Thursday, December 8, 2016

Barbie of the Month: Happy Holidays Barbie

We are well into the holiday season, and with Christmas just around the corner I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful season.

What a perfect month to take a look back at why so many people started collecting Barbie.

Did you know that the very first official collectible Barbie doll happened to be the 1988 Happy Holidays Barbie?  Many adults became enthusiasts for the first time when this adult version of Barbie was introduced. 

This brand new Barbie doll was dressed in a beautiful long red shimmering gown that was trimmed with a silver satin bow, highlighted with a red flower and green leaves which she tied at her waist.  A matching ribbon worn in her long blonde hair complemented her ensemble.

 
1988 Happy Holidays Barbie Doll



The Happy Holiday series was a huge hit, and the dolls sold out fast. Collecting Barbie at Christmas was just so much fun!

The last Happy Holidays doll from the series debuted in 1998, for a total of 20 dolls released.  Each year the dolls were available in two versions; white or black, except for in 1988 and 1989 when Barbie was only available as a white doll.

In 1993 Hallmark released a replica of the 1993 Happy Holidays Barbie in the form of an ornament.  Since that time Barbie Christmas trees have become a big hit with collectors, who would buy up new ornaments every year to add to their cute little trees.

 
1993 Hallmark Ornament



One of my favorite things to do each Christmas, is to dress up my vintage girls in one of the fabulous holiday gowns that are found on the various contemporary Holidays Barbie dolls.  Thanks to Mattel, there are now a lot to choose from since 1988!
 
 
1965 American Girl Barbie dressed in the 1989
Happy Holidays Barbie ensemble.


1967 Twist 'n Turn Barbie dressed in the 1991
Happy Holidays Barbie ensemble.


Mattel continues to release new Holiday Barbie dolls - as well as ornaments - every year, but the very first official collectible doll, the 1988 Happy Holidays Barbie, still commands the best price on the secondary market. 


Merry Christmas and Happy hunting!







Friday, October 14, 2016

Barbie of the Month: Talking Stacey

In 1968 Mattel released the stunning  #1125 Talking Stacey doll, who was Barbie’s friend from England.   She was available from 1968-1970.


 
 
Talking Stacey wore a long side pony-tail in a choice of hair colors;  blonde or red (copper penny as red is often referred to). She tied it with a pretty green ribbon.  Her legs were bendable, she had a twist n’ turn waist, blue eyes, and beautiful long eye-lashes.


The Mattel catalog referred to the hair colors
as Copper Brown and Summertime Blonde.

In 1968 through the first part of 1970 Stacey wore a two-piece striped swim suit.  By late 1970 it was changed to a one-piece style suit.   The one piece suit was never featured in the 1970 Mattel catalog.

The harder to find one-piece version
which was only available late in 1970


 
On the back of her neck was a pink pull talking ring which was used to make her speak.  With her British accent she could say:
 
Let's have Barbie over for tea.

I think miniskirts are smashing!

What's playing at the cinema? Shall we go?

 
Oh dear! What shall I wear to dinner?

 
Being a model is terribly exciting!
 
 

This picture is used in the
1968-1970 Mattel Catalogs


Stacey did not have her own line of clothing.  Since she was the same size as Barbie their clothes were interchangeable.  The only clothing that was made specifically for Stacey was the items included in these two gift sets:  #1545 Stripes are Happening  and #1591 Night Lightning.  Both sets included the Twist ‘n turn version of Stacey.
 
Each year a variation in the box she was packaged in appeared.  In 1969 she had a smaller box with a clear cover.  In 1969 her box was similar, but wider with additional information along the front side. In 1970 a new lighter colored box was introduced, with different graphics to match her new swim-suit.


(left to right) 1968 doll, 1969-70 Doll, and late 1970 Doll
 

Inside the box with Stacey was a clear “X” style stand and fashion booklet.
1968-1969 versions of Talking Stacey are marked:  Talking: ©1967/Mattel, Inc./U.S. & Foreign/Pats. Pend./Mexico.   The 1970 version is marked: 1967/Mattel, Inc./U.S. & Foreign /Pats. Pend./Hong Kong.

Stacey's Wrist Tag
 

Commercials back in the day are always great to watch, so I’ve included the Taking Barbie and Stacey commercial from 1968:
 
 
The beautiful Stacey head mold is one of the most popular, and has been used on many dolls in the Barbie family. The original is a must in any Barbie collection!
 

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!