April 2, 2013

Barbie® and Midge® Extravaganza!

After 50 fantastic years, it’s definite — Midge is Barbie doll’s BFF! To celebrate, we sat down for tea with Bill Greening, designer of the duo’s mega-stylish Barbie and Midge 50th Anniversary Gift Set!

Barbie Collector: Wow, the colors, fashions, and hairstyles are amazing. What inspired your design choices?

Bill Greening: Well, let me start by saying the true inspiration is Midge, since she has stood the test of time and merits BFF status.

BC: True, and she is the very first friend of Barbie after all.

Bill: Not only that, but she disappeared from the line and made a triumphant comeback, which is also significant because it was the first time a friend was brought back from Barbie doll’s past. The comeback kid was California Midge, and I gotta say, I lost it when that doll came out!

BC: So did Barbie!

Bill: Absolutely, and I wanted to touch on her return because Midge had a great run. She got married in the ’90s. She’s had children. She’s had a very rich history.

BC: Interesting how Midge has had a very different life than Barbie.

Bill: And that’s the essence of this gift set — getting together and catching up over tea and lunch. The set’s color scheme is very spring-oriented — bright and cheerful — everything spending time with your BFF should be.

BC: It does set up a very playful scenario.

Bill: Exactly, like, Barbie and Midge dressing up and having fun at the Dreamhouse®. Gossiping about, oh, I don’t know, Francie® or Ken®! I initially wanted to call it Tea and Lunch.

BC: That’s a nice play on the names of the original luncheon-inspired outfits.

Bill: Yes, 1965’s Invitation to Tea, along with 1966’s Lunch on the Terrace, definitely evoke the glamour of that era and what it meant to be the perfect hostess.

BC: Barbie is definitely a stylish hostess. Her outfit matches her tea accessories.

Bill: And both dolls look like their vintage counterparts. For the American Girl Barbie, we’re using the classic nostalgic sculpt with a ’60s-inspired shade of coral pink for her lips. And for Midge, the design team gave collectors the doll they requested — a bendable leg Midge so she can even sit down for a tea break! Plus, because red hair is so iconic to Midge, we created a redhead.

BC: She’s so perky with those adorable freckles!

Bill: She’s really cute. There’s also a booklet that includes the Midge timeline, or as I like to call it: “Midge, This Is Your Life!”

BC: The best part is, her enduring friendship with Barbie means there’s lots more to look forward to in the future! Thanks, Bill!

Celebrate friendship and fashion with Barbie and Midge dolls on the eve of their anniversary — just a click away at your favorite online shop!

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