Before Bratz and Monster High, there was Barbie! She was the most popular toy in the world, with her iconic blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. Barbie could be anything you wanted her to be, from a popstar to flight attendant to mermaid to doctor! She also came in a number of ethnicities, and had various friends and family members you could purchase to enhance the way you played with her. We’re going take a look at our favourite childhood playsets and spend a bit of time reminiscing about the joy this doll brought us! How many can you check off this list?
Costume Ball Barbie
Barbara Millicent Roberts arrived into the 90s in the most glamorous way possible, wearing a beautiful pink masquerade ballgown. The set came with 3 possible outfits, and a matching mask big enough for you to wear!
Ski Fun Barbie
Only Barbie could get away with wearing a multi-colored neon jacket and matching skis! Many of us probably remember struggling to find a suitable surface to to ski on…
Baywatch Barbie & Ken
1994 was all about beautiful lifeguards running around on the beach, so it was only right that Barbie got in on the action! The doll came with a noisy electronic dolphin which, unfortunately, wasn’t as waterproof as the commercials suggested.
Potty Training Kelly
In 1995, Mattel introduced Barbie’s little sister Kelly (though many of us confused her for a daughter at first). She was known as Shelly in Europe, and later renamed to Chelsea worldwide to appear more modern.
This was the first doll to have a soft body so that you could sleep with her comfortably. When you washed her eyes with warm water, they would turn purple to mimic closed eyelids. It’s only now we’re grown up we realise how creepy this doll actually was!
Move over stiff, awkward doll! In 1995, it was all about the flexibility. She could bend, twist, and even do the splits. Her cute leotard (sporting the same neon pattern Mattel seemed to love so much) made us all want to become more athletic.
If you had Gymnast Barbie, there’s a very good chance you had (or at least begged your parents for) Gymnast Stacie. Barbie’s other little sister was the one we related to most because she was ‘our age’! Her pink starry gym outfit was just adorable.
Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie
In 1995, Barbie impressed us all by growing a tail and became a mermaid. Not just any mermaid, but a sparkly, queen mermaid! Any child who was lucky enough to be bought this doll would have enjoyed clipping velcro stars to both the dolls and their own hair! Only trouble was, they always got stuck!!
Shaving Fun Ken
In the mid-nineties, Mattel decided Ken needed a more mature look. What we didn’t know at the time was that this particular doll caused a lot of controversy in the ‘adult world’ for teaching an audience of (primarily) young girls how to shave a grown man’s face!
She was no ordinary teacher. She was a COOL teacher with a rockin’ party dress! How many of us couldn’t wait to finish ‘real’ school so we could go to doll school with a magical talking chalkboard?
Songbird Barbie & Great Date Ken
In 1996, Barbie decided that teaching wasn’t for her and she adopted a new talent in 1996 – balancing a plastic songbird on her hand! Poor Ken didn’t have a talent, but one thing’s for certain; he has a lot to live up to with that name!
Splash ‘N Color/Miami Barbie & Teresa
Barbie soon realised that Malibu was so 1971, so she jetted off to Miami with her best friend Teresa. The best part about these dolls was that their braids changed colour in warm and cold water. Whoever designed this must tell us the secret now, since we’ve been dying our hair the hard way for years!
Bead Blast Barbie
Everyone loved the idea of Bead Blast Barbie when she first came out. Who wouldn’t want to spell out words in a doll’s hair? But she soon became frustrating when you realized you could never get the beads to stay in right, and then you’d find your bedroom covered in tiny little letters!
This playset had it all! First of all, the doll actually talks to her little patient, who actually comes included with the set. Then, when you the back of the chair, it makes gurgling and brushing noises! It’s like we’re at the dentist ourselves!!
Extreme Green Teen Skipper
Skipper was the sister we all admired because she didn’t play by the rules. While Barbie was off saving lives and attending masquerade balls, Skipper was brushing green streaks through her hair! Who got told off by their parents when you tried to go to school with bright green highlights?
We finish off the 90s with a new era of dolls – the Generations Girls! Each of these dolls had their own talent, whether it was painting, skateboarding or playing guitar. These dolls lead the way for future brands such as Bratz and MyScene due to their different personalities and looks!