Sunday, August 28, 2011

2013 Barbie A Frame (Beach House): Do You Believe In Reincarnation?

Time and time again my faithful readers give me the Oprah hook up with news and info I had previously overlooked or was not aware of (shocking, I know). Thank you Karen for forwarding the ToysRUs link to the new 2011 A Frame house. I know what you all are thinking, 'Why did they decide to re-invent a 20th century classic, is it as good or better than the original, whats new and improved on it, why does it cost so much, will there be another blog just for this house, does this mean they will recycle all the houses from the last few decades, and so many more unanswered questions! What we do know is that it is a ToysRUs exclusive, it is retailing for $129.99 plus tax and shipping, the official product info is...

Product Description

With three stories, six-plus rooms and 180 degrees of play, girls can open this glamorous Malibu home and rearrange for endless fun! The first floor offers a kitchen and living room, complete with a glam pink chandelier. Take the elevator to the second floor and watch the day-to-night transformation as it's time for Barbie to go to sleep. On this level, a bathroom, dressing area and bedroom can be found. The third floor features an outdoor sundeck, complete with a telescope for whale watching. Dolls not included. Additional Info Item #: 685392 SKU: 07554C15 UPC/EAN/ISBN: 746775045470 Manufacturer #: W3141 Note: Gift wrap is not available for this item. Product Weight:19.1 pounds Product Dimensions(in inches)27.5 x 22.0 x 11.2

Editer's note: I have not seen this house first hand, but on initial analysis I do like the 3rd floor observation deck (for whale watching, hows that for politically correct updating?), it is 6 main rooms like the original, 180 degrees of play like the original, its an A frame, it seperates into 3 sections, the rear of the box is retro, it is furnished, it has a cool transparent shower stall, a bathroom sink, an elevator (would have preferred stairs) and thats about it. Part of me is curious about how much this blog may have influenced the decision to bring back the A frame. Obviously that kind of architecture in real life is not being brought back, so why here, on one of so many Barbie houses that have come out since 1962? There is no other 1978 A Frame enthusiast destination that I am aware of. So, not to toot my own horn, but maybe they were inspired by the blog, and perhaps even moniter it as a way of keeping their finger on the pulse of vintage collecters (think of all the re-issued and vintage inspired dolls that come out every year). Also, did you notice there is a Malibu tie in now? I had referenced the fact that the 1978 house should be called the California Contemporary DreamHouse since that is what it is (see real life examples posts 1-4) Overall, I do not care for this reincarnation of the Dream House. For those devoted followers you'll know I dont like the 'Pepto-Abysmal Pink' Mattel keeps regurgitating year after year after year. When will we finally severe ties with the totally awesome pink box era of the 80's?! Aaagghh!! The outer rooms seem abreviated and not full size, the furniture is not classic and iconic in design as in the 1978 line, it has a fake window mural (remember the beauty of the original was that nothing was faux, no decals, no cardboard, no puffy vinyl, no pictures, etc).  the back wall is pink unlike the white columns and rafters, and the lower front does not have walls or windows, just an opening above the flower boxes.  So if I were Ceasar and this new incarnation of the A Frame was in the Colliseum with hungry lions I would give it a thumbs down. If it were up to me, I would have left the classic A Frame largely unchanged. Perhaps a different color scheme, like brown roof panels, cream floor pieces, and black doors and window frames, making the front doors solid would have brought me and my money to the store. Maybe even clear, removable skylight panels to fill in the large roof openings? And of course a green (or beach) playmat to put it on to make a nice lawn and patio area. I welcome your comments, here and on as there are none yet. By the way, for those die hard red, yellow and white fans I would luv to post a picture of a resprayed 2011 A Frame, so just leave a comment with your email in it and I will email you for the pics. ;-

The new A frame has already been reinvented into yet another 'Monster High' house. 


  1. Just found your site, perhaps a little too late! I am a 1970's Barbie house enthusiast - love the A frame but only have one of it (and the cottage) to go with my 4 townhouses. :-)
    I am interested in your comment about Mattel not re-issuing the A-Frame - I would presume like most of their older products the original molds have long since been discarded. Obviously they decided to go with the updated A-Frame to cater to today's market, rather than the tedious process of re-casting the original. I kind of like the new one - a nod to the original at least, although it is obviously far smaller and of course, vividly pink!

  2. Dear Karen, thanks so much for your comments and letting the blog know about the re-issue. As you will notice, the post about the 2011 A Frame is the longest in quite awhile. So, enjoy and keep checking back for more updates. =-)

  3. I kind of want to get this, and give it the yellow-orange-white treatment. :D

  4. Dear Siansonea: I think thats a cool idea. What great photos you have on photobucket! Thanks for sharing. The house and dolls all look immaculate, especially their hair and clothes. ;-) If you do the repaint on the 2011 A Frame please send a link, I would love to add them to this site.

  5. But of course! :) And thanks for the compliments. I'm definitely going for a "Sears Wish Book" vibe with my 70s doll displays. :D

  6. when i saw this a few months ago at the toy fair i was not happy. sure its cute for little kids, which im sure its made for, but i do not find this house practical at all. i can barely fit any furniture in my original a-frame house. i dunno maybe its just me but this house feels too cramped. i also think the price tag is really high. i do not think we will ever see the quality of houses from mattel like the a-frame ever again.

  7. madfan I agree. This house looks even smaller than the original. When I first heard they were reissuing this house I was excited, then I saw it and was not too sure. I have yet to see it, was hoping mnaybe TRU in NYC would stage one in the Barbie house. As of last week nope. I'll just play with my current house.

    Bobby G ... not sure why it's posting as Anonymous