Coolest Barbie dolls Singaporeans should know
You know, I know, we all know – the whole world’s talking about a lady clad in hot pink. Yep, no prizes for guessing it’s Barbie. Well, we’ve caught Barbie fever, too. So, here’s a walk down memory lane to reminisce some of the coolest Barbie dolls Singaporeans should know about and relate to.
Table of Contents
- Coolest Barbie dolls Singaporeans should know
- 1. Day-to-Night Barbie – A friendly reminder to have work-life balance
- 2. Midge – That pregnant Barbie
- 3. Singapore Girl Barbie – Singapore’s most iconic representative
- 4. Travel Train Barbie – The MRTs we wish we had
- 5. Chat Divas – Karaoke Barbies whose mouths could move
- 6. McDonald’s Barbie – Our guilty pleasure smiling right at us
- 7. Wheelchair-bound Barbie – 10/10 for inclusivity
- 8. Oriental Barbie – The first ever Asian Barbie doll
- 9. Malaysian Barbie – A beauty kween in batik
- Coolest Barbie dolls that resonate with us
1. Day-to-Night Barbie – A friendly reminder to have work-life balance
Image adapted from: Fandom
Many of us here in Singapore need this friendly reminder: work-life balance is essential! Your therapist knows it and so does Barbie.
This Day-to-Night Barbie released in 1985 had it all. By day, she was a force to be reckoned with as she powered through business meetings. Come 6pm, she’d change out of her power suit and into a gorgeous shiny party dress to meet her friends for a fun evening out. We can’t say that’s not #worklifebalance goals.
2. Midge – That pregnant Barbie
Consumers were worried that Midge would promote teen pregnancy.
Image credit: Amazon
If you’ve watched the Barbie movie, you’d now be very well-acquainted with Midge, Barbie’s pregnant bestie. While this Barbie was considered controversial when it was released in 2003, we can’t help but think she could align with Singapore’s efforts to increase the country’s birth rate.
We jest. But, truthfully, you have to admit that it was pretty cool to have a detachable baby and belly, especially if you were a kid who loved to role-play as a mama. This set also came with a crib and baby accessories, and you could purchase her husband Allan and her toddler son separately.
3. Singapore Girl Barbie – Singapore’s most iconic representative
Image adapted from: eBay
The Singapore Girl is an icon in her own right, so it’s only fitting that Mattel made a Barbie version of her. Mattel had already made a Singapore Girl doll in the 70s, but she officially emerged as a Barbie in 1991 and 1993.
In true cabin crew fashion, Kristie is confined in a small space on her crew seat, carrying some wine she didn’t get to serve due to turbulence, we assume.
Image credit: Carousell
In the 2000s, another generic Singapore Girl doll named Kristie was released, but let’s just put it out there – she’s no Barbie.
Fun fact: You can find the Singapore Girl Barbie on eBay for about USD65 (~S$86).
4. Travel Train Barbie – The MRTs we wish we had
The train had cool features like window scenery that could move and train sounds.
Image credit: Lulu Berlu
Many of us spend a good chunk of our day commuting on trains. So, we’re highlighting this jazzed-up Travel Train from 2002 as the train we wished we could ride every day. This gem could be opened to reveal a dining area, a galley, and even bunk beds – much like the luxurious Eastern Oriental Express trains.
Image credit: Ebay
The conductor’s seat was, of course, already “filled” by the 2001 Travel Train Barbie which was a separate purchase. She didn’t just have to be a conductor, though; she could double up as a hostess, because Barbie can be anything she wants to be.
5. Chat Divas – Karaoke Barbies whose mouths could move
You could even plug your iPod in.
Image credit: Barbie Collectors Guide
Talking Barbies have been around as early as 1968, but when Chat Divas arrived in 2006, we were instantly blown away. You see, Chat Divas – which came in 3 versions: Barbie, Nikki, and Teresa – couldn’t just talk and belt your favourite tunes; they would do all of these with their mouths and heads actually moving.
Despite us silently praying that it’d never start “singing” in the middle of the night, we can’t deny that Singaporeans can relate to this musical babe for her karaoke chops.
Image credit: eBay
Fun fact: Mattel also released a karaoke machine with cassette player and CD input in 2001.
6. McDonald’s Barbie – Our guilty pleasure smiling right at us
Image credit: Amazon
We know; there are so many questions surrounding the impact a fast-food Barbie might have on kids. But, we also know these things can be taken in good fun. After all, most of you reading this probably sneak in a McD’s meal every now and again, especially with so many 24-hour McDonald’s outlets available for late-night hunger pangs.
Called McDonald’s Fun Time!, this 2001 Barbie and Kelly set featured the titular character smiling her way through serving burgers and Happy Meals. We have to admit that it is indeed a 2-in-1 of our childhood favourites.
7. Wheelchair-bound Barbie – 10/10 for inclusivity
She has a ramp, too, for convenience.
Image credit: Mattel
Another character that stood out in the Barbie movie was this wheelchair-bound beauty. Upon digging, we found out that – although she is very much attuned to today’s woke culture – she’s actually been around since 1996.
Back then, she was known as Share a Smile Becky. Today, she is represented in different skin tones and can be found in the Fashionista’s collection which features a range of diverse Barbies and Kens. Yay for inclusivity!
8. Oriental Barbie – The first ever Asian Barbie doll
Spotted on the box: “Xi” which means “happiness” in a nutshell.
Image credit: Treasure Keeper
She was part of a special-edition Dolls of the World collection in 1981, but Oriental Barbie made heads turn as the first-ever Asian Barbie doll. Granted, she was supposed to be from Hong Kong, but we know a slayin’ cheongsam-blazer combo when we see one.
Image credit: Fandom
Fun fact: The first of several India Barbies was released 1982, and there’s even a Diwali Barbie which hits close to home, too.
9. Malaysian Barbie – A beauty kween in batik
Malaysian Barbie was released in 1991, also as part of the Dolls of the World collection.
Image credit: Fandom
Funnily enough, besides the Singapore Girl Barbie, there hasn’t been any other dedicated Singapore Barbie just yet. The closest one to us is the Malaysian Barbie, and we have to say – it’s nice to see a glammed-up kebaya, complete with a batik skirt and sash, on a Barbie.
Coolest Barbie dolls that resonate with us
At risk of sounding like we’re gushing, most Barbie dolls are cool. If you’ve ever played with them as a kid, you’d have known just how life-changing it was to be able to own one that was a step above “basic”. Hair colour-changing Barbies, mermaid Barbies, Barbies with 2-in-1 outfits, Barbies with horses, cars, and pets – these were the talk of the town when we were kids.
But this list hits a little closer to home, and we can appreciate the diversity that has come out of this iconic doll thus far.
Read more childhood nostalgia stories:
Cover image adapted from: Amazon, Ebay, Barbie Collectors Guide
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