It was November 24h, 1999, when Barbie finally got to come out and play with Disney characters. Toy Story 2 introduced us to another of her many professions: Tour Guide. And what a tour it was!
The background of the box above shows a scene from the movie with a glimpse of the tour car. This Special Edition also contains three finger puppets! How can you go wrong with that?
But before she jumped into a battery-powered car and took over the driving duties from one Hamm pig, she dabbled in Disney fashion. Of course, she kept doing so after said movie as well. And these parlances into Mickey’s world have been well documented in doll form. Or as I like to call them: Female Action Figures! But more on that term later.
Let’s have a look at some of the versions of Barbie that I have collected so far:
Barbie wanted to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Original Mickey Mouse Club and decided to do it with Cosplay. Unlike most of the Disney-themed Barbie packaging, this box is a bit basic. But the costumes are amazing! Do you prefer the ‘Then’ or the ‘Now’?
The next set of figures (see what I did there?) are Disney-related but don’t necessarily link to any one promotion. So we could call these generic Disney, as it were:
Sporting a nice Hidden Mickey dress with water bottle lanyard and WDW shopping bag, Barbie is set to pick up some sweet merchandise! Released in 2000, the figure was a Theme Park Exclusive. You can see postcards, Lolly Pops, and other fun things for sale, so she is definitely in a Disney Park!
So we finally have a doll that predates Barbie’s entry into the Disney Universe. 1996 gave us Disney Fun Barbie. She has everything covered here: A Mickey on her jumpsuit, a Hidden Mickey handbag, a Mickey-shaped balloon, and the iconic Mickey Ears Hat. And a brush. Barbie always has to have a brush! Her hair just gets so tangled. And it appears that she is ready to ‘Bring Home the Magic’ with a ride on the monorail in this Disney Exclusive figure.
Moving ahead to 2002 we find Barbie once again visiting the Walt Disney World Resort where she finds Four Parks but just One World. Her hat features the logos/icons for each park, the t-shirt has a Hidden Mickey, as does her purse. And if they sold that long skirt for real people, I think we’d see a lot of women wearing it! The box has multiple images of Disney characters enjoying the various attractions throughout the Parks.
Now we are going to move into a different set of figures, the Promotional Barbie Doll. These are specifically released to commemorate some Disney milestone, such as:
Walt Disney World celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary in 1996. Although this is a Special Edition it has one of the plainer boxes of my collection. If you look close, you can see Mickey Ear Balloons in the background. But Barbie is stunning with her Hidden Mickey crop top, 25th Logo patch on her jacket, Mickey purse, Mickey-shaped balloon, and of course, the iconic Mickey Mouse Ears.
Who didn’t celebrate the Millennium? Or were you one of the ones hiding in a bunker waiting for the end of the world as we knew it? Me, I just said: “Bring it on!” But I did back up my computer files, just in case.
Barbie sports a shirt and hat with the appropriate celebration logo and there is the obligatory brush (bottom right corner. You can see the handle). Nighttime fireworks are going off in front of the Castle behind Barbie. And she has a nice picture frame for you to put your ‘I Survived the Millennium’ selfie!
One year onward and we arrive at 2001 for Walt Disney World’s 30th Celebration. We have a Castle motif in the background with streamers and Barbie is resplendent in her classy Hidden Mickey outfit! Another Theme Park Exclusive, you needed to be at the Parks to pick this up originally.
And there are many more Disney-themed Barbie female action figures out there. Not dolls? Nope. Girls play with dolls. Boys (or grown men, in this case) collect female action figures. It’s a small designation, I know, but one I’m quite sensitive about so… no snickering!
TRUE STORY: Six of the FAFs shown in this post joined my collection at the same time. I was with my wife and father at an antique mall and saw them, but wasn’t quite ready to part with the amount of money the vendor wanted for them. But it was days away from my wedding anniversary and so my father decided to buy them for us as a present for that event. So yes, true story, my father bought me Barbies. I appreciate that you are not snickering as I requested, but I would appreciate it if you’d stopped laughing!
I did a Book Review on Toy Wars. It chronicles the fight between Mattel (Barbie) and Hasbro (G. I. Joe) and is a fascinating read. Check it out!