70s Funk-a-Delic Flashback: Holly Hobbieon August 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm
Timeline: early 1970s
American writer and illustrator Holly Hobbie (1944 – present) sold some illustrations of a girl in rag dress and a blue bonnet to American Greetings. Quite unexpectedly, the cards and the nameless girl featured in them became very popular. Soon the girl in the rag dress was being called Holly Hobbie after her creator.
You know how things go when something gets hot. You want to wring every golden cent out of it you can and everybody wants on the gravy train. So one thing led to another, and soon American Greetings partnered with Knickerbocker Toys to mass produce a 197os icon — the Holly Hobbie doll.
Look at her. Holly is a far cry from the dolls today, which mostly look like anorexic, slutty, club girls on meth, or require getting a second mortgage to buy a hair brush (I’m talking to YOU American Girl! You are the mafia!). I’d like to see Barbie pull off that dress. Not likely.
I cannot say why little girls wanted this doll more than all others in the glorious rollicking decade that produced it, all I know is that every time I see Holly Hobbie I think she’s about to make home made ice cream. That is a nice and innocent thought, much more so than thinking she’s about to stick her finger down her throat or max out her Dad’s gold card at Kitson.
At least one of my older three sisters had a lot of Holly Hobbie stuff. I remember the doll and a blanket, perhaps? I invite them to post their recollections in the Comments section.
So here’s to you Holly Hobbie! You are a fitting symbol for a much more funk-a-delic time!