Page 1 / Faces and names
Latest revision: July 20, 2003
|A few years ago I wrote
some articles in the Swedish Barbie club's then monthly
Newsletter where I made a reflection over Mattel's use of
names and facemolds for Barbie and her friends. I've
translated them for you to read and revised them for
today and it goes like this:
Barbie have through the years got a lot of friends and relatives, old friends with new faces or new friends with old faces. Some friends have stayed through the years, like Midge and Christie or the new Teresa and Kira / Marina. Others have come and gone. What many of these friends have in common is their names in different versions (spelling). Some names seems more popular than others and shows up in all kinds of shapes. Stacey is the first of them.
In the 60's Barbie had an English friend: Stacey. 1989 was Barbie's cousin Jazzie released and she had a black friend by the name Stacie with Steffie's face. 1991 the Roberts-family grew bigger with little Todd (who reappeared after many years' absence) and in 1992 his twin-sister Stacie came back (before called Tutti).
Quick Curl and Yellowstone Kelley was a redheaded and browneyed friend of Barbie in the early 70's. 1976 the Mattel Starr Group came out with a girl by the name Kelley (Starr and her group doesn't belong to Barbie's world but later Jazzie and her friends borrowed the bodies from them). 1991 Wedding Day Kelly & Todd came from Midge Wedding 1990, with a freckled blonde girl (Todd's face). The next Kelly that showed was in 1995 when Barbie got yet another little sister in Bedtime Kelly (Shelly in Europe).
In 1971 Barbie's cousin Francie got a new friend that never made it to production - Becky with Casey's face. Another Becky made her entrance on the rockstage in the 50's-inspired group The Sensations in 1988. She was of Asian origin. The next Becky that appeared was a little 2-yearold girl in Babysister Kelly's bunch of friends in 1996. In 1997 Barbie made a new friend, the disabled Share-a-Smile Becky with red hair and green eyes and Teen Skipper's face.
Beautiful Bride Tracy was a greeneyed brunette with Steffie's face and a very shortlived acquaintance - Barbie was invited to her wedding in 1983 before she disappeared on her honeymoon along with her husband Todd. The Starr Group had a member named Tracey, with the same face as Jazzie's redheaded highschoolfriend Chelsie in 1989. Another Chelsie came in 1996 - a redheaded little friend of babysister Kelly's. In the Generation Girl line a redheaded girl from England was also called Chelsie.
Beautiful Whitney (Steffie's face again) was one of Barbie's friends during the second half of the 80's and Whitney is the name of Stacie's redheaded friend since 1994.
Dance Club Kayla was released in 1990 with Diva's face and in 1994 a Locket Surprise Kayla showed with Teresa's features. In 1999 another little Kayla came to the playground, as a new friend of babysister Kelly's. In 2001 Barbie got yet a new friend with a a totally new facemold to the world of pink. She is a darkskinned Hispanic girl called Amazing Nails Kayla.
In 1997 Skipper got her first black friend, Teen Nikki and they shared facemolds while Barbie had an oriental animal-friend by the name Nikki in 1989. In 2001, Kelly gets a new blonde friend named Nikki.
Barbie had another oriental (actually a Native American) friend in the late 80's by the name Nia and in 1999 babysister Kelly got a new friend named Nia.
In the early '90s Shani and her friends were released and one of her friends name was Nichelle. When the Generation Girls came in 1999-2000 a new friend to Barbie's appeared. She was also called Nichelle but made with Asha's facemold. Asha was the other friend of Shani's.
Susie is a name with a special history in this Pink World. One of the first Li'l friends of Kelly's was named Melody in USA but when she was first released in Europe her name changed to Susie. A few years later when the Generation Girls came out USA got Tori but Europe once again changed the name to Susie (on some of them - you could also find Tori here). So in 2001 as USA got the Kelly Club kids, Marisa was sold in USA but in Europe she came as Susie. A blue haired Melody also came to life in 2003 as part of the 1 Modern Circle group of dolls made with a repro tnt Barbie head mold.
Sometimes one wishes that Mattel had a bit more fantasy when it comes to both names and different faces, and how they are used. When so many talented people work there they should be able to come up with more faces and names. Right?
Same Names 2
The Sensations was a 50's-inspired group in USA
in the late '80s. The group was Barbie as Lead Singer and
behind her The Sensation group: Becky
with oriental origin; Bopsy with
Diva/Midge's face and the AA Belinda
(Christie's face). In Europe the group looked different
and had another name: Barbie and The BiBops.
The members also had other names.
Change of Names, USA vs Europe
The name changes has always fascinated me and I often wonder why and how the minds work as so many names are reused and so many are changed as the characters cross the Atlantic. I have mentioned a few above and might repeat some of them here but not all.
The first doll I can recall changed name was the first Black Barbie© that was sold in Europe as Ebony Christie©. I guess Europe wasn't ready for any AA Barbie-dolls just yet and guess we hardly ever were as so very few has been sold here since.
Steven has joined the Pink Box crew in Europe too in 2002. The doll known as AA Concert Date Ken in USA was sold as Concert Date Steven in Europe!
The girls in the Sensations also
changed names when they toured Europe - see previous article.
In USA you could find Jewel Secrets Whitney in 1988 (?) while Europe got Princess Laura.
A few years later USA got Locket Surprise Kayla while Europe saw a lovely lady named Alexia.
The next namechange was when the
babysister Kelly arrived - In Europe she is known as Shelly.
Generation Girls™ has been sold
with both original names and new ones in Europe.
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