Saturday, August 04, 2012
Like the song goes, “Gimme a head with hair…”
Whether “long, straight, curly or fuzzy”, for Barbie in the 1970s, the focus was on hair! And it was groovy, man!
I’ve been going through my 70’s Barbies stash and sorting and organizing and identifying various dolls and outfits and accessories I’ve acquired at garage sales and thrift stores over the years. It’s been quite a learning experience for me, since this era was past the time I was into dolls—I was in high school and college in the 70’s. I never knew about the new line of dolls from that decade until I was an adult and began studying vintage Barbie books.
Quick Curl Barbie and Mod Hair Ken were introduced in the early 70’s, and there was even a commercial pairing them as a couple. The Quick Curl dolls had a new type of wiry hair mixed in with their regular hair, so you could easily curl or set it. Barbie and her Quick Curl friends came with an array of hair accessories, including a curling wand, bobby pins, ribbons, rubber bands, etc. From what I hear, many young girls spent hours styling the day away.
Mod Hair Ken was the first Ken to have rooted hair, and it was actually quite long—at least compared to the neatly-trimmed flocked and molded-haired boys before him. This new guy was all cool and rugged-looking, and even came with a separate mustache and sideburns you could attach to his face to create different looks.
I have found a few Quick Curl dolls over the years. The photos above shows one of them, in her original pink gingham dress. Her hair has gone rather flat—I think a lot of the wires have been combed out, which is common in these dolls. I recently discovered that my Ken is not actually Mod Hair, but the very similar “Now Look Ken”, made a couple of years later. But close enough. And he’s in Mod Hair’s jacket. Don’t they make a cute couple? I’m so glad I rescued them.
Click here if you’d like to see their old TV commercial. You can pretend they’re starring in a movie, and put a mustache on Ken and “make believe he’s a bad guy!” What fun!
Sunday, July 29, 2012
“I’m just showing them what the bell sounds like!!!!”
Poor Basil. He’s trying to perform a fire drill but the hotel guests misunderstand and get the fire bell mixed up with the burglar alarm that went off accidentally, and then there’s a real fire and nobody believes it because of all the confusion, and then Basil gets hit on the head with a frying pan and suffers a concussion…
It’s just another hilarious segment of Fawlty Towers, the British sitcom from the 70’s, starring John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) as highly-agitated hotel owner Basil Fawlty. PBS has been rerunning this show recently and we’ve been watching it on Sunday nights. We’ve seen it numerous times but it’s always fun to watch the whole series once every few years—especially since there were only twelve episodes! In 2000, the British Film Institute named Fawlty Towers the best British television series of all time.
Here is a link to the fire drill segment, from the episode entitled The Germans. Be sure and listen closely so that you can hear that the fire bell is a semitone higher than the burglar alarm. But there’s no fire, only bell! Or is it?