The Doll I always come back to part II…

Live Action Christie

Live Action Christie


Christie. 1968. Barbie’s first African American friend. Christie was part of the first group of talking Barbie dolls introduced in 1968, and was soon followed by Twist ‘n’ Turn Christie. Both dolls featured more ethnic features, brown coloured eyes and a short afro hair-do that often oxidised over time to a vibrant red.

Interestingly a black version of Barbie’s cousin, Francie, was introduced in 1967. Known as ‘Black Francie’, Barbie had an AA cousin before she had an AA friend. This doll is now highly sought after by collectors due to its limited release.

Christie was reincarnated in 1969 as ‘Julia’ a sassy, shorter haired version of the doll modelled after the Diahann Carroll TV show character of the same name. Julia was a widowed, single mother and a nurse. Very progressive themes in a very conservative era, that usually only depicted AA characters on television as servants.

Christie kept pace with Barbie over the years, adopting many of Barbie’s popular incarnations including; Malibu Christie, Superstar Christie, Fashion Photo Christie, Magic Moves Christie, Pivotal Mod Christie and one of my all time favourites – Live Action Christie!

Live Action Christie featured long silky hair, rooted lashes and orange coloured eyes that matched her psychedelic threads. She had a live action body that meant she could do the twist, wahtusi, frug and I am sure mash potato if she really wanted to. Live Action Christie embodied everything that was carefree and cool.

The Doll Bargain….

1997BillBlass (2)

Barbie by Bill Blass © Mattel

As a collector you can pretty much justify paying any amount for any doll…

“Its really rare, another one may not come up…!”

“I’ll just eat at home every night this week / month / year….”

“Its MIB (Mint in Box)”

“I’ve seen them go for way more…”

But what is really exciting is when you find a doll at a price that just can’t be ignored. Don’t ever let anyone tell you when something seems too good to be true it is too good to be true….  That’s just not true!

I love the Mattel Designer collaborations and there have been so many good ones. Givenchy, Dior (twice), Versace (twice), Vera Wang, (numerous times!), Anna Sui, Burberry (twice), Herve Leger (yet to be released), Coach (just released), Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, The Gap… I could go on and on. At one point I focused solely on collecting the designer dolls (see excuses in The Doll that I always come back to…). The beauty of these dolls is in the detail (I’ve said it before!). Recreation in miniature…

Barbie by Bill Blass.

In true Bill Blass style, this Doll is W.O.W. Yellow satin dress, crimson satin lining,  signature Bill Blass B & W stripe, giant rose floral motif.

I’m not sure which face sculpt is used on this doll, but she smirks beguilingly and her make-up suits her outfit beautifully. Her hair is a perfect sculpted red, reminiscent of Linda Evangelista at the height if her Supermodel fame.

When this Doll came out she was expensive. I think if you tried to find her online today she would still be expensive. I found her BNIB (brand new in box) for the handsome sum of $35 Canadian dollars. Her original price of $112 Canadian dollars was still on the box.  It cost more to ship!

The Doll I always come back to…. Part 1


Reproduction ‘Nite Lightning’ Stacey © MATTEL

Stacey. Barbie’s ‘British Chum’. Introduced in 1967, Stacey arrived from Swinging London and turned Barbie’s world Mod-side down!

Stacey came in two versions, Twist’n’Turn and Talking Stacey. Two hairstyles, a long pony and a short flip. Two colours, Blonde and Titian, a whole new wardrobe of groovy fashions, and in the talking version, a cute British accent…

Collectors always have favourites. Usually many favourites and usually favourites that change. All the time.

“Francie is my favourite!”

“PJ is by far the prettiest…”

“ Christie is the craziest!” (Watch this space for part 2)

Stacey has the prettiest smiley eyes and little toothy grin. No matter how many favourites I have, I always come back to Stacey… 

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