For those who came in late:
I thought that in this post it might be interesting to compare some of the more recent Barbie body types. Then I realised that there are so many variations that it could end up being a very long post so I decided to split it up into two or three, or maybe more.
*Warning: naked dolls may be shown here for comparison purposes.
In this post I’ll talk about and show examples of dolls with the “belly button” body. This body type appeared for the first time around 1999 and continued to be used for playline dolls until 2009 when the first Fashionistas appeared.
Apart from Fashion Fever many of the beach, ballet and princess themed dolls had this body sculpt. They were made of a softer vinyl than the Model Muse dolls and had legs which allowed knees to be bent like their predecessors the Twist and Turn bodied Barbies. There were a few variations to this body sculpt too over its life time notably the change in the way that her legs were attached. There have also been variations such as the “Ever-Flex body” first used for “Jewel Girl” in 2000. These dolls have a soft rubbery feeling belly which can be twisted.
Only a few Barbies were made with this soft, twisty material. The first was of course “Jewel Girl” in 2000 which is the one I have. Her mid section is Ever-Flex and conceals a joint that allows her to turn her body more naturally. Like many of my favourite Barbies “Jewel Girl” was a present from Naomi and I think she is a very pretty doll. A couple of years ago I acquired another doll with the same body which I don’t think is “Jewel Girl” unless they did her with different facial paint and she is our model today. The only thing that is a bit tiresome about this material is that the vinyl tends to pick up lint easily so she really needs to be wiped over with a damp cloth after she has been handled.
In addition there was “Dance’n’Flex Barbie” and “Cheerleader Barbie” in 2003 and “American Idol Barbie” in 2004. These dolls were made entirely of the Ever-Flex vinyl so that their arms and legs could be bent in any direction. I guess this is a somewhat similar idea to Tutti and friends in the sixties but Barbie’s longer limbs made her more poseable. I don’t recall the first two but I do remember seeing American Idol Barbie on sale here. Personally I thought that they looked a bit odd so I didn’t get one. Some people have referred to this body type as “Gumby Barbie” which I have to admit is quite funny at least if you are old enough to know who Gumby is.
Here is the basic body used for the early Fashion Fever dolls and most other playline Barbies being made in the early 2000’s. Breasts are smaller than the Twist and Turn dolls, legs can bend at the knee. Heads were often larger than earlier dolls. Arms move to the side as well as back and forth the same as on later TNT dolls. Fashion Fever dolls have difficulty wearing the older Fashion Avenue outfits because their hips are wider so skirts and pants often won’t fit except for the ones made after 2000. Tops are often loose-fitting due to Fashion Fever’s smaller bust size.
This body arrived in 2006 and suddenly Barbie became shorter! As you can see in the photo below her legs are jointed differently and her body is shorter. She is not much taller than the current Petite Fashionista, or Skipper!
In the next post we will look at the rise of the Fashionista.