In 1973 a new series called Get-Ups ‘N Go fashions began. They are complete outfits with various accessories. Both the Best Buy Fashions and the GUAG outfits were produced in Korea. No Get-Ups ‘N Go outfits were printed on the reverse of the packaging. This was the last year that Mattel produced their Casual All Stars set for Sears – see section Casual All Stars – Sears exclusive sets 1970-1973.
GET-UPS ‘N GO
GET-UPS ‘N GO A busy doctor’s professional attire! #7705
The lab coat has a tendency to soak up the colour from the backing card, so the version below right is not a variation, but an extreme example of the kind of damage which can occur. This backing card was used for the Get-Ups ‘N Go #7707 United Airlines Pilot outfit, with similar results: the shirt is often also stained, if only on the back.
GET-UPS ‘N GO Suit-up for safari & adventure! #7706
GET-UPS ‘N GO Authentic! United Airlines Pilot’s uniform! #7707
The pilot outfit was also available in Europe as a Fashion Originals (below right). It is probably that all three GUAG outfits from 1973 were available as Fashion Originals, but I’ve yet to find the other two NRFB.
The 1973 & 1974 Sears Wish Books show Ken’s pilot outfit. It came on card in a sealed plastic bag (below right). Presumably their version of the camping/safari outfit was similarly packaged. Between 1973 and 1978 this pilot outfit was also sold, together with the matching Barbie outfit, as an exclusive Montgomery Ward’s catalogue set #7779. They came in a plain, stamped cardboard box (below left). In fact, apart from the special gift sets, most mail-ordered dolls and outfits seem to have been packaged quite plainly.
BEST BUY FASHIONS
After the promising start in 1972, the Best Buy Fashions were demoted to just a basic outfit with an occasional accessory, such as a belt, scarf or cap. They weren’t even given names anymore, at least not in the US. Despite this, and even though the quality can not match the earlier clothing, some are among my favourite Ken outfits. As none of these Best Buy Fashions originally included shoes, I’ve added some for the photos.
BEST BUY FASHIONS #8615
BEST BUY FASHIONS #8616
BEST BUY FASHIONS #8599
A later version of BEST BUY FASHIONS #8616 was produced without the ’73’ logo, and given a different code number.
BEST BUY FASHIONS #8617
BEST BUY FASHIONS #8618
BEST BUY FASHIONS REVERSE
BEST BUY FASHIONS #8627
The sets with the green and light blue sneakers were made in Hong Kong/Japan. The set with the brown and darker blue sneakers and lighter cowboy boots was made in Korea, and has no printing on the reverse of packaging.
BOOKLETS & CATALOGUES
There are two booklets for 1973. The Get-Ups ‘N Go outfits were produced during 1973, so a second booklet, with some other amendments and changes to layout, was printed to include them.
In Europe names were given to all outfits. I imagine the Get-Ups ‘N Go outfits were repackaged as Fashion Originals, because the GUAG word-play was too obscure for the European market.
Below is a double-page from an Italian Barbie booklet. To judge by the clothing worn by Skipper, it must be from 1977 or later. It shows Ken wearing all four 1973 Best Buy Fashions, including the #8599 version without the logo.
The shoes which came with dolls were produced in the same country as the doll itself, either Taiwan or Hong Kong.
The Get-Ups ‘N Go shoes were produced in Korea, like the outfits. The Best Buy Fashions shoes were made in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. They are all made of a soft rubbery plastic. Until 1973 sneakers had only been available once before, on the regular Busy Ken. They appeared far more often from here on and were to become, along with the loafer and cowboy boot, a classic Ken shoe. The designs did not alter until well into the 1990s.