The Quick 10: 10 Bizarre Barbies
I wasn't much into Barbies when I was growing up, and the ones I did have were pretty predictable: Movie Star Barbie, Miss America Barbie, that sort of boring thing. But there are all kinds of bizarre Barbie and friends dolls out there, both past and present. I'm sure we're just hitting the tip of the iceberg with these 10, so be sure to go to the comments to share the strange Barbies you had back in the day.
1. Growing Up Skipper. In 1975, you could turn Barbie’s kid sister Skipper into a teenager just by turning her arms. This made her grow taller by about an inch and also made her sprout boobs right before your very eyes. Sounds like an urban legend, I know, but it’s true:
2. Slumber Party Barbie. What’s strange about this 1965 Barbie isn’t necessarily her choice of activity, but the accessory that came with her – a book of tips called How to Lose Weight. One of them? “Don’t eat.”
3. Pooper Scooper Barbie. OK, technically this one is called “Barbie and Tanner Play Set,” but the “play set” consists of poop, Tanner’s scooper, and a trash can. The set was actually recalled because the scooper picked up the poop via magnet and the magnets were coming loose, causing a choking hazard. I guess we should be glad that we have toys to teach our kids how to responsibly own a pet, but c’mon…
4. Barbie Potty Training Pups. Along the same line as Pooper Scooper Barbie, we have Barbie who comes with tiny dogs and tiny newspapers with tiny pee stains on them. From the description on the Toys "R" Us website:
Barbie is having a fun-filled day with her new puppies! After she feeds water to each of her 3 puppies, they go potty to reveal a surprise on the newspaper - it changes color to yellow and brown! Each of the puppies goes potty in a different way: the boy dog potties when you lift his leg and the girl dog squats to potty when you press her back. The third puppy just needs a squeeze on the tummy to go potty and reveal a surprise. And when Barbie feeds the puppies, they're ready to go again! Includes 3 puppies, Barbie doll, 2 pieces of color-change newspaper, dog bed, assorted collars and toys for the pups.
5. Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Barbie. As a girl with a pretty sizable tattoo myself, I’m not sure I’m necessarily against Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Barbie… it’s more the lower-back-tat “Ken” tattoo I take issue with.
6. Sugar’s Daddy Ken. He’s part of a line of Palm Springs dolls. Mattel says the “Sugar” refers to the West Highland Terrier that comes with Barbie’s on-again-off-again boyfriend. What do you think? Unfortunate phrasing or intentional phrasing?
7. Pregnant Midge. Midge, Barbie’s BFF, caused a bit of a controversy when she got pregnant in 2002. The doll, which actually has a curled-up baby that can be removed when you pop her belly open, came packaged with no Alan (her husband) and no wedding ring. Consumers raised enough of a stink that Walmart ended up pulling the dolls from its shelves.
8. Earring Magic Ken. When Barbie asked young girls what they thought of the Ken doll in the early '90s, their response was that Ken needed an update. He simply wasn't cool. Mattel's reaction? Earring Magic Ken. He came complete with blond highlights, a lavender mesh top, a lavender pleather vest, and a large silver necklace that was likened to an, um, more adult product. He was immediately a hit with the LGBT community and became Mattel's best-selling Ken ever.
9. The Birds Barbie. OK, this one is definitely more for collectors than it is for kids, but it's still a bit odd. And by "odd" I mean, "I wish I owned it." It's a tribute to Tippi Hedren's character in Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror movie.
10. Cher "If I Could Turn Back Time" Barbie. All of the Bob Mackie Barbies are a little bit odd, but what do you expect from Cher's go-to designer? Still, the video that involved Cher wearing little more than a leather jacket and some tape seems like it might be risque inspiration.
Did you have any odd Barbies in your house growing up? Let's wax nostalgic about them in the comments.