If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram (and it would be very cool if you do), then you already saw a preview of this way back in September. You see, thanks to eBay and "new old stock," I was able to find Addie a Hot Rockin' Stage that had never been used, despite the box being pretty beat-up. The reason for the purchase was as much practical as it is nostalgic: Mattel doesn't manufacture a Barbie stage these days, nor has there been a really good, comparable doll stage done in many years. Oddly enough, it was MEGA Bloks that really lit the fire under me to make this happen, and by the time I reviewed their licensed "Barbie Build 'N Play Super Star Stage" last year, the seeds had been planted for what I needed to do. Couple a musical household with an emerging knack for "performance" along with the 2012 Barbie line "The Princess and The Popstar," and you have a little girl that's been asking for "a real Barbie stage" for almost two years... an itch I tried to scratch by picking up a Winx Club stage on clearance at Target, but that just didn't do it.
When Christmas morning arrived, Addie was pretty excited to see that a Barbie stage had arrived, not knowing the nostalgia factor that it was holding for Mommy and Daddy. Cracking this open for assembly nearly 30 years after it was produced was a trip.
Rock Fact: The Barbie and The Rockers Hot Rockin' Stage was produced largely from repurposed parts/molds from a 1976 DONNY AND MARIE OSMOND "TV Show" playset.
As I started separating the plastic pieces from each other (they arrived much like the way model kits are produced), I couldn't help thinking how much packaging has changed in thirty years. In 2014, you wouldn't find a "sheet" of parts that need to be twisted or cut apart by grownups, leaving the potential for sharp and/or imperfect edges out in the open. I used as much care as possible, approaching this as if I were some kind of "toy archaeologist."
Rock Fact: Barbie and The Rockers' music was written by Richard "Dick" Halligan, formerly of the band BLOOD, SWEAT, & TEARS (yes, I'm listening to "Spinning Wheel" as I type this)
As a whole, Addie's new playset went together perfectly, but I did have to get creative with the decals. Honestly, I love putting toys together- but the stickers/decals are sorta my Kryptonite, and while they don't kill me... they annoy. Stickers that are thirty years old apparently don't hold adhesive well, and they just weren't sticking well. I broke out a bottle of the Elmer's Clear School Glue, and put a bit on my finger, this allowing me to rub just a thin layer on each sticker. Seems to have worked well.
And here's the end result:
While we don't have the actual "Rockers" dolls, we've got a "Rock Star" Barbie, a Kenya doll, a member of the Winx Club and Barbie and Keira from The Princess and The Popstar (Addie's actually wearing a Keira dress in these pictures) rounding out our 2014 "Rockers" band.
Flashback to 1985 with this original commercial:
Pretty cool, right? Oh, and there's this...