Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Love her or hate her

So here's the thing.  Barbie... she's maybe not that good for girls.  I know, I get it.  And I don't particularly care for her.  Now.  But when I was a kid, she was a great outlet for a vivid imagination.  The weeds along the fence in the back yard were a vast jungle.  The bathroom sink was a huge luxury Jacuzzi.  The cat was a panther, the basement was a great place for a road trip for Barbie in our awesome Tonka Winnebago (she had to lay down - she was a bit too tall for it), and eye shadow rubbed into her hair was great for giving Barbie a little punk edge!  Also, her head and limbs sometimes came off, which was funny - you could (just about) cram her head on Ken and vice versa, on some models.  And that's not even getting to all the cool clothes, and the zillions of ways you could mix and match if you had enough of them.  I put a yellow cowgirl shirt on her over a ballgown skirt and thought I was a true fashion rebel.  So what I'm saying is, good for me or not, I quite liked Barbie when I was a little girl.  But that was long after her debut.

Today I learned just how much baggage the old girl truly carries.  Today, I found The Barbie Game: Queen of the Prom.  Très vintage!

Apparently when she was young Barbie was allowed colors other than pink!
Apparently a reproduction version of this game came out in the 90s, but this is the original in all it's glory from back when Barbie had little short bangs.  It even has a wooden die:

See?  you can't beat Barbie for the fashions!
The graphics are simply awesome.  Check out these game cards and money:

Seriously gorgeous fashion art!

Barbie's profile on the money!

The box is in really good shape for it's age.  If descriptions I found are to be believed, the game is from 1961, only 2 years after Barbie scarred her very first young girl's psyche, and over 50 years ago now.  And boy do the years show, not in the condition of the game, but in the conditions of life as a teenage girl.  The goal of the game is to become queen of the prom.  To be able to go to the prom and try for queen, you must accomplish the following:
  1. Become president of a club at school
  2. Get a boyfriend
  3. Get the boyfriend to "go steady"
  4. Get a fancy dress
Seriously, there are Boyfriend cards!:

Dashing Ken appears to have some competition, although
perhaps not from bachelor #3.  I'm guessing Poindexter
was kind of the Barbie game version of The Dud.
This game is from my Mom's era, so I don't know how appropriate it was in it's time, but seriously you guys, check out this stuff - I'll make these extra big so you can read them:

Ok, I'll admit it, once in awhile I wouldn't mind somebody shuffling the boyfriend cards for me!

Do you see those "on a date" squares?  "HE CRITICIZES YOUR HAIR-DO.  GO TO BEAUTY SHOP"
So yeah, vapid, limiting and sexist, but Barbie's been an astronaut since then, and anyway it's so, so pretty to look at!

What do you think?   

Thanks for stopping by, and if you're not sated on thrifted vintage just yet, I'm linking up here:

Me and My Shadow's Magpie Monday and Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday.  Check them out!


  1. I would have loved that when I was a little girl!! Nice find!!

  2. I would LOVE to play that gorgeous game for the laughs and the kitsch factor. And I've had scooped up that vintage score in a SECOND. The illustrations and colors are beautiful, and it's a hilarious time capsule of an era that really did try to enforce girl's status as ornamental from a young age. Wow!

    I had a lot of Barbies earned from Birthday parties but they stayed pristine, I was more interested in all the little minis that came with her. I'm still obsessed with the neon plastic furniture that adorns Barbie houses. ;p haha

    1. Oh heck yeah! I never had a Barbie house, but I did at one point have this blow-up Barbie furniture that was So Cool!

  3. hahahhahahaha! i am not a Barbie fan but this is some serious game indeed. i would want to play this and be able to know who my potential boyfriend would be.... wondering if he has ambition hehehe what a find!

    1. Thanks, the kitsch factor is off the charts, isn't it!

  4. WAY cooler than Monopoly!!

    The graphics and images are brilliant. What an innocent era!

    1. That's such a nice way of describing it, I like that.

  5. I remember playing that! Another thing I have to look for, thanks for the memories!!