The 90s were years of change. The millennium was ending and it seems that everyone wanted to aknowledge this fact. Of course Barbie couldn't be less and seemed to express it through facial molds being the one known to collectors as "Mackie mold" one of the most popular facemolds.
As many of you will know, this mold, known internally at Mattel as the closed mouth facemold, is known among collectors as the Mackie mold for the famous designer Bob Mackie who designed several dolls of the collector line between the 90s and the beginning of the new millennium being the first the Gold Barbie to whom followed many more like Cher and Diana Ross, celebrities that Mackie had dressed many times in real life.
But at the beginning of the 90s something was still amiss in the eyes of Mackie for the toothy Superstar Barbie smile didn't please him a bit.
According to Bob Mackie in The Toys that Made Us:
"in 1992 'She had a do-over... Barbie had this silly grin with these little mouse teeth that showed. And I said 'Couldn't we have her mouth shut, so she doesn't look quite so willing and able?' They said 'Oh, sure. Why not?"
Curious thing that Billy Boy had asked Mattel the same thing for his 1987 Feeling Groovy Barbie doll but on that ocassion the sculpt choosen was the Steffie facemold but after Mackie's suggestion Mattel comissioned a new sculpt with a closed mouth to please the designer and with pretty good sense because the mold was very successful and became a symbol of the Barbie Collector line during the 90s, being the first of that mold Barbie Neptune Fantasy in 1992 although it was also used a lot for dolls from the "playine" such as Barbie Pretty in Plaid, for some Model Muse collection dolls and for a series of angels quite remarkable as well as for a Rapunzel who, in my opinion, point with their image to the representations of virgins and angels of Catholicism with their clothes, hair and crowns.
The Mackie mold became popular and is a good part of Barbie's history closely linked to a part of fashion history such as designer Bob Mackie is.
Better or worse than the superstar mold? I would say they are incomparable and different but the Superstar mold is hard to beat in popularity and symbolism as it represents an entire generation of children who go back to their childhood every time they look at that face.
by The Barbiest