Nostalgia is a look at what we loved, way back when. Teri is a journalist who enjoys writing about life and the cool stuff of yesteryear.
Francie Gets Busy!
Francie Doll loved the styles, colors, and patterns of the early 1970s; in 1972, she added 20 new outfits to her wardrobe. Mattel released a new Busy Francie Doll in her original outfit of bell-bottom blue jeans; a green, sleeveless, long-waisted ribbed-knit top (with reddish-orange belt); green shoes; and accessories.
A couple of new Francie doll models were available in Germany; one was the standard version, and another had the “busy” functions—she could move her hands and hold onto things. The German dolls, with blond hair and blue eyes, had a different head mold than (but same body as) the American Francie model. Mattel also sold the Hair Happenin’s Francie (1970–1972) and Growin’ Pretty Hair Francie (1971–1973) dolls.
Francie Doll's New Clothes for 1972
Little Knits (#3275, 1972); hot-pink “hot pants,” long-sleeved top printed in pink and white with a white vinyl belt. Accessories included hot-pink knee-socks and white sandals.
The Slack Suit (#3276, 1972); yellow, orange and white vertically-striped ankle-pants in either nylon or cotton. The matching cropped jacket had orange suede cloth trim around the collar, bodice and waist. The trim (with its square gold buckle) edged the top of the pants. Accessories included a yellow vinyl shoulder bag and yellow low-heeled shoes.
Simply Super (#3277, 1972); with its short capped sleeves, this mid-length dress was red with white floral print. The large ruffled hem and bodice had a different pattern from the middle of the skirt. Francie wore white knee-high lace-up boots with the dress.
Checker Chums (#3278, 1972); two-piece attached dress with a sleeveless, red nylon top and navy-blue and white checkered skirt. The skirt had two “apple” decals on the front. Accessories included a navy and white checkered shoulder bag with matching “apple” decal, red knee-socks and either black flat shoes or low heels.
Totally Terrific (#3279, 1972); Francie definitely had that “mod” thing going on with her plaid jacket woven in colors of white, orange, yellow and navy-blue. The jacket had royal-blue vinyl trim at the sleeve cuffs, hem, up the center and around the collar. A short, yellow, pleated skirt with navy stitching covered up the red capped-sleeved bodysuit. A cap that matched the jacket (with a royal-blue vinyl bill), sheer yellow hose, a yellow vinyl shoulder bag and a pair of royal-blue flats with ankle straps completed the ensemble.
Cool Coveralls (#3281); medium-dark-blue denim-like overalls with moon and star decals on the bib. Francie wore a crimped white sweater underneath — made of bouclé yarn; its sleeves were elbow length. A blue backpack (with yellow straps and gold buckles) and soft yellow ankle boots came with the outfit.
The Long View (#3282, 1972); ankle-length, long-sleeved aqua dress. The empire waist featured gold braid. Floral bands on white material circled above the ruffled hem and at the sleeves’ elbows. The same pattern adorned the bodice, which also had three gold buttons down the front. White shoes came in the package.
Suited for Shorts (#3283, 1972); “hot pants” shorts in white with a floral and circular wheel pattern; the matching top was a sleeveless shell. Stirrup knee-high socks (with the same pattern) fit over yellow square-toed shoes. A reddish-orange jacket (with yellow stitching and a zipper halfway down the front) fell at about mid-thigh. A yellow vinyl shoulder bag was included with the outfit.
Peach Treats (#3285, 1972); gauzy dress in pink with multi-colored horizontal stripes of various patterns. The full, puffed sleeves and waistband were made of orange gauze — the same material that created a matching shawl. Underneath the dress, Francie wore an eyelet-trimmed slip in white cotton. Orange low-heeled shoes completed the look.
Double Ups (#3286, 1972); Francie could choose from a number of pieces in this ensemble — a red, short-sleeved tricot cat suit; navy-blue suede cloth jacket (with red stitching and a red button); white skirt with horizontal red and blue zigzag stripes (and navy suede cloth trim at the waist and down the front); short “hot pants” in the same pattern; navy suede cloth boots (with red vinyl straps); matching shoulder bag and a red vinyl visor with navy suede cloth straps.
Smashin’ Satin (#3287, 1972); long, light-blue, strapless satin dress that split from the waist to the hem. The dress was trimmed with rose-colored “suede” around the chest area and down the center. The dress sported 10 blue buttons. The outfit included a matching cropped-waist jacket and “hot pants” shorts, light-blue “furry” purse (with rose “suede” trim), pale-blue hose and shoes.
Bridal Beauty (#3288, 1972); textured gown in white cotton — the long, sheer, puffed sleeves had material at the forearms and wrists that matched the skirt. The bodice was made up of a sheer ruffled bib and satin ribbon collar. The accompanying tulle veil was trimmed with white grosgrain ribbon and a satin bow. The ensemble included a flower basket with cloth flowers and white squared-toe shoes.
Francie’s “Best Buy” Outfits for 1972
Sleepy Time Gal (#3364, 1972); pajamas similar to ones that Francie’s cousins wore (Barbie; #3350; Sweet Dreams and Skipper; #3371; Super Snoozers). The short-sleeved top and flared bottoms were in white cotton with blue dots and floral print. Accessories included blue felt booty slippers and an aqua comb, mirror and brush set.
Ready! Set! Go! (#3365, 1972); denim blue jeans trimmed with white stitching and a nylon tank top in aqua-blue. The set included a red scarf with white stars and dots, a brown vinyl belt, rose-colored sunglasses and white tennis shoes. The outfit coordinated with Barbie Doll’s Good Sports (#3351) and Skipper’s Fun Runners (#3372).
Pretty Frilly (#3366, 1972); short-sleeved peasant dress — it had a dark-yellow skirt with vertically multi-colored floral-striped print. The bodice, in the same print as the skirt, had a white bib trimmed in black braid. The puffed sleeves were white with black button accents. Francie wore this dress with black squared-toe shoes and a choker necklace (turquoise butterfly with yellow beads).
Right For Stripes (#3367, 1972); sleeveless, midriff-bearing top in white with turquoise horizontal stripes. The outfit had matching clamdigger/pedal pusher/capri pants — the stripes were vertical. A denim-like, cotton, sleeveless vest with white stitching (two pockets and white buttons) could be worn by itself or over the striped top. Accessories included a red-flowery cloth shoulder bag and turquoise tennis shoes. Mattel released several versions of this set — some with solidly-colored stripes and others with diagonally-angled patterns in the stripes.
Red, White & Bright (#3368); crimped “waffle-weave” floor-length coat in white with red “suede” collar, sleeves and pocket trim. It had three red buttons on the bodice. The outfit included a red “suede” purse (on a gold chain) and a pair of white low-heeled shoes.
Pink ‘n Pretty (#3369); short-hemmed, short-sleeved, pink cotton dress with white eyelet bib on the bodice (and a white bow just below it). The dress came with a white cotton petticoat (with floral printing), matching panties and light-pink shoes.
What Awaited Francie in 1973?
Mattel added the Quick Curl Francie Doll to the lineup in 1973; her hair curled easily. The doll wore a bright yellow and white dress with black ribbon trimming.
Francie’s clothes in the “Best Buy” packaging no longer had names to describe the outfits; they were noted by their stock numbers. Francie had six Best Buy outfits in 1973 and a boot-shoe accessory pack. Three “Get-Ups and Go” outfits were also in available stores that year.
© 2012 Teri Silver