Were you a kid playing with Barbie in the early 2000s? If so, you’ll probably recognize some of these iconic dolls/lines from the decade.
One of the last series of playline dolls to use the Twist n’ Turn body mold, the Hip 2 Be Square dolls stand out with their colorful geometric-print dresses and large rectangular earrings. These cuties were released in 2001. Four dolls were available; a blonde doll in a pink dress, a brunette doll in a blue dress, a redhead doll in a green dress, and an African American doll in a yellow and orange dress.
Released in 2002, Mermaid Fantasy Barbie and her friends, Kayla and Christie, enchanted children with their long, colorful hair and rubbery tails that moved when you squeezed them. Since these were playline dolls, most dolls were purchased for children and are subsequently difficult to find in mint and complete condition secondhand. These dolls had gorgeous makeup and their colorful hair and tails gave them a unique look.
If you were a girl in the early 2000s, you either had one of these or knew someone who did. Available in pink, purple, or blue, these glittery fairies are easy to find on the secondary market due to their popularity. The Fairytopia line eventually led to the 2005 Barbie movie “Barbie Fairytopia,” which was the first film in the fairy franchise of Barbie entertainment.
Image: My Scene Hangin’ Out dolls via My Scene Wiki
These dolls were Mattel’s answer to the popular Bratz line by MGA. Not technically part of the Barbie line, this line nevertheless reused Barbie body and accessory molds, and Barbie made an appearance as a character. My Scene dolls have large heads with exaggerated features, making them easily distinguished from the Barbie line. The line was released in 2002 and was discontinued in the U.S. in 2008, although dolls were still produced for the foreign market until 2011.
Jam n’ Glam Barbie, with her metallic silver pants and two-tone hair, was the ultimate 2000s rock star. Released in 2001, this doll had an Ever-Flex waist and a rotating scalp, allowing kids to switch between blonde hair and purple hair for two different looks. Barbie could be a regular girl by day and a glamorous rock star by night. Teresa and Christie joined Barbie in the line, and the Jam n’ Glam Concert Tour Bus could also be purchased to accompany the dolls.
Image: promotional image via Pinterest
The most iconic thing about this Barbie doll? Her scent! Cali Girl Barbie came smelling like suntan lotion. She was the updated 2000s version of the classic Malibu Barbie from 1971. Even her friends were updated — this was the line representing Barbie’s new relationship with Blaine after dumping Ken (a move that horrified many longtime Ken collectors). Cali Girl Barbie was extremely popular and can still be found easily secondhand.
Image: Amazon (version without the pregnant belly)
Perhaps one of the most infamous and controversial dolls Mattel ever produced, Happy Family Midge came with her newborn baby, a crib/changing table, an abundance of baby accessories, and a removable plastic belly that could hold the baby inside. Yes, you heard that right. The doll could be pregnant. Obviously, this offended some people who complained the doll “promoted teen pregnancy.” Some stores refused to stock the dolls with the pregnant bellies, so Mattel produced dolls without the bellies to be sold there. Unopened or mint Midge dolls currently fetch well over original retail price on resale sites, as do other dolls in the line with more limited production.
Image: ☆Trickles☆ via Flickr
Barbie’s sales and popularity began to wane in the early 2000s, so Mattel released the Fashion Fever line in an attempt to modernize Barbie and keep her fashion up-to-date. The first wave of dolls was released in 2004. Not only did the line introduce new fashions and styles for Barbie, but also new friends. Fashion Fever was one of the most unique and diverse lines of Barbie dolls in the 2000s, and the dolls and their high-quality fashions in good condition are sought after by collectors of Barbie dolls from this era. Some waves of dolls were produced in collaboration with designers or celebrities, or with a certain theme. The line was produced until 2009, when it was replaced by the Fashionistas line.
Image: Promotional image via Pinterest
Released in 2000, Jewel Girl Barbie was the first Barbie doll to use the new “belly button body,” as it’s termed by collectors. The new body’s proportions were not as exaggerated as those seen on the Barbie dolls from the previous 40 years. The bust was not as prominent, the hips were wider, and the waist was thicker. The Jewel Girl doll actually used an Ever-Flex waist, a new design of flexible rubber waist that could be bent in different directions. Not only does Jewel Girl Barbie’s style represent the times well, she represents a new era for Barbie with a new body.
Based on the movie of the same name, the Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper dolls were a huge hit with children when they were released in 2004. Erika, the brunette doll, and Anneliese, the blonde doll, were sold together or separately in Caucasian and African American versions. The dolls each sang two songs and could sing together if a child pressed the buttons on their backs simultaneously. These dolls are currently in high demand with new collectors who had the dolls as children and want to repurchase them.