Saturday, January 11, 2014

Barbie's Adventures: Disneyland

Barbie recently visited the happiest place on earth; Disneyland, in Southern California.  She went in late Fall, which was a perfect time to go.  There were far less crowds, and the weather was pleasantly warm. 

Famous photo spot just as you enter the park
Barbie went dressed in a 1990 “modified” Heart Family outfit which was released for Disney’s 35th anniversary.  When looking for the right clothes for her trip, I had searched my daughter’s old Barbie dolls and there it was. Disney Heart Family set, used, but completely intact.  I added a navy blue mini skirt to update the outfit, and she was off on her adventure.    

 Vintage doll and 35th Anniversary Doll (1990)

Once at the park, besides all the amusing rides, tasty food, and entertaining performers, Barbie found some fascinating hidden gems that most people don’t realize are there. 

Disneyland had its grand opening on the afternoon of July 17, 1955, to invited guests and media only.  The park only had eighteen attractions at the time, and many think that the Matterhorn Bobsleds were one of the original attractions.  In reality, the first “thrill” ride didn’t open until 1959, the exact same year Barbie debuted.  

The structure has had several modifications throughout the years, but the 147 foot tall mountain still remains one of the most popular rides in the park.  The first tubular steel track coaster in the world zigzags throughout the bottom two-thirds of Matterhorn Mountain.  The top one third of the mountain houses a basketball court, which was built for Disney employees to use! 


Matterhorn Mountain (1st thrill ride at Disneyland)

When you arrive at Disneyland, you first walk down picturesque Main Street.  It was built as a replica of Walt Disney’s childhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri.  You will even smell the scent of vanilla most of the year, except at Christmastime when it changes to peppermint!

Walt Disney also wanted his family dog Lady somewhere in the park.  You can find that famous pooch inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.  He is the medium-size mixed breed poodle holding the keys in his mouth guarding the jail cells, as you approach the end of the ride.  I knew I would have liked that man!

Pirates of the Caribbean

As you stroll through New Orleans square you will come upon a door that has the number 33 next to it.  This is Club 33, which is a VIP private club with a very long waiting list (years), as well as very expensive initiation and annual fees.  Many celebrities and other distinguished guests have frequented the place. It’s the only establishment in Disneyland that serves alcohol.  However, alcohol is served at California Adventure, which is another Disney theme park.  It is a lot of fun and right next 
New Orleans Square

Club 33

The Disneyland Fire Department, which is located on Main Street’s Town Square, is one of the original attractions from 1955.  Inside there is wonderful memorabilia, such as the old horse drawn fire wagon that was used during the first 5 years, taking guests up and down Main Street.  Also since opening day in 1955, the Disneyland barbershop quartet still performs several times each day in front of the station.  Above the fire department there is a small apartment where Walt Disney would stay when he visited the park. If the light was on, that meant he was on site.  Today, since his death, it remains on all the time.


Disneyland Fire Department

The last little tidbit of information that you might find interesting as you stroll the streets of this happy place is in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, on your way to Fantasy Land.  Look down at the floor and find the spike. It marks the exact center of the park (well, that was until Mickey’s Toon Town was built!).

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Spike in the floor in Sleeping Beauty's Castle

If you’re looking for some vintage Disney clothing for your dolls, you’ll have to look past the vintage years to the 1980’s and 1990’s and beyond.  For some reason, Barbie and Disney didn’t team up until then.  In 2005, for Disneyland’s Golden anniversary, the “Barbie Then and Now” doll debuted.  The 1955 “Then” doll was dressed in a “Mouseketeers” outfit, which is the outfit that was worn on The Mickey Mouse Club that premiered in 1955.    

2005 Disneyland's 50th Anniversary "Then and Now" doll

Barbie loves Disneyland and if you have never visited, be sure to add it to your bucket list.  You’ll be glad you did!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Barbie of the Month: Twist 'N Turn Trade-In Barbie

In 1967 the ever so popular #1162 Twist ’n Turn Trade-In Barbie was one of Mattel’s most successful Barbie Doll promotions of all time!   

#1162 Barbie
Barbie underwent a total make-over for this rollout.  She had a brand new head mold, her waist could twist and turn, she had long rooted eyelashes, and beautiful long uneven cut hair with a few side pieces that were pulled to the top of her head to form a tiny ponytail. She also had a softer pink skin tone to her body.
Here's my #1162 TNT Trade-In Barbie Doll
with her box that has the gold sticker that reads
"Special Introductory Price"

Mattel’s ad campaign was very effective, which was mostly due to the television ad that starred Maureen McCormick, who later played Marsha Brady on the Brady Bunch television show (1969-1974). In just the first month (May 1967), there were 1,250,000 dolls that were traded-in during the promotion.  All the old dolls that Mattel received were given to charity.  It makes you wonder how many number 1 and 2 ponytail dolls were in the bunch!

1967 Television Ad

Magazine Ad from Family Circle Magazine (1967)
To acquire this new mod Barbie doll, all you had to do was take your old Barbie doll, in any condition, to a participating toy store along with $1.50 (which was half the price of a new doll at the time).  In exchange, you would be handed the new mod Twist ‘n Turn Barbie doll in the hair color of your choice; Sun Kissed (light blonde), Summer Sand (ash blond), Chocolate Bon Bon (dark brown) or Go Go Co Co (Light Brown).  Even though these dolls had cool names for their hair colors, the boxes were marked with the actual humdrum hair color name.
The mark on her bottom reads: ‘©1966 Mattel, Inc./U.S. Patented/U.S. Pat Pend. Made in Japan’.  It’s important to note that some of the dolls have “Made in Japan” all on one line.

Here's another one of my pretty Trade-In Dolls
Barbie came wearing a salmon two-piece swim suit made of a vinyl type material with a one-piece swimsuit, which was white cloth netting trimmed in salmon that went over the top. She wore a matching salmon colored hair ribbon in her hair.  On her wrist was the official Barbie wrist tag.  A paper fashion booklet titled “The World of Barbie Fashions” was included as well.  She was packaged in a sealed plastic bag and she and all of the items listed came inside the official Trade-In box. The #1162 and the #1160 model dolls are identical, except for their box, and the #1162 trade-in doll did not come with the X stand that can be flipped over and used as a chair.

Notice the hair color on the end flap of the box

Today, there is some controversy around some of the rare, unusual hair colors that can be found on these dolls, such as titian, eggplant, champagne, and platinum.  Some of the dolls with these uncommon hair colors have simply changed over time from their original color which was caused by oxidization.  But I believe Mattel added some to the mix, either as a prototype, or just for fun!

 This TNT has the Platinum/Silver Hair Color
This was and still is one of my favorite Barbie dolls of all time.  Being one of the lucky girls who traded in one of my old dolls for the pretty new and up-to-date mod Barbie is reminiscent of my childhood, and is a very special memory for me.

Happy Hunting!