Teri Silver is a journalist, commercial copywriter, editor, broadcast anchor, and Public Relations Specialist.
It was 1975 ... the year before the Olympics ... and time for Barbie® to get in shape! In addition to "Olympic Barbie" dolls and accessories, Mattel released a line of "free moving" dolls (with levers to control the action) that could handle their tennis racquets and golf clubs. The Malibu dolls also became very popular as Barbie and her friends hit the beach. In 1975, America's favorite teenage fashion model got physical, met some new friends and, of course, added more clothes to her wardrobe!
Of all the dolls in Mattel's 1975 Barbie® line, these were among the most popular:
- Malibu Barbie (#1067, 1975-1977); The "Sun Set" Barbie doll came in a red tricot bathing suit.
- Quick Curl Cara (#7291, 1975); This African American doll wore a colorful midriff-exposing, long-sleeved top and maxi-wrapped skirt. Her "magic" hair would curl instantly when you brushed or twisted it. (Mattel released Quick Curl Barbie (#4220) in 1973).
- Malibu Christie (#7745, 1975-1977); The beautiful African American doll was dressed in a yellow tricot swimsuit.
- Funtime Barbie Doll (Europe) (#7192, 1975-1976); This Barbie® had a "Twist 'N Turn" waist and bendable legs. She wore an orange bathing suit.
- Ballerina Barbie (#9093, 1975-1976); The blonde-haired doll, dressed in a shimmering white satin ballet tutu (with white tulle), wore ballet slippers on her feet and a golden crown on her head. She carried three red roses and stood on a white plastic stand. Children could also purchase Ballerina Barbie On Tour (#9613), which contained Barbie Doll's ballet costume and two more ensembles: a pink long-sleeved leotard with light pink tutu and matching tights and Snowflake Fairy (#9327, also sold separately); a mid-length white ballet costume with textured tulle overlay, panty and skirt.
Olympic Barbie® and P.J. Dolls
- Gold Medal Barbie Doll Skier (#7264, 1975-1976); Barbie® hit the slopes in her red, white and blue ski suit. It had a blue plastic belt, red hat and goggles and white boots. Around her neck, Barbie wore a yellow "bib" with the number "9" and her gold medal! The Olympian carried blue ski poles with yellow skis.
- Gold Medal Barbie Doll (#7233, 1975); American Barbie, in a red, white and blue tricot swimsuit, wore her round Olympic gold medal. The doll was also produced as a Canadian Olympian -- it had a red and white swimsuit and an elongated medal. Mattel's 1975 spring catalog noted that supplies of these dolls were limited; the publication released later that year did not include the Gold Medal dolls.
- Gold Medal Barbie Skater (#7262, 1975-1976); Resembling a Malibu doll, Barbie wore a long-sleeved, pleated dress in red, white and blue. The outfit included white ice skates and her gold medal.
- Gold Medal P.J. Gymnast Doll (#7263, 1975-1976); Cousin P.J. vaulted and somersaulted in a leotard of red, white and blue tricot. She had a red warm-up jacket (white sleeves, red cuffs), white slippers and a gold medal.
- Free-Moving Barbie Doll (#7270, 1975-1976); This active, flexible doll wore a fitting playsuit (white with red stitching) and a red ribbon in her hair. The box contained a long red skirt (with white flowers), tennis racquet, golf club, tennis-golf ball and white athletic shoes.
- Free-Moving P.J. Doll (#7281, 1975-1976); Pretty little P.J. sported a white and green tricot playsuit (with a green hair ribbon). A matching skirt, white tennis shoes and athletic accessories came in the box: gray plastic tennis racquet, golf club, and tennis-golf ball.
- Free Moving Cara Doll (#7283, 1975-1976); Similar to Barbie and P.J.'s outfits, Cara's white and orange tricot playsuit (orange hair ribbon) came with a long orange skirt (white flowers). As with the other "free-moving" dolls, Cara's package included the line's standard athletic equipment.
- Hawaiian Barbie Doll (#7470, 1975-1977); Barbie with black hair! Her colorful bathing suit (white with floral print) matched the long skirt. Barbie Doll fashioned a pink flower in her hair and a flowering lei (red, purple, white and yellow) around her neck. The package included an ecru-colored grass skirt, panties, ukulele and a sun sailor boat.
- Barbie Gold Medal Winter Sports (#9042, 1975); Available only by catalog and sold as a Sears Department Stores exclusive, Barbie Doll came to the Oympic party dressed in a white long-sleeved blouse, argyle skirt (red, white and blue), blue plastic belt and chunky shoes. The package included a (red, white and blue) ski outfit, white boots, red hat and goggles, yellow number "9" bib, blue ski poles, yellow skis and a gold medal.
- Gold Medal Barbie Doll (Australia) (#9450, 1975); This Olympic Barbie sported Australian colors of green and yellow. The package included an iron-on patch for the child to wear.
- U. S. Olympian Wardrobe Barbie Doll (#9044, 1975); Another Sears Department Stores exclusive, Barbie loved her glittery long-sleeved ice skating outfit in red, white and blue with the sparkling blue skirt. She wore red pantyhose, white ice skates and her gold medal. The package included a bathing suit, striped towel, dress (red and blue sleeveless top with white pleated skirt), red jacket, red shoulder bag and white square-toed flats.
- Valerie Doll (Mexico) (#4331, 1975); Barbie's friend Valerie had light brown hair and blue eyes. She donned a long, off-white gauzy dress (orange rickrack trim) and chunky orange shoes. The set came with a purse that matched the dress, comb and brush.
- Barbie Doll Peinado Magico (Mexico) (#4332, 1975); Quick Curl Barbie wore an orange short-sleeved top with long skirt; beige with floral print. She tied an orange scarf around her neck and put ribbons and a barrette in her blonde hair. The anniversary doll had a dark blue top and scarf. The set came with a comb, brush, rubber band, curler and white shoes.
Barbie's 1975 Wardrobe
Mattel continued marketing clothes for Barbie® and her friends under the Best Buy, Get-Ups 'N Go and Fashion Originals brands. The outfits did not have special names (like the earlier 1960s and 1970s ensembles); instead they had stock numbers for easy identification.
- Best Buy (#7200); Ready for summer! Barbie wore the short red, white floral-printed skirt with a sleeveless white peasant top. The blouse featured a peplum with lace trim and red flower at the waist. A red and white scarf came with the clothes.
- Best Buy (#7202); Two-piece pantsuit in red with bright floral colors of blue, yellow and white. The bodice had white trimming. This set coordinated with Barbie's #7210 and Ken Doll's #9001 ensembles.
- Best Buy (#7203); Barbie loved to lounge around in her long red pajamas with "feet" on the pants. The jams, with white lace trim and white buttons in the back, were similar to Skipper Doll's pink pajama set (#7220).
- Best Buy (#7204); Trimmed in ruffles, the navy blue dress had a floral print pattern accented by a small bow on the peplum waist. A matching headband came with the dress. Skipper Doll had the same outfit (#7223).
- Best Buy (#7205); The long red skirt was printed with white pin-dots and small clusters of blue and white flowers (with green leaves). The matching top, ruffled at the waist, had white ribbons to tie around the neck. The set coordinated with Francie Doll's (#7214) and Ken Doll's (#7255). Barbie's #7209 had the same material woven into the skirt.
- Best Buy (#7206); Red pants and a white halter top. To complete the look, Barbie wore a red and white diamond-checked, long-sleeved blouse that tied at the waist.
- Best Buy (#7208); "Peasant" fashions were popular in the mid 1970s! This "vintage-looking" frock was white with red pin dots and red floral print. The snug bodice had puffy, ruffled sleeves and a scooped neckline. The dress came with a matching apron. It coordinated with Ken Doll's #7226.
- Best Buy (#7209); Two pieces -- a midriff-bearing halter top in red (blue and white flowers, white pin-dots; the same material from #7205) and a skirt that combined this material with wide strips of blue chambray. The skirt and top coordinated with Skipper Doll's #7222 and Ken doll's #7225.
- Best Buy (#7210); The maxi-length skirt was in blue denim. It split at the waist to reveal red material with floral print, coming down in a v-shape. The denim top was a bra-like halter that fastened with ties matching the red and floral print (the same as in #7202). On her head, Barbie placed a wide-brimmed red hat with white polka dots. Ken Doll had a similar outfit (#9001). Another variation of Best Buy #7210 had the denim material in yellow.
- Best Buy (#7211); This pretty, frilly summer dress featured a sleeveless A-line yellow sheath underneath a sheer, yellow nylon coverlet. The white pin-dotted overlay had a long white ruffled hem and sleeves. A white flower accented the neckline. Skipper Doll had a similar Get-Ups 'N Go outfit (#7847).
- Best Buy (#7271); Barbie's Olympic swimsuit in red, white and blue. The package contained a colorful beach towel and gold medal.
- Best Buy (#7272); Barbie's ice skating outfit was sold separately from the doll set; a red, white and blue-sparkled skating dress, red pantyhose, white ice skates and gold medal.
More Barbie "Best Buy"
- Best Buy (#7413); The Olympic look and Barbie's number "9" are featured in this sleeveless red, white and blue body suit with matching red shorts. A gold medal and white tennis shoes were included in the sets. One package had a gray background with yellow stars; the other in Barbie's standard dark pink.
- Best Buy (#7414); Barbie loved this summer look; a yellow cropped top -- elastic bottom and neckline -- and the skirt that was printed in a patchwork design of yellow, blue, white and red.
- Best Buy (#7415); Wide palazzo pants; black with floral print in purple, coral, pink and green. The reddish-orange halter top had a ruffled peplum.
- Best Buy (#7416); A green shift dress sprinkled with pink flowers; the shoulder straps and front pocket were laced in black. The gathered pink inset had a small black bow at the neck.
- Best Buy (#7417); This simple but pretty dress was white with red polka dots. Featuring a ruffled neckline and red flower ornament, the garment gathered from the bodice to the dropped waist.
- Best Buy (#7418); Barbie loved that patriotic look! The sleeveless summer shift's white skirt had vertical red stripes; the patch pockets were opposite. The attached top in blue tricot showed off its back-flap collar and red and white tie. Also in the package; a red shoulder bag (white stitching and a gold bead closure).
- Best Buy (#7419); The "Red, White and Blue" is featured in this patriotic pairing of a long-sleeved top and red tricot shorts. White socks, tennis shoes and a gold medal came with the outfit.
- Best Buy (#7420); Barbie was ready for the office in this orange long-sleeved knit dress trimmed with brown "suede." A matching hat (complete with red feather), belt and brown vinyl shoulder bag completed the look.
- Best Buy (#7421); Bright early-fall colors! The elasticized pants were orange with thin yellow vertical stripes -- the orange top had long yellow sleeves. The clothes came with an orange knitted beret.
- Best Buy (#7422); Barbie, Kelly, P.J. and their friends could wear this three-piece outfit. The red A-line, elastic-waist skirt showed off red vinyl pockets with white buttons. Three white buttons came down the front of the skirt. The short-sleeved top was white with blue horizontal stripes. It had red vinyl on the bodice and sleeve cuffs. A sun hat that matched both the skirt and top completed the outfit.
- Best Buy (#7423); With a Bohemian fashion feel, this jumper resembled a red printed bandanna. Barbie wore a white, long-sleeved blouse under the red, black and white dress. A matching scarf came with the outfit -- similar to that of Growing Up Skipper Doll's #9023 ensemble.
- Best Buy (#7424, 1975-1976); In the package: long, bright yellow pants with an elastic waist; a bright blue hooded jacket with yellow sleeves, pockets and drawstring; two-piece swim set in blue and yellow.
- Barbie Doll Fashion Accessories (#3382); Footwear in various colors and styles including: low-heeled pumps in navy, red, white and yellow; wedgies with colored uppers; chunky shoes in yellow and black and knee-high "lace" boots in blue, white and red.
Get-Ups 'N Go Fashions: Barbie Doll's 1975 Line
- GU 'N G (#7241, 1975-1976); Bright 'N Gay for Holiday Play! Five colorful mix-and-match separates and a pair of wedge shoes with light blue uppers. Made of tricot, the set included red pants with a purple sash, a long, geometrically-designed multi-colored skirt (with matching shawl and hat) and a red-blue halter top. Similar to the Best Buy fashions, Get-Ups 'N Go were packaged on (usually pink) cards with plastic see-through bubble fronts. The cards featured the titles of each ensemble and illustrations of Barbie wearing the clothes.
- GU 'N G (#7242, 1975-1976); A Busy Girl's Ready to Go Clothes! This set had Barbie wearing red capri pants or a yellow skirt and matching jacket (with red stitching). The package included horizontally-striped knee socks (orange, yellow, white and blue) with a matching halter top, long scarf and yellow chunky shoes.
- GU 'N G (#7243, 1975); Classy U. S. Olympic Work-Out Warm-Ups! As the world headed into the Olympics the following year, Barbie Doll exercised in red shorts or long red pants; a white sleeveless tank top; red, white and blue long-sleeved jacket and a pair of tennis shoes.
- GU 'N G (#7244, 1975); U. S. Olympic Fashions to Wear on Parade! Barbie represented the United States in her red, white and blue! She marched in the parade wearing a white pleated skirt that attached to the red (blue trim) sleeveless bodice of her dress. Over the dress; a blue blazer. Barbie donned a white hat (red braided band), low white-heeled shoes, red shoulder bag and her gold medal.
1975 Fashion Originals
Barbie Doll and her friends had fancy clothes for their fancy evenings out. Set in specially-marked packages, Fashion Originals were for Kelly, P.J. and Cara, too. The white, orange and "Barbie®-pink" packages were noted with stock numbers; they did not have title names.
- Fashion Originals (#7931); Barbie loved her long red evening cape. The nylon garment was trimmed in white "fur" and accented with two gold button enclosures in front. The package included a red/white muff and chunky red shoes. Barbie Doll wore the cape over the evening dress from Fashion Originals #7932.
- Fashion Originals (#7932); Silver and gold threading within the sheer overlay glittered on top of the beautiful white satin dress skirt. The bodice was brushed red nylon -- similar to the cape -- and had white ruffled trim around the sleeves and shoulders. The outfit included a red ruffled stole, red open-toed shoes and a white clutch purse.
- Fashion Originals (#7933); Barbie Doll could choose between dressy pants of green knit (with horizontal threads of silver) and a green satin skirt. A low-back halter top matched the pants. Also in the package: green shoes and a green satin cropped-bottom jacket with white "fur" trim.
- Fashion Originals (#7934); Barbie Doll looked the part of "Southern Belle" in her long pink satin dress with sheer overlay and high ruffled skirt bottom. The sleeveless bodice had a ruffled neckline and pale flower that was attached to the waist. Complementing the dress; a sheer pink shawl and white, woven "floppy" hat (with pink ruffles and flowers). Matching shoes came in the package.
Sears' Exclusives for 1975
Sears Department Stores issued new Best Buy items, fashion sets and Olympic styles for the new season as well as a repeat of Barbie Doll's Sweet 16 outfit (in a 9-piece set). There was an extra, too -- Barbie Baby Sets (also sold as Barbie Baby Sits).
Barbie Baby Sets/Sits (#7882, 1975-1976); This gift set had everything needed for baby! Several versions were available, the "blue" set had a diaper; white christening gown and bonnet; white flannel blanket with pink, blue and green floral print; yellow bib; high chair; bathtub; washcloth; bottles; plate, cup and dish; romper; phone list; Barbie's gingham apron and the tiny baby doll from the Sunshine Family. The pink set included a high chair; bathtub; cradle; blanket; soap, washcloth and "rubber" duck; plate; bottles (2); bib; dress; bonnet; teddy bear; Barbie's apron; phone list and the baby doll.
- Sears-Best Buy (#9006); Summer maxi-dress of red with white floral print. The skirt had a high ruffle at the hem, similar to the smaller white ruffles over the short-sleeved arms. The bodice sported a white fabric flower.
- Sears-Best Buy (#9007); A medium-blue chambray dress with patch pockets, white stitching and a halter-neck strap that allowed for Barbie Doll to soak up the sun on her back. The outfit came with a red and white hat and drawstring purse.
- Sears-Best Buy (#9008); It was bedtime for Barbie in this two-piece night set. The pale pink short nightgown had lace straps that matched the bodice and the bottom hem. The matching night jacket had short, puffy sleeves and a tie at the neckline.
- Sears-Best Buy (#9009); Barbie Doll looked sharp in her yellow skirt (blue stitching) and matching jacket. She wore a multi-colored floral-printed sleeveless top underneath.
- Sears-Best Buy (#9010); Wide, palazzo jumpsuit pants in white with a red diamond-checkerboard pattern and attached red sleeveless top. The checkerboard print was on the collar of the accompanying red jacket.
- Sears-Best Buy (#9011); The long, flowing skirt alternated in wide strips of solid yellow with floral and strawberry print over yellow. The halter top matched the printed fabric. It tied in the front.
Sears Exclusive (no stock number); This was a pink satin evening gown; the skirt, covered with sheer nylon, had a high ruffled hem. Strips of ruffled white "ribbons" circled the waist, the top of the lower tier and down the front of the skirt. The dress' halter top folded over the left breast of the bodice. Barbie's long-sleeved pink satin jacket, with its wide lace-edged collar, cropped at the elasticized waist -- it closed with a white bead button. The ensemble included a gold clutch purse, pink fabric flower with green ribbon, "gold-pearl" necklace, cardboard mirror and pink open-toed shoes. The Barbie outfit was available in Sears' 1975 catalog.
Olympic Fashions (Sears 1975 Exclusive, no stock number); Sold through the Sears catalog, the department store released Barbie's Olympic fashions in this boxed set: red, white and blue "parade" frock; ice skating dress (blue-sparkled skirt and collar, long red sleeves with white stripe down the front of the bodice); white ice skates; red pantyhose; red, white and blue swimsuit; horizontally-striped beach towel; long-sleeved blue jacket; white hat with red trim; white low-heeled shoes; red shoulder bag and three gold medals.
Barbie® and Ken (1975 Sears Outfits)
These coordinated sets for Barbie® and Ken were available through the Sears catalog:
- Floral Set (Sears, #9046); Barbie Doll donned brown wedged shoes with an eggplant-brown colored skirt that had a varied pattern throughout (it matched the sleeves of Ken's jacket). Her sleeveless, off-white blouse was ruffled at the waist and trimmed with lace around the neckline, arm holes and down the front of the bodice. Attached was a red fabric flower. Ken Doll's off-white pants (brown stitching) matched the yolk of his jacket (with four brown buttons down the front). The sleeves and collar complemented Barbie Doll's skirt. Ken wore brown cowboy boots.
- Plaid Set (Sears, #9047); Barbie Doll's bright red pants and red beret came to life with her navy-blue, white, red and yellow plaid-patterned cape. Red chunky shoes completed the look. Ken Doll matched his best gal with plaid pants and a navy blue (white collar) jacket that was secured with a blue belt. Under the jacket, Ken wore a white dickey and on his feet -- brown shoes.
- Tweed Set (Sears, #9048); Tweed fabric print -- white on brown. Barbie wore a straight-line, front-pleated tweed skirt and long-sleeved blouse in robin's-egg blue that was gathered at the waist. The outfit included a pair of brown chunky shoes and shoulder bag (brown with white stitched trim). Ken's outfit had tweed pants and a jacket that sported two brown-gold buttons. He wore a robin's-egg blue dickey (with an attached red bow tie) and brown shoes.
1975 Barbie Doll Extras
1975's line included four Sew Magic sets; three of those were repeated from 1974. Mattel brought back Barbie Doll Sweet 16 Fashions Sew Magic Add-Ons (#7850), Barbie and Ken Dolls Sew Magic Add-Ons Fashions (#7726) and Sew Magic Barbie Doll Fashion Set (#8670). The new item, Barbie and Ken Doll Sew Magic Add-Ons Sportswear (#7277), was to be used with the Sew Magic sewing machine. Children could create four outfits for Barbie and four for Ken.
European Barbie Fashion Originals: 1975
Mattel's Fashion Originals introduced several outfits in Europe that were not available in the United States.
- #7176; For her wedding, Barbie Doll dressed in a satin-lined gown with lace-trimmed sheer nylon overlay. The long-sleeved dress had a high neckline and two tiers of lace at the hem. A mid-length tulle was attached to the satin headpiece. Barbie carried a bouquet of pale pink flowers with tulle and ribbon streamers. Chunky white shoes came in the package.
- #7177; This striking one-piece evening dress featured sheer nylon of pastel floral watercolor print over a white satin skirt with pink bodice. It had an attached fabric flower at the waist. Barbie wore a pink satin cape that tied at the neck, pink pantyhose, shoes and carried a gold clutch purse.
- 7178; The blue skirt of this one-piece dress had faux pockets with shank buttons, navy stitched trim and a vinyl waistband. A square neckline highlighted the colorful, geometric long-sleeved bodice. The outfit came with a matching blue coat, navy vinyl belt, colorful scarf, red shoulder bag and chunky blue shoes.
- #7179; Blue chambray with red stitching -- Barbie Doll had several pieces from which to choose: skirt (three red buttons down the front); pants (fitted waistband); blazer (floral-printed collar, patch pockets and red handkerchief); red sleeveless top with a peplum-like gathered waist; floral-printed hat and red chunky shoes.
- #7980; This is a mix-and-match collection of skirts, sweater, halter and accessories. The long black, floral-printed skirt in tricot matched the halter top, which tied around the neck with small cord-like strips. The shorter skirt -- in black satin -- showed off its ruffled bottom hem. The package included a black sweater trimmed with lace and white "fur," black panties, stockings and chunky shoes.
- #7981; Barbie, Steffie, P.J. and Christie were ready for school in this casual outfit; pleated, plaid skirt (orange and yellow over white) with an elastic band in the back; bright yellow long-sleeved blouse with a gathered, peplum-like waist; orange sweater that wrapped and tied in the front; orange cap, brown shoulder bag and orange knee-high boots.
And Canada … 1975
Canada (#7474); Although this was a release in Canada, the package (with both English and French printing) contained three Olympic outfits in American colors:
- Ice skating: long-sleeved, pleated dress with the red and white bodice and glittery blue skirt; white skates and red pantyhose.
- Warm-up set: red tricot shorts; white sleeveless top; long red pants; white socks; multi-colored jacket and athletic shoes.
- Olympic parade: one-piece dress (pleated white skirt, red and blue sleeveless bodice); blue jacket; white hat (red braid trim); red shoulder bag and white low heels. Three "gold" medals came in the package.
For Barbie and Valerie (sold in Mexico; 1974-1975)
The items were enclosed in bubbled plastic on the pink card (with illustrations of Barbie wearing the outfit). Many foreign releases from the mid 1970s were similar to ones in the United States.
- #4344; Off-white maxi-length dress with gathered, lace-edged sleeves and a high, layered ruffled hem. Strips of lace ran down the front of the dress, around the neckline and the hem bottom. A red fabric flower accented the waist. The dress came with red chunky shoes.
- #4356; This package had red tricot capri pants, a white long-sleeved blouse, dark brown vest, shoulder bag and light brown laced knee-high boots.
- #4364; The collection included an olive-colored coat with a brown faux fur collar, matching olive skirt, white top with green floral print and butterscotch-yellow boots.
- #4366; Barbie could wear the navy blue skirt or pants with a white and yellow horizontally-striped shirt (navy trim around the neckband) and yellow laced boots. A blue hat and navy "suede" belt were included.
Family and Friends
In 1975, Barbie Doll's friends and family also got some new stuff! Olympic-themed clothing, Sears exclusives, Best Buy and Get-Ups 'N Go fashions were lighting up the Barbie® sections of toy and department stores.
New dolls came along in 1975 too, including:
- Free Moving Ken (#7280, 1975-1976); Malibu Ken (#1088); Funtime Ken (Europe, #7194, 1974-1977); Gold Medal Skier Ken (#7261, 1975-1976); Gold Medal Ken (Europe, #7380) and Free Moving Curtis Doll (#7282);
- Funtime Skipper (Europe, #7193, 1975-1977); Growing Up Skipper (#9259, 1975-1977) and Gold Medal Skipper (#7379);
- "Baggie" Francie (#7699, 1975-1977) and "Baggie" Casey (#9000, 1975-1976);
- Tutti "Swing-Aling" (Europe, #7453, 1975-1978); Tutti "Walking My Dolly" (Europe, #7454, 1975-1978) and Tutti "Good Night, Sleep Tight" (Europe, #7455, 1975-1978).
A Look at 1976
Among the additions in 1976, America's favorite teenaged fashion model got an update with her "quick-curl" hair and she continued to dance in the ballet. Barbie's cousin P.J. and friend Cara also curled and danced. Mattel released the "baggie" action Barbie doll (#1155) and select department stores sold "Beautiful Bride" (#9599, 1976-1977). "Ballerina on Tour" (#9613) also came back in 1976.
thebrownbear on June 09, 2015:
Wow, lots of Barbie history in 1975 and 1976. Thanks for sharing.