A Barbie fanatic who has 1,000 of the dolls in her collection “absolutely loved” the new film.
Clare Rawling, 42, saw a pre-release screening that left her in tears with its “lovely touches” and references to the doll’s vintage era.
The mom has forked out thousands of dollars on dolls and accessories spanning six decades.
She also boasts a brilliant collection of outfits, props and sets which she plays with by arranging them in scenarios and taking pictures for social media.
Clare, who saw the film on Monday with a friend in London, praised Margot Robbie and Ryan Reynolds’ real-life performances of Barbie and Ken as “spot on.”
And she said fans should be ready for a few “twists and turns” in the movie, which left her feeling emotional about her love for the “plastic fantastic” icon.
“I absolutely love it. As a fan of Barbie, it spoke to me massively. There were references that related back to the vintage Barbies that I collect,” she said.
“I didn’t really have any preconceptions going into it. But as a fan, there were certainly lots of really lovely touches.
“It was very emotional in parts. I didn’t expect that – and it made me cry. There are definitely a few twists and turns.
“I’m a huge Ryan Gosling fan, but I didn’t anticipate what I got from him. He was spot on. Margot Robbie did incredibly well as Barbie. She’s beautiful.”
Full-time carer Clare also revealed she had already snagged some of the new dolls, released alongside the film, for her huge collection.
“I have a lot of friends who send me gifts, it’s a huge part of the community. My collection will never end, and I got gifted three of the new Barbies,” she said.
“They’ve just released a new wave for the movie. Mattel must be making an absolute fortune!”
Clare, from Blackpool, said her fascination with Barbie started when she was a child and her obsession was so intense that her dad converted into playspace for her.
“I remember being massively into Barbie from around age seven to 11, I loved them so much,” she said.
“I enjoyed the aesthetics, they were so pretty, and really loved all the accessories. I have lots of lovely Barbie memories.
“I would have kept playing with them but girls were being mean to me at school.”
Clare said she gave her mom permission to sell her original collection when she moved out because she didn’t want to take them all with her.
And she didn’t pay much thought to her favorite childhood pastime until February 2021 when she saw one of her other treasured possessions for sale on eBay.
Her husband Colin, 58, bought her the toy, an Oh Penny doll – which then set Clare’s mind racing about how else she might be able to roll back the years.
“I turned 40 and we couldn’t go out because of the restrictions so I said, ‘I know, I’m 40 but can I have everything Barbie?,’” she said.
“I asked for everything to be pink and for a doll’s house as my present.”
Clare jumped in at the deep end by accumulating a staggering 70 dolls in just five months, and now has around 1000 in her possession.
“I have never had a connection with anything like this before, you think it’s just Barbie but it’s a bit of a rabbit hole when you get into it,” she said.
“Everything you can get in real life, you can get in Barbie too. It’s amazing.”
Clare’s first purchase was a vintage United Colors of Benetton doll from the early 1990s, which she bought from eBay for £179 ($230).
“I wanted that one so badly because I remember it from my childhood,” she said.
“I initially wanted to collect dolls from the 80s and 90s but as I started learning more I realized the new ones were really good too.”
Now her collection spans each decade from the 1960s, with most of her vintage examples costing between £100 and £200 ($128- $257).
She has even had dolls custom-made to look like her, her husband Colin and their 14-year-old son Zach.
In addition to dolls, Clare also has outfits, props and sets, many of which are uniquely-made items.
She says nowadays, her enjoyment doesn’t come from playing with the toys, but from taking pictures of them and making stop-motion videos.
Clare added: “I didn’t expect it at all but my passion now is all about videography and photography.
“I like getting the dolls into little scenarios that I think up then snapping away. It’s really fun.”
She shares her creations on her Instagram page, which is called ‘vintagebarbieclare.’
Clare added: “I wasn’t expecting to find this passion at the age of 40 but I’m so happy I did, I’m having a great time.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker