5. Black Ken (Black – 1981)
Not to be confused with Brad, Christie’s boyfriend who debuted in 1969, this black Ken doll is awesome because between 1969 and 1981, Christie had to just kinda chill by herself while Barbie went through a variety of Ken companions. Because it was 1981, and fashion was in transition from the 70’s, this Ken had a really awesome curly afro that was impossible to comb. Of course, his only clothing was a pair of unattractive, yellow gym shorts with a red stripe (or maybe it was orange), he was so fly it didn’t matter. Why he’s fun to play with: You could match this Ken with Superstar Barbie and act out several scenes from “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” and REALLY raise some eyebrows in BarbieLand.
4. Golden Dreams Barbie
Okay – this Barbie was so much fun to play with, I remember the day I got her. Kinda similar to Superstar Barbie, this one was awesome because everything was golden – her hair, her clothes – even her jewelry. And as you can tell from the picture, the white doll had blue eyes that just jumped out at you. While Superstar Barbie was of the Diva variety, Golden Dreams was more the Barbie that you could imagine on a motorcycle, telling Ken to hop on the back (because, of course, Barbie would never let Ken drive Her bike!) Why she’s fun to play with: Superstar Christie had beautiful brown hair and a copper-colored streak in her hair just to let you know – she was pretty, and she had an incredible smile, but if you crossed her the wrong way, it was game on – she’d whip your butt! Photo Credit: Mauro M UK’s
3. Ballerina Barbie – Cara
Barbie the ballerina – seems to be a logical fit. Barbies and ballerinas, that is. This Barbie was another tangent of beauty. The ballerina is one of the strongest symbols of femininity and romance, and before Cara, black ballerinas were just a rarity. The pink tutu with gold accents, complemented with the pink ballerina slippers and the gold crown symbolize near royalty. Why she’s fun to play with: This Barbie represents the grace (and beauty) that many little girls lacked, and never even thought about, until we started playing with, and imagining ourselves as, Ballerina Barbie.
2. India Barbie
Introduced in 1982, India Barbie was one of the first “brown” Barbies of the International Collection (now known as “Dolls of the World.”) In 1982, few of us knew anything about India, and Mattel “went there” with the introduction of this collection. While Mattel definitely could have focused only on Europe for the International series, the company grew a pair and decided to branch out to cultures not well-known in America. Why she’s fun to play with: You could read the box to learn about India, then imagine what India Barbie’s life was like, and attempt to recreate it while assimilating Barbie and her friends to Indian culture.
1. Midge Hadley (the pregnant Barbie)
Midge is Barbie’s best friend. This Midge was part of “The Happy Family,” which of course included Midge, a daddy and two kids. This Barbie was cool because you could take off her pregnant belly, and inside of the pregnant belly, there was a baby. However, in the conservative town where I grew up, that didn’t go over very well with the parents who didn’t want to discuss where babies come. : -) Why she’s fun to play with: As a kid, you could bring Midge to slumber parties and show off the pregnant belly and the baby inside. Then, the next morning at breakfast, you could watch the slumber party host’s mom squirm when that one sheltered kid in the group said, “But I thought babies came from storks and cabbage patches – why is the baby in her tummy?”