Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb. 21, 2010, new epier listing

Added one item this week:
Galoob Czar Nicholas doll 1997

Thursday, February 11, 2010

supervisor at wiki

I had written about this two months ago on some of the Yahoo groups, but I never did mention it here.

In September I volunteered to become the supervisor for the Barbie doll category at wikianswers. Wikianswers is an offshoot of wikipedia. There are thousands of subjects in dozens of languages, and you ask a question and, theoretically, someone will come along and answer you. It’s similar to a homework hotline, but many of the topics aren’t homework-related.

It took me four months to get the Barbie doll questions pared down from 2,000 to a more manageable 900, because the majority of questions asked the same thing, over and over. I learned WWAAAYYY too much about certain aspects of 21st century popular culture, which I will explain.

The majority of Barbie queries came from girls 5 to 10 years old. These were NOT the questions that we adult collectors read every day. Their questions, 99 percent of the time, WEREN’T about these subjects: ponytails/bubblecuts, 900 series, 1600 series, Midge, Francie, Japan, 1966, Steffie, haute couture, mod, Takara/Bandai, feet, NRFB, PayPal, Silkstones, clothing designers, reroots/repaints, reproductions, Kelly, Twilight, collectibles, etc. In fact, with the exception of Twilight and Kelly, I would say the majority of Wikianswers participants have never even heard of any of the subjects I just listed. In other words, out of 2,000 questions, only 1 percent asked about them, which means that 20 questions were about collector topics and 1,880 were about something else.

This is what WAS asked. I never knew until I registered with Wikianswers that there is a virtual world called, which is a cyber version of what we used to play with actual physical dolls. Anyone can go to the site and participate, but if you don’t have one of two certain items, you can’t get very far. You (that is, your parents) have to either purchase a barbiegirls mp3 player to use with the site, or you can charge on a credit card about $6 a month to join and get a VIP membership.
It’s through either REAL money or your mp3 players that you can get cheat codes to access VIRTUAL items for your VIRTUAL dolls. In other words, you need cold, hard cash to buy stuff (clothes, furniture, friends, vehicles, houses, etc.) that doesn’t really exist except in cyberspace.

Out of the aforementioned 2,000 questions I’ve read in the past four months, I would say that more half of them (1,000-plus!) asked either how to become a VIP member without paying money (you can’t) or what the cheat codes are. I started merging all the duplicate questions, and it took me a long time.

Way behind in second place, the next most often asked questions concerned the Barbie movies on DVD, another subject that adult collectors pretty much ignore. About the only collectible Barbie topic that came up regarded the values of the Holiday Barbie dolls. I’ve come to realize that this doll is the first, if only, collectible Barbie doll that most little girls will own. There were a few questions about the Millennium dolls, and maybe eight questions at the most about ethnic dolls.

The real eye-opener wasn’t the obsession with cheat codes. It was the grammar and spelling of the questions. Oh, did some of the atrocious spelling make my brain hurt! My 1960s Catholic nun grade school teachers must be rolling over in their graves at the horrendous spelling being used now. You have no idea how many ways you can misspell “special.” In comparison, by the time I finished second grade in 1969, I knew how to make plurals, how to match up singular and plural nouns and verbs, when to capitalize and when not to capitalize, and I certainly knew how to spell simple given names such as, oh, for example, “Barbie”! I do realize that people capitalize far less on the Internet nowadays than in real life. And wikianswers is itself partly to blame, because when you ask questions, the only punctuation you can
use is the question mark (that’s another story in itself). But that doesn’t excuse the poor grammar and spelling. Some of the questions were actually gibberish.

There were occasional joke questions and obnoxious questions that I suspect were done by bored young men with no social life who still live in their parents’ basements--questions about sex with Barbie dolls, ways to destroy them, etc. And there were theoretical questions which we’ve all seen before from social organizations about how bad Barbie dolls are and how they’re ruined society. I deleted a lot of these questions, either because they were unanswerable or obscene or because they are open-ended questions that will never be answered satisfactorily.

So now that I’ve done my part, I’m asking for your help. If you go through the first few pages of the Barbie section,you’ll notice that the majority of the questions are historical in nature, either about Barbie or Mattel. I was able to answer many of them, and will continue to answer them. I also moved those questions to the forefront
myself. However, I stopped buying new Barbie merchandise in 1999, and so know almost zilch about anything from the past 10 years, either collectible or playline. This is where you can help me. If any of you want to answer about the contemporary Fairytale or makeup dolls or Happy Family, or you decide to become an additional supervisor, please do so. And if you know any cheat codes, please tell these little girls. I’m sure you’ll make them very happy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Feb. 7, 2010, new epier listing

I’ve placed these two items for sale on epier on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010

1999 Ty Beanie Baby Erin the Bear NRFP

1990 Barbie Rockin’ Back to Earth VHS