80s, 90s, Blog, Dolls, Obsession of the Day, Toys — March 6, 2015 2:04 pm

Obsession of the Day: Barbie TV/Game-Related Playsets

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I’m not going to lie, I had a massive collection of Barbies. I still have them, somewhere, but I had a stupid amount of the dolls, accessories, and playsets. I had a Barbie airplane, motor home, scooter, gym, hair salon, washer dryer… just. A stupid amount.

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Something that totally blew my mind today and, also still not lying, made me really sad that I never had: the 1987 Arco Barbie TV Game Show Playset. It kind of looks like this is a Wheel of Fortune bootleg without any puzzles to solve?

barbie-gameshow-wishbook

I was browsing the 1988 Sears Wishbook, courtesy of Wishbook Web when I saw it. The description:

Who’ll win the grand prize? The Barbie TV Game Show playset lets Barbie and all her 11 1/2-in. fashion doll friends compete for glamorous prizes! Set includes TV camera, spinning game wheel, changeable prize categories and score-keeping, 3-player contestant stand.

AND IT WAS ONLY $11.99. WHY DIDN’T I HAVE THIS?!

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I can’t even put into words how hard I’m trying not to spend $40 on ebay buying this right now. Why is there a Barbie TV Game Show playset? That’s not even necessary! OH GOD I WANT IT.

In my journey to find a better price on this, because every 30-something woman needs a Barbie TV Game Show Playset, I came across a couple other playsets that I definitely need(ed):

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The Barbie 6 O’Clock News Playset.

If there is a scale from one to even, I can’t.

This brought me to a new level of spoiled brat-ness. There was a Barbie 6 O’Clock News Playset. I. Just. Need. This.

barbie-6-o-clock-news-002

Also released in 1987 by Arco, this playset has a camera, anchor desk, backdrop– you can even change the news featured on it. I could have played Murphy Brown Barbie with this. Murphy Barbie. Barbie Brown. I don’t know. THIS EXISTS!

What else have I been missing out on? Arco’s 1988 Barbie & Skipper Game Room Playset.

barbie-skipper-game-room

As someone who has a game room, I can get down with this. Barbie has a pool table, jukebox, popcorn maker, and what’s that? A BARBIE PINBALL MACHINE?! I may have a stupid amount of consoles and video games in my basement, but I don’t have a pinball machine, let alone a pinball machine based on my life.

Interestingly, this was repackaged in various ways, plus or minus a few accessories, but always keeping that pinball machine.

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The 1990 Barbie and The Beat Recreation Room Playset includes the pinball machine and a different colored jukebox.

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Also released in 1990, the pinball and that blue jukebox show up in the Barbie Snack Time Playset.

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Even in 2000 Barbie was all about dat pinball with a new set, the Play ‘N Prize Arcade that came with pinball and a claw game. Bitch loves her pinball.

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Moving away from pinball, it seems like Arco was on a roll in the late 1980s. Released in 1988 is the Super Star Barbie Movie Awards Playset. We see that pink camera again from the News and Game Show sets, but even better than that? A SILVER OSCAR FOR BARBIE. FOR HER EXCELLENCE IN PINBALLING. Pinballa?

barbie-movie-theatre

Another interesting playset that I didn’t have is the Barbie Move Theatre with “Magical” Screen (plus a snack bar) from 1995. By the time 1995 rolled around, I was too old to be playing with Barbies. That didn’t exactly stop me (and that stays between me and you), but I didn’t have the time to spend with my Barbies that I used to. I feel like I missed out on this “Magical” screen. What’s so magical about it? Through the science of magic, Barbie’s theatre screen reflects whatever is on your TV at the time. Watching cartoons? So is Barbie, on the big screen. Hardcore pornography? Well, let’s hope someone checked Skipper’s I.D. at the box office and turned her away.

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