Barbie & Francie Color Magic Fashion Designer Set from Mattel (1966)

“Non-toxic, no mess… color crystals do the trick!”

In the 1960s, Mattel added a bit of magic to the Barbie universe. Designed to appeal to budding junior fashion designers, Color Magic kits allowed children to change the colour or decorations of the doll’s outfits on a whim.

Colour-changing magic was facilitated through the use of Color Magic Crystals. Dropping a crystal in water caused it to dissolve into a non-toxic solution that could be dabbed onto specially treated fabric to kick-start a colour metamorphosis.

The Barbie and Francie Color Magic Fashion Designer Set included 4 dresses (3 “sew-free” and 1 “ready-to-wear”), a molded dress form, and 2 sponge dabbers. The kit also came with flocking, glitter, and floral pattern adhesives for decorating dresses.

In addition to the provided Color Magic Crystals, instructions were included for making new magic solutions using vinegar and baking soda.

Additional Color Magic Fashion Fun sets for the doll line were sold separately.