Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mattel's Spectra: Barbie's Distant Space-Cousin With More Awesome Fashion Sense

Let's start this blog out with some rambling about some super old school cute toys! First though, let's side track a little bit so I can talk about myself: I love toys. Especially a) weird toys, b) plastic character toys and c) scifi stuff. I actually never really played with Barbies when I was little, and never really got into that whole thing even later but I was really excited to stumble across Mattel's Spectra online a few weeks ago because it fulfills all of my "OMG I really want this!" needs, it's weird, from outer space, and it's a little plastic person (Not too big into retro plush or animals really). A little plastic person to obsess over and pose goofily on a shelf or table somewhere. As an added bonus, as soon as I saw a picture of it, a great and ancient mystery was solved. The mystery of "WTF is up with this weird pink-bodied robot Barbie?" that either my sister and I, or one of our friends, used to have when we were little. Mystery solved, she's not Barbie's subservient robot friend, but rather some distant space-cousin!

Mattel 1987 Spectra doll gang

My absolute favorite thing about this line of dolls is their amazing fashion sense. They're dressed in uber 80's outfits that look a bit like if Madonna (of that decade, obviously) descended from space. It's all glittery lace and iridescent organza in all the colors that didn't make the cut for Barbies various prom dresses. It's pretty much exactly like if we blasted a bunch of teens from the 1980's into distant space and then checked on them in a couple hundred years to see what sort of society they built. Obviously, it is a pretty awesome society, because, hey what could ever go wrong with a plan like that?

Mattel's 1987 Spectra dolls
Photo from Flickr
One of the major bummers about this particular line is the second hand online price. I sincerely doubt that everyone is hurrying to the internet to buy these as fast as they pop up on ebay, but ebay seems to be loaded with a few sellers who've managed to get loads and loads of these still in box (complete with giant markdown stickers for $4 on them) and are selling them for around $60. I don't really have a problem with this normally, hey, it's their giant box of discount space Barbies, they can sell them for whatever they want, but checking out the sold listings, these are largely going unsold. There are a handful of them that ended up selling for about $30, and a ton that sold for $15, but all that remains are the overpriced boxes. Unfortunately, like most retro fashion dolls, the out-of-box ones tend to be pretty beat up and are generally nude, dirty, and have matted hair (Hey, Spectra, I'm not going to judge what you've been doing these past 25+ years...) and aren't exactly very appealing for the prices people are trying to sell them for. I guess I'm going to have to take my search to yard sales and Goodwills for Lacy Spacy Out-of-this-World doll.

You can find some more info about Spectra and her futuristic friends here:

1 comment:

  1. I love them too! I was lucky to find one on E for 12 with free ship! She was not in the box & looked decent. There is no way I was going to pay $60 doll hairs for one-lol!