A 1987 cartoon special based on Mattel's Barbie and the Rockers (known as Barbie and the Rock Stars in the UK) line of dolls, developed at least partly in response to the popularity of the Jem cartoon. Unfortunately, where Jem was beloved and ran for three seasons, this barely saw much of a release. It received two direct-to-video specials, but no TV series and hasn't been rereleased since the 1990s.
Barbie and the Rockers are the most popular band in the world, and they have performed everywhere. This of course means Barbie has to take things to the next level: they're performing in outer space!
In 1988, the line was retooled into Barbie and the Sensations. This also had an accompanying TV special, Barbie and the Sensations: Rockin' Back to Earth, where Barbie and the group (still called the Rockers) went back to Earth only to find that they'd gone back to 1959.
These specials contain examples of:
- Adaptation Dye-Job:
- Ken used to be a brunet. In the specials and all future media, he has blond hair.
- The 2010s re-imagining doll of Barbie and the Rockers gives Barbie pink hair.
- Animesque: Considering this was 1980s-era DiC and all.
- Alternate History: How else can we explain them being the most popular band in the world? And Barbie being well recieved in Soviet Russia during the Cold War, as shown on a magazine called "Russian Life" in a montage.
- Artificial Gravity: Despite the specials being set in the year of release (for the "present day" scenes), the concert floor in the space station seems to be subject to this.
- Demoted to Extra: Everyone in the band except for Barbie and Ken. In the animated special, they just sort of exist.
- Egocentric Team Naming: Barbie is the lead singer and Face of the Band, whose official name is "Barbie and the Rockers" (later "Barbie and the Sensations").
- '80s Hair: Goes without saying, but the hair amazingly survives both increased G-forces and lack thereof.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Barbie is a worldwide sensation and is a blonde.
- Barbie is written similarly to Jerrica Benton (aka Jem) from Jem. They're both blond 1980s pop stars who enjoy promoting friendship and world peace. They even sound similar, though they have different voice actresses. Jem has pink hair, unlike her natural blonde as Jerrica, however a later reimagining of the toy-line changed Barbie from a blonde to a pinkette (though darker pink than Jem's).
- The band consists of the lead, Diva, a redhead, Dee Dee, a black woman, and Dana, an Asian woman much like Jem and the Holograms. However, their other two members are men while Jem had a Latina woman named "Raya" as the Sixth Ranger.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Golden blonde Barbie is so kind that she becomes a world peace advocate.
- Multinational Team: The band consists of all American Barbie Roberts, Scotch Irish American Ophelia (aka Diva) Butler, African American Dee Dee Schwitzerson and Korean American Dana Yeosan.
- No Antagonist: In part one, they go into space. In part two, they come back down. There really isn't much more to it than that.
- Sudden Name Change: Part-way through the toys, Barbie's band was suddenly renamed from "The Rockers" to "The Sensations". Dana, Dee Dee and Diva were renamed Bopsy, Becky and Belinda.