Jul 18, 2012

Around the World Trip

Scenes from the View-Master packet Barbie’s Around the World Trip (B500).


View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Packet Cover

Packet Cover


View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Booklet Cover

Booklet Cover


From the 16-page booklet:

May 1     Aboard the U.S.S. United States

Dear Diary: At last I’ve found time to use you. Everything has happened so fast and furiously that I can hardly believe I’m really on my way around the world! Imagine . . . Barbie Roberts, All-American California schoolgirl, on this luxury-plus liner with my family and friends . . . and all because of what happened just five days ago . . .


Scene 1

View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 1

“Daddy! I’ve won a trip around the world!”


From the 16-page booklet:

Last Tuesday, Daddy must have thought I’d finally flipped when I burst into the living room and told him to start packing. Skipper just snorted when I told her we were all going around the world. Then I told them! I had won first prize in a National High School Fashion Drawing Contest—a trip around the world for the whole family—and we could take along two friends!


Scene 2

View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 2

Ken came to see the dreamy dresses we were packing


From the 16-page booklet:

That day and the next were really hectic! Telling Ken and Midge they were going, shopping like mad, and then packing all those dreamy outfits. Skipper even dragged Ken in to watch. he said he’d bring his camera along to take pictures everywhere we went, so I decided to take my paints and brushes. Besides the big pictures, I’m going to decorate this diary with little color sketches.


Scene 3

View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 3

“Bon Voyage from your friends,” the boy said as we left N.Y.


From the 16-page booklet:

The next few days were so full of rushing, getting on planes, arriving at New York City, posing for pictures as a contest winner, that it was a relief to stand on the deck of this fabulous steamship and wave good-bye to the tremendous New York skyline. And the bon voyage basket of fruit the cabin boy brought us (sent by our California friends) started our trip out on just the right note!

As I sit here writing in this scrumptious cabin with its funny round portholes, I’m looking forward to landing in England tomorrow! Skipper just barged in to tell me that Ken and Midge want to play shuffleboard. I think I’ll sketch them for my diary.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 4

“Set your watch by Big Ben,” the London Bobby told Ken


From the 16-page booklet:

May 3  London, England

I can’t get over how solemn and polite everyone is in England. Even the London bobby didn’t smile when Ken asked him the time (Ken’s watch was still on California time). Just then Big Ben—the name of a bell not the clock, the bobby told us—chimed, and Ken looked so funny about not noticing that enormous clock!


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 5

We pictured King Arthur living here at Tintagel


From the 16-page booklet:

May 4  Tintagel Castle, Cornwall

I wonder why King Arthur’s castle was built on a rugged coast like Cornwall where the sea lashes white foam every time it hits the rocks below us. Skipper frightened me climbing over the ruins trying to guess where the Round Table was. Midge wondered where Queen Guinevere’s dressing room had been. Then Daddy said this wasn’t where King Arthur’s Court was held. It is supposed that he was born here, but no one is even sure of that.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 6

Imagine me in a dress from a real Paris fashion salon


From the 16-page booklet:

May 8   Paris France

At last we’re in Paris! I was so excited I couldn’t eat or sleep last night. The first thing I wanted to do was visit the Fashion Salon. I simply burst with happiness when I tried on that dress in Pierre’s. Daddy beamed too, and said we’d buy it! I never dreamed, when I modeled school fashions, that I’d ever be among real Parisian models. They were so lovely and slender, gliding gracefully before us. Right then I resolved to be more careful about those ice cream sodas.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 7

I painted the Arc de Triomphe from our Paris apartment


From the 16-page booklet:

Paris is so gay . . . people eating along the boulevards in sidewalk cafes, chattering in French. Skipper got the giggles when we saw a woman carrying a loaf of bread three feet long! Midge couldn’t find the mailbox for her letters—a gendarme finally had to point one out for her—it was built right into a lamp post.

In the Montmartre where Picasso lived we saw a man doing a painting on the cement sidewalk. I had to paint something too—the Arc de Triomphe from our apartment.

Ken took a picture of Skipper, and told me to would be better than mine and only took 1/25th of a second instead of half a day. What a tease!

Sunday, we flew to Spain to see a bullfight. The senoritas all wore high combs and white mantillas.

Later Ken got a toreador outfit. Skipper was the bull and charged while Ken flourished his cape. Midge and I cried, “Ole! Ole!”


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 8

We fed a Dutch cow at the Ijsselmeer in Holland


From the 16-page booklet:

May 11   Amsterdam, Holland

Midge reminded me another diary, not as happy as mine—Anne Frank’s—was written here. That is hard to realize, for Holland is a happy land now, with its windmills turning, tulips galore, girls wearing cute wooden shoes and quaint white bonnets. We saw them jumping rope in their klompen (shoes). Midge laughed and shook her head when we dared her to try it after she put on her Dutch costume. So we just petted and fed the gentle cows out near the dikes of the former Zuider Zee. Ken remarked that no little boy’s finger ever held back all that water behind the dike, but we loved being at the site of the old legend.

We took a quick trip to Denmark Wednesday to see a puppet show at Tivoli Gardens. I sketched Skipper with Andersen’s “Little Mermaid” statue in the Copenhagen harbor. Our trip has been like a real life fairy tale.

When we went to the Black Forest in Germany, it seemed fairies must have planned our European tour. I almost expected to meet the Bremen musicians or see a shoemaker’s elf dart behind a tree. In Hamelin, a fairy tale came to life. Skipper marched behind the Pied Piper in a Children’s Parade.


Scene 9

View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 9

I gasped at Skipper skiing below us in the Austrian Alps


From the 16-page booklet:

May 15   The Tyrol, Austria

The Austrians love their mountains and their music, and so do I. It’s a wonder they don’t ski to music. After all, they do train those marvelous white horses, the Lipizzans, to dance to it. The mountain air was so refreshing, and those Tyroleans singing folk songs smiled at us constantly. The women wore full blue skirts with red aprons and the men short pants and embroidered suspenders. What will the high school kids say when we wear our Tyrolean costumes at the dance?

When we went up the ski lift, my tummy did a flip as Skipper waved merrily to us from far below.


Scene 10

View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 10

In Switzerland, Daddy and Skipper were “alpinists.”


From the 16-page booklet:

May 20   Zermatt, Switzerland

Switzerland made me think of the Matterhorn and William Tell, Ken of cheese and watches. Daddy, thinking of mountain climbing, persuaded Skipper to go with him. When Skipper first started up that rock cliff, she wished she had hooves like that nearly-extinct ibex we were lucky enough to see on the opposite hill. The climb wasn’t dangerous since they were securely roped together to a guide. At the top they heard an alpenhorn from a hilltop at least six miles away.

Our next stop in Europe was at Venice, and we couldn’t leave with taking a gondola ride. How perfectly romantic! Skipper poled and Ken played his mandolin as we glided past old palaces, under ancient bridges, and saw peddlers selling produce to women gathered at the bank.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 11

The Evzones’ uniforms are an old tradition in Greece


From the 16-page booklet:

May 24   Athens, Greece

As we left the plane in Athens, I told Midge we must remember things to tell our history teacher. He said Greece gave us democracy, the first libraries, and theaters. I’m afraid we noticed more about the Evzone Royal Palace Guards than we did about the Parthenon! Imagine 40 yards of material in a fustanella (skirt), and 10 yards in sleeves.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 12

We climbed a pyramid to see the Sphinx in Giza, Egypt


From the 16-page booklet:

May 27   Cairo, Egypt

I dreamed of deserts, pyramids, and camels as we entered this ancient country. How those grumpy camels whined and groaned when the dragoman—Arab guide—shouted for them to kneel. What a bumpy but enchanting ride all the way to Giza. Clambering up the pyramid, Ken wondered how the slaves managed to pile up the huge blocks to 480 feet high on the Great Pyramid, without derricks or bulldozers!


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 13

Skipper tested the fakir’s rope trick in India


From the 16-page booklet:

June 3   New Delhi, India

In India we saw the strangest things of all. We were goggle-eyed most of the time. Sacred cows walked the streets beside the people, who didn’t seem to mind at all. I was amazed at the different kinds of dress. Daddy said that was the way each one expressed his belief. Some men wore white cloth draped into pants and wrapped yards and yards of material around their heads. I liked the brightly-colored saris women wore tossed across one shoulder and over the head.

Skipper kept talking about fakirs till Ken took her to see one who did an old magic trick with a rope. That spooky rope circled upward. My daring little sister climbed it, but hurried down when she was told she’d disappear at the top. I wonder if it really was magic?


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 14

Our lady guide pointed out the Taj Mahal, Agra, India


From the 16-page booklet:

June 4   Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is a “love song in marble,” our lady guide in the charming sari told us. The Emperor Shah Jahan built the gleaming white palace as a tomb for the wife he loved dearly. A lump came into my throat, and I wiped away a tear as I thought of that brokenhearted man watching those architects, jewelers, and gardeners work for 17 years to build a wonder of the world just for her.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 15

We enjoyed the Tea Ceremony in Kyoto, Japan


From the 16-page booklet:

June 10   Kyoto, Japan

We saw so much bowing here that soon we were bowing to each other. Ken bowed and said, “Arigatu,” (thank you) to Midge when she handed him a roll of film. She solemnly bowed too, and didn’t realize it till we laughed. Daddy said Americans should have picked up some Japanese ways like they did ours after the war. I wished I could learn to serve tea as carefully as that Japanese girl who performed the Tea Ceremony for us. Every art object, every utensil and motion had a meaning; all are to make hostess and guests happier as they drink together.

Kite flying is another old Oriental custom, and I sketched my tomboy sister flying one that looked like a bird in the air. The Japanese have many festivals for children. During Boy’s Festival, each boy in the family is represented by a carp kite flying from the rooftop.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 16

I danced the “lelong” with the Balinese girl in Bali


From the 16-page booklet:

June 12   Bali

In sensational Bali people would rather dance than walk. They dramatize their legends of gods, demons, and witches. The little girls learn to dance before they are as old as Skipper. Teen-agers aren’t permitted to dance the old traditional lelong—they’re too old! When the Balinese tire of certain dances they create new ones. Whatever interests them—a queen’s crown or a football sweater on a tourist—they interpret its meaning in a dance. When I asked Midge if she thought any of us could inspire a new dance, she just laughed at me. So Ken, Midge, and Skipper formed a gamelan (small orchestra), and I followed the little Balinese girl in the lelong, We teased Daddy about trying the baris, a war dance especially created so older men could dance.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 17

In Australia’s Outback, we threw boomerangs and fed kangaroos


From the 16-page booklet:

June 15   The Outback, Australia

Before we landed, our pilot pointed out the kangaroos leaping off his air strip. On our whole trip I never saw Skipper more excited.

Australia is much like our own country, Daddy said. The tall, lean man waiting for us, his weathered face topped with a battered, big hat is a “jackeroo” at a cattle station. Back home we’d call him a cowboy.

Ken asked about the dark-skinned man and woman who took our luggage. The rancher said they were aborigines. They are natives who lived wild, like our Indians, till the white man came. Instead of using a bow and arrow, though, they invented the amazing boomerang. Ken was determined to throw one so that it would return right into his hands. While he was practicing, Skipper and I fed the pet kangaroos. Skipper wanted to take the little “joey” home till Daddy reminded her that it wouldn’t always be small enough to snuggle into its mother’s pouch.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 18

Ken got a pearl from a giant clam at the Great Barrier Reef


From the 16-page booklet:

June 18   Great Barrier Reef, Australia

I’m glad the giant clam wasn’t alive when Ken snatched that pearl. He could have lost an arm or perhaps his life. Before we left the hotel at Cairns to go scuba diving, the manager warned us about these clams. He said they grow to four feet in length and might weigh as much as all of us put together. He said pearl hunters had been caught by them. The head waiter laughed and said that only happened in a fiction writer’s imagination. But, even so, we were careful.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 19

Midge and I tried a fast Tahitian dance in Tahiti


From the 16-page booklet:

June 20   Papeete, Tahiti

Oh-h! The suntans these luscious Tahitian girls have. I wish we could stay a year in this exotic place, like some tourists do. Perhaps I could get a tan like that. The natives seem happy to have us here. The beaches are rimmed with palms and the water is the bluest blue. One evening on the beach, lighted with two tiki torches, Midge and I tried a Tahitian dance. Daddy played the ukelele and Ken clapped rhythm—though he couldn’t clap as fast as the Tahitian drummers. Skipper suddenly said she was going to get some coconuts, and before Daddy could stop her, she climbed the tree and began tossing them down.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 20

Ken “wiped out” when we surfed at Waikiki, Hawaii


From the 16-page booklet:

June 23   Waikiki, Hawaii

Daddy startled me by saying, “We’re back in the States now,” just as we left the customs office. I hadn’t thought of it before. But I was glad that wonderful Waikiki Beach was part of our own country. Surfing there was one of the greatest thrills of the trip. After some lessons for malahinis—newcomers—Ken and I said “hiki-no” (can do). My heart jumped into my throat when we leaped to our feet to ride the waves in. We rode several before one caught Ken at an angle and he “wiped out.” We teased Ken about surfing like a malahini, but we had to admit he cast a net like a kanakina—native. Skipper dared him to net her, which he did perfectly.


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View-Master Barbies Around the World Trip (B500), Scene 21

We cheered the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco


From the 16-page booklet:

June 27   San Francisco

I felt aglow too as the gleaming Golden Gate Bridge came into view. Homecomings are happy too! So much to tell my friends! Before our deck party we planned to surprise each other in the costume of our favorite country. Ken was a Greek Evzone, and I a Tahitian dancer, only—sigh—not as suntanned. Daddy wore his alpine outfit, as I expected, but Midge surprised me in her Dutch dress and Skipper in that long, Balinese gown. In the midst of our celebration we sang to our truly favorite country—“America.”


from32d said...

They were doing Photoshop before there was Photoshop.

JAM said...

I can see their diorama set in the foreground, and it looks like it might be a large transparency, lit from behind, as the background. If not then I am baffled as to what they did.

from32d said...

This is from 1965. I doubt if it'll conclude at a Beatles concert. Who knew the going price this would of been as a collector's item decades later. If it got past Brian Epstein and Capitol Records first.
Hey, a Beatles Shea Stadium or Help! View-Master. Sawyer or GAF would of hit gold.

JAM said...

You're right. It doesn't conclude at a Beatles concert. It concludes in San Francisco. They should have done a Help! View-Master. That would certainly have sold well. Heck, they didn't do a Hogan's Heroes, Get Smart, Bewitched, or I Dream of Jeannie View-Master either. Those were four very hot TV shows. I heard that those four were in the works, with preliminary cover designs even, but they never got off the ground as far a photographing and completing the packets. Too bad, because I love all four of those shows.

from32d said...

I also wondered why Bewitched was never done. Very long-lasting series. I wish they had some some follow-ups to Batman and the Munsters.

F.C.N. said...

Hi, I talked about the same set in an old blog now is closed. I reposted it updating the text and adding a link to this wonderful blog!
Thank you for your work!

JAM said...

Thank you F.C.N. I'm glad you like it.

F.C.N. said...

I really love your blog.
I'm a VM totally addicted collector, and your idea to scan and post the images from the old reels is commendable.
Well done!

JAM said...

Thank you FCN. It took me two years to figure out the best way to do it. It is amazing how much detail can be captured from those tiny slides.

F.C.N. said...

Yes, I can imagine it must be very complicated to scan those slides.
My best result is this:
And it's not good at all.
What kind of scanner do you use?

F.C.N. said...

Oh, good! I would buy the same one!

dth1971 said...

This uses reel Barbie and Ken dolls, right?

JAM said...