Next up in The 2020 PopCult Gift Guide we have three new series of one of the most popular toys introduced just before Christmas last year. These are available and in stock almost anywhere, and they can be ordered from Amazon, if you want to shop from home.

Barbie Color Reveal Doll with 7 Surprises 4 Mystery Bags, Surprise Wig, Skirt, Shoes & Sponge
Three series From Which To Choose
by Mattel

It’s been a while since I recommended a Barbie in the gift guide. The Color Reveal Barbie concept is a pretty cool innovation that combines the fun of blind box toys with the play value of color-change toys and water play. It’s a great gift for kids who love fashion dolls, and also like to mess around with water and paint.

What you get is a basic Barbie doll, with molded hair and a painted-on swimsuit, only she’s covered, head-to-toe, in a layer of water soluable paint. Barbie and her mystery accessories come packaged in a large tube that is used for her transformation, and can be used for storage after.

With 7 surprises in 1 package, the Barbie Color Reveal dolls deliver all kinds of play value. You start the experience by removing the outer layer of packaging, unscrewing the top of the tube and pulling out a doll covered from head to toe in Color Reveal paint and 4 decorated bags that keep the contents hidden.

Fill the tube with warm water, place the doll inside and swirl her around -the water clouds up for a magical effect.

Pull out the doll to reveal her look -each doll has a different combination of eye color, sculpted hair color, skin tone and decorated leotard.

Open the 4 mystery bags to reveal their surprises -a color-change wig, skirt, pair of shoes and small sponge; store them in the tube after play.

There are three styles that are easy to find right now: The “Foodie Series” (seen left) comes with a Barbie covered in purple paint who has food-themed clothing; The “Mermaid Series” includes a Barbie Mermaid with rooted hair, who is covered with blue paint from the chest down; The “Sunny ‘n’ Cool Series” features a Barbie covered with metallic blue paint, who comes with bright, summer-y designs on her clothes.

Of course while these are great for younger kids, I can’t help but look at the customizing potential for 1/6 scale dioramas. The “Sunny ‘n’ Cool Series” Barbie, covered with metallic blue paint, makes a pretty good start for a custom figure of Platinum, from The Metal Men, or she could stand-in as any female robot type for a mad scientist lab diorama.

In fact, with the molded hair (the dolls with molded hair come with wigs), these dolls could be spray-painted any color, if you’re looking into a diorama or art project that doesn’t work well with rooted hair.

But the fact is, these are cool toys that would make great gifts for any kid who wants a one-time science project that results in a fun fashion doll for them. There is also a huge Color Reveal “Slumber Party” set (seen below) that includes one Barbie (painted silver), a Chelsea doll, three pets and over thirty accessories, all in one giant tube. You can find that set for under forty bucks at most online stores, including Walmart.