It is a common know fact to doll convention attendees that the dolls they are getting as the best perk of participating at such events are kept secret up until the moment they are given to them, mostly at the last dinner/gala/party of said event. Nothing beats the ooooohs and aaaaahs of happy conventioneers unpacking their dolls and marvelling at their beauty and style. Well, it seems that Mattel just took away the very pleasure. As from this year, they took over designing and making the dolls for all official Barbie conventions in the world. And just a few days before the Japanese event, they released on Facebook photos of the convention dolls - the ones that will be given to ALL conventions this year (I understand that the Spanish and Italian ones will be slightly different). I see no rationale behind this - it is not even making them any favours on social media. I'm not a Barbie collector (I do buy some dolls from Mattel but I'm not a regular collector of them) so it does not bother me at all, but I guess it does bother the actual collectors.
The doll (in its variety of hair and skin colours) clearly is inspired by Marlene Dietrich and her tuxedo from the film Morocco:
The problems that the dolls are still non-articulated. Having done the pivotal Jazz Barbie dolls some years back, I think they could have done the convention dolls like them too. So instead of looking like elderly ladies with their canes, they'd have the jazzy, crazy style in all their glory. Alas. It would be nice to secure the outfit in the future - let's hope the top hats are not plastic.