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Barbie's over-the-top (and very pink) town house: now and then (1974)

July 21, 2009 |  6:30 am

Barbie Pink Dream townhouse (with dolls)

Whoa, no need to put on rose-colored-glasses when viewing Barbie's new, super-luxe Dream Townhouse -- truly a vision in pinkness all by itself. Her three-story digs come with all the amenities of a 21st century home, not to mention sound and lighting effects. A doorbell announces friends, who can then hop on the ornate Pepto-Bismol-pink elevator and be whisked to Barbie's third-floor boudoir. (Just pull the string on the roof.)

Her master bedroom suite features a four-post bed draped in pink netting and a slick, patent-leather-looking bedspread. (Has Barbie gotten a little kinky after recently turning 50?)  Just outside on the terrace, Barbie moms can fill the outdoor spa with water and at night turn on the yellow-and-pink tiki lights overhead.

To see what Barbie's pad looked like 35 years ago, click to the jump ...

In the new pink town house, Barbie can play hausfrau (unless she's Barbie the astronaut, of course) putting a turkey in the oven. It lights up when you open the door; ditto the refrigerator. She can stack tiny plastic dishes -- also pink -- into the dishwasher. Upstairs, her living room fireplace lights up, then makes crackling-fire sounds. A flat-screen TV emerges from the mantel with the push of a button.

If Barbie has worked up a sweat from cooking the big turkey dinner and washing up all those dishes, she can take a shower. Just place her inside and close the door to hear running water and Barbie humming her favorite tune. And if needed, she can sit on a toilet. (We assume it's a 1.2-gallon dual-flush.) Just pull the handle to hear actual toilet audio -- really.


Compare all that to Barbie's 1974 town house. Sure, the backdrops here are only trompe-l'oeil and the refrigerator, toilet and shower don't light up or make sounds. I think I still prefer the color scheme: earthy oranges, yellows and browns. Whaddaya think?

The three-story layout and elevator remain the same. Too bad we can't say the same for the price. In 1974 Barbie's home cost about $15. Today's suggested retail: $164. www.barbie.com

-- Barbara Thornburg


Barbie Fashion through the years

Vogue Italia's Tribute to Black Barbies

Photos courtesy of Mattel