May 18, 2024

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The Most Controversial American Toy: The Pregnant Barbie

2 min read

Technically, the name of the toy is “Midge Hadley”, but everybody just knows the doll as “Pregnant Barbie”. The doll was first released in 1963 from Mattel. Midge was released at the same time as “Skipper” to avoid criticism. Midge Hadley is Barbie’s best friend (as Mattel advertises it). Because of the controversy, Mattel stopped manufacturing the pregnant Barbie after the 1960’s until 1988 when they released Midge again in the “Happy family line” where she has a boyfriend, Alan Sherwood and three children: 3 year old Ryan, newborn Nikki, and (unknown age) Casandra. Midge Hadley came loaded with a magnetic tummy and baby Nikki which could be inserted in her stomach. Because Alan was not packaged with Midge and she did not have a ring, this “Happy Family Line” again received criticism stating this promoted teen pregnancy, inappropriate for children, and promoted unwedded child birth. Parents criticized the toy saying, “she looked too young to have children” which caused retail stores to pull the Happy Family Line off of the shelves.

It isn’t all negative. Later on Midge was packaged with a picture of Alan and Ryan on the packaging. Midge was also redesigned with a ring! However, Mattel seized production yet again and only released a special edition of the vintage version of Midge in 1993 and 1998. Mattel decided to reintroduce Midge in 2013 as Barbie’s best friend, but unmarried and with no children. Midge Hadley is one of the most controversial toys around.

Now in the present, the only thing close to finding a toy like Midge is buying generic or finding the vintage doll online. The average price for a vintage Midge Hadley is upper hundreds. The doll is a classic and is packed with years of controversial history. The generic version of Midge Hadley usually comes with a shirt/dress, shoes, the pregnant detachable belly, baby, and the doll. Sometimes you can find a stroller and crib with the generic version of the doll depending on where you search for the doll. The generic pregnant doll comes with a detailed face and the same hair material used by Mattel. The generic version can be a “quick fix” for finding a pregnant doll worthy for your child’s play time. The doll is educational and could promote children’s learning experience. These pregnant dolls can arguably be a great educational tool for children with a pregnant mother expecting a new child.

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