Barbie, seen here in her original design

What a doll!

Barbie continues to inspire after all these years


By Corbin Crable

Ruth Handler had seen it her entire life.

The dolls she and countless other women had played with as children were almost always baby dolls. Not so much toys as preparations for a life of motherhood, the dolls were a girl’s introduction to the limited roles available to a woman of centuries past. Wife. Mother. Nurturer. Caretaker.

It was postwar America, and Handler wanted to show girls that they had other paths in life they could choose as the world around them changed and grew. She watched as her daughter played with paper dolls…

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In this issue…


Smack Dab in the Middle
mustache tea cups
Good Eye
Finding Antiques With a Good Eye
Covering Quilts
Mid-America News
Mid-American News - cloud scape
Books for Collectors
Classic Collection -Cartoons
Vintage Discoveries
Vintage Posters
Feature Articles
collecting books old stack of books

A Message From Our Editor

Action figures were toy industry’s answer to Barbie


by Corbin Crable

As little girls in the late 1950s and early 1960s played with a new doll named “Barbie,” their younger brothers probably wondered, “What’s the big deal with this toy?”

In the mid-1960s, those boys would get their own version in the form of a similar toy being marketed as an “action figure” – a fully posable “doll” with more masculine themes (though don’t you dare call them “dolls” to the boys who played with them!).

The term was developed by toy giant Hasbro in 1964, five years after Barbie was introduced, with their G.I. Joe action figure…

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