While I am busy making new items for the next Welcome Home sale, please enjoy this reprint of an article I wrote for Fashion Doll Quaterly Magazine’s – Barbie Issue 2009.
Mattel Modern Furniture
Barbie Collector’s adopt a favorite!
Text and photography by: Maryann Roy
In 1958, just one year shy of the introduction of the Barbie Doll, Mattel offered a line of doll furniture for 8”-10 ½” dolls.
The already successful toy company hit yet another home run with this beautifully crafted line of Danish Modern Furniture!
Every little girl dreamed of a special place to house her dolls. A place like home, where she could imagine one day having and taking care of herself.
There were many choices too! A Dining set, two types of Living Room sets, a lovely Bedroom set that included an Open Wardrobe and Mirrored Dresser, as well as separate pieces to add to your living room like a coffee table or buffet.
Along comes the Barbie Doll in 1959. All those children, now delighted with the world’s most famous fashion doll, would of course want the finest in home décor for her as well!
While not intended for Barbie’s taller 12” size, this perfectly modern, well designed, furniture was immediately adopted (or adapted one might say) to be Barbie’s home furnishings.
Each piece had amazing craftsmanship and detail, such as, drawers that opened and closed, the finest bed linens and quality upholstery.
The success of the Barbie Doll brought new additions in the line, like the 1st Dream House in 1961 and the NEW Dream House in 1964. These grand accessories included not only the furniture, but the walls and floors as well! And, could be compactly and neatly stored away.
Alas, the Mattel Modern Furniture would be shelved or pushed aside for some time.
Now, enter the adult collector. Reliving their fond memories of growing up with Barbie and the hours of play and imagination. It might be one of those memories that sparked the idea of procuring all that went along with her. The Mattel Modern Furniture line would once again find a place in the hearts and minds of Barbie collectors. Sweet and demure, a perfect place for Barbie to dream.
On these pages, I’m sharing with you, a few of the pieces that I have collected. Inspirational for a mid-century modern furniture lover like myself! I still have a few pieces to add, like the fantastic lamp that could actually light up! Or, the curved end coffee table. For me the hunt continues. But in the meantime, this furniture is being enjoyed on it’s own as well as with my dolls.
Some 50 years have passed since the introduction of this charming line of doll furniture. But, although time has come and gone, the love of something so well made and reminiscent of our childhood has not been shunned. It’s been embraced and cared for. Through its quality and attention to detail, this is one collectible that may last and last for generations to come!
Mattel furniture from the collection of the Author. Maryann Roy can be reached on the web at: www.maryannroy.com
More furniture shown in the brochure:
Look for more of my contributions in FDQ by going to: http://www.fdqmedia.com/