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Military Barbie and Ken dolls for Memorial Day and patriotic holidays

Military Barbie Dolls: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Desert Storm
Military Barbie Dolls: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Desert Storm
© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.

Memorial Day is the day we remember our military men and women, especially those who have fallen in combat. One of the most unique ways to remember our servicemen is through Barbie dolls.

Navy and Army Dress Barbie Dolls
© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.

The first military Barbie doll was actually an outfit. From 1963 to 1965, Mattel sold an Army & Air Force uniform for Ken which had accessories that could be changed out to make it an Army or Air Force uniform.

In the 1990s, Mattel did the Stars & Stripes Military dolls series featuring both Barbie and Ken. In 1989, Barbie joined the Army as part of the American Beauty series, and in in 1990 she signed up with the Air Force in the Stars & Stripes Military series. A year later, she joined the Navy and then, in 1992, the Marines. Her battle dress and more formal military dress uniforms were approved by the Pentagon.

The Desert Storm 101st Airborne set with Barbie and Ken was released in 1992, again authentic enough to receive the Pentagon's stamp of approval.

Special-edition military Barbie dolls were licensed for sale exclusively at American military bases including 1999's Boot Camp Barbie and Paratrooper Barbie, also part of the Stars & Stripes Military series.

Elvis the Army Years Ken, part of Mattel's Celebrity Dolls series, was also released in 1999.

Interest in military Barbies soared following Sept. 11, and prices soared with the interest, but as interest has waned, prices have plummeted. However, military Barbie dolls remain an interesting and historic chapter in Barbie doll's history and are fun to display on military holidays.

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