Monday, June 23, 2014

Barbie of the Month: Julia

Julia, the second doll in the Barbie line to be fashioned after a real live person, debuted in 1969.


This pretty lady was based on Diahann Carroll’s character from the NBC television comedy show “Julia”, a nurse and single widowed mother living in Los Angeles working and raising her young son Corey.  She was the first African-American actress to star in her own television show.  The popular sitcom ran from September 1968 to March 1971.

Julia, the T.V. Show

Julia (stock #1127) came with a twist ‘n turn body, bendable legs, rooted eyelashes, and was made from the same head mold as Christie. 

Julia dressed in her two piece nurses uniform (1969)

In 1969 the talking version of Julia (stock #1128) was also released.  She had bendable legs and rooted eyelashes as well.  To hear her talk, simply pull on her string on the back of her neck, and the voice that would speak back to you would be that of Diahann Carroll. 

Talking Julia (1971)

Twist n’ Turn Julia came dressed in a two piece nurses uniform, white panties, matching hat, and wore white pilgrim shoes.  In 1970 her uniform changed to a one-piece style dress.  

1969 Julia  and 1970 Julia

Talking Julia wore the same outfit the entire time she was on the market. It was a one piece flashy glittery gold and silver jumpsuit with matching attached belt and hard to find glittery gold open toe heels.

Julia’s hair style remained the same until 1971.  The twist-n- turn dolls all had short black straight hair, which sometimes oxidizes to a pretty red color.  The talking dolls released in 1969 and 1970 had the same straight hair too.  In 1971 Talking Julia’s hair changed to a fuller curly cut, and her skin tone was darker as well. 

1969 - 1970 Talking Julia and 1971 Talking Julia

Julia was the same size as Barbie, so she shared her entire wardrobe.  She did have four outfits that were exclusively made for her; #1751 Leather Weather, #1752 Brrr-Furr (which came in lime green or the hard to find red variation), #1753 candlelight Capers, and #1754 Pink Fantasy.  All of these were available from 1969-1970.

Leather Weater, Brr-Furr (2 colors), Candlelight capers and Pink Fantasy

Julia only had one gift set, a Sears exclusive called “Simply Wow” (stock #1594) which was released in 1969. The boxed set included a Talking Julia doll dressed in her original outfit, a blue knit dress with white satin bodice that had a six tier gold braided trim at the waist. There is one layer of trim around the neckline too.  A matching blue waist length jacket with gold trim and blue chunky heels completed the set.  The set originally sold for 9.99 in the Sears Catalog.

Simply Wow Gift set

40 years later in 2009, a reproduction of the first 1969 TNT version was released in honor of Barbie’s 50th anniversary.  

2009 Reproduction Julia

Celebrity dolls continue to be a popular item with collectors, and there are new ones added to the Mattel family of Barbie’s quite often.  

Happy Hunting!

1 comment:

  1. A lovely and interesting report. Julia is a sharming doll. Best regards.


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