I know, another one! There should be only one more of these, though. Until we get more. Haha.
1967 was a year of big changes for the toy. Ken was being discontinued and wouldn't reappear until 1969 with a bigger body and a new head mold. Her first and best friend Midge vanished as well, replaced by Christie - the first black doll the same size as Barbie (there had previously been a black Francie doll) - and the British Stacey. Midge's head mold would be used again as Barbie's new best friend PJ in 1969.
The difference is startling. The clothes were brighter, shorter and more and more of the dolls would come with "real" eyelashes. Above left is a 1963 Midge in "Lunch Date" (1964), right is a Talking PJ in her original mini-dress. Her pigtails are supposed to have multi-colored "love beads", which we have, but haven't figured out how to get them back on her as the elastic is gone!
Barbie herself had a new face mold debut this year as Twist and Turn Barbie, but we oddly haven't found one of those yet. So here is a 1965 American Girl (Bendable Leg) Barbie in "Fraternity Dance" (1965) contemplating her future wardrobe, in this case "Pajama Pow!" (1967) it also has chartreuse flats and insane earrings.
I don't have a Stacey, but we did find a matched Talking Christie and Talking Brad (both 1969) in their boxes in a shop. I know why I shouldn't take them out of their boxes, even if the boxes are in poor shape, but the struggle is real:
They, like the Talking PJ, are mute. The mechanism was rubber-band based and very few are still working. They are missing the pull strings which may explain why they were never taken out of the box. Talking dolls can be repaired but you have to cut open the torso so there really isn't any value to add.
Anyway, the mod years are a lot of fun because of the Austin Powers aesthetic. I'm talking clear raincoats and bucket hats, hostess pajamas, neon negligees and crazy go-go boots all in eye-bleeding color combinations and patterns. I'd like to have had more examples to photograph, but the mod clothing and dolls are some of the most desired still by collectors. Additionally, since some of the really cool ones were too weird to be popular and had crazy fragile accessories they are scarce. Still, it wouldn't be fun to collect if we could just find them all in the first places we looked.