When the 2018 Disney Designer Collection Premiere Series was first announced, I was neck deep in my Toreba addiction so I reluctantly forewent the entire line – even though the lineup included my favourite princess Ariel.
Admittedly, I was somewhat relieved when I saw her promo pics because her dress appeared super gaudy (since 2013, the only other Ariel I passed on was that King Triton and Ariel set released in 2017, not sure what happened there but that Ariel looks pretty terrible). Premiere Belle also caught my attention, I think she looks very elegant and classy but seeing as I wasn’t getting Ariel – I passed up on her too.
Furthermore, I am continuously running out of space at home to display collectibles (I’ve already sold the majority of my Toreba wins and dumped some over at my in-laws’ place). I justified I’d instead just focus on collecting 17″ dolls, which to me, are more unique and impressive than the standard 11″ dolls (disclaimer: I was so wrong about this).
However, after seeing actual pictures of the premiere Ariel doll, I became filled with overwhelming regret because she was gorgeous! Apparently she sold out online within 5 minutes, so of course there was no way for me to order one directly off the Disney store. Scalper prices on Ebay were ludicrous at that time – she was going for 2-3x her retail price of $109.95USD. So I mentally stored her away on my “wish list” and went on with my merry little life, soon forgetting that I ever really wanted her.
That is – until I received my latest 17″ Ariel doll which resparked my love for Ariel (and dolls in general). One year on, Ebay prices have significantly dropped so I bit the bullet and purchased one off ebay. The seller I purchased from was sadly, a scalper (she literally told me she had nine of these dolls for sale!), but her prices were surprisingly reasonable so I went for it.
Now for some storytime. Another reason I actually really wanted this premiere doll was because she’s strangely reminiscent of my first and favourite barbie as a little girl. Perhaps it’s her bright green eyes, or her bold over-the-top 80’s fashion? I could only vaguely remember how my barbie looked like – I know she was a Mattel barbie with long brown locks and beautiful green eyes. I remember thinking how special and unique her brown hair was since all the other barbies had blonde hair. I adored her to bits because she also reminded me a lot of Ariel (yes, it’s true my obsession with Ariel goes waaaaaay back). I spent countless years with her, role playing stories and pretending she was alive and “real”. She kept me company during those stressful years of moving countries, changing schools and friends, all the while learning a new and foreign language.
As I matured, I started to lose interest in barbies and dolls. It’s just like that scene out of Toy Story 2 with Jessie’s desertion, except with one horrible twist. I didn’t donate her or find her a new loving home – I threw her out. It still frustrates me to this day that I chucked her out like trash during my university years (I guess I did a lot of infuriating and absurd things during that time). And to hammer the last nail in the coffin – I soon forgot what she looked like. I could only remember her central presence in my childhood, her mandarin name “漂亮点子芭比” (Beautiful Dot/Idea Barbie), her bright green eyes and beautiful brown locks.
After I purchased the premier Ariel doll, I told my older sister I was dedicating this blog post to my barbie. I lamented over how I abandoned her and how I could no longer recall what she looked like – that this premier Ariel doll held the only connection I had with her. To my surprise, my sister was actually able to quickly identify my barbie online. Her official english name is Paint’n Dazzle Barbie from Mattel in 1993. It’s crazy, but it’s like the floodgates have opened and the more pictures I see of her, the more I remember.
And what did I do the moment I found out who my long lost barbie friend was? I leapt straight onto Ebay and bought myself two (one to keep in box, one to debox). Although these dolls would never truly replace the one I owned and loved – at least they will fill a little bit of the void, and perhaps hold the key to unlocking even more of those precious neglected memories.
Oh! And before I end – I find it funny that all this time I’ve thought of her as the brown haired barbie when in fact, she is officially a redhead. Seems like she was just like Ariel after all!
Phewf, that was a long walk down memory lane. Back on topic – here are pics of my lovely premiere Ariel!
All the reviewers are right, she looks splendidly amazing in real life! Photos really do her no justice!