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Evening Commercial: Barbie 50s vs. 60s | The Bleat.

Before the era of groovy, straight out of the age of nice: Barbie and Ken, frozen forever in a mocking dance of amour de plastique.

Then came the time of the mod people, and the message went out to all the land: be swinging, even the smallest of thy numbers shall be filled with the spirit of hip. Thou shalt not be swingin’, as that was the word of thy fathers. Thou shalt swing in the London sense, as a pendulum do:

 

15 Responses to Evening Commercial: Barbie 50s vs. 60s

  1. JDB says:

    “Swell” and “Groovy”. Later, Barbie got back. That was phat.

  2. Kim says:

    Those were the days. You had ONE Barbie and ONE Ken and bought them clothes. Now you have to buy the entire doll to get the outfits. I must have a box of 100 Barbies bought over the years.

    I still have my original I got when I was four, circa 1961, with a vintage nurse outfit for which I paid an exorbitant amount on eBay!

  3. jrt says:

    Long time listener, first time caller.

    I love the Roger Miller reference. Even though it makes me feel old-ish.

  4. barkingmad59 says:

    Showing my age here a bit…ah, man, the days when we’d take our dolls and just *play*. It’s sad that play so often anymore means sitting down to the DS or the DVD player. Nothing wrong with either, but c’mon- it’s nice to be able to tell your own stories, not just observe someone else’s.

    Great clips, thanks for posting them.

    (48 year old woman who still enjoys dolls, and has her first two Barbies as well :) )

  5. ak13820 says:

    I had that first Barbie, only with black hair. And I had the striped one-piece bathing suit. Barbie was supposed to be a co-ed, but she looked like she was about 40. Later, when I got the mod Barbies, Malibu Barbies, etc., I used my original Barbie as the mother of the group.

    I have to stop myself from buying vintage Barbies online. What am I going to do–play with them on the living room floor? But the outfits are so cool.

  6. Al Federber says:

    Somebody with a lot of time on their hands could use the narration from the early Barbie & Ken commercial for their own modern video of how Ken & Barbie might be today. “Frat parties” alone offers many posing possibilities, most of them R or X-rated, I’m afraid.

  7. DryOwlTacos says:

    Anybody remember Midge, Barbie’s BFF? She was my first fashion doll in the early 60s, and I liked her a lot better because she had freckles and didn’t trowel on the makeup like Barbie. My mother made a few outfits for her–you could actually buy patterns for them–but I had a few “boughten” ones, including the Stewardess.

    My favorite accessory was the Barbie Dream House, a clever crib of creased corrugate, that came as a handy suitcase-size rectangle and unfolded into four furnished rooms. Wish I still had all this stuff. Who knew someone would invent eBay?

  8. Ross says:

    “…and somehow, she knew that she and Ken would be going together.”
    Somehow? Since “the girl is alway less nervous about prom night, since she already knows hows it will end”, a supposedly handsome & famously glamorous female character saying _that_ to herself is a little schizo. Forget the complaints of body-image damage, Kreskin himself won’t be able to figure out what a girl raised on that sort of twaddle wants…

  9. Garry says:

    Just before they show the close-up of Ken’s hand tag(0:42), it sure looks like he’s holding a bottle of Rye whiskey and lookin’ for action.

  10. Patty D. says:

    My girls (ages 8 and 4) will play Barbies on the living room floor, she said just a mite proudly.

    Imaginative play hasn’t completely disappeared, thank God.

  11. George says:

    Poor Ken looks so uncomfortable and bored. “Oh, why can’t I be out killing sharks with G.I. Joe?”

  12. Kev says:

    Re Ken’s arm tag, showing that he’s an “authentic” version: Were there really cheap Chinese knockoffs all the way back then?

  13. Seattle_Dave says:

    Ken was in a fraternity? I find that hard to believe. I wonder which one.

  14. Andre says:

    Nothing quite says “mod” like a granny gown.

  15. Nice approach,: “Evening Commercial: Barbie 50s vs. 60s”. Added to my feed Thanks for the good times reading your blog ~girls clothes

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