News of the Fictional


Just because they're fictional doesn't mean they can't change.

Updates and Comments to

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived

Fictional characters are just like real people: they grow, they change, often in response to the rest of us. We don't want you to think that just because what we wrote has been printed, we aren't aware of the continuous evolution of these characters. We live in a very dynamic world.

So here are some of the things some of our characters have been up to.


Barbie 2016

On January 28, 2016, Mattel -- Barbie's marketing vehicle -- announced that she's undergoing a thorough makeover. The news made headlines the world over, of course. In an effort to keep up with her audience, Barbie's going to appear with different shapes and different skin tones -- just like real people. One size and color hardly fits all. Last year's Fashionistas™ line will be further enhanced. So here are some of the variations on the Barbie theme:

  • Original, tall, curvy and petite body shapes, for a total of 4 body styles
  • Several skin tones, for a total of 7
  • A few different eye colors (colours in Britain), for a total of 22 (the BBC says 30, but in any case it's going to be a lot more varied than simply blue or brown)
  • Some new hair styles, for a total of 24
  • New face shapes, for a total of 14

There could be as many as 8 Million possible Barbies -- but only 33 are planned to actual production so far.

The new Barbies are expected to be in showrooms in Spring 2016. (She's probably still going to be banned in Saudi Arabia.) We think that what we wrote in 2006 -- "The trailer-park Barbie with three menial jobs and a dozen kids is not one you’re going to find" -- will continue to be true for a while. But in the fictional world, nothing is certain.

What real people do you think were the models for the three new body types? What do you think they should have chosen? Will you join a Twitter campaign to add more?

Barbie 2015

When we wrote on Barbie, we found only a couple of videos starring her. In 2015 there were more than two dozen videos, such as "Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus," and picture books, too. You might find only one or two videos, but check or Amazon, and it's amazing. We saw Barbie picture books and a few $8-$12 dolls in two New Jersey supermarkets. What stores don't have a Barbie item now?

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived


News Page last updated July 12, 2016