Francie, Barbie's mod cousin, Queen of Carnaby Street and representation of the 60s British Invasion in Barbie'ss world. When Francie enters your life it will never go back!
Francie was presented at the 1966 New York Toy Fair when America was still digesting those british trends that had began to arrive to the big cities but Barbie had to arrive to all the corners of America and to turn Barbie in a victim of the Swinging London was a movement a bit risqué. So what to do? Create an english cousin to try it and... success!
Francie was the perfect mod Twiggy like girl, shorter in height than her cousin Barbie, with not a so exhuberant figure and with a good set of lashes, that were super trendy at that time and for that we must thank Charlotte Johnson.
C.J. the fashion designer in chief at Mattel for 20 years made possible that Francie and therefore Barbie and her friends had "real lashes" inventing a technique to root the plastic filaments to the dolls eyelids. She patented it and Francie was doted of a spectacular sight with the help of a tiny brush included in her box for her "falsies".
So this mod and groovy girl was a hit and her wardrobe was a delightful prove of one of the prominent periods in XXth century history marked by a youth culture eager to cut ties with the conservative ideas of the previous generation.
Eventually appeared Francie mod friends, Casey and a very famous one, Twiggy and everybody loved Francie, even in Japan for he had a less agressive image than Barbie more in tune with the japanese taste but a movement in Francie's world brought complaints and settled a strong hype for future collectors, the Black Francie or "colored" Francie. Maybe it was to try if an african-american Barbie would sell but they only changed the skin tone without adapt her features so, although beautiful, was just a "dipped" doll at didn't sell well. After that Mattel rectified and gave us Christie, one of the most beautiful dolls they ever made.
Francie disappeared from the map with the passage of the 70s and the entry of new fashions that made Francie and her wardrobe not so different from Barbie. Disco fashion entered and Francie did not accompany her Superstar cousin to Studio 54.
And is that Barbie has amazing friends Christie, Francie... and as for the name... they said it was inspired by Sally Field's Gidget whose dad called her "Francie". Maybe the spirit and the flip were there too!