Hi dolls! The newest addition to my Mod Barbie collection is Busy Barbie (#3311) who debuted in 1972; the year maxi dresses, mini skirts, knee socks and patterns happened in a big way!
Her "busy" hands can hold a number of accessories including a phone, record player, color TV, travel case and a soda set of a brown tray with two glasses. Her hands can bend and turn at the wrist, and also grasp and carry.
While the innovations on this doll were designed to make Barbie more active and powerful, with her gripping hands, she ultimately didn't last long. Production costs were prohibitive, and the doll's joints a bit too fragile to survive a lot of play. Personally, I'm not a fan of the mechanical-looking hands.
Busy Barbie has bendable legs and elbows, a twist-n-turn waist, and painted lashes. She's wearing a blue denim halter top with attached white panties, a patchwork gingham long skirt with a ruffle on the hem, white pilgrim shoes and has a pretty brass barrette in her hair.
Seven Busy Barbie dolls with the holdin' hands feature were released in 1972. There are three talking versions; Talking Busy Barbie #1195, Talking Busy Ken #1196 and Talking Busy Steffie #1186. The four who couldn't talk are Busy Barbie #3311, Busy Ken #3314, Busy Steffie #3312, and Busy Francie #3313. A European Busy Francie was released at the same time, German Busy Francie.
Talking Busy Barbie has short blonde hair and real lashes, not painted lashes like #3311. She wore blue satin hot pants, a red tricot top with a chartreuse belt and knee boots. Talking Busy Steffie said things like, "I dig having my own TV," "The new fashions are wild" and "That music is groovy."
According to Hillary James, author of The Complete and Unauthorized Guide to Vintage Barbie Dolls (2nd edition,) a Busy Barbie never removed from the box (NRFB) is worth around $475 - $550, mint with no box can garner $275 - $350, and. the average doll, in the range of $175 to $275.