complete her fairytale look.
But I can’t keep on calling her Unicorn Magic! No, she needs an imaginative name—something unique and euphonious like…
I love strong, exotic names and this one definitely fits that category. It’s the feminine form of Peter and means a rock.
Now it’s your turn!
While I can’t customize every Fashionista, this doll has inspired me to do a couple more. So, tell me, would you like to see more custom Fashionistas in the future? If so, would you rather keep things short and sweet (just a basic body swap), or see the whole kit and kaboodle, like the swap, hair restyle, and new outfit?
Be sure to drop a comment with your answers!
Want to watch? Follow this link to see the video review on YouTube: Barbie Fashionista Review–Doll 88