This week’s Vintage Visitors are Naomi’s collection of vintage Barbie friends and family dolls.
I’ve divided them roughly into their eras, the vintage 1959 – 1966, Mod 1967 -1972, the Malibu Barbie era which overlapped slightly the Mod and Superstar eras as they were made from 1971-77 and the Superstar era 1977-to the mid 1990’s.
Vintage Midge, Ken and Skipper
First of all is Barbie’s best friend Midge. She was one of those lucky finds that collectors love. Naomi found her at a market, the stall holder thought that she was a clone doll called Maisie and only wanted $10 for her. Naomi was pretty sure that she was a genuine Midge which she is. She’s in pretty good shape too.
Naomi also has a vintage painted hair Ken who is in pretty good shape too. We won’t tell Barbie that he and Midge are hanging out together.
Here is Skipper, she is the original straight body Skipper which is similar to the one that I have but this is the later issue bend leg doll. She is not missing any hair plugs, she just needs a bit of a tidy up.
Keeping the her company is Skipper’s friend Ricky who looks a lot like Allan, perhaps he is his little brother. Neither of us have Skooter yet so she is on my list.
The Mod Era is said to begin with the first Twist and Turn waist Barbie in 1967 but as we know nothing is ever as cut and dried with that with vintage dolls. It’s not unusual to find Mod Era doll heads on the straight Midge Barbie body which could be Frankendollies but are more likely to be “baggies” dolls put together from parts on hand to use them up.
Vintage Standard Barbie 1967-69
This pretty girl has the newly designed face on a standard Midge/Barbie straight body. However, her hair is not quite right for a standard Barbie of that era as those dolls mostly seemed to have a fringe. I have looked at a lot of pictures and the main ones I have seen with their hair parted on the left have a flip hairstyle.
The most likely explanation seems to be that she is a foreign issue doll. I think that Australia got a lot of the same dolls produced for Europe and Canada. I feel like I should know who this one is but I’ve looked at so many Barbie pictures now that I can’t focus on her properly so comments are welcome.
This is one that I’m quite certain about as I was with Naomi when she bought her at a doll show I think.Twiggy is named after the British model Jean Shrimpton whose professional name was Twiggy. Twiggy is rather similar to my Casey but with heavier eye make up. I think they used to call it “Panda Eyes”, Twiggy and Casey both have the Francie body which is slightly less mature than Barbie and they have flat feet. Twiggy has discoloured a little with age as these dolls often do. Here you can see Naomi’s Twiggy and my Casey.
Equestrienne Barbie 1977-79
I was fairly sure that this doll was Busy Barbie at first as she has the articulated thumb. I didn’t think any other Mod Era Barbie had that. Her hair did not look like the pictures I’ve seen of Busy Barbie eitehr but I thought that she may have had a restyle or a trim. However, her butt is marked “1968 Mattel. US and Foreign Patented, Patented in Canada 1967, Other Patents Pending Taiwan”. Busy Barbie was made in Hong Kong. The only doll I could find with that marking in my researching was Live Action Barbie from 1971-3 but she did not have “busy” hands. “So, another oddball doll.” I thought and emailed Naomi to tell her she’d done it again. She emailed back “I thought she had something to do with horse riding.” It was twenty years ago she bought the doll she reminded me. I had not thought of horse riding as none were mentioned in the Mod Era references I was using. I searched for a vintage equestrienne Barbie and there she was. Equestrienne Barbie 1977-79 was only sold in Europe and Canada. She had the Live action body with the busy hands. The markings were right. Bingo!
Strictly speaking she’s not really Mod Era but her but as she was made from parts of Mod Era dolls I’ll leave her in this group.
Naomi’s other Skipper has a TNT body and as she is quite tanned I’d say that she is a Malibu Skipper. There were four issues of Malibu Skipper, this one is marked made in Japan so she would be one of the early ones. Malibu Skipper was made in either Japan or Korea between 1970-77. The later ones were all made in the Phillipines.
In the next post I’ll show you some dolls from the Superstar Era.