Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Barbie of the Month: #857 Mix 'N' Match Set

The beautiful #857 Barbie Mix ‘n Match Gift Set is one of the earliest gift sets available.  It debuted in 1960 and was re-issued in 1962.  In December I featured the #861 Barbie Mix ‘n Match Gift set that was released in 1963 with a Bubble Cut Barbie doll, which was an update to the magnificent set that I am highlighting today.

This is a lovely #5 ponytail from the 1962 set

1960 was the first year Barbie gift sets were available.  There were three sets that year, and all are incredible!  They were the #856 Party Set, #857 Mix ‘n Match set, and the #858 Barbie Trousseau set (which was a double set).  

Included in the #857 Mix ‘n Match set was a #3 or #4 ponytail Barbie doll, and everything Barbie needs to make 70 different combinations of fabulous outfits.  Barbie, dressed in her traditional striped swim suit and pearl stud earrings or gold hoop earrings, also had sunglasses and black open-toe heels.  These were packaged together with her pink booklet with her picture on the front. 

#857 Mix 'N' Match Set 

In 1962 the set was available again, but with a #5 or #6 ponytail Barbie doll.  In this almost identical set she wore the same striped swimsuit, but a gold Barbie wrist tag was added (when found with a number 6 ponytail, she is in the red swim-suit).  The 1962 pink booklet featured Barbie and Ken’s photograph on the front.

1960 and 1962 booklet included in the set

In 1960 and 1962 the outfits and partial outfits included in the set are all from the 900 series ensembles which are #919 Undergarments (bra and panties), #963 Resort Set (jacket, shorts, t-shirt, hat) #976 Sweater Girl (orange sweater top, matching cardigan sweater, gray flannel skirt), #975 Winter Holiday (leather coat, hooded tee-shirt, black knit pants,travel bag), #981 Busy Gal (red and white blouse), and #967 Picnic Set (jeans and red checked shirt).  There was also a crystal necklace and black pedestal or wire stand.

Interestingly, if you look at the Mattel catalog for these sets in 1960 and 1962, you’ll notice that in 1960 the photograph shows the blue checked #916 commuter set blouse rather than the red checked picnic blouse that the description below the picture describes, and what the set actually came with.  In 1962 Mattel corrected the catalog description of the set by describing these partial sets of clothing more clearly for the retailer to read (see picture and description below).

The 23 x 12 box is marked ©1959, 1960 Mattel, Inc, Hawthorne, Calif. Stock No 857 and originally retailed for $12.00.  Inside there is an attached plain white box which includes a box liner placed in the center of the larger box to fit Barbie.  Inside the larger box bottom is a yellow liner on which all the clothes and accessories were placed.

I love how the cover of the box stands up for display

I’ve wanted this hard to find early set for quite some time, and was ecstatic when I finally found it!  I hope you find your dream sets too.

Happy Hunting!   


  1. Love it! Recently found a 61 #5 blonde ponytail doll just like the one in the set. Even with the slightly shiny face she's wonderful!

  2. Hello, I just discovered your blog and I think it is fabulous. Your photos are very good and I love this barbie. I have the modern replica.
    I also collect barbie dolls, if you want to visit my blog I am in http:lasonrisamagica.blogspot.com

  3. Hello from Spain: I love this Barbie. The styles are fabulous .. We keep in tou


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