In 1971, American society reeling from the Viet Nam War, the violent anti-war protests, economic instability, and ongoing civil rights battles. With this as a backdrop ‘Malibu Barbie’ was launched. With a newly sculpted face that featured an open smile for the first time, sun-tanned, make-up-free skin, and sun-kissed hair, ‘Malibu Barbie’ was the ultimate California surfer girl. The most significant change to Malibu Barbie’s appearance was the disappearance of Barbie’s coy, sideways glance and the introduction of forward-looking eyes, a development welcomed by feminists. Malibu Barbie projected an empowered and relaxed persona in a time, something we really needed back then.
Malibu Barbie was designed by Bill Greenberg, “
“Malibu Barbie was the first ‘Barbie’ doll (not counting Barbie doll’s friends) to have centered eyes and a smile with teeth. Barbie doll’s previous incarnations were always with a side glance and a closed mouth. She definitely had a more friendly appearance that I am sure appealed to kids. To me she looked like so many teenagers in my neighborhood growing up in California in the 1970s. Her blue swimsuit and yellow beach towel remind me of the water and the sun. Her pink bubble sunglasses are so iconic.”
Malibu PJ joins Malibu Barbie® in this sun-sational giftset. Bill says, “Malibu PJ features what collectors call the ‘Steffie’ face sculpt, because it was first introduced on Barbie doll’s friend Steffie. PJ features those pouty lips, lavender eyes, and pigtails wrapped in love beads. She is such a unique doll and was definitely my favorite growing up. Her lavender swimsuit really makes her eye color pop. She also comes with a mint green beach towel and pink bubble sunglasses. She is definitely a fan favorite and vintage models are high in demand.”
Rounding out the trio is Malibu Christie, and Bill is thrilled that Christie doll is making another appearance this year (after the Barbie® Signature 1977 Superstar Christie™ Doll vintage repro released last month). “Malibu Christie features the original Christie face sculpt with sleek black hair. I personally think she had the most exotic look of the three dolls. She has a red halter swimsuit and a bright white beach towel. Vintage Malibu Christie dolls are very hard to find, so I was excited to include in this reproduction giftset.”
To celebrate, Mattel has released a retro Mailbu Barbie set including PJ and Christie dolls, each wearing a replica of her original swimsuit. A towel, sunglasses, and vintage wrist tag complete each doll’s sun-kissed, beach-bound look.
Really, who doesn’t love California Girls!