Fun Stuff

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: 

Same names

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

Barbie and 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.
Sensations' Becky was called BiBops' Bibi in Europe, while Bopsy changed name to ... Becky. Belinda remained in the US and instead a guy joined the group: Bobby, who was a copy of Jewel Secrets Ken with rooted brown hair but blue eyes (Ken had in that case rarely seen brown eyes). Is this confusing or what?

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. 
US Sensations Becky -> EU BiBops Bibi, US Sensations Bopsy -> EU BiBops Becky .... 

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
Kelly/Shelly has a few friends that have changed names too as crossing the oceans/borders. The first one is mentioned above. Melody that in the first three editions in Europe was sold as Susie. Her Asian friend Jenny came as Julie in the first version in Europe but she later kept her original name. In 2001 a couple of friends changed names. US Marisa was seen as Susie in Europe and Nia (who actually is AA!!) could be found as Tamera in Europe and Canada. Lovely redheaded Lorena was also seen as Maura in Europe and Canada and the black girl Tamika has been found with the name Tabitha

Generation Girls™ has been sold with both original names and new ones in Europe. 
Tori -> Susie, Lara -> Marie, Ana -> Marissa, Mari -> Mariko... 


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