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See the Winning Prototype for the 2020 Barbie® Signature Doll Design Showdown!

By Allen Voivod

Barbie® fans, you made your voices heard! It's been a compelling week, watching the vote tallies as they steadily rose into the thousands. But only one prototype could win this final round of the 2020 Barbie® Signature Doll Design Showdown. Are you ready to find out which one took the prize? Here we go…

GTJ97_C_2021_048 (1).jpg

What happens next? The Barbie® Signature team will get to work finalizing all the design specifications for the doll and its packaging, and prepare it for a four-week pre-order period to be announced in 2021.

Please note: Only Barbie® Signature Platinum and Gold Status members will be able to purchase the final doll. (Not a member yet? Learn more and join now!)

For your future reference, we'll keep the sections below titled What Is the Doll Design Showdown? and How to Vote for in the Doll Design Showdown here for you to review, as they were written during the voting rounds. And keep an eye on your email to be notified about production updates and pre-sale dates for the winning doll! (Make sure you're getting our emails by checking your email preferences. If you haven't signed up for our emails yet, just click here to get our email newsletter.)

What Is the Doll Design Showdown?

Barbie® Signature will manufacture and offer the Doll Design Showdown winning doll, chosen from pre-selected designs and prototypes by Barbie® fans. Anyone can participate, but we will only offer this doll for sale to Barbie® Signature Platinum and Gold Status members.

We will conduct two polls, each lasting one week, in which anyone may vote for their preference of the offered choices. You may vote only once per poll. Be sure to vote before each poll closes!

When the final round of voting has been concluded, the winning choices will be used to manufacture the doll. Placing your votes is NOT a commitment to purchase the resulting doll, and voting in the polls is not required to purchase the resulting doll (but you must be a Barbie® Signature Platinum or Gold Status member to purchase the doll).

At a later date, we will offer the winning Doll Design Showdown doll to Barbie® Signature Platinum and Gold Status members. Orders will be taken for approximately 4 weeks, and we will produce enough quantities to match the number of orders we receive – every Platinum and Gold Status members will have the opportunity to order and receive one. This means the item is made-to-order; made-to-order items may not reach you for approximately one (1) year after placing your order. Further details will be available when the doll is offered.

Additionally, a minimum of 1500 pre-orders are required for the winning doll to go into production. If the minimum pre-order threshold is not met, the doll will not go into production, and all pre-orders will be refunded.

How to Vote in the Doll Design Showdown

1. Review the calendar above to see when voting opens and closes for the two phases.

2. Membership is not required to vote. Simply click the “Vote Now” link above to be taken to the survey.

3. On the survey page, read the instructions, then place your vote. NOTE: You can only vote once per phase, and once cast, your vote cannot be changed – so consider carefully before placing your vote!

4. Check in at Barbie® Signature after the polling phases end to see how the voting turned out, and don’t miss your chance to be a part of a new Barbie® creation!

Please note: The dolls, fashions, and accessories depicted in the above images are design concepts. Final production design, colors, and textures may vary slightly.





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I’m so glad he won! He’s gorgeous! I agree that I would have liked to have seen him more like the original sketch with a darker skin tone and darker hair. That said, I think he is truly regal and handsome. Can’t wait to see him in person. 

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Maybe he will be inexpensive? Truly playline quality on this one...... cheap plastic accents and inexpensive fabric. Definitely should be priced under $50 dollars for this  lack of quality.... they should release all 4 and keep the price low and more people would be likely to purchase this entire line... I loved the AA blue haired mermaid myself and would have purchased her.... They also veered away from the hair color and bronze  fabric color...... Ken in pinkish (rose) metallic..... just not feeling it! .... love ken! and liked the hair length but will not be adding this one to my collection...... at the least, they should have put the barbie and ken out as a set..... but once again mattel is not listening to the collectors on this forum...... I read that most collectors on here wanted the set!..... it's a hard pass for me.

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I hope he's not as expensive(glad it was Ken that got picked). I also would have liked a dark haired Ken,that would have made things interesting. I wished they would have mixed it up a little instead of sticking to the script with the hair. But that's just me. Also not crazy with all the plastic accessories, it makes the doll look cheap in my opinion. 

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A pass for me but I hope the ones that want him....will be able to get him.

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Posted (edited)

On 12/10/2020 at 11:39 AM, GG said:

The designs have been awful lately. 

What happened to the high quality fashion dolls, such as Bob Mackie, Vera Wang and some other designers. 

Why would I want to buy a man doll wearing pink? Get back to the origins of Barbie Dolls. 

I totally agree, looking through their gallery page. I didn’t realize there are so many beautiful Barbies for adult collectors that I would have love to purchase. The last time I played with Barbies was in elementary school. After 50plus years 😄 I found that out after I purchased the Mythical Dragon as a gift. Luckily I was able to purchased some of those Bob Mackie dolls for a reasonable price from other sellers. I still want more but Mattel doesn’t sell them anymore. Would be great if  Mattel  remake those dolls for  late collectors like me.🙂



Edited by Meimei
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I did chose the Ken as he was unique, but what is a merman without his mermaid...

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Ken and Barbie are both iconic, I love and collect all of them. They both have special place in my heart, as I love the diversity of Barbie and Ken collectible varieties and styles but I have thousands of gorgeous Barbie and friends design choices with all body types, hair textures and skin colors that are articulated just recently seemed to have opened the door to beautiful Kens with articulation. I would love more hairstyles, hair textures and body types for Ken too. This Ken Merman is breath taking! He will be mine. Thank you for making him Mattel.

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I wish they would hurry and start the pre-order!!  Can't wait to get this one!!  There aren't enough Kens!!!!  I do wish they would make a brunette one as well, blonde and brunette!

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Like many other commenters here, I voted for the Ken design based on how the drawing looked. This prototype is very blah compared to the drawing, especially with the lightened skin and hair. I know they want to produce what they think will fulfill the most orders, so why change the design so the enthusiasm lessens? Don't want one that looks like this photo. (Also agree that the plastic looks cheap, I was hoping for a higher quality doll like the fantasy unicorn one)

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