by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Life, the Universe, and Everything”

Harrison and Smythe's New Spring Collection of Barbie Playsets

Posted 28 September 2009 in by Catriona

Once you’ve purchased your new Victorian Barbie from Harrison and Smythe’s new spring collection, surely you’ll feel the need to be able to put her into situations that threaten her virtue, her sanity, or even her life?

With Harrison and Smythe’s new collection of Victorian Barbie playsets, you can!

Victorian Barbie’s Colonial Adventure!
Not all Victorian Barbies need to be either confined to the centre of London, or locked in a Gothic mansion deep in the heart of Ireland, surrounded by mastiffs and irritating bucolic servitors.

No! Now, with one of our Colonial Adventure playsets, your Barbie can be imperiled in one of the many exotic locations available across the British Empire.

Wild West Escapades

Comes with
Frontier Barbie. Watch her complexion redden as this wilting English rose faces life on the prairie! (Note: reddening complexion may stain clothing.)
Sinister Native American Chief
Baby of Suitable Stealing Size
Horrified Friend

Sold separately
Lynch Mob
Best-selling Treatise on Theft of Innocent (White) Baby by Sinister Native American Chief
Setting Back of Colonial — Native American Relations For Decades to Come

Vaguely Sub-Continental Villainy

Why does Victorian Barbie need to travel halfway around the world to be imperiled by someone other than an English baronet? With our Vaguely Sub-Continental Villainy playset, she doesn’t!

Comes with
English Rose Barbie
Villainous Baronet Ken
Vaguely Sub-Continental Villain, Who Might Be From India, But We Don’t Really Feel the Need to Specify Anything Other Than “Foreign” (And, Also, Did You Notice How Short He Is? Tell Us That’s Not Villainous)
Luxurious English Interior (For the Better Creation of Contrast)

Sold separately
Generations of People Who Somehow Think You Can Use the Phrase “The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire” Unironically

Boating Barbie and Ken

Nothing says peril quite like a boat, especially when you’re wearing your own body weight in petticoats and crinolines. But think of the possibilities available to you with this Barbie and Ken Boating playset! Are they eloping? Is she being abducted? Or is this all going to end in something that might be suicide or might just be a tragic accident, depending on how you read it?

Comes with
Ambiguous Barbie (Is that fear? Is it secrecy? You decide!)
Boating Ken (Now with Rowing Action!)
Boat

Sold separately
The Mill
The Floss
Debate About Whether It’s Even Possible for That Catastrophic a Flood to Occur in Low-lying Fen Country (Note: debate only available with the John Sutherland add-on playset for older and more pedantic children.)

Second-Wife Barbie

Even wondered what happens to Victorian Barbie after she marries that wealthy baronet who won’t tell her anything about his past life? With the Second-Wife Barbie playset, you can find out!

Comes with
Second-Wife Barbie, Who Should Probably Have Asked for More Details
Mysterious Baronet Ken
Broad Terrace (the Ideal Surface for Mysterious, Possibly Ghostly Footsteps)
Italian Statuary (for Casting Mysterious Shadows)
Insane Previous Wife (or Possibly Just Some Poor Dupe Who Looks Exactly Like Second-Wife Barbie Except Mad)

Note: Like Bigamous Ken and Meek Governess Barbie, Second-Wife Barbie also fits our Fatal Conflagration playset.

Harrison and Smythe Present Their New Spring Collection

Posted 27 September 2009 in by Catriona

Despite the superior workmanship that Harrison and Smythe (Toy Suppliers to their Royal Majesty) insist on from the manufacturers of their Victorian Barbies and Victorian Barbie Playsets and Accessories, the constant seduction, destitution, unplanned pregnancies, attempted suicides from Putney Bridge, hairs-breadth escapes from over-enthusiastic baronets, and the occasional attack by a pack of rabid wolves on the Russian steppes often leaves the Victorian Barbie—and her wardrobe, bought separately—looking a little worse for wear.

So why not celebrate the new season by purchasing something from our new spring collection?

Investigative Journalism Barbie!

No, Investigative Journalism Barbie can’t actually write the stories herself! But, with the help of this new doll, she can be at the centre of a Completely Legitimate Newspaper Investigation into How Easily A Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Can Be Sold into Prostitution.

Sold separately
Best-selling issues of The Pall Mall Gazette
Moral Panic
Criminal Law Amendment Act (1885)
The Death of Responsible Journalism (available only with the Roland Pearsall Worm in the Bud playset for older children)
Life-long Psychological Scarring

Victorian Gothic Barbie!

This season, Harrison and Smythe offer two new additions to our range of Victorian Gothic Barbies:

Gothic Barbie and the Mysterious Trunk

Comes with
Perpetually Curious Barbie (Morning Dress Version)
Mysterious Trunk That, Fifty Years Earlier, Would Have Proved to Just Contain Linen or Something Innocuous Like That.
Your choice of either A Manuscript Revealing a Hidden Tale of Villainy, or A Laundry List.

Sold separately
Your choice of either Wealthy but Ultimately Evil Ken, or Wealthy and Ultimately Not Evil Ken, Who Can Never Remember Where He Left His Laundry List.

Gothic Barbie and the Woman in Grey

Comes with
Perpetually Curious Barbie (Evening Wear Version)
Poorly Lit Hallway
Mysterious Woman in Grey, Who Might Just be a Servant But Might be Something More Sinister
Unfortunate Choice of Easily Dropped Candle Holder

Sold separately
Fatal Conflagration playset (also suitable for use with Bigamous Ken and Meek Governess Barbie dolls)

Angelic Skipper!

Comes with
Casement From Which to Look Longingly Over the Rooftops of London
Pigeons That Double, Somewhat Improbably, as a Postal Service
Toys That are Not an Adequate Substitute for Neglectful Parents. (Note: Neglectful Parents dolls not available)
Touching Death from Something That is Probably Consumption, But, Let’s Face It, the Actual Disease Isn’t the Important Point Here.

Melodramatic Barbie!

Pull the string and watch Melodramatic Barbie fall to her knees and indulge in a hearty bout of hysterics!

Comes with
Eventual Lower-Back Problem From All the Extravagant Gesturing

Sold separately
Increasingly Annoyed Ken, Who Spends Much More Time at His Club Than He Used to (Which is Saying Something)
A Nice Healthy Career That Gets Melodramatic Barbie Out of the House Sometimes and Gives Her an Outlet for her Energies

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