They’re daring, different, even a little bit outrageous!
In 1986, Mattel released Barbie and The Rockers, its homage MTV-influenced rock ‘n roll fashion, and a rival to Hasbro’s Jem and the Holograms doll line.
In addition to Barbie, The Rockers included four additional alliteratively-named band-mates: Dana, Dee Dee, Diva, and Derek. The rockers were dressed to reflect the latest fashion trends of the time, with outfits featuring neon colours, glittery fabrics, headbands, leggings, colourful makeup, and contemporary jewellery and accessories.
Each doll came with a microphone, a doll-sized The Rockers t-shirt, and a kid-sized iron-on decal. Mattel also incorporated several Rockers-related punchouts into the cardboard packaging, including concert tickets, sheet music, and record album covers. The Barbie box included a four-song cassette tape of original songs.
The doll line’s popularity allowed Mattel to release a second set of dolls in 1987, complete with “real dancing action”; a number of playsets and vehicles, including a Barbie and The Rockers van and Rock Stage; and two direct-to-video animated specials.