How's your summer so far? Are you indulging in fruity umbrella drinks with wide-brimmed hats and cool retro shades at the pool with a good book like me?! With the arrival of bikini season, I'm going to feature one of my favorite dolls (I know, I say that about all of them!) from my personal collection, Malibu Barbie's cousin, sun-kissed Malibu Francie #1068. And there is a rare brunette Japanese Sun Sun Malibu Francie (see photo below) also produced in 1971.
The Sun Set Malibu group of tanned friends also included Malibu P.J., Malibu Skipper and Malibu Ken. In 1973, Malibu Christie #7745 was introduced and I thought she was one of the prettiest dolls I had ever seen. I was lucky enough that my family purchased all of these dolls for me! I grew up in Wisconsin, but with my strong affinity towards these dolls, I knew I was destined someday for SoCal. And voila, I've lived in San Diego for almost 20 years now!
The introduction of the Sun Set family was an off the charts hit but, as Stephanie Deutsch (author of Barbie the First 30 Years) notes, it sadly marked the beginning of the end of the "Golden Time of Vintage Barbie dolls." The following mass-produced, low-budget Barbies lacked the quality (lashes, elaborate hairstyles) and flair of the early Barbie dolls that collectors love so much.
1971 Sun Set Malibu Francie - Values: $175 - $225 NRFB; $50 - $75 mint/no box
Values from "Vintage Barbie Dolls" by Hillary Shilkitus James (2011)