John Travolta 12″ Doll

(Sorry… “Action Figure”)

This licensed John Travolta doll was released by Chemtoy in 1977. This would have been in the middle of Travolta’s run as Vinnie Barbarino in the classic sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, and the same year that Saturday Night Fever hit theaters.

One interesting thing about this toy is that the front of the box advertises that the doll can also wear clothes made for Ken (Barbie’s boyfriend) and Donnie (Marie’s brother). Funny, I can’t imagine John Travolta, Tony Manero, or Vinnie Barbarino wearing anything from Ken or Donnie’s wardrobe.

For those of you who are curious, the doll is not anatomically correct. Noticeably missing are any nostrils, which means there is no way to shove a rubber hose up Travolta’s nose.

Dream Glow Barbie

You can find Dream Glow Barbies and Kens on the web at pretty affordable prices. Affordable enough to make all your glow in the dark Barbie dreams come true. I was doing a search for something else, when I found this ad for the Dream Glow line and just like a dozen other Barbie tag lines, this one was stuck in my brain and I found myself singing along. How did they do that?

Oh well, what is interesting about this commercial is that they say right in the ad that they are using special fabric to enhance the glow effect for tv. I wonder how close the real dolls were when you got them home. Oh and just a reminder, if you love playing with your toys, nothing is better than playing with them all ghostly and barely visible in a pitch black room.

Island Fun Barbie

When I can sing along to the the entire theme song to Island Fun Barbie. It raises the question, “What kind of TV was I watching in the late 1980s?” I did watch a lot of Jem, but I cannot remember where this ad ran. Oh well.

I cannot say I ever got to play much with the Barbies, but Island Fun Barbie with her slightly frizzy (humid island appropriate) long hair, looks like she is having fun. Especially with that water fall filled lagoon that the girls in the video get to play with. If I had that, it would have made a great exotic base for Zartan and his Dreadnoks.

I do not think Island Fun Barbie was very popular. You can still get a vintage one in box at a reasonable price on Amazon.

Barbie Travelin’ Trailer, Yee-Ha!

The Retroist’s post yesterday on Barbie’s Ferrari got me thinking about the past. I guess that’s the Retroist’s specialty, right? Anyway, as a kid I wasn’t even aware of the Barbie Ferrari. Most of my friends had the pink Corvette. The ‘vette was sweet, but my Barbie felt that it was too high-maintenance…look at me, look at me. My Barbie had a more outdoorsy bent. A nature girl, if you will.

My Barbie tooled around town, or her ranch, in an off-road vehicle with horse trailer. The set was called the Barbie Travelin’ Trailer. Sadly, the trailer could only accommodate one of Barbie’s horses at a time. Naturally she needed two horses for galloping through the woods, or on the beach, with Ken. Barbie rode Dallas, Ken rode Midnight. When they traveled, they often took Dallas as her golden mane coordinated better with the beige horse trailer…my Barbie may have been a nature girl, but fashion was still important. But let’s not feel too badly for Midnight. He always got Dallas’ share of oats when she was away in the trailer.

One of the best features of the off-road vehicle was the hand winch and pulley that really did work, just like the box says! It was great for incline pulling and had a fab load capacity.

My mom still has this set in her basement…I’d better not tell her it’s going for nearly $500 bucks on Amazon, or it won’t be at her house the next time I feel like playing “Ranch” with Barbie and Ken.

Please enjoy these images of the original set from 1982…and remember to keep your trailer tidy!