If you enjoyed playing with Mod Barbies as a little girl, you probably remember the tiny doll stars of the early '70s, Topper's Dawn dolls! Topper Toys released Dawn dolls in March 1970. Compared to Barbie, these dolls were much smaller at 6 1/2" tall. Like Barbies of that era, they had rooted hair and rooted eyelashes. Three friends of Dawn were also released in 1970 - her girl squad Angie, Glori and Dale. Dawn and her besties were glamorous fashion model dolls with the most beautiful fashions. The initial line included 44 groovy outfits.
The basic Dawn was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed doll with straight, waist-length hair parted in the middle. Her eyes glance to the left but there are some variations including brown-eyed Dawn dolls, side-parted hair, strawberry blonde hair and eyes looking forward or towards the right.
Dawn's friend, brown-eyed girl Angie, also had waist-length straight hair but in a dark brown shade. Another friend, Glori, is most commonly a redhead with straight, waist-length hair and cute bangs. Some Glori dolls have side-parted straight, waist-length hair without bangs and others have side-parted curly or wavy hair. Other Glori variations have blue eyes or no bangs. Dale is an African-American doll with brown eyes and a black bubble cut hairdo, very popular in that era. Dale variations include many different eye colors and different lip colors. My favorite Dale has the rare green eyes, so pretty!
The second wave of Dawn dolls in 1971 included three men: Gary, Ron and Van, plus Jessica the flight attendant and Longlocks with, you guessed it, long hair! Jessica had short side-parted blonde hair and Longlocks showed off her extra-long auburn center-parted hair that went below her waist.
Also in 1971, the Head to Toe Dawn dolls were introduced. These cuties had a short bubble cut hairstyle with bangs and came with wigs; a floor-length fall, a sausage-curled ponytail, and a long braid. Head to Toe dolls became so popular that in the following year, 1972, Head to Toe Angie and Head to Toe Longlocks were introduced. These dolls were inspired by Crissy and Velvet dolls who had hair that "grew" from the tops of their heads. I had Crissy and loved playing with her hair!
The Dancing Dawn dolls were a hit in 1971. You could move their arm and the doll's head and waist would twist, appearing to dance. Almost every fashion on a Dancing Doll is trimmed with fringe or a chain that would swing while she danced. Dancing Dawn dolls came in Dawn, Angie, Glori, Dale, Longlocks and Jessica. Dawn's Dance Party set featured Fancy Feet Dawn, another set with her boyfriend Kevin, and the third - Dawn's Double Dance Party with both Fancy Feet Dawn and Kevin. The stage was battery-operated and had a handle of the side so the doll could move around on the stage.
1971 Flower Fantasy dolls are hard to find so mint in box dolls are highly sought after by collectors today. I have one in my collection that is so pretty. There were four styles; a yellow pot with red flowers, pink pot with pink roses, blue pot with orange and yellow flowers and a pink pot with purple flowers (the one I have). Only Dawn dolls accompanied the flowers, not any of her friends.
Competitor Mattel produced Rock Flower dolls in response to Dawn dolls' popularity, but they came nowhere near Dawn doll sales. In 1972, England's Palitoy produced Pippa, another pocket-sized doll who looked shockingly similar to Dawn. Some refer to her as Dawn's British cousin! They produced over 30 different Pippa and friends. Her first three friends were Marie, Tammie, and Britt. To reflect Britain's diverse ethnic population, Pippa later had an Asian friend named Jasmine and an African-American girlfriend, Mandy. More friends were added to the line - Gail (she looks like a small Malibu Barbie!), Emma, Rosemary, Penny and boyfriend Pete. The Pippa line outlived Dawn by seven years.
Dawn had a plethora of other fun play sets too. The most popular set was 1970's Dawn's Fashion Show. Dawn and her friends sashayed down the battery-operated revolving stage. The girls could practice modeling the latest fashions on the runway. Dawn had an aqua Action Car that could do turns. Dawn's Beauty Parlor play set kept Dawn looking her best. Dawn also had a Music Box and the Dawn 'N Me Pocketbook which was a purse with a long gold shoulder chain. If Dawn was inserted correctly, her head peeked out from a sliding window on the front.
Dawn introduced 8 new play sets in 1971: Dawn's Beauty Pageant which allowed the dolls to walk the runway, turn, and walk back along the other side. Also introduced was the DeLuxe Beauty Pageant (added a gold cape and Gary doll dressed in a tux), Dawn's Dance Party (3 versions), Dawn's Dress Shop, Dawn's Floral Stand, and Dawn's New Car in hot pink with flowers.
The last run of Dawn dolls was in 1972 which introduced two collections - the Majorette Dawn dolls and the Dawn Modeling Agency dolls. The Majorettes included Dawn, Kip and Connie (originally named April). The bodies were made with a set of hard plastic arms that would stay straight and help the doll twirl her glow-in-the-dark baton. Maybe these dolls inspired me to be a Twinkie Twirler back in the day haha!
The other collection that debuted in 1972 were the Dawn Modeling Agency dolls - these are among my favorites. There were five different dolls with unique hairstyles and fancy clothes that oozed glamour. Each model came with an evening bag, jewelry and a plastic portfolio that was color-coordinated to match their outfit. Each portfolio held a strip of 6 black and white photos of the model.
Daphne is a redhead with her hair in a pony with two sausage curls. Denise is a blonde with her hair in a bun on the top of her head. Dinah is a platinum blonde doll with two long braids tied with pink ribbons. Maureen is a side-parted brunette with a curled ponytail on the right side of her head, tied with a gold ribbon. The final Modeling Agency doll is Melanie, a dark brunette with a curled ponytail on the back of her head. I've been able to collect all of the Modeling Agency dolls in excellent condition!
Initially, Dawn dolls were very popular because Topper invested heavily in TV advertising, the dolls were easy for retailers to display, while the low price attracted the consumer. Also, at this time, Barbie sales weren't doing that great. She was suffering from an identity crisis and her quality wasn't as good as earlier years. Think Malibu Barbie vs Twist 'n Turn Barbie!
Sadly, Dawn Dolls were discontinued in 1973. They had a good run for a few years anyway! Dawn's popularity was short-lived because Topper went bankrupt in 1973 and they were not able to innovate such a small doll.
Checkerboard Toys reissued the dolls in 2000 making reproductions of Dawn, Glori, Angie and Dale as a 30th year anniversary commemoration. Checkerboard also released three new dolls in addition to Dawn, red-head Shannon (aka Maura), brunette Macy, and and African-American Denise in a line called Fab Fashions Fun. Their catchphrase was, "It's Groovy to be a Girl!" Then there were the Karma Cool Dawn dolls (Dawn, Denise and Macy but Shannon must have left town haha). They had super-long hair with colorful streaks. Dawn, Macy and Denise also came out in Go 'n Glo versions. Checkerboard produced other Dawn dolls too; bridal and holiday dolls, and special edition dolls like Totally Golden Macy and Seriously Silver Dawn dolls (photo from my collection). The dolls didn't really catch on and, due to a lagging economy, Checkerboard made its last Dawn dolls in 2003. Toy-O-Rama (the re-organized Checkerboard Toys) tried to revive the Dawn dolls in 2004 by repackaging the liquidated Checkerboard dolls but it was short-lived.
The advent of eBay catapulted Topper Dawn back into the consciousness of the youngest Baby Boomers and the oldest Gen Xers, referred to as Generation Jones (that would be me!). The Gen Jones are born from 1954 to 1967 and became the target market for Dawn dolls.
If you love Dawn and collecting her, there are many groups on Facebook - just search on Topper Dawn Dolls. There is also an annual Dawn Doll Convention! Check out this awesome site, Who is Dawn Anyway, for Dawn doll identifications.
Which were your favorite Dawn Dolls?! Would love to hear from you.
Sources: Topper's Dawn Dolls The Ultimate Guide by Benita Schwartz 2009 (best Dawn reference book!), The Dawn Spot, A Little Bling and The Spruce
#dawn #angie #dale #glori #dawndoll #vintagedawn #70sdawn #dancingdawn #headtotoe #longlocks #jessica #flowerfantasy #modelingagency #fancyfeet #daphne #melanie #maureen #denise #70sdolls #majorettes #kip #pippa #topper
1974’s Yellowstone Kelley (#7808) was one of my favorite Barbies to play with as a young girl. I loved her tan, her cute pink lips and pretty red, shiny hair! She remains a difficult doll to acquire. In fact, I’m on the hunt for one! Mattel used the very popular Steffie head mold for Kelley. She came with blue and white striped camping shorts and pants, a red and white dotted shirt and adorable knee-high socks with sneakers. Kelley also came equipped with lots of fun gear to go on her camping adventures; a backpack, yellow sleeping bag, camping mattress, camp stove, cooking utensils, pots and pans and a brush and comb because a girl can only “rough it” so much!
Barbie dolls in 1974 were a shout-out to sports and physical activity. With the ‘76 Olympics just two years away and sports more popular than ever, Mattel created a Barbie sport series called the Sports Set. These dolls camped, sailed and skied their way into the hearts of children. There were only four sets of these active teens made; sailing Newport Barbie, skiing Sun Valley Barbie and Ken and camping Yellowstone Kelley. She was the only “new” doll in this line, as Sun Valley Barbie and Ken and Newport Barbie were 1973 Malibu dolls just dressed in sports fashions (sneaky!).
Barbie’s clothing in 1974 was influenced by the economic times and were less elaborate, featuring theBest Buy Barbie Fashions. Depends on who you ask, but many think 1974 was the last year of the “Mod” Barbie. I could also see it as 1972 or ‘73 when you consider their hairstyles and fashions. What do you think?
So dolls… does anyone have a Yellowstone Kelley for sale? I’d love to add her to my ah-mazing Barbie collection!
1972 Yellowstone Kelley (#7808)
#kelleybarbie #70skelley #yellowstonekelley #yellowstonebarbie #kelleydoll #70sbarbies
Barbie gained a new friend in 1972, Steffie. She had a gorgeous new head mold that has been used for numerous Barbie family dolls over the years. Walk Lively Steffie was brunette with brown eyes and had pretty rooted lashes. She came dressed in a pink and white print jumpsuit with a sheer pink scarf and red pilgrim shoes. What made Steffie unique is that when she is placed on her walk 'n turn stand and pushed along, her arms and legs move back and forth as her head looks from side to side! Walk Lively Barbie (#1182) and Walk Lively Ken (#1184) were also produced that same year in '72.
Barbie's vibe changed in the early 70s and this was considered the era of "action," whether it was talking, walking or carrying accessories. This new level of articulation allowed Barbie to pose in a more realistic fashion. The Live Action dolls could dance, Busy Steffie could grab things with her newly-designed hands and this Walk Lively Steffie could strut her stuff!
Moving bodies, extending hair, and a kissing mechanism were some of the added actions Mattel developed for Barbie dolls and her friends in the 70s. More examples of Barbies that could do things are Dramatic New Living Barbie, Barbie with Growin' Pretty Hair and Quick Curl Barbie.
Some considered these types of Barbie dolls gimmicky and, I have to admit, I much prefer the dolls produced before the action era. They seemed to be of better quality and the fashions were much cooler! I love, love, loved the 1969 Fab Fur #1493 (fake fur, of course, Barbie loved animals!), and 1969's Golden Groove with gold boots #1593.
What are your fav Mod Barbie fashions?
#walklivelysteffie #steffiedoll #walklivelybarbie #70sbarbies
Francie Fairchild was a fashion doll issued by Mattel from 1966 to 1976 and re-introduced in 2011. Marketed as "Barbie's MODern cousin", the doll had an amazing line of "mod"-style clothing. Her fashions highlighted bright colors and geometric patterns similar to fashions associated with London's swinging Carnaby Street in the late 1960s. At 11¼ inches tall, Francie was shorter than Barbie, but taller than Barbie's little sister Skipper, making the character presumably between the two in age.
In the late 60s, Mattel wanted their Barbie line to better reflect the times. However, fearful of losing their core customer base, Mattel decided to produce a "test" doll first, and introduced Francie in 1966. She featured a body reflecting that of a young teen, with a flip hairdo, rooted lashes and a slight figure. Some believe that the Francie doll may have been based on the character "Gidget", whose real name was Frances Lawrence (sometimes called Francie). Francie was such a smash hit that she led the way for Barbie's makeover and MOD debut in 1967.
Francie came in several models over her decade-long run, beginning with a straight leg model (1966–1968) who came in a red and white swimsuit and a "bend leg" doll (1966–1967) who was dressed in a geometric print swimsuit. "Twist 'N Turn" Francie was issued in 1967 and she could twist at the waist. She wore a striped one-piece swimsuit with pink bottoms. These three versions looked very similar. Then Francie was updated in 1969 with a short flip hairstyle and again in 1971 in a no-bangs hairstyle. All of these dolls were available in blonde or brunette and had rooted lashes, except for the straight leg dolls, who had painted lashes.
In the 1970s, several hair-related variations of the Francie doll were issued: a blonde "Hair Happenin's Francie" (1970–1972), a blonde "Growin' Pretty Hair" Francie (1971–1973); and a brunette "Quick Curl Francie" (1973–1974). A tanned version, "Malibu Francie", was produced from 1971 to 1976 with blonde hair and blue eyes. She used the Casey head mold. "Busy Francie" (1972–1973) was a blonde doll designed with a hand that was able to grip small objects. 1975's brunette "Baggie Francie", so called because she was sold in a clear plastic bag as opposed to a box, was the last of the Francie dolls produced.
This photo is of my 1970 Hair Happenin's Francie in the hard-to-find 1973 Best Buy Fashion #8644. She has a twist and turn waist, bendable knees, short blonde hair with bangs and a blue ribbon headband (my doll is missing the headband). She comes with four extra blonde hair pieces: Mini Curls, a topknot with large curls; Swingy Swirl, double flip curls on headband with an orange ribbon; Twisty Twirls, a braid on a headband with two banana curls and pink yarn bows and, lastly, Fluffy Whirl, a green riccon headband with short curls. Hair Happenin's Francie comes dressed in a blue dress with white crochet trim and aqua low heel shoes. The 1970 version has straighter hair while the 1971 and 1972 models have fluffier hair and paler lips.
"Black Francie", first issued in 1967, was the first doll in the Mattel line with a dark complexion. But, the doll did not have stereotypical African American features, since it was made with the same head molds as the white Francie doll. Because of this, a doll named Christie, first issued in 1968, is often considered the first true African American doll in the Barbie line.
A German variation of Francie (1972) was made with a different head mold, but the same body type as her US counterparts. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed German Francie was sold only in Germany and was only produced as a standard doll and a "Busy" variation.
There are also Japanese variations of Francie and she was hugely popular in Japan. Japanese Francie and her exclusive fashions are the most valuable and sought after items amongst collectors. The rarest of all the Francie dolls is the Japanese Sun Sun Malibu Francie. She is a Malibu Francie with a deep suntan, and uses the original Francie head mold with rooted lashes and long brunette, side-parted hair. American-issued Francies used the Casey head mold, with blue eyes and blonde side-parted hair with no rooted lashes. The Japanese Francie dolls were produced in a very limited quantity so command a price of up to $4,000!
Francie has been reproduced by Mattel three times: in 1996, as a brunette bend leg doll with a reproduction swimsuit and Gad-Abouts outfit; in 1997, as Black Francie (limited to 5,000 dolls) wearing a reproduction of The Wild Bunch; and in 2005, as a blonde, no-bangs Francie, wearing a reproduction of Smashin' Satin.
Which Francie is your favorite?! Would love to hear from you, dolls!
Article source: Wikipedia 2014
#hairhappeninsfrancie #hairhappeninsbarbie #franciebarbie #70sfrancie #franciedoll #vintagefrancie #modfrancie
Twist 'n Turn Barbie (#1160), also known as TNT Barbie, debuted in 1967. The 1965 American Girl Barbie doll was the first with bendable legs, but TNT Barbie was the first who could turn at the waist! She was a dynamite addition to the prior static dolls who didn’t twist. A pivoting waist added playtime fun and more pose options. She wore a salmon-colored bikini featuring a groovy net cover-up, and she kept the red fingernail and toenail polish that were a hallmark of earlier Barbie dolls. Check out her 1967 commercial!
In response to rapidly changing styles and ideals of beauty, the Barbie face of 1959 wasn't relevant for the mod fashions dominating the fashion runways. Mattel's designers re-launched Barbie with a brand new look. Now featuring long, rooted eyelashes and a more youthful face, TNT Barbie was given a trendy hairstyle of straight chest-length hair with bangs. TNT Barbie’s new rooted lashes made her eyes as dramatic as those of Twiggy, the famous 60s British model. Mattel also made a Twiggy Barbie doll in 1967, its first doll based on a real person.
The TNT doll's flowing straight locks got a boost in color and, for the first time, her super-shiny hair was given a description. Hair wasn't just blonde, brunette or titian (red). That wasn’t fashion-forward enough for a model! Now her hair came in Sun Kissed (light blonde), Summer Sand (grayish blonde - which I have in my collection, see side photo), Red/Titian (rare), Platinum (rare), Go Go Co Co (brownette), and Chocolate Bon Bon (dark brown).
In an interesting marketing move, Mattel initiated a trade-in promotion for the popular TNT Barbie. Mattel promised children they could exchange any old doll and pay $1.50 to acquire the all-new Twist 'n Turn Barbie. The trade-in dolls (#1162) were identical to regular TNTs, but they sealed in a plastic bag and packaged in a slim pink box.
There's no doubt this was a turning point doll for Mattel. It was a departure from the doll's earlier more staunch, proper look. Pop culture strongly influenced Barbie doll fashions and attitude, which continued throughout Barbie history. The movin' groovin' world of the late '60s, with its mod haircuts, micro-minis, and moon boots, inspired Mattel designers to create a new line of clothes for Barbie and her teenage friends.
Sources: The Best of Barbie, Sharon Korbeck 2001; Barbie Doll Photo Album 1959 to 2009, J. Michael Augustyniak 2010
#tntbarbie #tnt #twistnturnbarbie #twistnturn #1967barbie #1968barbie #60sbarbie
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!
#barbiedreamhouse #vintagebarbiedreamhouse #barbiehouses #barbielivelylivinhouse #barbieliveactionhouse #barbiemountainskicabin #franciecaseyhouse #barbiedollfashionshop #barbiehousemate #70sbarbiehouses
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