PREVIOUS DOLLS OF THE MONTH
JANUARY'S DOLL: BEAUTIFUL BRIDE WITH ROOTED EYELASHES, 1976
Very few Living Barbies and Skippers are marked "Made In Japan". Ever wonder why? The reason is because these dolls are from two different places: either they are Japanese issued dolls available only in Japan, or they are from a Sears Gift Set. Living Barbie made in Japan is usually a redhead (titian) and was available in the United States as part of the Sears Action Accents Gift Set from 1970-71. This gift set includes pink and blue colored sports-related attire. Living Skipper came in a gift set called the Very Best Velvet Gift Set, wearing a orange velvet coat and dress with yellow trim, yellow pantyhose, and yellow shoes. These two dolls actually look a bit different from the American versions; Barbie has paler skin and light red hair as opposed to the American deep red. A rare few of the Barbies have centered eyes! Skipper has paler skin and shorter, lighter blonde curly hair. These dolls are a fun complement to the more common variations of Living Barbie and Skipper.
NOVEMBER'S DOLL: POSE AND PLAY TIFF
Little redheaded Tiff is by far the rarest friend Skipper has ever had. Available only in 1972, she came in an orange box and was dressed in a white shirt with a 'Stop' decal on it, jeans with two small red patches on them, white tennis shoes and a red skateboard. She resembles Fluff, but has red hair and no eyelashes. Her eyes are a warm brown and her lips are vivid peach in color. She has the Living Skipper body with poseable elbows and hands. Tiff is described as being "Skipper's Tomboy Friend", and looks best dressed in outfits with pants. I have mine in Triple Treat and she looks simply adorable! I folded up the little kerchief and she wears it as a headband. I kept her sneakers on and she rides her skateboard across my shelf! Like many of the MOD era dolls, she exudes vitality and exuberance.
Stacey's Nite Lightning Gift Set is by far one of the most elusive and beautiful gift sets of the MOD era. The proper doll to go with this set is the shorter haired titian Stacey in the blue and pink floral swimsuit. One of the trickiest aspects of this set is finding the royal blue/purple coat with its small flower shaped, rhinestone encrusted pin intact. Also, the royal blue hose are hard to track down. The dress top, which is made of the notorious fading pink MOD satin which fades, also has a teeny nylon pouf with brilliant jewel attached. Sometimes I have to laugh when I wonder in amazement why Mattel made things like this for KIDS to PLAY WITH! The skirt is especially striking, with the multicolored shining metallic flakes in pinks and blues. Although there are a few shoe variations, the proper and most common shoes are the low soft bow royal blue flats. This gift set tops them all with its sophistication and delicacy.
The 1966 Color Magic seems to be one of the most elusive Barbies for collectors to find. There are actually four versions of this doll; two blondes which change to a reddish orange (Golden Blonde to Scarlet Flame) and two black haired Barbies which change to a deep red (Midnight Black to Ruby Red). The difference between the two versions of each doll is the facial painting, as there are subtle colored faces and high colored faces. My blonde has a high color, while my redhead has the subtle painting. While many collectors find that the appearance of the high color face is more desirable, the subtle painting is harder to find. This doll also came in two styles of boxes: cardboard and a plastic closet style box. Her original swimsuit is yellow with multicolored diamonds, with a teal colored waist tie, matching headwrap and teal hair clip. The Color Magic has the same body as Miss Barbie and American Girl Barbie with bendable legs. However, often they seem to be found on other bodies. It is possible that the bodies did not react well with the chemicals used to change the hair color, or that the knees broke easily when children were dipping the heads in solution. There are ways to change the hair colors back and forth, however I do not want to list them here because I am not aware of the damage they may cause. I was able to see my blonde change to orange just by getting her hair wet with water, so you may want to try that. What a wild doll!
This doll is the 1969 Twist and Turn Francie doll. The commonly found hair colors of this doll are a dark sandy blond and a dark brunette. However, a rarer version of this doll is a light platinum blonde. Recently, I had the luck to find a second one of these. (the first one I found five years ago, and she's mangled.)
This Francie's hair is so curly that it wasn't until I was washing it that I noticed that under all her curls on her head was her original headband! This doll's original outfit is a pink swimsuit with yellow stripes. In Stefanie Deutsch's 30 Years of Barbie book she has a picture of this doll, along with a higher price quote for this hair color than the other hair colors. Finding one of these dolls in good shape is a long but fun search.
This doll is the black doll in the main picture at the top of the page. She is breathtaking in person! Black Francie was created as an attempt to make Barbieland multicutural in the mid 1960's. However, because they tried to pass off Black Francie as Barbie's cousin, it was a bit unbelievable. Also, although the doll is lovely, she looks like other early black dolls; she resembles a black
doll with white features. Eventually Mattel caught on and created Christie, who
was more ethnically correct. In the 1970's, Mattel had a partnership with the Shindana Toy Company. A Barbie sized doll named Disco Wanda was the result, and today this doll is also very hard to find. I have one and I think she looks similar to what a black Stacey would have looked like. Many people wonder why this doll has red hair, and the answer is that the hair changed color
due to age and was originally probably light brown. This is similar to the #1, 2 and 3 ponytails, whose skintone faded in color. It is hard to find this doll with silky
smooth hair, as dolls which were played with tend to have more dried out, frizzy hair. There is also a 1968 version which has dark brown hair. A unique and historical doll!
This doll is so rare, she hasn't been featured in any book! I have been fortunate enough to find one in the original box, and I will post pictures sometime soon. I believe that this doll was a test market doll
to decide if it would be profitable for Mattel to make a Barbie doll family doll in a larger size. I am assuming the experiment was successful, because four years after Supersize Casey's introduction the Supersize Barbie was released.
Casey is about 20 inches tall. She has a face mold somewhat like the other Casey's, with an open smile. However this doll appears to be a younger girl, about 13 or 14 years old. Her hair is dark brown,
with the front in two small curls with orange ribbons. her hair is a little bit longer than chin length when curled. She has the same Quick Curl hair with wires as the smaller Quick Curl dolls. Her lips are coral colored, and
her eyes are olive green with turquoise eyeshadow. Her dress is similar in style to Quick Curl Francie's, but in blue gingham with red rik rak trim. Her high heel shoes are white.
Casey's box is blue with orange line detail and writing. At the bottom it says, "Magic hair! Curl it instantly! Easily! Change styles in seconds! On the sides of the box there are six pictures of alternate ways the doll's hair can be styled.
The inside box liner is orange. The contents are listed as one Quick Curl Casey doll, hairbrush, comb, 2 barrettes, 4 ribbons, curler, 6 bobbypins, and 6 rubberbands. On the back of the box there are illustration of how to make alternate hairstyles for the doll.
The box date is copyright 1973 Mattel. Her markings are copyright 1971 mattel inc. /copyright U.S.A./ U.S. Patent Pending. What a unique girl!
APRIL'S DOLL: TALKING BUSY STEFFIE
Talking Busy Steffie was produced by Mattel in 1972. She has shoulder length blonde hair, curly at the ends, with bangs.
Steffie has blue eyes with long brown rooted eyelashes. Her original outfit is a pink and white checked blouse
with attached blue hot pants, a dark blue and white checked belt with matching hat, pink checked socks and white square toed shoes.
In my opinion, she is the hardest to find of the talking busy dolls. These dolls are especially hard to find in one piece, because the vinyl
limbs and hard plastic torso like to fuse together. When this happens and someone tries to move a limb, they usually end up with a
limb in their hand and a doll on the floor! Here's her markings:
1967/Mattel,Inc./U.S. & Foreign/Pats. Pend./Hong Kong
(But don't jump too soon thinking you have her, Talking Busy Barbie has the same markings too.)
She has the same talking mechanism found in the earlier talking dolls, with the pink plastic pull ring (or hole where it used to be) behind her neck.
Also, she has the busy hands, which open and close when moved side to side, found on the busy Barbie dolls from the same year.
The Busy Talking dolls also mark a sad milestone: these were the last top of the line, high quality eyelash era dolls ever made. This might explain why Steffie is such a hard to find doll.
With the first malibu Barbie available for one half of the price, many kids (or parents) chose quantity over quality.
This face is known as the...drum roll please....STEFFIE face mold! Many newer collectors refer to this as the P.J. or Oshogatsu face mold, but Steffie was
the first doll to use it, so the name is rightfully hers. She's a gorgeous doll!
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