Barbie has lived in some pretty groovy homes over the years. Who wouldn’t want a “Dream House”? A reader of my blog was interested in learning more about Barbie houses and I thought it was a fantastic idea because I haven’t seen much written on this topic. So here is what I learned…
Barbie’s first home, built in 1961, was the “Barbie Doll Dream House” #0816. It’s the most common of all the Barbie cardboard structures. It unfolded into one big room that included a bedroom and living room. Barbie started the “open concept” home! Furnishings included cardboard items such as a twin bed, coffee table, TV, matching chair and ottoman, sofa, a vanity chair with a mirror, table lamp, books, a framed photo of her boyfriend Ken, and pillows. Barbie had records to play on her record player and she had quite the collection - Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Kingston Trio and The Preps!
My favorite, although not a home - is 1963’s Barbie Doll Fashion Shop #0817. I’m actually on the hunt for a minty one so let me know if you have one for sale! The shop includes a fun fashion stage where Barbie and her friends can try on and twirl around in new outfits. The next Barbie structure debuted in 1964, Barbie Goes To College #4093. Outside panels include scenes of a football stadium and game, and a drive-in movie theater. The interior view is a campus dorm room and a sweet shop - a place to meet friends for an ice cream float!
Let’s fast forward to the Mod Era. The vinyl Barbie House Mate #5152 came out in 1966. The interior includes a plastic lavender sofa with end tables, ottoman, closet and attached turquoise floral print twin bed. That same year, the fold out Francie and Casey House Mate house #5092 was built. This structure’s interior has a built-in desk, gold plastic tub chair and pink plastic bed with a mod zebra-striped bedspread.
Over the years, many more digs were built for Barbie, her family and friends. These structures included the 1966 Francie House #3302, 1966 - 1967 Barbie Family Deluxe Home, various World of Barbie Houses from 1966 - 1972, 1966 Francie and Casey Studio House #1026, and 1967 - 1968 Barbie and Francie Dressing Room Case #1024. There was a housing boom in 1970 because Barbie got a cute restaurant called Barbie Cafe Today #4983, Barbie Lively Livin’ Room, Barbie Teen Dream Bedroom #4985, and the Barbie Cookin’ Fun Kitchen #48987.
Barbie had fun trying on new looks in her 1971 Unique Boutique Wig and Fashion Shop, and jetting off to Vail in 1972 to her Sears Exclusive Barbie Mountain Ski Cabin #4283. The Barbie Family House #1066 was produced from 1969 - 1972. This is the one I bought on eBay and am looking for ways to display my Barbies in it. The vinyl on this house is often cracked. Funny how over the years the 1960s cardboard Barbie houses endured better than the plastic ones in the 70s!
From 1968 - 1976, there are many variations of the Barbie and Stacey Sleep ’N Keep Case. A Jamie Studio Apartment #4996 and a Jamie Party Penthouse #4990 came out in 1970. I have fond memories of the Barbie house I had as a little girl, the 1970 - 1972 Barbie Lively Livin’ House #4282. It was also called the Barbie Live Action House or Surprise House. It was a two floor, three room structure with three patios and four white patio fences. The patio panel can be flipped over and connected to the structure’s walls making more scenes on the other side of the house. My fellow Barbie blogger, Mary, has great photos of Barbie homes!
What is your favorite Barbie house or structure? Would love to hear from you!
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