Helen's Doll Saga

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Barbie’s Glue Head Syndrome continues…

Posted by helen on October 26, 2016

As much as I like some new Ever After High & Fashionistas dolls, I have not purchased any recently, as most of them have glue inside their heads,  I hate glued heads, even without glue seepages, I still hate them!

My guessing was Mattel’s factories now use a new type of Hair Rooting Machines that can only push the hair into the head then glue it, it can not sew chain stitches (double-thread lockstitches) as the old machines did, and this type of new Machines is cheap.

To confirm my theories,  I  contacted a Production Coordinator who works for Mattel in Shen Zhen, China.

She explained the factories now use a new kind of “Automatic” Hair Rerooting Machines that do not require workers to sew the hair  like it use to be—it saves Labor cost,  glue is the only way to secure the hair.  —- so I was right,  they now use the rooting machines that can not do the chain stitches, but I didn’t know they now have “Automatic” system!  It’s safe to bet Mattel will continue to ignore our complaints since it wont throw the new machines out of the windows.  Gee, shall we hate such advanced technology?   we can only hope a genius would design a more advanced auto machine that can do chain stitches the same way as the old manually-operated machines did.

I have no idea how the “auto” rooting machine works ,  here is a YouTube video that shows how the old Manually-operated machine works, as you can see, it is Labor-intensive —  I guess Mattel laid off more workers with the help of “Auto” machines.

I still have a bunch of brand new playline dolls that have glues, I m ready to drop them off at Walgreen’s when this  holiday season comes. —-Walgreen’s  launched its  “toy Drive” in 2011,  you can donate new, unwrapped toys at Walgreens near you.  Each year I bring some playline Barbie dolls to the nearby store, its so convenient.  I hate glues, but  Mattel made a statement that these Glues are safe for Children–you’d better believe it.

10 Responses to “Barbie’s Glue Head Syndrome continues…”

  1. helen said

    Many years ago when I was attending Canton Fair (the largest International trade fair in the world), I saw computerized automatic Embroidering Machine, its amazing to watch, you see the flowers & leaves left on the fabric after it ran through the machine, Doll hair-rooting can NOT be more complicated than embroidering flowers, designing a double thread auto hair rooting machine should not be an impossible task, perhaps the initial investment in a new design is too much, so Mattel doesn’t want to do it?

  2. MindB said

    Wonderful research! Thanks for sharing!

    • helen said

      you are very welcome, I got a new message from the lady who works for Mattel, she said each year the company makes plans to lower the production costs, the employees must do everything they can to reach the goal. she herself also collects Barbie and does not like Glue, but there isn’t anything she can do to stop it..so, she has lot of FR dolls –so ironic! she also suggests we keep complaining, I told her we even petitioned on Change.org, but it does not help a little bit. lol

  3. Alexis said

    Thanks for this post, Helen! It was very interesting and informative!

  4. MirandaZ said

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have recently decided to boycott buying any new dolls from Mattel, playline or collector, because of the the glue. I can no longer reason with myself why I should line Mattel’s pockets with more money, and all I get is a doll with glue in the head that eventually needs to be retooted because it is damaging to the doll. I love Barbie but this glue is tragic. So thank you again for this very informative post.

    • helen said

      you are very welcome, Miranda. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have been puzzled by Mattel’s Glue Heads and determined that I needed to find out the reason… of course, I m not happy with the answer I got. Since Barbie Sales are up by 17% compared to the same period last year, so its unlikely Mattel will listen to the complaints about Glue. stop buying sure sends the message to Mattel. I was going to send a Barbie with Grease hair to “Consumer Product Safety Commission”, before I packed it up, I was told these Glues are safe for Children…. Mattel said so..

  5. Kitty said


    When you said “Hudson’s Bay Barbie”, Helen, did you mean one from, like, the 1990s, because, as far as I know, this Glue Head Syndrome has only been going on since about 2000-something.

    Does anybody here know exactly when the issue first began?


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