Thursday, September 1, 2016

Barbie of the Month: Funtime Barbie and the Gang

Funtime Barbie, Ken, and Skipper are the three Funtime dolls that were sold in Europe and Canada in 1975 (boxes marked 1974). 

#7192 Funtime Barbie

The beautiful #7192 Funtime Barbie is made from the true Barbie head mold.  She has long blonde hair, bendable legs, and a twist ‘n turn waist.  Her hair is parted on the side with two pony tails.

#7194 Funtime Ken wears blue swim trunks, has dark brown molded hair, and bendable legs.

Funtime Ken

#7193 Skipper, Barbie’s little sister, has long blonde hair, heavy make-up, and wears a yellow two-piece swim suit. 

Interestingly, Barbie and Skipper were made in Korea, and Ken was made in Taiwan.
They are marked:
Barbie: © 1966 Mattel, Inc. U.S. Patented U.S. Pat. Pend. Made in Korea
Ken: ©1968/Mattel, Inc. U.S. & For. Pat'd./Other Pats./Pending/Taiwan
Skipper: 1967 Mattel Inc. U.S. Pat'd. U.S. Pats. Pend. Made in Korea

Barbie and Ken Box markings

There is one additional Funtime doll with a darker rose colored box, who's name doesn’t appear on the back of Barbie, Skipper, and Ken’s box simply because she was only released in 1976.  She is #7381 Funtime Skooter.  This cute redhead with a twist-n-turn waist and bendable legs wears a blue two-piece swim-suit.  She is the hardest of the four dolls to locate. 
Funtime Skooter

Skooter is marked: © 1967 Mattel, Inc. U.S. Pat'd. U.S. Pats. Pend. Made in Korea

1976 Skooter and 1975 Skipper

Sold alongside these dolls in 1975 were Funtime sets, advertised as “today’s teens in outdoor scenes”.  I have not been able to locate a picture or even a description of these outdoor sets at the time of this writing.  If you have anything to add, please let our readers know!


Barbie, Ken, and Skipper were only available for two short years and Skooter for one year.  Since you could only get them in Europe and Canada, they are always much more difficult to find on the secondary market. 

Happy Hunting!


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Barbie of the Month: Walk Lively Steffie

The beautiful #1183 Walk Lively Steffie with her pretty brown eyes and dark brunette hair was Mattel’s big surprise for 1972.   
Walk Lively Steffie
Steffie was packaged wearing a one-piece sleeveless jumpsuit with a soft pink chiffon scarf that she tied around her neck to accent her ensemble, with closed toe chunky pink shoes which completed her stylish outfit.
Walk Lively Steffie
She came with a unique walk-n-turn stand.  With or without the stand she could walk using her legs.  Her head would turn back and forth and her arms would swing.  Mattel described her “looking very graceful”.  There was no fashion booklet included in the set.  In 1972, Mattel stopped including fashion booklets with their dolls.
Walk-n-turn stand

Walk-n-turn stand

Steffie had long brown hair which she wore in a flip, real eyelashes, and bendable legs.  Her waist could twist ‘n turn as well
Look at those long eyelashes!

There were four Walk Lively dolls released in 1972; Barbie, Ken, Steffie, and Miss America.  All the Walk Lively dolls included a walk ’n turn stand (except for the mail order version of Miss America from the Kellogg Company).  The walk ‘n turn stands were all tan in color except for Miss America’s which was white.  All Walk Lively dolls are marked: ©1967 Mattel, Inc./U.S. Pat. Pend./Taiwan. 


Walk Lively Barbie, Ken and Steffie (From Mattel Catalog)

Miss America  (From Mattel Catalog)
I love the commercial that debuted with three of these dolls.  Miss America was not in the advertisement.
Walk Lively Steffie retailed for $4.97 in the Sears catalog and $4.77 in the Montgomery Ward & Co catalog.   Since her release, her popular head mold has been used on numerous other dolls in the Mattel line.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dressed Box Japanese Market Dolls

I recently acquired a fun little Barbie item, a Dressed Bubblecut Barbie exclusively from the Japanese Market.   
1965 Dressed Bubblecut wearing Fashion Editor from Japanese Market 
These dolls are very difficult to identify, unless they are still in their original box.
The Japanese market dolls were packaged in normal western style clothing as well as a western style box, with only two additional stickers affixed to the box that the U.S. boxes did not include.   

Western Dressed Doll Box sold in Japan

The first sticker is found on the inside of the bottom box inside flap, where Barbie’s head would be positioned.  It is a white Tariff Stamp Sticker with black lettering. 
Tariff Stamp Sticker
Western Box without sticker and Japanese Market Box with Tariff Stamp Sticker
The 2nd sticker is a KB sticker found on the top outside end flap of the box which also has the fashion number of the dressed doll.  
KB Sticker on end flap box

Also in the box was a fashion booklet and stand.  The earlier dolls included a 2-piece black metal stand with plastic base with the lettering “Barbie” written on it.  The later ones had a gold one-piece wire stand.
A Japanese fashion booklet was also included with these dolls.  And I believe others may have included a western booklet.
There are also rare boxes that had these western dolls in packages that were very similar, but the photographs on the box were Japanese faced dolls rather than Western faced dolls.
Box Variation
There is very little written about these dolls, and I’m still learning, but they are certainly something to look further in to, and even to acquire! 
Let me know if you have any more information you want to share!
Happy Hunting!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Barbie of the Month: Busy Barbie

Busy Barbie and Talking Busy Barbie
In 1972 two quite different versions of the pretty Busy Barbie was introduced; #3311 Busy Barbie and #1195 Talking Busy Barbie. These dolls were unique because they had "busy" hands that could grasp various items.  Their hands can bend and turn at the wrist, and open, close, Grasp and carry. 
Busy Hands

Busy Barbie had long blonde hair and talking Busy Barbie had shorter blonde hair.  Only Talking Busy Barbie had real eyelashes.   Busy Barbie had painted ones.
In addition to her busy hands, she had a twist ‘n turn waist and bendable knees. 
Busy Barbie is marked: ©1966 Mattel, Inc. U.S. & Foreign Patented Other Pats Pending Made In U.S.A. and in 1973 her marking was updated to read © 1966 Mattel, Inc.  Hong Kong U.S. & Foreign Patented Other Pat's Pending. 
Busy Barbie
Talking Busy Barbie is marked: ©1967/Mattel, Inc./U.S. & Foreign/Pats. Pend/Hong Kong and in 1973 the mark changed to: © 1967 Mattel, Inc. U.S. & For. Pat'd. Pat'd. In Canada 1967 Other Pat's. Pend. Hong Kong.
Talking Busy Barbie
Busy Barbie’s packaging included five accessories that she could hold with her busy hands, which  was a telephone, television, record player, soda set (brown tray with two glasses), and a travel case.  Also a plastic X stand and instructions pamphlet were included in the box.
Instructions Pamphlet
There were seven Busy Barbie dolls made for the U.S. market.  Three could talk (Barbie, Ken, and Steffie), and four that could not (Barbie, Ken, Steffie, and Francie).   One additional Busy Barbie doll that was released at the same time was German Busy Francie (#3313),  who was available only in Europe.  She had the same body but a completely different head mold. 

In 1971 a brand new advertising campaign began for new products that Mattel was planning to release in 1972.   They called that ad campaign “Surprising Barbie”.   Included in the campaign was a “Surprising Barbie” theme song that would be used for all advertisements in 1972.  Mattel thought that little girls would love the catchy tune.  The biggest surprise in 1972 was the introduction of the 1972 Busy Barbie line, but there were other exciting introductions as well.  A fabulous new Fashion Original clothing line was presented, as well as an entirely new line of clothing,  which was meant to compete with other lower cost brands on the market for the same sized dolls.  They called the new line “Best Buy fashions”, “high quality fashion at the lowest price ever”.  Each retailed for .55 cents.   In the commercial  Mattel also referred to some other added surprises that would be released later at the toy fair. 
Here’s the link for that commercial for your viewing enjoyment!
Busy Barbie was available for only two short years.  Consequently she is another pretty lady that’s a little tougher to find on the secondary market,  in mint condition and in her box, but I think she’s a must have for every Barbie collection!

Happy Hunting!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Barbie of the Month: Skooter Cut ’n Button Costumes

In 1966 the Sears exclusive #1036 Skooter Cut 'n Button Costumes set was released.  It’s the only gift set that was ever made specifically for Skooter.

#1036 Skooter Cut 'n Button Costumes Gift Set

Skooter, who was marketed as Skipper’s friend, was available in three hair colors; blonde, brunette, and titian.  She parted her hair down the middle and tied it with double ponytails and red ribbons.  The doll was available with either straight legs or bendable legs.   Skipper and Skooter were the exact same size, and could wear each other’s clothing.

This pretty gift set included only the straight-leg version of Skooter, who was dressed in her two-piece red and white swim-suit.
Bend-leg Skooter, Straight-leg Skipper, and Straight-leg Skooter
The set had three fabulous sew free clothing items:
Sailin' Blues:  a blue sun dress that was trimmed in red, with white polka dots and a sail boat design on the front skirt.

Sailin' Blues

Windbreaker:  a red coat with navy blue trim and blue buttons with built-in matching belt.


Windbreaker with leftover fabric

Granny Gown:  a long pink nightgown, with a matching night cap and pink slippers.

Granny Gown uncut

The set was advertised as “Fun for you to make without sewing a stitch!”  These clothes were put together in just two easy steps. 
1. Cut out the printed cloth.
2. Button together.  Now dress Skooter!
Instructions included with the set
Also included in the box were Skooters’ red flat shoes, comb and brush, as well as a fashion booklet, instruction book, and wire stand.  It originally retailed for $3.97.  Interestingly, you could buy the dolls individually for just a $1.00 less, $2.97.  For just a dollar more you would think everyone would have bought the set, but $1.00 was a more significant sum in 1966.
Since Cut ‘n Button Costumes set was only obtainable from Sears for one year, it’s another gift set that’s difficult to find intact in the original box.   
Happy Hunting!