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Discontinued Barbie Dolls

Discontinued Barbie Dolls

Mattel has discontinued various dolls and dolls throughout history, with Barbie the movie, they have cited several of those models and they are the ones we are going to talk about in this blog post. If you haven't seen the movie yet and don't want any spoilers, better come back when you've seen the movie ;)

Allan

Allan was born in 1964 to be Ken's best friend, they shared all the clothes!

Allan started dating Midge, Barbie's best friend, and they could go on double dates with Barbie and Ken. The Allan doll was finally discontinued in 1966, most likely because he was not as popular as Ken and there were rumors of a possible relationship between him and Ken, which, for the time, created too much controversy.

However, in the early '90s, Allan was resurrected and became "Alan", Midge's new husband. Alan would eventually become the father of Midge's children in an early 2000s Happy Family collection, along with her three-year-old son Ryan. However, there was a huge uproar over the highly controversial pregnant Midge doll coming with a newborn and her removable gut, this caused this family to be shelved as a whole.

Since then, Allan has not appeared in the Barbie universe at all. While Midge returned in 2013, Allan was only sold again in 2014 as part of a 50th anniversary double date with Midge.

Middle

A pink background with a pregnant Barbie doll, a male doll and a baby doll in the middle. Credit: Composite: Getty: Lawrence Lucier/Stringer Poor, poor Midge. Perhaps the Barbie doll with the saddest story, Midge was initially cast in 1963 as Barbie's best friend.

Although they were the same size (so the two could share clothes), Midge was considerably less glamorous than Barbie. See, Mattel was concerned that young girls might not identify with Barbie (a dream girl), but they might identify with Midge (a normal girl). She had freckles, she didn't wear much makeup and her wardrobe was rather simple. This version of Midge was eventually discontinued in 1967 for not being as successful as Barbie.

Like Allan, Midge enjoyed a couple of revivals in the '80s and '90s. But her time in the spotlight came to an abrupt halt in 2002 when a pregnant Midge (who we see in Barbie the Movie) was sold. The tummy was a magnet that children could remove, and when they did, they found a small removable baby figure.

The pregnant Midge doll received considerable backlash from concerned parents, who believed the doll promoted teen pregnancy. They also believed that the doll packaged alone, without a husband, sent the wrong message to children. (Alan and his three-year-old son, Ryan, were available separately.)

As part of her research for her book Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll, writer MG Lord discovered that the children would use Midge's pregnancy bump to store erasers and coins. Walmart eventually recalled the pregnant Midge dolls in 2002, and that version of the doll was never seen again...until the Barbie movie.

In 2013, Midge returned as a doll and character in the animated show Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse. Midge was single (no word on Allan/Alan), childless (no removable belly), and ready to be the perfect best friend to Barbie.

Barbie and the dog Tanner

Tanner the pooping dog made a memorable appearance at Weird Barbie's (Kate McKinnon) home, and that was a key selling point for this toy pet.

Released in 2006, Tanner was Barbie's beloved puppy that kids could play with, feed him treats, and pick up his poop. The doll came with her own poop scooper that had a small magnet that could stick to small pieces of plastic poop. Very funny!

But the toy was recalled in 2007, because the magnet on the poop scooper was loose enough to fall off and become a choking hazard without an adult noticing. Tanner fell out of favor and Taffy, another yellow Lab, took over the role of Barbie's dog in the animated series Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse.

Barbie Video Girl

Barbie Video Girl (played by Mette Towley in Barbie the Movie) is by far the strangest doll ever sold in the Barbie universe.

Released in 2010, the Barbie Video Girl doll came wearing a necklace that had a camera lens and video screen attached to Barbie's back, as replicated in the movie. The camera could record up to 30 minutes of footage, which could then be downloaded to a computer. Barbie Video Girl was marketed to "budget filmmakers", allowing children to film playtime from Barbie's perspective in any way they wanted. That's weird? Yes. And the FBI found it very strange.

US federal authorities were concerned that the hidden camera in Barbie's necklace could be used for child pornography and issued an advisory to all consumers. The doll was discontinued in 2012.

Ken Earring Magic

We all know Ken has a queer code, but have you met Earring Magic Ken (played by Tom Stourton)? Although the doll had a brief cameo in the Barbie movie (check it out with Sugar Daddy Ken at Weird Barbie's house), the doll's legacy is a possible gay icon of those times.

In the early 1990s, Mattel conducted a survey with a group of children to find out their opinions about Ken. The verdict? Ken wasn't cool enough. And Mattel devised changes to renew it.

You can probably ask yourself, what was cool in the early 90s? Well, according to Mattel polls, it was raves and Madonna, so naturally things got weird pretty quickly. Ken Earring Magic doll was born in 1993, sporting a lavender mesh shirt and purple faux fur vest, with platinum blonde hair and age-appropriate accessories, cheerful enough to make all conservative moms wow.

The doll was essentially decked out in accessories that were labeled gay, from its circular charm necklace that passed easily as a ringed sex toy to its pierced left ear. The most conservative people radically rejected this Ken model and it was finally discontinued. This doll was widely accepted by many people and was a representation of the gay community.

Ken Sugar Daddy Palm Beach

He's not just a sugar daddy, he's a Palm Beach sugar daddy. Released in 2009 as part of Barbie's 50th Anniversary, Ken Sugar Daddy doll is the perfect Palm Beach hottie, pairing his lush green jacket with business-casual pleated pants and slicked-back silver locks in case you missed the point. He also comes with a unique accessory: a toy puppy on a hot pink leash.

In fact, Sugar Daddy Ken (played by Rob Brydon) is literally Sugar's dad. As mentioned briefly in the Barbie movie, the puppy's name is actually Sugar, so Ken is the father of his puppy Sugar.

Even so, the double meaning did not go down well, and this Ken Sugar Daddy doll caused enough controversy for Mattel to issue a statement and subsequently discontinue the doll.

Teen Talk Barbie

This Barbie could talk! Released in 1992, Barbie Teen Talk became famous for coming with a voice box that could generate four sentences. While some lines were innocent, one line in particular caused enough controversy to inspire an episode of The Simpsons: "Math class is hard!"

Concerns were quickly raised about the phrase discouraging girls from studying math and science. Educators and activist groups have criticized the doll for implying that girls cannot learn math, arguing that Barbie should be a doll that inspires girls to do anything, including math.

While the doll was not discontinued, Mattel eventually removed the phrase from its settings and offered refunds for anyone who wants to trade in their Teen Talk Barbie for another. The controversy also inspired the episode "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy" on The Simpsons Season 5, where Lisa goes through a similar situation.

Barbie Teen Talk (Marisa Abela) has a brief cameo in the Barbie movie, but she barely speaks. And she certainly doesn't comment on mathematics.

Skipper Growing Up

Both Skipper (Erica Ford) and Skipper Growing Up (Hannah Khalique-Brown) appear in the Barbie movie. But the latter is in the strange house of Misfit Barbies for a good reason.

Created in 1964, Skipper is Barbie's younger sister. In today's Barbie universe, she is thriving as a modern teenager who likes technology and technological gadgets. But in 1975, she publicly went through puberty with the release of Skipper Growing Up.

Launched to help girls understand puberty and the changes to their bodies, Skipper Growing Up had a left arm that kids could rotate to see the doll transition from a girl to a teenager in real time. As? She grew her breasts from her.

As her arm rotated, Skipper grew an inch in height and so did her chest, turning from a little girl to a curvy teenager. Obviously, this is complicated. The doll was met with great controversy and was discontinued in 1977.

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  • 25-07-2023
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