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.
What Happened in the Year 1972?
1972 was a year of impending political turmoil in the United States; the Watergate scandal began as five White House agents were arrested for burglarizing the office of the Democratic National Committee. 1972 was a year of anti-war demonstrations, hurricanes, earthquakes, and flash floods.
1972 was a year of movies: The Godfather, Diamonds are Forever, Fiddler on the Roof, and Cabaret—just to name a few. 1972 featured the music of The Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Led Zeppelin. Television viewers watched The Brady Bunch, The Waltons, M*A*S*H, and Here’s Lucy.
And in 1972, things got "busy" as Mattel released a new line of Barbie Dolls that could walk, talk, and carry things.
What Else Was New for Barbie in '72?
- In 1972, Barbie Doll got a new friend: Steffie.
- In addition to the “busy” and ”walk lively” dolls, Mattel released Barbie and Steffie as Miss America.
- There was a new version of Barbie with Growin’ Pretty Hair.
- There were “baggie” packaged Malibu Barbie dolls called “forget-me-nots”—they were marketed this way—as promotional items identical to the original Malibu Barbie.
- Montgomery Ward Department Stores sold an exclusive re-issue of the very first Barbie doll (1959).
- Malibu P. J. hit the stores, dressed in a one-piece lavender swimsuit.
- Barbie’s outfits from 1971 were re-issued in 1972, and there were nearly three dozen (and several for Miss America) new ensembles released.
Barbie’s Closet: 1972
Fun Shine (#3480, 1972); two-piece evening ensemble, the skirt was silver lamé with darker silver square print. The skirt’s wide silver-braided waistband fit over the tucked-in blouse — dark-orange with sheer long sleeves that gathered at the cuffs. The widely-ruffled collar covered an attached silver lamé strapless bikini-like top. An orange sash tied at the bodice. Orange pantyhose and “chunky” shoes finished off the outfit.
The Short Set (#3481, 1972); knitted “hot pants” (shorts) of white with a diamond-floral pattern in purple, blue, orange and yellow. The long-sleeved turtleneck top had a different-but-similar pattern. A red vinyl belt (with an attached purse) and red knee-high “lace” boots gave Barbie Doll that “'70s” look.
Peasant Pleasant (#3482, 1972); tan-colored “burlap” wrap-around skirt with orange rickrack trim at the hem and down the front flap. The blouse was a matching orange — it had long, full sleeves and heavy braiding around the arms and waist. Orange-wedged shoes (with vinyl straps and leg ties) came in the package.
Purple Pleasers (#3483, 1972); the maxi-skirt was dark yellow with an abstract print of orange, purple, white, black and green. The long-sleeved blouse of purple with its high, ruffled neckline was gathered at the waist and had a short peplum-like hem. The outfit came with purple “chunky" shoes.
All American Girl (#3337, 1972); long-sleeved, royal-blue tricot blouse that gathered at the waist and wrist, showing off ruffled cuffs. The satin mini-skirt had large-print geometric designs in red, white and matching blue. Four white buttons adorned the front. Royal-blue tights and red “chunky” shoes gave Barbie Doll that patriotic look.
Mainly For Rain (#3338, 1972); red and blue houndstooth flannel coat — it had royal-blue braid trim and buttons. A matching hat and red knee-high boots came in the package. This item was also made with black and/or green houndstooth checks in one of the patterns.
Light ‘n Lazy (#3339, 1972); sheer, short, white nightgown with lace trimming and a pale-purple ribbon. The matching robe and panties were trimmed in lace. Lace booties came with the nightwear.
Golden Glitter (#3340, 1972); soft-yellow satin dress with a fitted bodice and sheer yellow ruffles at the neck. The yoke was accented with gold buttons. A thin gold braid circled the waist. Accessories included pale-yellow pantyhose, a yellow satin purse and tan squared-toe shoes.
Madras Mod (#3485, 1972); this “very ‘70s” maxi coat was patterned in plaid madras — white, reddish-orange, yellow, black, blue and several shades in between. A matching shoulder bag and red “chunky” shoes completed the set.
O-Boy Corduroy (#3486, 1972); long-sleeved royal-blue crepe blouse with slender arms that “puffed” near the shoulders. The blouse’s high neck collar sported a white ribbon and brooch around the neck. The red corduroy jumper fell into a maxi length. It had crocheted braiding at the sleeves and on the bodice. Barbie wore the outfit with white knee-high boots.
Sleepy Set (#3487, 1972); short nightgown with a pink tricot skirt and nylon overlay — the sleeveless bodice was patterned with floral stripes. The bathrobe was also patterned in floral-stripes and had green satin ribbon ties. The nightwear came with white felt slippers (accented with pink nylon pom poms).
Overall Denim (#3488, 1972); dark-blue overall denim jeans with hooks at the bib. Barbie wore them over a short-sleeved red t-shirt (one sleeve was aqua-blue, the other sleeve was a dusty lilac color). She wore white tennis shoes and carried a backpack (either brown “leather” or white with blue or black stripes and red vinyl straps).
Party Lines (#3490, 1972); “granny” style dress in black satin with spaced-out floral print. The dress had sheer black sleeves and a sheer white lace yoke. The sleeve cuffs and dress-bottom hem were fashioned with lace and sheer netting. Accessories included white hose and black flat-heeled shoes with ribbon ties.
Suede ‘n Fur (#3491, 1972); this set included several pieces — a skirt, cat suit, coat and boots — each package contained different variations. The skirt was a dark-beige suede cloth wrap-around with three “gold” buttons down the front. The midi-length coat was made of dark-brown “fur” and the dark-beige suede cloth. The coat closed with tabs and buttons. Barbie wore a bright-red cat suit underneath and brown knee-high boots.
Flying Colors (#3492, 1972); long-sleeved yellow textured blouse that cropped at the waist and tied in a bow. The midriff top fit over the (crinkled material) ankle-length skirt. The skirt featured wide, horizontal stripes of various colors and patterns (white, dark-green, dark-pink, dark-yellow) and a hot-pink vinyl waistband. A cropped orange “fur” vest (with pink vinyl trim) was worn over the blouse. The set came with a plastic choker necklace and hot-pink “chunky” shoes.
Satin ‘n Shine (#3493, 1972); Barbie got married! (again). This wedding dress had a white satin bodice, diagonally-patterned white lace, leg-of-mutton sleeves (puffed at the shoulder, slim to the wrist), and white lace fabric over the skirt’s satin lining. The tulle veil was attached to a braided satin headpiece. The ensemble came with a single-flower bouquet (green tulle, white satin ribbons) and white squared-toe pumps.
Furry ‘n Fun (#3336, 1972); red-knit maxi coat with a white “fur” collar and white fur cuffs at the sleeves. The coat had a red vinyl belt around the waist. Gray knee-high boots came with the coat.
Long ‘n Fringy (#3341, 1972); the long flannel maxi-skirt was patterned with large and small-printed, multi-colored plaid (reddish-orange, yellow, blue, black). The long-sleeved yellow blouse had a large tie at the high neck and gathered at the waist. Black “chunky” shoes came with the set.
Sweet Dreams (#3350, 1972); simple pajamas — the long-legged bottoms matched the short-sleeved shift top. The “jammies” were printed with pink spots and pink, white and yellow flowers. A pair of felt slippers and plastic mirror, comb and brush came in the package.
Good Sports (#3351, 1972); bell-bottom blue jeans and a sleeveless, pink-red top. Accessories included a floral-printed scarf, brown vinyl belt, red sunglasses and white tennis shoes.
White ‘n With It (#3352, 1972); white–textured coat with red stitching trim and a gold-buckled front belt flap. A gold-knitted shoulder bag (with gold chain) and white “chunky” shoes finished the outfit.
Sport Star (#3353, 1972); turquoise-colored, denim-patterned mini-skirt with an attached bib (like overalls). White buttons held the straps in place. The puffy, long-sleeved blouse was red with white star print. Barbie wore blue “chunky” shoes.
Glowin’ Gold (#3354, 1972); golden lamé-knitted pants and a sleeveless turquoise shell. Turquoise squared-toe shoes finished off the look.
Picture Me Pretty (#3355, 1972); short mini peasant dress — the bodice and skirt were patterned with flowers on wide vertical stripes in purple and red. The long sleeves, neckline and hem were white and trimmed with eyelet lace. White lace-trimmed panties, a half-slip and pink or purple “chunky” shoes completed the outfit.
Silver Blues (#3357) and Fancy That Purple (#3362, 1972); these items were sold separately but meant to be worn together ....
Silver Blues was a long coat of gold and pastel-colored brocade — its bodice was knitted with plain gold material. The package included a sheer purple scarf and purple cut-out shoes. Barbie Doll wore Silver Blues (with its silver, reddish-orange, purple, pink, aqua and green brocade) with ....
Fancy That Purple; gold-knitted “hot pants” shorts, purple velveteen blouse (with short capped sleeves) and a long brocade skirt. Purple pantyhose gave the outfit a bit more color.
Lovely ‘n Lavender (#3358, 1972); pale lavender-pink nightgown in sheer nylon with a tricot lining and an empire waist. It had a ruffled hem. The nightgown was worn under a sheer, dotted-nylon robe with a “fur” collar and lace trim. Accessories included pink open-toed shoes, a white plastic water pitcher and cup.
Pants-Perfect Purple (#3359, 1972); the outfit was actually more of a rust color — the patterned bell-bottom pants were worn with a matching long-sleeved top. Accessories included a “leopard fur” shoulder bag (trimmed in black patent “leather”) and black “chunky” shoes.
Pleasantly Peasanty (#3360, 1972); maxi dress that is “so very ‘70s.” The dress was red with vertically-striped floral print down the sleeves, bodice and skirt. It had a wide ruffled hem. The neckline and sleeve cuffs were trimmed with white lace. A wide black velveteen belt with tie sashes circled the waist. The dress was worn with a long white petticoat (with eyelet lace trim) and black “chunky” shoes.
Sweetheart Satin (#3361, 1972); Barbie Doll racked up the weddings this year! This white satin, straight-lined gown had an empire waist (with an accent bow) and featured a wide ruffled hem with lace ruffling on a higher tier. The satin sleeves ended at the elbows with lace trimming to the wrists. The headpiece was made of lace with a tulle veil. Accessories included white squared-toe shoes and a bouquet of (three) flowers, lace and ribbon.
Extras and Pets
Mattel released a new collection for Barbie and her friends that included shoes and boots in different styles and colors. There were also Put-on & Pets; outfits that combined a Barbie Doll ensemble with accessories for her dogs or cat.
- Poodle Doodles (#1061) featured a dress (red bodice, floral skirt), matching floral boots and short jacket with turquoise trim. The black poodle dog wore a matching turquoise suede cloth collar.
- Hot Togs (#1063) featured a red, white and blue plaid jacket and red cuffed shorts (“hot pants”). Accessories included olive-colored pantyhose, thigh-high knee socks, brown knee-high laced boots, a brown suede cloth purse and belt. Barbie’s dog was an ecru-colored Afghan, fashioned in a brown suede cloth leash and collar.
- In Kitty Kapers (#1072), Barbie (or Steffie, Stacey, Christy and P. J.) wore a skirt and blouse — three separated colors (orange, blue and yellow) with polka dots, trimmed in white rickrack. The long-sleeved, midriff-bearing cropped top was worn over the skirt or matching “hot pants.” Included in the package were a pair of white knee-high boots, a yellow food bowl and a white Persian, blue-eyed cat.
Miss America Doll
Mattel produced Walk Lively Miss America in 1972 (until 1973) and then the Quick Curl Miss America (from 1973 to 1976) for Barbie and Steffie. They wore several outfits during their 1972 reigns:
- Royal Velvet (#3215, 1972); rose-velvet gown with leg-of-mutton sleeves (the slender long sleeves “puffed” at the shoulders) and white “fur” around the neckline. Accessories included a long fuchsia nylon slip, white “fur” muff and rose-colored “chunky” shoes.
- Majestic Blue (#3216, 1972); floor-length gown in sheer turquoise nylon. It had a ruffled peplum and sheer layer overlay. The white “fur” jacket was lined in turquoise silk and trimmed in gold braid. The outfit included a bouquet of pink roses set in green tulle and a bow with long ribbons (printed with the words “Miss America.”) Long white gloves and turquoise “chunky” shoes completed the ensemble.
- Regal Red (#3217, 1972); an orange-red satin dress and matching cape. The dress featured an attached gold-knit halter top that fit into the skirt and a gold belt. The cape was trimmed with real yellow-tinted fur. Long yellow gloves, a gold clutch purse and red squared-toe shoes finished off the look.
Strollin’ in Style (#1247, Sears Department Store, 1972); Jamie’s gift set included a doll (wearing her standard dress of red with a blue and yellow-checked pattern) and a separate pantsuit outfit. The pants were turquoise-blue with wide-hemmed bottoms; the matching tunic-like top had yellow crocheted trim around the neck and down the front. The set included a pair of turquoise “chunky” shoes, a blue and yellow ball and a white furry poodle dog with its blue suede cloth collar.
What Were Ken, Francie, Skipper, and Tiff Up to in 1972?
Ken Doll was “busy,” “talking” and “walking lively” with last season’s releases, 12 new outfits and an accessory card. Francie Doll had 20 new outfits and Skipper Doll found 10 new ensembles in her closet, which she shared with her friend, Tiff.
Looking Forward to 1973
Outfits were no longer given descriptive titles; the cute phrases were phased out of the Mattel line in favor of stock numbers on Best Buy and Get-Ups 'n Go packaging. Dolls (including Barbie and Kelley) received “quick curl” hair that could be styled easily.
There were “baggie” dolls — Barbie, P. J. (and friends) packaged in clear plastic wrappers. 25 Best Buy fashions and accessories were added to the line as well as several Sew Magic (do-it-yourself) sets. Mattel introduced five new ensembles for the Get-Ups ‘n Go clothes line, which included more outfit choices and accessories.
© 2012 Teri Silver
acc12 on January 27, 2012:
Fun and thorough hub! I had the Miss America Majestic Blue outfit - it was always one of my favorites. Still have the dress, but not the fur jacket or flowers. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.