Barbie doll wiki: Why were black Barbie dolls suddenly available?

Have you ever asked yourself why suddenly in 1980 black Barbie dolls became available? It seems that the year 1980 marked one turning point in the barbie world. The why is a really good question. I’m not 100% but I think I read in a book that a law was changed by the time of 1980 and it became possible for Mattel to produce black Barbie dolls that were called “Barbie” for the first time. Sadly I wasn’t able to find out the name of the law.

I’ve been searching on the internet for the correct information but I found nothing. The correct information is necessary I think. Anyway I don’t know if you realized it or not but before the black version of Barbie was called Christie. She’s a friend of Barbie, not Barbie herself.

In a way this is very astonishing since nobody ever thought of a black Barbie doll. That is at least my impression. What we should not forget is that she still had Caucasian features. In my opinion they are not 100% copies of their white sisters but they have a similarity of at least 70%. Of course the hair color is different. The make-up is different, adjusted to the skin tone. That’s not bad. In my eyes we got some very interesting variations through it. Let’s have for instance a look at Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie in the Caucasian version and the African-America version.

Not the only change in 1980

What we can see from the catalogs is that in 1980 the variety of Barbie dolls became much broader than it was before. Suddenly we saw an Asian Barbie doll and a Hispanic Barbie for the first time beside the black Barbie dolls. The range of products extended. We were introduced to the “Dolls of the world” line. Seen from a marketing point of view Mattel maybe now wanted to teach something.

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“Oriental Barbie”, lançada em 1980 pela Mattel. Sob o slogan “Meet the Barbie from Hong Kong, and learn about the orient”, essa pérola chinesa chegou quando a linha “Dolls Of The World”, começada em 1979, ainda estava engatinhando. O molde facial criado para ela foi posteriormente usado para uma das amigas da loira, mais conhecida como Kira. Com uma franja que é um pesadelo à parte, essa maravilhosa está toda original, faltando apenas o leque de papelão (veio sem, infelizmente), e o medalhão, que optei por não usar. #OrientalBarbie #HongKong #DollsOfTheWorld #BarbieAntiga #BarbieVintage #Barbie #Mattel #BonecaAntiga #BonecasAntigas #BrinquedoAntigo #BrinquedosAntigos #FashionDoll #VintageFashionDoll #Boneca #Bonecas #Brinquedo #Brinquedos #Vintage #Fashion #Doll #Dolls #Early80s #Anos80 #1980

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Guilherme J. Foti (@guifoti) am

What we can definitive say is that the 1980s were a decade of big variety concerning Barbie dolls. The Superstar Barbie was launched successfully in 1977 with a new head mold and maybe they wanted to enlarge the success by adding a variety of different Barbie dolls. Music became a very big topic in the Barbie world, not just as a listener but as a musician herself Barbie reinvented herself several times. Barbie and the Rockers sold well.

Seen from a point of view in 2019 the 80s are a very interesting decade for Barbie collectors. Again you find collectors who seek their childhood treasures, collectors who were not even born in that era, collectors who collect all decades and some specialized collectors (who e.g only collect the clothes from the 1980s). We find a big variety. It’s not just one topic like in the 1990s the hair- thing.

Finally complete

In the last weeks I had the chance to complete my  1977  Superstar Barbie doll. She came with her dress, earrings and her ring.  Back then when she was released with a dress, a boa, a pair of  pink Superstar shoes, earrings, a necklace and a ring.

Here are some pictures of the now completed outfit:

Welcome to Morocco!

I’m a fan of the “Dolls of the World” Collection that was produced in the 1980s and 1990s. I’m always interested in other cultures. They are so exiting. I already had several DOTW dolls from the 1990s that I bought back then. I liked them because their look was different in comparison to other Barbie dolls. I’m not such a big fan of traditional dresses but I liked most dresses that the DOTW dolls wore. I’m not informed if these dresses are 100% authentic or not but I think this topic is not so important.

As a German I would never wear a Traditional dress because to me they are not fashionable. It’s often hard to do trivial tasks in such a dress like going to cycle. I prefer to wear practical clothes. Nevertheless it doesn’t mean that I reject them completely. I really like Traditional dress for the DOTW because it’s a thing of understanding other cultures. Morocco has still something mystic… hard to explain… maybe the magic of the orient that fascinates me.

Morocco (clope up)

Dolls of the World Morocco

Superstar #1

Recently I bought the doll that gave a whole era its name. This doll is the very first issue of the Superstar Barbie. She was produced in 1977. The pink dress she was sold in has the disadvantage that the body and the dress fusion after a while. So it is advising to move the dress occasionally.  To tell you a positive aspect the fusion marks can be removed if the fusion process hasn’t progressed too far.

The doll you can see here is not complete. She lack the necklace, the pair of shoes and her pink boa.

Superstar #1 Barbie

Superstar #1 Babie cc

Superstar #1 Barbie in pink dress