Adventures with Christmas Barbie!
My daughter Emily, who was born a year after Robbie's death and I collect Barbie dolls. I wrote the following column after one of our adventures in 1997.
We have all seen pictures of the long lines and battling customers vying to purchase that one special toy that manufactures have made a limited supply of but that every child in America believes he will die without.
One Sunday not long ago, I experienced one such adventure first hand.
As I glanced through the sale fliers that accompany the Sunday paper I had noticed that one Mercer Mall store had a limited number of Holiday Barbie. Since we have started collecting the dolls for my daughter Emily and it was imperative that we immediately get dressed and into the car and head for Bluefield since the store opened at 10 a.m. and I just knew if we weren't there when they opened we wouldn't get our doll. (This past Christmas we had to settle for a picture of the doll and a gift certificate that was mailed in. The doll didn't arrive until
I thought I had it made when we pulled into the mall with 15 minutes to spare. Then I looked into the parking lot next to the store and moaned.
The add had stated that there would be at least 50 dolls in each store and I had a horrible felling in the pit of my stomach that there were at least 51 people already in that line.
As I approached the line a store employee who looked as if he regularly worked security gave me a number--56.
I tried to look brave and kept telling myself that they wouldn't have given out more numbers if they didn't have extra dolls. Then I started enjoying the crowd.
There were whole families there to get the dolls. Moms, dads, and assorted children each holding one of the valuable number slips. Many of the women in the line say they know for a fact that many of these families are there to purchase the dolls for later resale and a large profit.
Others are collectors discuss which editions are now the nicest and which stores are more likely to get the best selection of limited edition dolls. Now most of these women probably have box after box of special Barbie's lining shelves and cabinets in their homes and they will have the Tenth Anniversary Holiday Barbie at any price. Even if they must pay the price of the smart lady who has turned out with her entire family to hog the teen queen of toys.
Another woman was dressed for church and kept checking her watch.
"When I saw the add this morning I got the kids and my husband feed and dressed and ready for church and then sent them on ahead. I told my husband to go on and take the kids to Sunday school and to pray that I got here in time to get one of the dolls," she said.
Then there was the man who joined the end of the line and asked one of his neighbors what all the excitement was about. He was there to purchase a can of deodorant and stood in awe of all the Barbie conversations going on around him.
At last the doors opened and instead of entering the store and walking down the isles to the layaway department where the dolls were being distributed the line went right through the middle of the checkout counters.
As I stood waiting my turn to receive the doll in her bright red ribbon dress I watched the women who had drug the family heading to the checkout counter with their arms loaded down with the dolls.
A few minutes later as I grasped my (Emily's) doll and headed for the checkout I noticed the man from the line getting ready to check out with a can of deodorant in one hand and a Barbie in the other.
As we left the store another man ran in grabbing me by the shoulders and with panic on his face it is now 10:15 asked, "Lady, where are they?"
Someone not in the know might have thought he was asking if I knew if his family was trapped in a burning building.
I pointed him in the right direction and wished him luck.
None of us had a clue on that Sunday morning that because this was
the Tenth Anniversary Holiday Barbie Mattel would flood the market with the dressy teen doll. At least I didn't make the family join me in the line.
For more Barbie pages go to:
Emily's Favorite Barbies:
Thanks Sabrina for my very first stocking!
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