Some of the Facebook Barbie groups I follow have been running themed weeks where members post photos of dolls from their collections. There have been some fabulous photos and it’s nice to know that we’re not the only ones whose homes are full of dolls.
Of course I’ve also been looking at a lot of photos to ID dolls and outfits and it got me wondering what everyone’s favourite Barbie era is?
I can’t really pin it down to just one myself. The first Barbie I ever saw was my cousin’s Titian Swirl so for me she was the “real” Barbie for a long time. Now I admit that I don’t find the faces of the very early Barbies as pretty as some of the modern era ones. I prefer the natural look to heavy make up. I appreciate them for the quality, the history, and most of all for the fashions. That was the best era for Barbie fashions I believe.
As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t have a Barbie as a child although I did have Skipper and Tutti. I did not pay a lot of attention to the Mod Era as I was happy with the dolls I had and I didn’t really do a lot with dolls during my twenties.
It was late in the 1990s when I started buying dolls again. I initially noticed what a lot of lovely dolls in gowns there were. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but I really like china figurines, the type made by Royal Doulton and others, but I could never afford them. These Barbies seemed like a good alternative to them for a collector. Something beautiful but affordable. However, once I discovered the playline and Fashion Avenue that was a whole lot more fun than just looking at boxed dolls. You have probably noticed what a lot of my dolls are from 1996-1999. I had the money to buy them then and there were a lot of pretty dolls at good prices. Naomi and I used to check out the shops all over the Adelaide metro area for dolls and outfits. We lived in different suburbs so we’d each check our own areas and on our days off from work we had expeditions to other areas to see what they had to offer.
I also really loved the Fashion Fever era. There were some very nice dolls and some great fashions. For me, having fashion dolls is very much about the clothes. That’s why I don’t get a lot of joy out of the modern era playline.
Finally, the Basics. I had become somewhat disappointed with the playline offerings after the end of the Fashion Fever era. When the Black Basics came out I got excited again. These are really lovely dolls I think and that line certainly had the nicest male dolls Mattel had made up to that time. It’s a shame there were not more of them. The sad thing is that despite being touted as dolls that could be redressed Mattel never released a range of fashions for them, just a few accessories. Luckily they look very nice in Fashion Avenue and that gave me a new appreciation for those outfits. It would have been nice if they had a bit more poseability but at least tthere are no ugly joints to spoil the look of an outfit.
So there are my favourites. What are yours?