April 3, 2017: From a naked Goodwill purchase this morning to the well-heeled subject of my camera tonight, this Barbie knows she was meant to be a Supermodel!

May 4, 2017: "California Dolls, we're unforgettable.  Daisy dukes, bikinis on top.  Sun-kissed skin so hot, we'll melt your popsicle.  Ooh oh ooh, ooh oh ooh.  California Dolls, we're undeniable.  Fine, fresh, fierce - we got it unlocked.  West Coast represent, now put your hands up.  Ooh oh ooh, ooh oh ooh."  

 January 13, 2018: This is Blaine. He’s a surfer from Australia. Barbie met Blaine on the beach in Malibu and was immediately smitten. He is the reason Barbie broke up with Ken the day before Valentine’s Day in 2004. It took Ken over a year to win Barbie’s heart again. Today Blaine is back in Australia where he’s still shooting the curls and Barbie and Ken are still going strong as everyone's favorite doll couple. 

  November 25, 2017: 56 years old and building Barbie furniture. I don’t think I’ll ever grow up! LOL!!

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February 13, 2017: The 90s are back! It's Totally Hair Barbie! She's like totally rad, fer sur!

May 15, 2017: "These boots are made for walking..." Stacey's new boots just arrived from New York City. They complete her mod look and she thought she'd show them off!

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 January 2, 2018: The World's Smallest Malibu Barbie (gifted to me by friends Rachel Tothill and Sandy Gonzalez)! She's perfect for my work desk!

April 1, 2017: In memory of Daisy, my #1 Dalmatian born on April 1 so many years ago. Happy Birthday girl, I love you forever.

March 26, 2017: Creating a Malibu Barbie photo shoot on our patio. I wanted to block the sun from overhead so I little ingenuity goes a long way for the perfect "studio" lighting!

Barbie and the Rockers.

These 6 dolls given to me as a birthday present started my toy collecting madness 30 years ago!

April 3, 2017: My Goodwill Barbie find for 12 bucks! I need to get the ladies some clothes but overall they're in terrific shape!

September 8, 2017: My "work from home" desk!  I just rearranged it. The award in the center is a "Glammy" from bijan salon & spa in Kansas City.  It's from my great hairdressing days (I was a colorist who specialized in blonde color and highlights).  I'm very proud of my Glammy... it's the only actual award I've ever won.  The Farrah poster is original from my teen years of the 1970s (my dad bought if for me in 1977).  Of course, there's Barbie and Ken on the desk to inspire me as I work! 

  December 16, 2017: Yo, dudes!  It's, like, totally bitchin'!  I got some of my rad 1980s Barbies out of storage and thought I’d like, totally share!  Fer shur, fer shur!

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November 6, 2017: I’ve selected the 14 Barbie doll shots that will be featured as canvas art for my all-new exhibit at Lestat’s on Park. As you can see they all have a Mod 1960s theme. I'm excited to display them and each will be for sale too!

  November 24, 2017: I love that Mattel is progressive with boys playing with Barbie in their advertisements these days. When I was a kid it was a big no-no for boys to play with dolls. Fortunately my family was cool with it, unfortunately others weren’t and I was the target of bullies, regularly called a “sissy” and worse things.

  December 5, 2017: For the first time since moving to San Diego I have my Barbies on shelf display! Not the whole collection (that would take up the whole room) but about 100 of my favorite vintage dolls. They will be accessible now for me to photograph for Beyond the Valley of the Barbie Dolls!

January 18, 2018: I’ve had this Barbie since the 1990s. She’s one of my favorites. Today I just realized she looks like British supermodel Jean Shrimpton from the 1960s (below right).  They are both so gorgeous!

July 30, 2017: This morning I received a 1970 Sun 'n Fun Buggy by Gail, a sweet woman from Old Town. It was Gail's originally and never played with, MIB. As you can tell Malibu Barbie is thrilled to zoom around in this groovy dune buggy!

August 13, 2017: Today I acquired this lot of Mod Era Barbie dolls from sweet Gail (above). Along with the dolls, she generously gave me vintage Barbie fashions, the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman (below left), Little Miss No Name (below center), a Dawn doll with case (below right), two PeePul Pals (lower left), and a handful of Liddle Kiddles (lower right)! These were all Gail's as a child and I'll treasure them as the new owner. I feel as if Christmas came early!  

March 18, 2017: Thank you Janice R. for the Barbies and fashions. It's so sweet of you to think of me, and I will definitely treasure them... ❤️
Janice and I went to school together at Gar-Field High in Virginia. We got reacquainted several years back thanks to Facebook. Last week she messaged me to see if I would like a box of old Barbies she had in storage, and it arrived this afternoon from Kansas (where she now lives)!

May 11, 2017: Last weekend, Leigh Timmons, my friend from Leucadia, was in Borrego Springs and saw a lot of vintage Barbie dolls and fashions at an antique store.  She texted me to see if I'd be interested (bottom upper left photo). My reply? Yes, I'm interested!  Today, Leigh drove to Borrego Springs to purchase the Barbies and met me at an In-N-Out in Escondido to deliver them (thank you Leigh - your kindness touches my heart). Elizabeth Rodriguez, owner of the House of Borrego Springs, not only was kind to hold the dolls a few days before purchase but she even threw in a couple of 1980s Barbies as a surprise! I don't get to buy vintage Barbies as often as I'd like so this is a real treat. And those authentic 1960s Barbie fashions are soooo fabulous and fun... I believe a future photo shoot is in order! 

 January 10, 2018: I'm preparing to start a new photo project featuring classic Barbie and Ken couples through the decades. I hope to have it ready for Valentine’s Day. ❤️

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  December 17, 2017: When asked what my favorite Barbie doll of all time is? I answer, Malibu Barbie. 
Here’s a fun pop culture tidbit: Malibu Barbie was inspired by Sharon Tate, who played a surfer girl named “Malibu” in the comedy film Don’t Make Waves (below left)!  (Sharon would become a victim in the grisly "Helter Skelter" killings by cult leader Charles Manson and his "family" of hippies in August 1969).

April 5, 2017: Hiking off for my next photo shoot with seven Barbie Dolls in tow! Where will the road take me? (left).  The Barbie models ready to follow the trail into Florida Canyon (center).  After spending the afternoon as a supermodel in the hot and dusty canyon, Barbie (and her photographer) need a refreshing drink for Papi Hour at Baja Betty's Mexican Restaurant in San Diego (right)!

Mom's Libra and Elvis Presley Barbie dolls I gave her as gifts.  I inherited these back after she died in November 2013.  Rose Mansour was a Libra who just LOVED Elvis!  In fact she was his #1 fan.

January 9, 2017: I went vintage Ken doll on-line shopping last night and here's what I bought: a 1965 Ken, a 1971 Malibu Ken, and a 1973 Mod Hair Ken!

July 23, 2017: The new girls in town!  They're uniquely individual.  I'm looking forward to doing a photo shoot with them... perhaps some place fun, funky and urban!

Beyond the Valley of the Barbie Dolls

Barbie doll Photography & Collecting by David 'dj' Mansour

  November 15, 2017: “A Nod to Mod” is on exhibit! If you’re in the University Heights area of San Diego, stop by Lestat’s on Park and check out my newest art exhibit for Beyond the Valley of the Barbie Dolls. It’s groovy!

February 26, 2017: One of my personal favorite Barbie prints sold on exhibit this week: "Cowles #5." I photographed her on top of Cowles Mountain last summer here in San Diego.

January 18, 2017: Sometimes you just need your iPhone camera, a few props, and a creative mind and you have yourself a gorgeous Barbie photo!

October 9, 2017: ​​I ordered this from the Barbie Club today. A vintage reproduction of the 1962 Barbie Dream House, and it includes a 1960s Barbie doll too!

October 19, 2017: Loving, open-minded, unconditional and unconventional, generous, bright, beautiful, funny, friendly, a free-spirit and fearless Libra... these are all words best to describe my mother, Rose Mansour.  Today is her birthday.  She died from Alzheimer's Disease on November 15, 2013.  I miss her deeply but know in my heart she is watching over me from Heaven.  I can't think of a better way of honoring mom today than dedicating this website to her.  She let me play with Barbie dolls as a little boy--regardless of what others said to her.  We shared a love of Barbie together in later years (they were fun to give and receive as birthday and Christmas gifts).  Because of her I am happy to be who I am today and proud to be her son. Cheers to you mom, with love!  

March 27, 2017: Tina corgi-bombed the 101 Dalmatian photo shoot! Too cute!!

July 29, 2017: "Yay LIz!" One of my best friends won a battle against cancer. To celebrate, my Barbies and I create this photo in her honor.  Love you Liz Giffin... xoxo.  

  November 25, 2017: Barbie is moving into her 1962 Dream House. Her furniture hasn’t arrived yet!

June 27, 2017: I've created a little photography studio for a photo series, I've titled the "The Pride Project.  I will be photographing my Barbies as various gay types, plus gay icons such as Cher, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and Wonder Woman. Can't wait to share the photos...

June 1, 2017: Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe! To honor my #1 idol I did a photo shoot with my Marilyn doll. Here's a couple of the shots... I call this "Marilyn's Itch." 

September 3, 2017: When I do a photo shoot with several Barbies and want to get a group shot with all, I do a procedure I call the "Build-Up."  This involves standing the first doll in place, sans stand, and adjusting her head so eyes stare at the camera.  Then I take the next doll, balance him to stand next to her, and eyes also turned to the camera; repeated by the third doll, and so on and so on.  The dolls are at the mercy of an unsteady fall and shifting winds, which can topple the whole bunch, but I'll work diligently until I get the perfect group shot (bottom photo)!

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July 2, 2017: "The Pride Project" shoot is a wrap! Four days, 32 dolls, over 1,100 photos taken! Now I sort through, edit, and decide which photographs to put on display!

  November 17, 2017: So I get this mystery text picture from boyfriend John Bode, who is out driving for Lyft tonight but I can't figure it out ??? (below left).  Then John sends me the next photo... and OHHH!!, I sold an art piece! (below center).  Only two days on exhibit, and somebody has bought "Fly Girl" (last photo)! 

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March 3, 2017: Farrah Barbie! (The Farrah poster, which hangs over my office desk, has been with me since 1977! That's 40 years ago!!! It's the best-selling pin-up in history and extremely iconic!)

March 9, 2017: I have a tradition every year on Barbie's birthday (March 9; she's a Pisces) I buy a Barbie doll. This year it's Pink and Fabulous Barbie. She's so pink and fabulous even my cat Misty is in awe!

March 21, 2017: My "Blonde, Pink & Fabulous" photo shoot happened today! The location I choose for this event was the peaceful gardens of the San Diego Naval Hospital in Balboa Park.

June 13, 2017: My latest Barbie addition, 50th Anniversary Barbie Hair Fair!  She comes with 4 groovy hair pieces, which totally appeals to the hairdresser in me!

  November 10, 2017: "Francie Fairchild is Barbie doll’s fun and fabulous cousin. Fresh as a daisy and fancy free, she’s back again and she’s looking sharp! Dressed in a bold, 60s-inspired shift, she comes with a dreamy nighttime fashion perfect for cuddling up with her kitten, Slippers."  My new Francie gift set, called "Kitty Corner," arrived today! 

September 2, 2017: I'm always trying to take that one perfect Barbie portrait... and I believe I succeeded with this one (left).  She's quite lovely, isn't she?  It's all an illusion, actually.  This is how this perfect portrait was snapped: My cat Misty crushed the homemade photo box when she climbed on top but hey, it still works (right)! 

June 27, 2017: He's heeeere... the "Man Bun" Ken. These two Barbies are immediately attracted to him.

September 21, 2017: Thirty years ago this day I started Barbie collecting after receiving a set of  Barbie and the Rockers as a birthday present from Darren Karr (bottom left).  It all comes full circle--and very fittingly I so--now that Mattel has just released a new version of Barbie and the Rockers (bottom right)!  I bought three of the dolls as a birthday gift to myself.  

Happy Birthday to me... and Happy 30th Anniversary to us Barbie! 

  December 25, 2017: This is how it's done: Find the right spot atop a dune on the beach and let photo magic take over.  Merry California Christmas from Malibu Barbie, Malibu Ken and Me!

July 14, 2017: I found the Power Princess a Rainbow Flag... now she's ready for San Diego Pride, and I put her in a window so she can greet passers-by with her Rainbow Love (below right)! 

  November 30, 2017: Christmas came early! I Got a new camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T6! (Thank you John Bode.) To get familiar with it I practiced with my Barbie collection and thought I'd share a few photos...

March 20, 2017: Rock Chalk Jayhawks... Go KU! My Kansas Cheerleader Barbie is ready for the next game! Sweet 16 to the Elite 8!!

  December 31, 2017: The Happy New Year Holiday Hostess Barbie wishes you and yours a merry and safe New Year's!  See you in 2018!

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July 29, 2017: Black and white houndstooth makes a terrific backdrop... and I know one friend (ahem, Liz Giffin) who'd definitely agree!

June 2, 2017: Sometimes all you need is a couple of vintage mod Barbies and a splashy orange wall along the sidewalk in the University Heights neighborhood and you've got yourself a photo shoot! I call this one "Orange Twist!"

Models: 1967 Twist 'n Turn Barbie and 1968 Twist 'n Turn Stacey.

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I'm forever collecting and photographing Barbie dolls - sometimes the photos are for fun, sometimes I aim for art!  I share some of my personal photo events in a timeline journal, beginning in January 2017. It's all light-hearted fare with a bit of pop culture whimsy mixed in.  It will give you insight to my fun-loving and somewhat quirky personality!  Thank you by the way for visiting my Barbie site.  I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoy creating it.   

July 8, 2017: Rearranging and adding new art at Lestat's. Sitting here watching people admire my work. As I was hanging the pictures I received the biggest compliment from a man who was taken back when I mentioned these as photographs as he thought they were paintings. Life is good.

June 15, 2017: How fun is this Star Trek 50th Anniversary Barbie doll?! She's Vina the green-skinned Orion Slave Girl from the pilot episode of Star Trek. The box's packaging is the coolest and so well-done!

2018

May 13, 2017: My latest Barbie addition: a 1970 Brad! He's groovy (and still has his original wrist tag too)!

  November 25, 2017: Barbie has officially moved in to her Dream House and wants to host a Christmas party. Blond, brunet or black? Which Ken will be hostess Barbie’s dream date for her Christmas soirée?

Stay tuned...  🎄!!

May 27, 2017: As an avid Barbie collector I want to share with you one of my favorite go-to online Barbie shops!  It's The Barbie Collection, above (www.thebarbiecollection.com).  Here is where you can directly purchase all those awesome collectible Barbie dolls, often not sold at retail stores.  You can become a Barbie Fan Club member, like me, which allows you to get exclusive dolls not available to non-club members (such as my 50th Anniversary Francie, below left, and Double Date 50th Anniversary Giftset, featuring Barbie, Ken, Midge and Allan, below right), and not sold at retail stores as well.  I shop here through out the year, and this is where my partner regularly buys my birthday and Christmas presents (lucky me)!  The site also features such fun extras as Barbie news, behind-the-scene videos from Mattel doll designers, blogs, galleries, and much, much more.

January 12, 2017: I love this photo I took of "Daisy Pop" Barbie and "Video Game" Ken. I think it looks like an illustration and not a photograph!

June 21, 2017: Ken Doll gets a makeover with new body types--original, broad and slim, skin tones and hairstyles, including the infamous "man bun!" (below left).  I've got the first seven of these 11 new "Gen Kens" already ordered!  I think the blue-eyed, blond Ken (in the polka dots) looks like the younger me (below right).  

January 19, 2018: Today I launched a new a Barbie portrait series showcasing the classic Barbie couples through the decades. I felt it appropriate to start with photos of the the very first Barbie (from 1959) and the very first Ken (from 1961)!

March 2, 2017: Today's Barbie photo. I title this "A Rose for Rose." This is the story behind it:
This was my mother's Barbie doll. She's the "Miss Opal," October Birthstone Beauty Barbie. I gave it to mom for her birthday in 2007 (mom was a Libra). I received Miss Opal back after mom died in 2013. My mom was named Rose and she absolutely adored roses. I regularly go to the Rose Garden in San Diego's Balboa Park to "talk" to mom in Heaven. Last year I took her Barbie to the Rose Garden and snapped some beautiful photos in her memory. This is one of the photos and will be featured in my upcoming book, "Beyond the Valley of the Barbie Dolls." I know mom would be proud...

 January 12, 2018: “A place where nobody dared to go – the love that we came to know – they call it Xanadu...” While sorting through Barbies in storage I found the 1980 Roller Boogie Barbie and Ken!  They make me think of the musical Xanadu (also from 1980), starring Olivia Newton-John.  Olivia is my favorite singer and I bought every single one of her records in the 1970s and 1980s.  I was even a member of her fan club (below right)!