About Tefillin Barbie
Mattel’s Halloween Hip Barbie 2006 came with a lovely frum denim skirt, so she looked like most of my friends. Accordingly, I figured she ought to be wearing tefillin, just like my friends. As well as the tallit (with tekhelet, of course) and tefillin, she has a siddur and a volume of Talmud.
Tefillin Barbie generated an extraordinary amount of feedback. She featured on Jewschool and Jewlicious, on BoingBoing, in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, on Ritualwell, Lilith magazine (Winter ’06-’07 issue), New Voices, the London Jewish Chronicle, The Jewish Advocate, the Philadelphia Jewish Voice, the New Jersey Jewish News, the Forward, the Jewish Week…
Responses ranged from “…seriously disturbing – like watching a car accident…disgusting” to “Finally Barbie has done something I can be proud of!” and “A witty comment on contemporary American Jewish life.”
Subsequently, I must have sold a hundred or so Tefillin Barbies. The supply of that particular Barbie model dwindled. I put tefillin on other Barbie models.
How do I get one?
If I have any Tefillin Barbies (a Mattel Barbie doll equipped with tallit, tefillin and gemara) in stock, they’re listed in my Etsy store, where payment is by Paypal/credit card only.
If there aren’t any in stock, there’ll be some more on the way; please do contact me to find out what the timescale looks like.
Can I get a brunette? A different shirt?
The currently-available Barbie model is as shown on the Etsy store. If you want a different hair colour, different clothing, different skin tone, that’s fine; you send me a different doll, or new clothes, or a wig – whatever you want – and I’ll use those. I haven’t time to do the shopping for you, I’m afraid, and you’ll like it better if you choose it anyway. There is only one of me, and I do many things besides making Barbie accessories, so your commission may take a month or two. If you need it for a particular date, let me know and I’ll do my best to accommodate you, cos I’m nice, but no promises.
Can I get greetings cards?
As I understand it, there is nothing wrong with me buying a Mattel Barbie and putting accessories on it, and selling it on to you. Taking a photograph of said Barbie and selling the photograph on greetings cards moves into the murky waters of copyright law, since the image is undoubtedly closely associated with Mattel’s product. Pending a good copyright lawyer advising me gratis, I won’t be offering any product featuring a Barbie image.