March 19, 2013

Barbie® and Midge® - Best Friends Forever!

By Chris Varaste

Lucy and Ethel, Laverne and Shirley...Barbie® and Midge®! Those of us lucky to have a BFF can relate to these famous buds for different reasons.

What I appreciate most about my BFF is the sharing, whether it’s a bit of gossip or an item of clothing. There have been many times when we'd turn to each other for last-minute fashion emergencies, like showing up to a restaurant that doesn't allow sneaks! My BFF, like a personal doctor, has always been on-call — much like Barbie and her favorite pal, Midge!

Over the course of fifty years, the gal pals have given us front-row seats to a legacy of fun, fashion, and even the same body sculpt! In fact, when Midge debuted in 1963, she sported a new body sculpt known in collector terms as the Midge/Barbie body. As a result, lucky Midge, the wholesome girl next door, got first dibs on all of fashion model Barbie doll’s trendiest new outfits! Their fashion swaps remind me of another pair of BFFs from the 1960s — Ginger and Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island! Ginger was a stunning movie star who gave her sweet hut-mate Mary Ann access to trunks full of fab clothes, shoes and accessories!

This year, we get to celebrate their enduring friendship with a beautiful Barbie and Midge 50th Anniversary Giftset, featuring both dolls in colorful couture fashions. According to the set's designer, Bill Greening, the friends are wearing teatime-appropriate fashions for a reason. "They're girls getting together to gab and catch up over a cup of tea, so I thought it would be perfect to dress Midge in Lunch On The Terrace (1966) and Barbie in Invitation to Tea (1965)."

I agree with our expert — the dolls, fashions, and everything else about the set celebrates the very essence of friendship, especially between lifelong BFFs!

Do you have a favorite Barbie and Midge BFF moment? Please tell us about it!


Chris Varaste started out at ABC-TV, producing segments for the Emmys, Tonys & Grammys. A fascination with fashion and pop culture led to his first published book, Barbie: Face of the American Dream – and an appreciation for all things Barbie! His insights on collectibles/brand success have been published in the New York Times, The Economist, and Spotlight Cinema Networks.

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