Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Barbie Dream House Colorforms

Last weekend, we celebrated my cousin's 20th birthday. While sitting around waiting for some silly basketball game to end, I began talking about memorable birthday gifts. I recalled that some of my most favorite gifts were given to me by their dad. Their dad is also my "God Father." Remember the "A" necklace I once blogged about?

I was turning 7 on November 4, 1979. That was the year Colorforms released the Barbie Dream House. I'm confused because I thought that was the year I received my "A" necklace -- maybe it was some sort of combination gift from Uncle Tony making them even more memorable? Who knows.

Anyway, if you're a regular FourthGradeNothing.com reader, you may recall me whining about how I had always wanted a Barbie Dream House  but for whatever reason, my folks missed the boat on that gift. Okay, fast forward to the Barbie Dream House Colorforms

I was a serious Colorforms fan and die-hard Barbie fan - this shiz was like the best of both worlds. The Barbie Dream House set was incredible. The backdrop was 3-D and consisted of multiple rooms ready to be filled with fashionably funky late '70s  furniture, trinkets, Barbie and Ken figures, clothing and more. I was in heaven!

Poof - dream sequence ruined ... Can you imagine the horror I felt when my cousin (she's in her early 20s) shot me a confused look and asked, "What are Colorforms?" It's times like that you realize your true age. For you younger folks who have never heard of Colorforms, please keep reading! 

Five Fast Colorform Facts
  • Colorforms were invented in the 1960s by a creative New York City couple named Harry (a painter and art director) and Patricia Kislevitz. 
  • Colorforms consisted of colorful thin, die-cut flexible plastic shapes which would adhere to the shiny laminated cardboard. Pieces could be reapplied and moved around. The downside was that within a few weeks, the sticker-like pieces lost their adhesiveness from being touched with dirty kids' hands.
  • Mattel and other brands marketed Colorforms throughout the years -- producing Colorforms for a variety of cartoon characters, movies and toys including Peanuts, Holly Hobbie, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.
  • Colorforms came in many shapes and forms - there were games, 3-D cutouts and more. 
  • The Colorforms tag line and slogan was "It's More Fun To Play The Colorforms Way" and it really was. Still confused? Think of those window clings people put on their windows around the holidays, it's a very similar concept to Colorforms.
View a vintage Colorforms commercial 

For a complete history lesson and cool Colorforms facts and info, please visit toy inventor and legend, Mel Birnkrant's Colorforms web site at: Melbirnkrant.com/colorforms.


Melanie's Randomness said...

Wow I rememeber these. Oh the barbie dream house. I never had any of the stuff because at the time it was just WAYY too expensive. I was always jealous of my lil richer cousin cuz she had these cool toys. Oh colorforms...I think I had the New Kids on the Block ones back in the day! =)

Happy bday to your cousin too!

Melanie's Randomness

Oilfield Trash said...

I remember that my first (of many) girlfriends back in the late 1970's had those things.

LaraAnn said...

I loved Colorforms. I wish that I could remember which 2 that I had though. That was a cute commercial. I clicked onto the Pound Puppy one too - I want that Colorform set.

Sorry that you never got your Barbie Dream house but it is good that you had fun with your Colorform one. There's a few toys that I wish that my parents had gotten me too like Lite Brite.

Cheeseboy said...

Of course I didn't have the Barbie set, but I definitely remember that cloriform crud. I have no idea how you remember all this stuff.

Do you remember "Muscle Men". Or was this just a boy fad toy?

Blast from the Past said...

Well - being a guy (and a bit older) I can't say I was into these. I do, however, remember them and seeing them in all sorts of different applications.

I will have to admit that I did not know that they were called Colorforms. I just always thought of them as "puffy plastic stickers". I can imagine that not only were they cool to have, they probably revolutionized the sticker industry.

MoonDoggie said...

Aaaah - I didn't know what 'colorforms' were either. Like Blast from the Past, I thought of them as puffy plastic stickers too. But these were removable, right? I'm not sure I ever had any of these myself.

Mass Hole Mommy said...

I don't think I ever knew about these, but I would have wanted them if I did. I wanted the actual dream house SOOOOOO bad, but never got it. Sigh. My parents got me a Barbie cottage & thought that was good enough. It wasn't.

Teachinfourth said...

Never heard of these things, but then again, I'm a guy...

Pat Tillett said...

My wife has so much barbie stuff all over our house. One large closet totally full and a large display case in our living room FULL of vintage stuff...


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