Tokidoki Tattooed Barbie: Totally Trendy or Way Out of Line?

The new tattooed Barbie was recently introduced by Mattel, sports a pink bob and lots of visible tattoos. Is she sending the right image to impressionable young girls? Take our poll.

Barbie has gone through another reinvention and she is now inked-up and donning a hot pink bob.

The new "tokidoki" Barbie doll, which means "sometimes" in Japanese from Mattel was introduced in mid-October and not without a lot of  fanfare—good and not so good. This isn't the first tattooed doll, nope, the first was in 2009 and she was called 'Totally stylin' Barbie. However, her tattoos were stick-on and removable.

So, what's the big hype then? Well, in addition to the pink 'do, the Gold Label Barbie collector doll sports a pair of tight leopard print leggings and various colorful tattoos. In fact, her tattoos, are coiling Chinese dragons traveling from her chest, up the front of her neck, around to her back and on her forearms.

Here is how the Barbie online magazine Barbie Collector describes her: "She pops on a pink miniskirt, logo leggings and black top with signature skull heart and bones, carries a large bag from the brand, then adds bracelets, a belt, and sky-high sparkly silvery shoes! This funky fashionista features trendy tattoos and a pink bob. With cactus friend, Bastardino, by her side, she’s ready for fun in fashion-forward form."

Bastardino, oh my!

Lots of Hype

This new $50 doll has a lot of parents up in arms over her appearance, forcing Mattel to issue a statement:

“Barbie has been dressed by more than 70 fashion designers over the years.  From Versace to Vera Wang, Tarina Tarantino to Christian Louboutin, Barbie has sported an endless array of styles.  Many of Barbie’s most pop-culture couture outfits have been designed for the adult doll collector.  The tokidoki Barbie is a perfect example of a limited-edition doll sold online and through select retail locations such as tokidoki boutiques. The tokidoki Barbie doll was designed by Simone Legno and is reflective of tokidoki’s larger-than-life style featuring eye-popping designs and colorful characters.”

I remember when I got my first Barbie and she was a heck of a lot different. Yeah, she still had the great figure--teeny-tiny waist, long legs, blonde hair and pretty much looked like your typical O.C. mom today. But that was back then. Over the years, the Barbie industry has become a billion dollar one and it doesn’t seem to be losing any of its steam.

Pushing the Envelope

The question is, since so many young girls are impressionable by why that see in magazines and TV shows, is Barbie maybe pushing the envelope a little too far with her latest transformation?

Having grown up in the Midwest, I’d say yes. Midwest moms are probably up in arms about this new Barbie. But here in Southern California where tattoos are about as common as implants and Mercedes-Benz luxury cars on every corner, not so much.

Resident and grandma Sheri Stalwart says, "I'd never buy the doll for my grandchild who is 8. What is wrong with the regular Barbie who is a career woman? I think this latest version sends the wrong message."

Adds Annie Berryhill another resident, "I have only sons, and they both have tattoos, although I don’t. I am not sure that I would purposely purchase a tattooed Barbie for my granddaughter, if I had one. I would rather non-tattoed to be the norm. I wouldn’t have a problem if she put tattoos on her own Barbie though!"

And one more voice, resident Jenny Mitchell says, "I personally would NEVER buy a tattooed Barbie for my daughter.  I don’t even like those dolls with tons of makeup and short skirts. I think if you’re over the age 25 and you want to get a tattoo, then fine, but for young girls? No way. 

"I think it’s a shame young teens are even allowed to get tattoos at all.  The fad will fade. Then what are they stuck with? An inked butterfly? For the rest of their lives? However, that said, at least it’s better than the pregnant Barbie Mattel came out with a while back. That was eventually discontinued, as I bet tattoo Barbie will be, too. I’m not saying tattoos are bad (for those of you adults who have them), they should just be left to adults, not pushed on children."

The New Cabbage Patch Kid

While this Barbie may be the hottest toy since the Cabbage Patch Kids and probably the most requested on Christmas lists, good luck trying to find one.

The doll is completely sold out and according to Mattel it has no idea if and when more will be available. It only produced around 7,500 and last week a morning show actually spent $500 on eBay so it could show its audience.

I'm wondering is Ken headed for his own tattoo or three, and what does he have to say about his lady love and her new look? What's next, Prostitute Barbie? Pothead Barbie?

If the tattoo Barbie becomes available in time for the holidays, will you buy one for your daughter or will you say no way?

Tell us in comments and take our poll.

Sarah Elizabeth Snider November 08, 2011 at 08:07 PM
I've been a Barbie collector since I was eleven (I'm twenty-four now), and it seems like every time we collectors turn around there's some stupid new controversy. "Barbie isn't realistic. Barbie promotes a negative body image. Barbie is a bad role model. Barbie causes rainforest deforestation in Indonesia. Barbie will cause six-year-old girls to want tattoos." I've heard 'em all, and they're all nonsense. Barbie is a doll--she isn't supposed to be realistic. In fact, I think the tattoos make her seem MORE real, because real women and men get tattoos. If you are a parent and don't like this doll, THEN DON'T BUY HER--she's not supposed to be for little girls anyway. She was intended for adult collectors like me. Heck, this doll isn't even available anymore, because she was snapped up in such a hurry. A lot of the people who bought her weren't even collectors, just jerks wanting to cash in on the controversy and sell her on eBay for jacked-up prices. And while all this was happening, guess who never got her Tokidoki Barbie. Me. And all because one mom had a fit over a tattoo. Thanks a lot, chica.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) November 10, 2011 at 12:13 AM
Sarah: Shame you didn't get the tokidoki Barbie, sounds like she would have been in the right hands! Check out our follow up story today http://patch.com/A-n81T
Leonard Kinkade November 11, 2011 at 06:42 PM
This should be a rare Barbie since any sane parents would never buy such a piece of garbage for their child. This is not the way to model a particular life style to young children. What I want to know is does she come with her own jailhouse with handcuffs???
Marsha Thomas November 11, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Oh please Leonard, open your eyes and look around next time you are at the store or walking the streets. Tattoos are main streem and MANY parents themselves have them. If your kid sees it as the 'norm' I see no issue with buying your child a TOY. TOYS aren't meant to teach moral issues. So you are saying that tattooed parents are not a lifestyle model for their children? Seems a bit out of line to me.
Kimberly Kneeter November 11, 2011 at 11:06 PM
I am a parent, and while I would not buy this doll for my daughter to play with, it sounds like it would not be in a store that my daughter would be in anyway. I do not understand why everything has to be a model for kids. I AM my kids model and example. No I am not perfect, but I don't expect society to raise my children and teach them wrong from right, that is my job. So on second thought maybe I would buy this doll and my daughter and I can play Barbies together, there are people who dress and have tattoo's. If Barbie can do anything, than she can also help teach the girls to be tolerant and not disrespectful to those who choose to dress differently than they do!! Okay I will get off my soap box. Sorry I usually don't comment but something about this rubbed me wrong.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) November 12, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Leonard: Shh, you might have just given Mattel a new idea!
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) November 12, 2011 at 01:29 AM
Marsha: So you are OK with young girls playing with the tattoo Barbie then?
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) November 12, 2011 at 01:29 AM
Well said Kim!
Leonard Kinkade November 13, 2011 at 12:15 AM
It just like a child of the 80's. Gee mom everybody else will be there, why can't I go. Darn I be the only one who didn't get to go. Just because your peers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame with the shock value of their tattoo's, doesn’t mean it's main stream society. Many of these people don't know the difference between fads and style. I have heard your peers refer to individuals sporting tattoos as people with "tramp stamps" The only people who benefit from tattooing is the guy or gal who applies them and the other person, 20 years later, who people go to have them removed. It the interim as you sport your tats, people snicker behind your back. I know it is stereotyping but first impressions are the most important, trust me everybody does it. Thus, when you apply for employment the unspoken decision making by an employer is do I want this person representing my company to the public? Probably not!!!! The current tattooing FAD will fade and people who have them will suffer the rest of their life, because they never reach that level of success that they could of, had they not made an naive decision when they were young, to get a tattoo!!! P.S. I contacted Mattel this doll does come with its own jailhouse with bunkbeds
Myaa November 16, 2011 at 04:46 PM
I would rather see a tattooed Barbie than some of the Barbies I have seen. I have 5 tattoos and I'm 15. I honestly don't think you have to worry about your children getting them because they are harder to get than you think if you are underaged. In my opinion, if you don't want your children to get one, then don't buy one.
Myaa November 16, 2011 at 04:49 PM
I love how you worded this.!
Amy November 16, 2011 at 08:13 PM
For people against tattoos this rubs me the wrong way. It is SkIN it dosnt make you any less of a person. I have more than half my body covered with tattoos and I am going to nursing school. I've never been to jail or been a "hood rat" I don't do drugs and I work hard everyday to achieve my goals. Are you going to discriminate against a person with vitaligo or any other skin problem? No your not because it is skin. I don't have them to be cool or make friends. I like art and my body is a canvas. If you want to be against tattoos that's fine its your opinion. But to teach your children they are wrong is to teach them to discriminate against another human being. Buy the barbie or don't its a doll. If you think that if your child will get tattoos because they are influenced by a doll then you have another problem. You might not promote homosexuals or tattoos or even a religion that is not your own, but will you hate your children for growing up and making there own choices on how they choose to live or look? If your answer is yes then you have more issues to deal with then your child having a doll with paint on it!!!!
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) November 17, 2011 at 04:23 AM
Myaa: You are 15 and already have 5 tattoos.. wow.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) November 17, 2011 at 04:24 AM
Leonard: How about handcuffs, too?
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) November 17, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Amy: Great comments and input, thanks for reading.
Danielle November 20, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Everyone who is against this do yourselves a favor and search Tokidoki Tattooed Barbie on ebay... she's not the first tattooed Barbie/Ken. There has been many and will probably be many more. There are a lot of people who have done very well professionally with tattoos. If u think every person who has a tattoo is going to be locked up or is a problem child then your wrong. Bottom line if you don't like it don't buy it. Sorry but it's a doll... if every little girl copied Barbie that much there would be more anorexic/bulimic girls getting breast implants walking around...
linda barnes November 28, 2011 at 03:10 AM
To all of you out there not liking this barbie sound like a bunch of egotistical maniacs. Most likely you are sitting there posting negitive feedback and have a tattoo yourself. Sounds kinda hypocritical to me. Don't you know that 75% to 90% of adults have tattoos? If you took the minors that have tattoos and replaced them with the adults that don't we would be at 100% or more!! So regardless if your kids play with the doll or not they are going to make a choice in life to or not to get tattoos and I'm sure the doll will not be the infuince it will be you or society walking around with tattoos. So go on trying to blame a doll for your childs future prison sintence to make you feel better when in all reality it was your tattoo they saw that influenced them.. I'm just saying though!!! GET OVER IT!!
lisa December 14, 2011 at 02:52 AM
For all the ridiculous mothers who think that a tattoo barbie is a bad influence and is gonna make your child grow up to be a demon! I hope none of you have tattoos or have any friends with them, cause I wouldn't want to be a friend of yours if you think that a tattoo ed person is a bad role model! Let me ask you something else "ALL YOU REALLY GOOD ROLE MODEL MOTHERS" ? Because they make babies for all your babies or kids to play with, does that make you uneasy that your child is gonna run out and want to have s baby or are your kids not allowed to play with dolls either! It's totally ridiculous, almost every toy out there someone could have a beef with!!! BUT THEY ARE TOYS PEOPLE..... THEY ARE SOLD IN TOYS R US... YES THAT IS A TOY STORE!!! OR IN ANY OTHER STORE WITH A TOYYYY SECTION!!!!
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) December 14, 2011 at 04:42 PM
Lisa: Thank you for your comments regarding the Tokodaki tattoo Barbie. I continue to be amazed how many people have been moved by this story and who continue to comment on it.
Heather December 19, 2011 at 03:13 PM
I am a mom. A specialty nurse. I have ink. Full sleeve. Back. Neck. Hip. Other arm... I am a fantastic person, great mother and I dare you to find a more caring nurse and person anywhere. I have a blue streak in my hair. But guess what? I have always taught my children to be tolerant and accepting of people regardless of their looks and abilities and to look at the person's true self to base their opinions on. It's sad when we cannot show acceptance and teach that to children. People need to loosen up and realize it's not the people with tattoos that are screwing up our kids, it's those that can't get off their all might soapbox against them. My daughter (5 years old) has one under the tree for Christmas this year. And I don't think it makes me a bad parent. Get over yourselves people. (Amd side note.... I'm the "cool mom" of all the friends.
Debbie L. Sklar (Editor) December 19, 2011 at 10:27 PM
Heather: Thanks for your comments and glad to hear that you are one of those "cool moms."
Chrissy December 26, 2011 at 01:23 AM
I have tattoos and I think that this Barbie is adorable, it's a doll not a role model. Toki doki out this doll out for serious collectors just like all of the other designers have done in the past. Having tattoos does not mean you are a convicted felon or have a criminal past. I have a ton of tattoos and I have a great job, it's just a form of art that people choose to express on their skin.


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