Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon

Barbie: Voyage To Rados 1

I've accumulated a lot of ridiculous books over the years - from thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and dumpsters - and I can no longer bear to hoard their weirdness for myself. Presenting the fourth in an occasional series of book reviews exploring the far corners of the Toon library...because the world must know!

I'm the father of three daughters. I've shared my home with a lot of Barbie-oriented material over the years. No matter how much we nudge the girls toward the little toy carpentry sets and the Green Lantern action figures, they still gravitate toward the leggy plastic blonde in the pink box. In all that time, believe me, I have never seen anything like this. Believe it or not, Barbie: Voyage to Rados is an honest-to-Ken licensed Barbie product, not some kind of Internet art prank.

After I got over the slackjawed, stammering shock of the cover, I cracked it open and found out that the hovering, pink-Afro'd starchild is a native of Moda-5. That's the planet that Barbie and her ever-youthful sister Stacy live on in the year 2190, for Barbie is eternal. Man is still alive, and woman did survive, but many of us emigrated to Moda-5 a century earlier hoping to learn the secrets of Modan telekinesis. Turns out we're not very good at it. But the Earthling expat community endured despite mutual animosity between humans and Modans. Don't let the smiles fool you - they're just laughing at each other's accents.

Barbie: Voyage To Rados 2

 

A water shortage on Moda-5 necessitates Barbie (a renowned geologist, of course) and Stacy (pride of the Junior Star Catchers) taking a trip to an unexplored planet, Rados, in search of the wet stuff. They're taking along an R2-D2 knockoff named Dork (for real) who speaks in rhyme due to a faulty language chip. Oh, and they have to bring a few of those creepy Modans along. Stacy's reaction is hardly a model of interstellar brotherhood: "Double yuck!"

Barbie: Voyage To Rados 3

 

Sure enough, the seething, purple surface of Rados yields some crystals that just might be "compressed water". After an argument between Barbie and head Moda-dude Thorba over the risks of transporting the crystals telekinetically, they take some samples back to the ship to run some tests. Barbie and Stacy learn a thing or two about the crystals of Rados...and about the emotions those Modans conceal behind their gilded gasmasks and bedazzled cloaks.

Barbie: Voyage To Rados 4

 

Danger strikes! On the trip home, proximity to a black hole sends Thorba and Modan child Franka into a catatonic state. Barbie's diagnosis is "energy shock". What's worse, Rados itself is being pulled into the black hole, with all its precious compressed water! Barbie springs into action. Initiate healing sequins!

Barbie: Voyage To Rados 5

 

Not only do the Modans wake up feeling refreshed, but the involuntary nap did their telekinetic powers good. They use their enhanced mental strength to pull Rados out of danger. Now if they could just do something about those hairdos...

Barbie: Voyage To Rados 6

 

Ten thousand humans and Modans crowd into Cosmos Plaza to welcome the returning water-carriers. "The Modans were chatting out loud with the humans. No one seemed to notice anyone's accent. 'They sound like old friends,' Barbie thought. 'Mission accomplished.'" Take heart, persecuted ethnic minorities: to be accepted as equals, all you have to do is save your entire planet from dying a slow death of thirst.

Barbie: Voyage To Rados 7

 

I have no idea who Mattel thought would buy this book. But I'm glad some frustrated SF writer got to pay the rent with her own mini-Dune. I'm glad Barbie never once talks about clothes or boyfriends. I'm glad some budding nerd girl out there may have gotten her hands on this and realized there are a lot of toys outside the pink aisle. And I'm glad that these photos exist - because somewhere, if they haven't been destroyed, there's a cache of colored Barbie heads with pink curls and jeweled robes. Anybody got a Modan-modded Barbie they'd be willing to part with?

For more book-scavenging fun, see:

kar131313


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kar131313

That is the most awesome Barbie book I've ever seen!

unusualpsycho


quality posts: 0 Private Messages unusualpsycho

I don't really know how to respond to this. I am horrified and fascinated at the same time...I feel like I just drove past a very bad car accident.

ClaudiaM


quality posts: 4 Private Messages ClaudiaM

This is fantastic. I never dreamed the universe of Barbie contained such wonders.

Thank you for last bit about Barbie not talking about clothes. And for the scans. I'm still not quite sure I believe it, but I definitely would not have without them.

TwoPynts


quality posts: 0 Private Messages TwoPynts

I am blown away.
Utterly bizarre and wonderful.

Amazon has copies for $0.01 plus $3.99 S&H.
I'm in for one.

http://www.amazon.com/Barbie-Voyage-Rados-Joanne-Barkan/dp/0717288900

Probably the only Barbie book this 38 year old male is going to ever own.

Slydon


quality posts: 17 Private Messages Slydon

Staff

So this is like a happy version of "The Man Who Fell To Earth"?

Hi, I'm one of the writers. My powers are limited but I'll do what I can.

gandara


quality posts: 1 Private Messages gandara

As a Barbie collector the book sounds suspicious.

Maybe the author got a fat government grant to help bend young minds to prepare for when our water source here at home gets too many pollutants, lead, nitrates, female hormones, drugs and other stuff in it that is completely un-filterable(Woops, too late!)and so, in the future we will need willing tax funders to back more expensive space exploration as they become adults.
It is normal to prepare the young to part with their money freely as exploration taxes later.

I'm not even going to touch on the few normal and the oddly grouping of skin tones in this tale of adventure but, I am curious as to why the Hispanics, Asians, Indis and European breeds are missing from this story....unless of course, there are secret plans that they won't be surviving in 2190 or else possibly still employed as maintenance, ground and Indi tech support.

I know, I know....I am probably way too far out there but as I hear it, so is the truth.

We can que the Skuller and Muldy theme song now.

Woot!


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TruBluTopaz


quality posts: 0 Private Messages TruBluTopaz

As a woman who grew up feeling inferior thanks to Barbie, and who hid in SciFi as a safe zone where guys would like me for my brains, I feel betrayed. But it's nice to know that Barbie agrees that in the future we will all wear aluminum jumpsuits. That seems to be a pretty uniform fashion hypothesis.

Trublutopaz, Queen of the Nil (sic)

DonGwinn


quality posts: 0 Private Messages DonGwinn

That's all well and good, but you've all missed what's really important here: in picture 5, Barbie's sick-bay equipment is made of Robotix.

Robotix is awesome.

PsychoStreak


quality posts: 0 Private Messages PsychoStreak

So in the future, Ken's black, and the only human male Barbie hangs out with. Sweet.

On top of that, shiny mini dresses, tights and ankle boots are the outfit of choice for all women. Again, sweet.

Only two problems that I can see.
1) Since we never reall see Ken's legs outside of the space suit, he too could be sporting a shiny mini dress, tights and ankle boots. Still, a small price to pay for being the most well known boy-toy in the universe. and they're at least black tights.

2) If the Modans just need a gas mask on Rados (not even some goggles!), but humans need the full spacesuit, just what the heck are the Modans are not telling us about themselves? Telekinesis alone isn't going to protect your skin from an atmosphere you can't breathe.

Just the fact that this book inspired the above train of though proves that it's comprised, at the tiniest level (take the smallest known particle with a silly name and cut that in half) of 100% pure awesome.

thetiffy


quality posts: 1 Private Messages thetiffy

I don't have one of these dolls, but one wouldn't be too hard to make. The only thing I wouldn't be able to make would be the robe.

nelvinboy


quality posts: 1 Private Messages nelvinboy

My 5 year old daughter was surfing the web with me when she saw this post on the sidebar this morning. She's a barbie fanatic and now wants the book. Thanks a lot woot! Grrrr.....

--- Jon

CarlJStoneham


quality posts: 0 Private Messages CarlJStoneham

That wasn't Ken. it was.... BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!

monkeyface67


quality posts: 0 Private Messages monkeyface67

I had the joy of reading this book--TWICE--to my then 3 year-old daughter during an extended doctor's office waiting room visit. She decided at that time that she was a Barbie fan and wanted to go buy one after the trip to the doc. Fortunately, being only 3, she forgot about it by the time the appointment was over.

ElizardbethWoots


quality posts: 2 Private Messages ElizardbethWoots

A hot pink fro-mullet? Awesome.

vwtick


quality posts: 2 Private Messages vwtick

Dang, I was so going to buy this for a penny from Amazon but all the cheap ones are gone.
We have a few Barbie books and an impressive collection of Barbies in our house, my wife never tossed hers.

What impresses me most about all these book is the dioramas they have to build. Where do they find all this Barbie sized stuff anyway.

long haired freaky hippy geek

ROGETRAY


quality posts: 157 Private Messages ROGETRAY

Staff

if this is what the future looks like..I want nothing of it...unless there are G.I Joes...I wanna live in world of G.I Joes and Barbies in space...

Gatzby


quality posts: 43 Private Messages Gatzby
ROGETRAY wrote:if this is what the future looks like..I want nothing of it...unless there are G.I Joes...I wanna live in world of G.I Joes and Barbies in space...



I don't know anything about GI Joe, but I know where you can get some Brothers in Arms action figures by the boxload...

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