The Rock Flowers from Mattel (1971)
Release date: 1971
Where to purchase: eBay
“Now you can get your own rock scene together with the groovy new Rock Flowers from Mattel.”
Released in 1971 by Mattel, The Rock Flowers were Barbie-like fashion dolls that appealed to a generation of children fascinated by flower power, rock music, and the lively fashion styles of the times.
The Rock Flowers line was initially released as a trio of dolls: Heather, Rosemary, and Lilac. The posable dolls were 6.5 inches tall with rooted eyelashes and hair. Each doll was boxed with a colourful outfit (including sunglasses and shoes), a playable plastic record, and a posing stand that affixed to the record and fit a doll’s leg so children could pose the doll and watch it twirl as the record played. The records featured a solo song written for each doll with the flip side showcasing a group performance. Additional clothing and accessories were available for purchase. Two more dolls, Iris and Doug, were later added to the line. The dolls were widely available at department stores for $2.49 USD or less. Whitman released a book of paper dolls featuring Heather, Rosemary, and Lilac in 1972.
Mattel also used a real-life musical group called Rock Flowers as a promotional vehicle for the toys. The group’s looks and styles emulated the original trio of fashion dolls. The group experienced modest success; their song Number Wonderful reached #95 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1971. Popular ’70s actress Debra Clinger was a member of the group.
The dolls were discontinued in 1974 but remain popular with collectors. Watch a vintage commercial for The Rock Flowers line of dolls featuring the unmistakable voice of Casey Kasem.
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