Pros: Gorgeous pictures...
Cons: Schizophrenic look and feel...
Hello. My name is Kristina and I collect Barbie dolls. My obsession started when I was but a wee lass of three. That's when I received my first Malibu Barbie. I didn't know I was a collector then. Oh no. That would not become apparent until I started filling up spare bedrooms in the late 80's. It started out innocently enough and then over time, grew out of control.
As you can imagine, there aren't too many people in my inner circle who are as fanatic about Barbie collecting as I am. But that's okay, aside from the internet groups and various other tribute sites, I have the Barbie Bazaar magazine to turn to.
The Barbie Bazaar is the "official" Barbie Doll Collector's magazine. This means that it's the only magazine sanctioned by the Mattel gawds to carry official logos and such.
I subscribe to several magazines and initially, I did not feel comfortable with the layout of Barbie Bazaar. Why? It has a schizophrenic look and feel to it. I'm not sure if I can fully quantify that for you :).
Each issue, which comes out every two months, is packed full of photographs, articles, price guides, and ads.
The photographs are among the best I have seen for any collector's magazine. The covers are always gorgeous and special attention is definitely paid to the surroundings and lighting of the doll being photographed. Heck! Makes me wanna call these guys in to do a photo session with me!
And speaking of cover, there is always a cover story that goes into detail about a Barbie. This last issue (December) features Catwoman and the article goes into the history of the character, the Barbie, and the fashion. We collectors eat this crap up.
Some of the usual issue features that I've become attached to include Talkin' Barbie Talk (where an expert answers your random questions) and Show-n-Tell (where readers examine some of the bits and bobs of accessories).
The nice thing about the covers and also, of the articles and features is that Barbie Bazaar covers a wide range of time periods. You'll always find stuff about modern Barbies and well as Barbies from the past in each and every issue. A true collector appreciates the range :).
There are the obligatory ads however the nice part is that its ads that a collector would be interested in. Several collector shops, who you could dig through for on the web, advertise here and it certainly makes your life easier to flip through the magazine instead of searching through a Yahoo search engine.
So how is it schizophrenic? The ads, which are usually big and splashy, are intermingled with the articles and features (which are big and splashy) and there never seems to be a smooth transition from one to another. Sometimes, I'll skip over a short article because I think it might be part of the ad.
For a year subscription (6 issues a year, every other month), you can expect to pay about $23.95. In addition, you have the opportunity to order back issues, just in case you missed out the first time around.