Monday, February 5, 2018

Barbie of the Month: Barbie and Ken (Tennis) Gift Set

The #892 Barbie and Ken (Tennis) Gift Set is one of my favorites.  Interestingly, we all call it the “Barbie and Ken Tennis Gift Set”, but Mattel didn’t include the word “Tennis” in the name, although the picture on the box depicts the couple with their tennis racquets. 


The set was released in 1962 and 1963 only.  The early set came with a #750 flocked hair Ken and #850 Ponytail Barbie doll or #850 Bubblecut Barbie.  Later it could be found with a painted head Ken as well.

Ponytail Barbie and Flocked Hair Ken

This fabulous set included so much. Barbie in her red one-piece swim-suit and Ken in his red swim trunks and yellow towel, or red swim trunks and matching striped terry-cloth lined jacket.  Both dolls were placed in their plain white boxes, box liner (no top), black metal stands, and proper wrist tags. Ken wore cork sandals and Barbie sported her red open toe shoes and pearl earrings.  Barbie’s box included the blue 1962 Barbie and Ken booklet as well.

The clothing consisted of nearly the complete #941 Tennis Anyone ensemble: Jacket, socks, shoes, tennis book, sunglasses, tennis racquet, and tennis balls. The white tennis dress was replaced with a white scoop neck playsuit.  Ken had the complete #790 Time for Tennis ensemble: shirt, sweater jacket, shorts, socks, shoes, sunglasses, tennis racquet, and tennis balls.  Each tennis ensemble for Barbie and Ken include two tennis balls, but the gift set had a total of two.

This beautiful set also included Barbie’s pretty yellow silk sheath dress, orange gathered pak skirt, pink bra and panties, orange clutch purse, orange open toe heels, red wide pak belt, and pearl necklace.  Ken also had a pair of white undershorts, green corduroy pants, green socks, red and green sport shirt, and brown shoes with white tops.

The box is one of the bigger gift set boxes.  It measures 17 inches deep by 27 inches wide (for those of you wondering if you have room to showcase it!).  It has a blue liner to which the clothes are attached by white string.

End of box showing the stock number

The set was featured in the Mattel Catalog in 1962 and 1963.  It retailed for $15.00.  In 1962 and 1963 the Montgomery Ward catalog contained the set as well, but the box was replaced with a plastic doll carrying case.  The retail price for that set was 13.77, or $10.99 without the case. 

1962 and 1963 pictures of the set in the Montgomery Ward Catalog

This is a very difficult set to find, both complete in the box or the box alone!  It’s such a treasure once you acquire it.

Happy Hunting!

Be sure to visit my web site for more Barbie!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 Barbie Tree

Christmas wouldn't be the same if I didn't put up my little Barbie tree.  

My Little Barbie Tree

My tree is full of replica's of my favorite vintage dolls, their cases, and many other darling Barbie items.  

Number 1 Barbie dressed in Gay Parisienne
which is one of my very favorites!

The cases are so cute.

Midge dressed in Suburban Shopper
and barbie dressed in Silken Flame and Red Flare.

Barbie is all about her accessories.

Another favorite is my tree topper
 with Barbie and Ken dressed in Wedding Day and Tuxedo.

Do you have a Barbie tree? I'm sure everyone would love to see pictures and hear your story.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Barbie of the Month: Reissue Skipper

Reissue Skipper
In 1969 Mattel added a last minute update flyer to their spring catalog. One of the six items featured was Barbie’s little sister, the #950 straight-leg Skipper doll.  She was packaged wearing the same swim-suit as she wore back in 1964, when she originally debuted.  She was available through 1970, when she was only included in the 1970 Sears catalog, priced at $1.97.

Photo from the 1970 Sears Catalog

This young girl wasn’t exactly identical though.  Even though she had the same swim-suit and hair style as the 1964 version, she had a pinker skin tone and a modified box. 

#950 Reissue Skipper in the updated box

Just glancing at the box you’d almost think it was identical, but if you take a closer look you will see that the new box features Mod Barbie dolls dressed in 1969 and 1970 Mod clothing, rather than early dolls dressed in early 1960’s clothing.

1964 and 1969 boxes

Reissue Skipper has blue eyes and pink, peach, or yellow lips, and was available with blonde, brunette, or titan hair colors.

1964 and 1969 boxes
1964 and 1969 boxes
1964 and 1969 boxes
She is marked: ©1963/Mattel, Inc.

The similar box included skipper in her one-piece red and white swim-suit, red flat shoes, brass headband, white plastic brush & comb, black or gold wire stand, and booklet.  Note:  the brass headband often tarnishes and caused some green to transfer onto Skippers head and hair when left on her head.

Since Skipper was only available from 1969 to 1970 and was only featured twice, (once on a flyer and once in the Sears catalog), she is extremely rare to find in-box.   She is certainly a very popular doll among collectors.

Happy Hunting!

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!