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The Bionic Woman Doll

The Bionic Woman Doll

Bionic Woman Doll | SherBarbie

By the time I reached the 2nd grade, I understood that for every male superhero archetype that existed the entertainment industry felt obligated to create a female counterpart.

For Superman there was Wonder Woman.

For Batman there was a Batgirl.

For Shazam there was Isis.

And, for the Steve Austin, the Six-Million-Dollar Man there was Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman. She cost less than $6 million to fix, by the way…
Bionic Woman and Six Million Dollar Man

Except Aqua Man. To my knowledge, there’s never been an Aqua Woman.

The Bionic Woman premiered in January 1976. She was immortalized the following years in the pages of the 1977 JC Penney’s Christmas Catalog.

The Bionic woman doll ad from JC Penneys CHristmas Catalog 1977

This was not a doll I wanted. In fact, I didn’t like the Bionic Woman. I don’t know what it says about me as a kid, but she did not have the female characteristics I valued as an 8-year-old girl. I preferred prettier dolls like Malibu Barbie and Topper Dawn. I especially loved Ideal’s Tuesday Taylor with her ridiculously long hair and pale green off-the-shoulder jumpsuit. She had an awesome white bikini that doubled as bar and underwear, and a fabulous tan.

This all seems rather hollow and awful now, but in the spirit of bearing witness to the life and times of this Gen Xer, that’s the way things went with me.

So much has been written about the early (and ongoing) sexualization of girls by products that promote looking sexy. I don’t have anything new to add to that conversation except to validate that it was a problem then and it is a far bigger problem now. At least when Gen Xers were growing up we had Little House on the Prairie.

Did you have a Bionic Woman doll?


Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Anonymous

    Mera, Aquaman’s wife, with the power to turn water hard and project it (so underwater she sort of had the ability to summon force fields).

    • Jennifer

      Good to know. I had no idea he was married!

  2. Nolan

    When I was a kid I never thought the Bionic Woman doll was pretty. Not like Barbie. But, I had one. What the doll lacked in the femininity department it made up for with its coolness. She definitely had more play value than Barbie. With great high quality outfits and cool accessories. A cool sportscar that the doll could stop by herself, A dome house, A Bionic Beauty salon and even an arch enemy in the Fembot doll. I played with my Bionic Woman and Steve Austin doll for hours. Creating adventures. Writing this makes me want to buy another Bionic Woman doll and maybe a Bionic man.

  3. Andi Fisher

    Maybe it was my tomboy tendencies but I had and LOVED the Bionic woman doll – watched the show religiously – or as religiously as a 7 year old could – and am currently waiting for someone to make the film ;-0

  4. Brett

    Any good nerd could tell you that Aquaman, king of the deeps, was married to Mera, Queen of Atlantis 😉

    I always thought the ear thing that Jamie had was better than Steve’s eye. But then I also thought that I really made that noise when I jumped off a chair…

  5. Jennifer

    Her doll clothes were all relatively modest. I liked the prairie dress, too. An early nod to the times, huh? I loved those styling heads. I still want one.

  6. Heyray

    I had the Bionic Woman styling head, and it was one of my top 3 toys of all time!!  I’m not sure if I ever watched the show, though; I would have only been 4 when it debuted. But I certainly knew OF her. Love that the JCP catalog had a prairie dress outfit for her~

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