I treated you to Barbie’s Campus last month, courtesy of Found in Mom’s Basement (and thanks again to Erica at the good old days for the tip). I returned there for inspiration last night, and found perhaps the strangest Barbie set I’ve ever seen (at right. You can view an enlarged photo if you click here–”Miss Barbie” is right on top.) What is up with this little number, also from the 1964 Sears catalog? From the ad copy:
So lively. . . her knees bend, her eyes close
Miss Barbie with 3 Wigs, Lawn Swing and Planter, $4.89
Whose idea was it to sell the new bendable knees and blinking eyes Barbie by plopping her on lawn furniture and giving her a choice of 3 wigs? Is this a scene that evokes youth, action, and vigor? Are those her granddaughters she’s watching play tennis, dance, and ski, simultaneously? (Those outfits are sold separately–don’t kid yourself. “Miss Barbie” doesn’t swing that way.) Why not a “Plastic Slipcovers Barbie,” who comes complete with bingo cards and canasta for her Midge, Ken, and Allan? What’s up with the hat–is she really bald under there? I’m at the stage of life where a lawn swing and 3 wigs look pretty good–or at least more useful than the ballerina outfit–so I think it’s cool that they made a crypo-geriatric Barbie back in 1964. I’m just wondering how many girls would have wanted to play with this Barbie set back in the day? (The wigs would have been fun, but even more fun would have been just letting her go bald, don’t you think?)
And, what’s with calling her “Miss Barbie?” I mean, we all know that Barbie has more than a little Miss Ann in her–but come on. This is what I always thought was a major flaw in the singularly unappealing doll from the 1960s known as “Mrs. Beasley.” Who wanted a doll who demands to be addressed by a common honorific title?