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Idaho woman appears in Barbie commercial 40 years ago, even paid for college with earnings

Nicole Huntington shared her unique experience with KTVB as the Barbie movie breaks records at the box office.

BOISE, Idaho — Long before Barbie was a movie, most people grew up with Barbie, the doll. Forty years ago, Nicole Huntington, who now lives in Idaho, was in the Barbie commercial for the 1983 Crystal Barbie. The Barbie dressed in a shiny evening gown.

 “It was a wonderful opportunity and experience and it's not like everybody can say, ‘oh, yeah, I was in a Barbie commercial,’” Huntington said.  

She was just eight years old when she filmed that commercial. It even helped pay for her to go to college. 

“When you have a national commercial, you get paid residuals… on that particular Barbie commercial. I would say Barbie bought my first car and I think that one was probably upwards of $20,000,” Huntington said. “Not bad for an 8-year-old, so, my parents who said ‘oh, this was an accident getting her into this, they're like wait a minute, she can pay for her own college.’” 

RELATED: 'Barbie' for $4? National Cinema Day is coming, with discounted tickets nationwide

Huntington acted for 11 years. She appeared in a variety of commercials and even sitcoms. 

“I wasn't famous or anything, but I was a working actress, which was great,” Huntington said.

While she is no longer in the industry, she can appreciate the evolution Barbie has gone through. She recently saw the Barbie movie on the big screen. 

“Barbie was always supposed to be just a feel-good thing…. but it was interesting to watch the movie, they didn't have my Barbie in there, which I was kind of upset about, the Crystal Barbie, but it is interesting, the hype,” Huntington said. 

While a new generation is now discovering Barbie, Huntington will always have a crystal-clear memory of her time in the Crystal Barbie commercial.

“It's kind of cool looking back on it now,” Huntington said. “It was a lifetime ago, literally, but I'm proud to say that yeah, I was in a Barbie commercial.” 

She moved to Idaho to be with family. She's now the director of admissions here at Silver Hawk Aviation. Interestingly enough, Huntington told KTVB, she was actually a tomboy growing up, so she didn't really play with Barbie, but she does like the message of Barbie and women empowerment and how you can do anything. She also still has the Barbie's from the commercial she was in, but it’s somewhere in a storage.

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