Is Barbie Pregnant? The Story of Pregnant Barbie - HobbyLark - Games and Hobbies
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Is Barbie Pregnant? The Story of Pregnant Barbie

Did you know Mattel wanted to sell more Barbie clothing than dolls? That's why her proportions were so wild—the clothes make her look human!

Pregnant Midge, Barbie's friend in her purple flowered dress. Just look at that tummy!

Pregnant Midge, Barbie's friend in her purple flowered dress. Just look at that tummy!

Was Barbie Ever Pregnant?

What's more controversial, a pregnant teenager or a pregnant doll?

Many people would say that teenage pregnancy is a larger issue but in 2002, Mattel introduced a doll that made the purchasers of toys for their children (i.e., human mothers) gasp in the toy stores.

A pregnant Barbie! Yikes! What a scandal!

Or was it a scandal at all? Was it even Barbie?

No, Barbie Has Never Been Pregnant

Also, Barbie has always been single. The wedding dresses that were designed for her were only “fantasy” weddings to her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Ken.

But that doesn't mean her friends didn't start a family!

Barbie and Midge

Barbie has had lots of friends in her lifetime, and in 1991, two of them married each other. Their names were Midge Hadley and Allan Sherwood. Later, Mattel produced their "son" Ryan, who was three years old when Midge's gave birth to his sister Nikki in 2002.

But lest we move too quickly through her controversy-laden life, here is some background.

Get Your "Happy Family" Here!

Various members of the Happy Family clan are still available on eBay. Here are some examples:

Barbie Wedding Day Set Fashion, #972: Sadly, as lovely as this wedding dress is, the wedding itself never come to be.

Barbie Wedding Day Set Fashion, #972: Sadly, as lovely as this wedding dress is, the wedding itself never come to be.

Ken Doll, 1961: Can't you see the desperation on his face? (I thought it was dirt, but I was wrong.) He has been pining for Barbie all these years, to no avail. Maybe he should have dated Midge instead!

Ken Doll, 1961: Can't you see the desperation on his face? (I thought it was dirt, but I was wrong.) He has been pining for Barbie all these years, to no avail. Maybe he should have dated Midge instead!

"This is my favorite picture of Alan and me on our wedding day. That was the start of our wonderful family."

— Midge Hadley, Barbie's best friend, back of box

Barbie Background

When Barbie was introduced in 1959 at the New York Toy Fair, she was touted as a Teenage Fashion Model, despite her knowing, sidelong glance and outrageously proportioned body. In fact, her body was not designed to look as “pneumatic” as it ended up—although she was designed to look like a full-grown woman clothed in impeccably tailored duds, a thicker waistline would have ruined the way the fashions hung on the doll and would have resulted in disproportionate-looking outfits. So Mattel went with a disproportionate figure instead!

Since Ruth Handler, the "Mother of Barbie," had dreamed of creating a true fashion doll, a schlumpy-looking one would not do. (The clothes were meant to be the true bread and butter for Mattel.)

Midge and Alan Get Hitched

After Mattel changed the spelling of Allan's name to Alan-with-a-single-L, he and Midge married in 1991. It is clear from the back of the 2002 Happy Family box that Midge is part of a happy family, and so there is no reason that she should not become pregnant.

Although exactly how dolls get pregnant is certainly beyond my comprehension.

Barbie Gets Lonely

And so, after a rocky debut, Barbie became very popular. Young girls clamored for new Barbie friends with which to act out real-life scenes. So in 1961, Mattel gave Barbie non-sexually-threatening boyfriend Ken Carson; in 1963, redheaded befreckled best friend Midge; and in 1964, they saddled Barbie with tag-along, moon-faced younger sister Skipper.

That year, Midge also got a boyfriend and Ken got a buddy: Allan.

Together, they had a grand time on double dates—snorkeling, playing tennis, going to prom, and drinking orange juice. Until...

Midge's tummy, and the baby hidden inside. Who knows what lurks in the depths of dolls?

Midge's tummy, and the baby hidden inside. Who knows what lurks in the depths of dolls?

The Birth of Nikki

It was an easy birth. All Midge had to do was pop off her tanned, egg-like tummy to reveal the baby within. Her stomach was shaped uncannily like the red housing that Silly Putty came in. (It was a little unnerving.) There was no pushing, sweating, or anatomical issues to deal with, just an easy-to-wipe-down hard plastic shell.

The name of Midge and Alan's daughter was Nikki, and she popped out already swaddled in a diaper, clean and smiling! (If only births were that easy for everyone.)

About a year later, the Happy Family line came out with Midge's parents (older-looking, but still attractive) and Midge became pregnant again. This time, owners could name the baby, and it was a surprise as to what sex the baby would be.

Unconcerned with public opinion, Midge can be pregnant whenever the owner wishes.

Unconcerned with public opinion, Midge can be pregnant whenever the owner wishes.

Pregnancy happens.

Deal with it.

Personally, I have nothing against "Pregnant Midge," except that with the belly she requires different clothes (that I'm not willing to buy). I imagine she could wear Alan's clothes, but that would probably spark even more controversy.

To me, the real issue here is not the detachable belly or even the strange little baby inside. Those are laughable. It's that Midge and Alan somehow got together without the proper body parts to "make" a baby. If this is supposed to be a learning toy to introduce pregnancy to little girls, then at least take Alan's shorts off! (Mattel's male dolls have always worn permanent swimsuits.)

As I look at her, Midge appears self-satisfied and complacent, smugly eyeing me as I inspect her full, metallic belly. "Ha!" she smirks prettily. "I have a baby and you don't!"

The one thing I do love about this Midge is the nonchalance with which she greeted all the hoopla. "So you want to pull me from shelves?" she seems to say, with her blue eyes and turned-up nose, gesturing toward her snap-on stomach. "You can try, but little girls will love me even more..."

Without the belly, she is simply a standard flat-bellied Barbie with painted-on panties, cast in the 1997 body mold.

Without the belly, she is simply a standard flat-bellied Barbie with painted-on panties, cast in the 1997 body mold.

What do you think?

Where Can I Buy a Pregnant Midge Doll?

The Happy Family Midge doll may have gotten yanked from shelves years ago, but you can still find them used, online, if you really want to own one. If you're lucky enough to find the African-American set, snatch it up! It's more rarely seen than the Caucasian version.

Sources

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2002-12-24-pregnant-doll_x.htm : USATODAY.com - Customers complain, pregnant doll pulled from Wal-Mart.

Comments

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on January 16, 2020:

I'm sorry, but I'm not the right person to ask about values. :(

Nancy Barber on January 08, 2020:

Is my Prego Midge doll worth anything ? She has never been out the box.

samanthamjordan on February 22, 2015:

I remember when the Happy Family line came out, and quite frankly, at the time I did not see what all the fuss was about nor did I know it was "controversial." I was eight years old at the time and did not want anything to do with motherhood. I never cared for baby dolls either. The only dolls I played with were Barbies and American Girls, which represented girls my age and teenagers. Now that I am older, I collect dolls that are from my childhood, as well as being considered controversial. I have come to realize how sought-after this character is.. and wished I had gotten a copy while it was still a reasonable price. Oh well.

princesse on October 27, 2013:

I Can not imagine That a toy could give birth

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on April 11, 2012:

Hi, Rebecca! Oh yes, Midge certainly caused a ruckus with her babies. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on April 10, 2012:

Wow! How interesting. I never knew there was a Madge baby. How cut!

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on March 28, 2012:

Oh I LOVE your Barbie stories! I'm hysterical laughing at the thought of you two cashing in Midge for makeup and candy. Very entrepreneurial of you! :-)

Shanna from Utah on March 27, 2012:

Haha, I was just 9 when this barbie came out-- I remember my friend got her, but I had a history of mutilating my barbies, so my mom refused to spend any more money on them. I was obsessed with the whole mom-baby thing with toys, so I spent hours at my friends house as we made Midge (who we still called Barbie) give birth over and over and over again.

And then they pulled her from the shelves and suddenly she was a hot-ticket collector item and my friend and I had gotten quite bored with Midge and her endless birthing process, so we had our parents sell Midge and baby and divided the cash on peppermint patties and costume makeup.

Good times.... Haha, awesome hubs! I seriously love your barbie hubs-- they bring back such good memories!

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on March 25, 2012:

Haha! Thanks, Brainy Bunny! Nope, not Hobo Ken. That's the original Ken, looking sexually nonthreatening. (I don't have very many clothes for him so I went with the closest thing I had to a suit, stained and disreputable-looking as it was.)

It is very funny about the diaper. That makes me laugh every time!

Brainy Bunny from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on March 24, 2012:

What is that, Hobo Ken in that top photo? The hideous stains and lack of shirt are pretty disturbing. But I love preggers Midge. My favorite part is that the baby already has its diaper on inside her tummy!

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on March 22, 2012:

Thanks, Prasetio! I appreciate the comments.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 22, 2012:

This was nice information about barbie. This is the first time for me to know about the barbie pregnant. They looks so cute and beautiful, especially the babies inside. Thanks for writing and share with us. Good job and rated up!

Prasetio

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on March 22, 2012:

Hi, lightmotifs! Midge's bio was probably very difficult to complete. Ha!

lightmotifs from Orange County, CA on March 22, 2012:

I vaguely remember an unremarkable bulge on my Ken. No memory of any "Allan" or "Alan." My Midge had to go on Match.com, har.

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on March 22, 2012:

Hmm. I will have to see if I can scrounge him up.

In one of my research texts, they did go back and forth quite a bit between the men and women of production debating how pronounced any bulges should be. Too little and it looked strange; too big and his pants wouldn't fit!

Stephanie Lenz from Pennsylvania on March 22, 2012:

My Malibu Ken had some definition, not a built in swimsuit or underpants. That could be am essay in & of itself.

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on March 22, 2012:

Easiest. Birth. EVER!

Hey, flashmakeit, great to see you and thanks for commenting!

flashmakeit from usa on March 22, 2012:

I never thought anyone would make a pregnant doll. The baby was born with a diaper on, unreal.

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on March 22, 2012:

Thanks, Alissa! Thanks for stopping by.

Yes, it really was a scandal, and still remains. When I first saw it in stores I thought it was pretty silly, but hey, I wasn't an eight year old girl! Anyway, my opinion has not changed. :-)

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on March 22, 2012:

Oh such a Barbie scandal! Darn Midge and her easy peasy pregnancy ;) This hub was very entertaining - I love all your Barbie knowledge! Great job - voted up, awesome and interesting!

Rachel Vega (author) from Massachusetts on March 22, 2012:

Always nice to see you and thank you so much for your kind words and votes, ishwaryaa22! With such am interesting subject, it's difficult got me to not get carried away writing. :-)

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on March 21, 2012:

Oh my! I am very much surprised on learning about the pregnant Barbie doll(Midge)in this engaging hub! This is beyond my imagination! You have an intelligent way of writing these amazing hubs on one of the most popular dolls in the world. Well-done.

Thanks for SHARING. Interesting. Voted up.