The Barbie Parade

The world’s favourite fashion doll might be having a moment in the spotlight right now – but she has always had all manner of exciting adventures.

As the world goes Barbie mad, it seems the time to dig into Mrs Reprobate’s unsettlingly vast collection of Barbie memorabilia in search of something odd. Mrs R has a lifelong fixation on Barbie – through the good times and the bad for the doll – and could probably win Mastermind answering questions on the subject. When I said that I was putting this piece together, she began to bombard me with things to add – far too much for any single article, and while her book collection is full of extraordinary volumes of history, photography and fashion designing, that will have to wait for another day.

If there was one thing that Mrs R loved almost as much as Barbie growing up in Spain, it was sticker albums and I can only imagine the explosion of excitement when she came across Panini’s Barbie Parade collection, first published in 1978. This oversized 36-page collection of exciting (and, needless to say, very much of their time) stories and fashion spreads took 256 stickers to complete, a task that has defeated many a child over the years (no one will ever convince me that sticker album and trading card manufacturers don’t build in rarity value for certain stickers/cards, just to keep you buying packs in search of those missing few). Somehow or other, Mrs R managed to complete the whole thing and so you can enjoy the various adventures of Barbie at the circus, the Rio carnival, trips to the beach, showjumping and generally living the dream. Readers can see which of these elements make their way into the new film.

While the bulk of Mrs R’s enormous and impressive Barbie collection will have to wait for another day – not least of all because a lot of it is buried away in storage – it seems remiss not to share with you the Peck Aubrey collector’s edition of the 1961 Barbie in Paper Doll form and the limited edition Barbie Andalucia doll by Designer Pepe Jimenez from 1996, one of countless special editions and variations of the supposedly one-dimensional, stereotyped figure.

Consider this a taster. This is a subject that we’ll definitely be coming back to.


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  1. Wonderful. Beautifully illustrated a,d designed, what a treasure. May I complement Mrs R on not only completing a Pannini album, but also on her exceptional accuracy in putting together the multi-sticker assemblies. I could never manage to put the likes of these together without strangely misaligning them. (What do you think to this: for kids, a thing like Pinterest, only it;s an online ‘sticker-book’, if you will, whereby the user has to find certain images via ‘surfing on the webs’). Severin or someone ought to do a sticker-book as merch. I think Margot Robbie will excel as Barbie, and we can all put the nightmare of Once Upon A Time H’wood behind us. Remember when they said Boyd Rice had a large collection of Barbie dolls, then ‘they’ said he didn’t, and so on and so forth?

    1. Congrats indeed! I still have oh-so-very-nearly-but-not complete albums for the ET, Gremlins and Return of the Jedi sticker albums (the football ones were always easier to complete, due to every boy in school collecting and being willing to trade a Kevin Keegan for that one random Newcastle defender you needed).

      As for the new Barbie film… I am intrigued. I listened to Simon Mayo interviewing Greta Gerwig who piqued my interest with a variety of soundbites; such as musing over the fact that Barbie went to the moon before women were allowed credit cards.

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