Wednesday October 18th 2017

Astronaut Barbie 1965 Replica – Why You Need to Buy It!

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Seems like a lot of older collectibles are being recreated and redistributed as vintage these days. Mattel recently joined the madness by releasing a replica of the 1965 Astronaut Barbie Doll.

Barbie has had over 125 careers (many repeated) during her 50+ years in production (since 1959). Each career variation was obviously meant to inspire young women and also encourage collectors.

While this was the 9th career themed Barbie doll, it may very well be the most significant because it came out when the US Space program was still in its infancy (we were still 4 years from setting foot on the moon). It also was a tremendous leap for a doll in an industry that typically focused on culturally accepted and semi-stereotypical roles in a woman just being a beauty queen, teacher, nurse, or ballerina.

In many ways the doll commemorates the first American women to be trained by NASA for space travel in the 1960’s, the Mercury 13. Unfortunately they never got the opportunity to launch, and it was not until 1983 that Dr. Sally Kristen Ride became the 1st American woman (3rd woman) to go to Space on the Space Shuttle Challenger.

It is worth noting that The Soviet Union (USSR) had sent a woman into space, Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, 20 years earlier (2 years before the doll was created) in 1963. Another Soviet, Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the 2nd woman sent into space in 1982.

This is definitely a replica worth buying, but you better hurry because these are selling out fast.

If you are interested, there were 3 other Astronaut themed Barbie Dolls created since the original 1965 version, in various styles (i.e. Blonde, Brunette, African-American, etc).

A 1986 Astronaut Barbie was released in a pink costume that definitely put fashion before the practicality of the commonly designed Astronaut jumpsuit. The doll came at a time when America had 2 well known female Astronauts bringing a lot of renewed interest to NASA, Astronauts Sally Ride and Christa McAuliffe. (Ironically, although developed prior, it was released the same year as the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and the unfortunate loss of 7 astronauts, including Christa McAuliffe.) You could almost say it embodies the 80’s (maybe a little bit of Mork from Ork).

Another Astronaut Barbie was released in 1994 in the standard white uniform. There were 2 versions of this model I have found, 1 being an African-American Barbie.

A final “Space Camp Barbie“, with multiple accessories was released in 2008. I have found 3 versions, the standard Blonde Barbie, Brunette (Teresa), and African-American (Nikki).

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