The doll groups on Facebook were in furious conversation today over a rumor that Mattel may be ending its Silkstone collection. Apparently, this rumor has been floating around for a while now and collectors may have just found evidence to suggest that this rumor is, in fact, true.
For those who don’t know, Mattel launched the Barbie Fashion Model Collection back in 2000. Commonly referred to as Silkstones, these gold label dolls were made with a nostalgia face and hard plastic body that, in a way, mimics porcelain. Delphine, with an elegant Marilyn Monroe-esc design done by Robert Best, was the first dressed doll to be released in this line January 1st, 2000. From there, Mattel continued to release these collectable beauties. Some standouts in the 20 years history of the line for me are Boulevard Fashion, the Secretary, True Brit, Doll on the Go, The Stewardess, The Nurse, High Stepping, Dahlia, Elegant Rose and the Waitress.
As reported by Dutch Fashion Doll World, it seems Entertainment Earth, an online pop culture website, updated their site with a new BFMC doll called Best in Black with a description that pretty much proves that there’s some truth to the rumors floating around the Barbie-verse.
Per Entertainment Earth’s product description, “The Barbie Fashion Model Collection (B.F.M.C.) features designs inspired by elegant couture and epic red-carpet looks. This Best in Black Doll will mark the conclusion of the series on its 20th anniversary. Doll features fashion details, vintage face sculpt and a poseable body.”
As you see, the description pretty much closes the book on the Barbie Fashion Model Collection, confirming that Mattel is ending the line as of Best in Black’s December 2019 release. No pictures have been released so far for this doll, but one might guess she’ll be dressed in something black; Ironically the color of mourning, which some will be doing come this final release, mourning a doll line that is pretty beloved in the Barbie world.
I am not a Silkstone collector, myself, but they’re still very popular among Barbie collectors, which is why I am surprised that the Barbie Fashion Model Collection is ending. We probably should have expected something like this when Silkstones began hitting discount stores like Tuesday Morning. But then again, Silkstones are basically a Barbie staple at this point. Who would have expected Mattel to pull the plug?
Truth be told, no one knows Mattel’s plans. Maybe they’re closing this chapter to revitalize the line and launch it again under a different series name? Or maybe, it is truly the end of Silkstones as we know it. For the time being, I would suggest picking up any Silkstones you want and happen to see at a decent price before the official end of the line, because if us collectors know one thing, it’s that prices go up once a doll line is no more!
Pre-orders for Best in Black, the final doll in this long running series, are currently available on Entertainment Earth. What are your thoughts on the end of the Barbie Fashion Model Collection? Who’s your favorite Silkstone? Let us know in the comment area!
UPDATE 8/27/19: An interview with designer Robert Best confirms that 2020 will be the final year of this collection. On why the timing is right, he said, “I like even numbers and it also just felt like the right time. This has truly always been a labor of love from where I sit, and I would never have it any other way. I think the collection has covered a lot of ground and after 20 years. It’s a good time to take stock, step back, and see what the future holds.”