Friday, January 8, 2016

Barbie of the Month: Dramatic Living Barbie

In 1970, Mattel introduced the first fully posable Barbie doll and named her (#1116) Dramatic New Living Barbie. 

Dramatic Living Barbie

The Dramatic New Living Barbie was amazing!   She could tilt her head, bend her knees, rotate her wrists, had posable ankles (so she could wear flats and heels), could bend her elbows, swing her arms up and out, and swivel at the waist with this brand new style body!  With her posable legs, she could even do the splits!  She was available with blonde, brunette or red hair, and had real eyelashes.  She wore a beautiful gold metallic one piece swim suit with an orange fishnet cover-up that was trimmed in gold.

Dramatic Living Barbie (1970)

In 1971 her name was shortened to the "Dramatic Living Barbie" (they dropped the word "new" from the name on the box).  She was packaged in a new style box, and dressed in a polka-dotted swim suit with matching long wrap.

1971 Dramatic Living Barbie (front and back side of box)

Besides the swim suit variations, the two dolls had one other distinct difference.  In 1970 Barbie had side glanced eyes, and in 1971 her blue eyes were center glanced. 

Side glanced eyes (1970) and center glanced eyes (1971)

In the box was the doll, clear X stand, and fashion booklet.  Both the 1970 and 1971 dolls were marked:  ©1968 Mattel, Inc. U.S. & For Pat'd Other Pats.Pend. Taiwan

Fashion booklet and posing stand

In 1970 and 1971 Sears released an exclusive gifts set. The Sears Action Accents gift set came with a Dramatic Living Barbie doll.  There was another difference in this set.  The doll was marked with a "Japan" marking instead of the normal “Taiwan” mark.  She also had a deeper red hair color which was also slightly longer.  For detailed information on this set, click the link below:  

Sears Action Accents gift set Barbie Doll

In 1970 there was one other Dramatic Living Barbie released; Stock #1188, which exclusive to the Japanese Market.   For additional information on her, click the link provided:

#1188 Living Barbie Japan Exclusive

Here’s the original 1970 Barbie Commercial for the Living Barbie, starring Maureen McCormick:

This Dramatic Living Barbie doll is a must have in any mod Barbie collection!

Happy Hunting!


  1. OMG! I love this blog AND your website! It brings back so many wonderful memories. I can still imagine the smell of a new barbie - nothing like barbie plastic! The vintage barbies still give me a rush to this day!

  2. I entirely agree with unknown. I look forward to your blog every month, and am constantly referring to your website for clarification on things. Thank you so much for doing this.

    1. Thank you Lori for your kind words. It's very much appreciated.

  3. Living Barbie was very inexpensive in the '80s when I began to replace my childhood dolls - she was the last doll I purchased as a child and she's SOOO BEAUTIFUL! I have two different shades/textures of blonde along with a brunette and redhead. I set one pale Living Barbie's hair into a soft flip; so pretty, I wish I knew how to post a pic here.

    Now it seems collectors are really appreciating her. You really have to watch ebay sellers - I keep seeing this on different bodies and calling her an number of things, mostly a TNT! Great subject, thank you!


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