Barbie doll wiki: Kelly/Shelly, Barbie’s cute baby sister

I’d like to share another article about my Barbie wiki today on another sister of Barbie called Kelly. Kelly is in variation still today available on the market but I’m not so much interested in the new doll called Chelsea. The name was changed to Chelsea in 2011.

 I’m going to give you all information I found and know about Barbie’s baby sister Kelly and her early years. Baby sister Kelly was available in 1994. She was developed by Carol Spencer, a longtime Mattel employee, who started her career in the 1960s at Mattel. As far as I was able to find out Kelly her very own project. She wrote about this time in her recently published book called “Dressing Barbie“.

Love at first sight with Shelly

I really loved the doll the first time I saw her in a catalog. She was so cute and I decided that I wanted to buy everything I could find for and about Kelly. That was in 1995. And from the early years I have almost everything in my collection.

Carol designed all her clothes. Kelly was known as Shelly in Europe and Canada. Maybe a decision for better sales figures? I have no idea why they changed her name for the European market but in 1995 she was also available in Europe too. I would estimate that she was approximately three or four years old in 1995. The first edition of Kelly “Bedtime Fun Kelly” included a Kelly doll with a pink pyjama and a baby bed. She also came with a Sunday dress made out of black velvet and lots of toys . A short while later she got three friends. They were called Susie, Chelsea and Melody.

They reminded me of a comic

I’m not sure but I think in 1995 there was also a very big gift set with Barbie, Skipper, Stacie and Kelly having fun on a big sleigh known as Winter Holiday gift set. This set it very special because Skipper is one of the few dolls with the back then recently newly introduced Pizza Hut face mold which is lovely but different from the mold that was used before. Kelly in her snow suit always reminded me of character of a Japanese comic series inspired by Louisa May Alcotts “Little Women”. Maybe that’s why I wanted the set but I’m not sure. I had no set with all four sisters until then.

Many sets and dolls became available

Later in 1996 there was the first Barbie Kelly gift sets called Strolling Fun Barbie and Kelly this set came with a stroller. Shelly was able to move her on arm while sitting in the stroller. In 1997 there was another Kelly Barbie gift set called Shopping Fun gift set. In this set Kelly sat in her shopping cart. She had magnet in in her hand. She was able to hold a pair of prepared boxes (also with a magnet). In 1996 she was also produced as Bathing Fun Shelly. I found two variations in pink and yellow for the trim of her towel and bathrobe. I also found variations in the dolls themselves. One of my Bathing Fun Shellys has Saran hair and the other one has Kanekalone hair.

My two Bathtime Fun versions ( Kanekalone hair in box, Saran hair below)

In 1997 she got her potty training set. The Potty Training Kelly has a bottle you could really fill with water and then push on the heart button on her belly to make her pee. I think it was a similar mechanism like used for the drink and wet dolls but in a much tinier execution.

More functions

Carol Spencer produced several very sweet clothing sets for her in in the first years. I have made lots of pics of early outfits which you can find here http://barbie.final-memory.org/my-shellykelly-fashion-show/. These sets very not only available for Kelly but in in a combination for Barbie and Kelly. They got matching styles.

There was also Pool fun series shown in advertisements. I had a long time problems to find out if this series was produced or or if it was was only a prototype shown in the advertisement (like often in catalogs in the 1990s). In 2007 or 2008 I finally found her and her friends and I know this series was produced and I got mine. http://barbie.final-memory.org/a-first-impression-of-my-shellykelly-collection/

Pool Fun Marisa
Pool Fun Chelsie
Pool Fun Kelly

Kelly goes abroad

Eating Fun Shelly/Kelly was introduced in 1997 but I can’t tell you how the mechanism works since mine is still in box. After that came in 1997 there was another set with all four sisters called “Travelin Fun Sistershttps://images.app.goo.gl/Cj4XFoZgRGVNEkh48. Last year I furthermore found the Power wheels Jeep set with Shelly and Tommy (male baby counterpart for Kelly). In box this set is hard to find and it’s often very expensive. So I had to wait a long time until I found one.

I have for example many sets of early Kelly/Shelly sets. I’m going to divide this article in at least two parts. Next part is coming soon.

Barbie doll wiki: What to know about Ken, Alan and the other male friends

This week I continue my series with my little wiki of Barbie, her family and friends. I’m going to write a little bit of the male friends of Barbie over the last decades. Her boyfriend, called Ken, was available first in 1961. There was a big demand for something like a male friend or a boyfriend, as the literature says. I don’t know if it is true or not but some sources report about Ken that there were three prototypes of the doll with different male genitals or intimations but only the the weakest intimation made it into production. It was regarded as very offensive for girls at the age of 10 or older to see a replica of nature. The society was not ready to deal with replicas of nature. So the logical conclusion is that Ken and his friends are eunuchs until their end?

Ken doll, the first one

In 1961 Ken doll became available. He was designed as a male friend or more, depending on the fantasy of the girl who owned him. At first he was marketed a doll for boys. Ruth Handler did not want to limit the fantasy of children during their plays. This can, of course, seen as an attempt to sell a wider variety of dolls to different children (female and male ones). Obviously this did not work out as planned. Girls found the male doll as attractive as Barbie doll. The sales figures were not bad but the target group was refocused. Early TV ads are a good example for this theory. Only the 1961 Ken came with flocked hair. The later versions came with painted hair. There was almost every year a re-issue of Ken until 1966.

Flocked haired Ken to the left, 1962 Ken, 1963 Ken and Shortie Ken (from 1964)

Ken got a friend called Allan

In 1964 Allan was released as a male friend for Midge, Barbie’s best friend. So the four could go on a double date like in real life. I think from today’s point of view it’s a bit old-fashioned but I think in the 60s it was wide-spread. Allan disappeared in the late 1960s until he came back to a new generation of little girls when he and Midge celebrated their wedding (after a relationship of 25 years). Then he was suddenly gone for almost 10 years and came back in 2002 to become father (after almost 40 years of relationship). After the Happy Family play set time was over, he disappeared again. If you see him, greet him and say we kind of miss him.

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ALLAN (or how to steal your best friend’s husband headmold for your boyfriend). Jokes aside… In 1990 a handsome groom made his reappearence to marry Barbie’s bestie Midge with a facemold exclusively made for this ocassion. The flamant groom was Allan and his face became so successful that Mattel set aside the plans to launch him and Midge with their own family line as a replacement of the Heart Family (years before the Happy Family) to give Ken this new face because people prefered the Alan facemold (with a single L) than the 1988 Ken one. The 90s saw Ken with several faces, many created from Alan’s mold as a base with modifications, most of them in the way the hair was sculpted, although we can see some models with rooted hair too. Alan reapeared with Midge in 2001 with another face mold in the controverted line Happy Family and since this line we didn’t see him again. The boys: Sparkle Surprise Ken 1992 (Alan Facemold) Ken Secret Heart 1991 (Secret Heart Ken Facemold) Ken Hollywood Hair 1992 (Short Hair Alan) Ken Magic Jewel 2002 (Alan Rooted) #alanfacemold #barbiealan #kenalan #barbiemattel #kenmattel #alanmattel #kenhollywoodhair #kensparklesurprise #kensecrethearts #kenmagicjewel #fashiondoll

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The first afro-american friends

After Allan was gone, Brad came. Brad was the male friend or boyfriend of Christie. Brad, Christie and the black Francie were the first black Barbie dolls available. Today they are highly sought after. Then after Brad came Curtis, a male friend of Cara. His availability was also very limited to two years in the early 1970s.

Ken got real hair

Ken got eventually real hair (like Barbie doll) in the 1970s, one edition was the “Now Look Ken” in 1975 and the other one was “Sport and Shave Ken” in 1979. Groovy. The next Ken with real hair was the “Totally Hair/Ultra Hair Ken” in 1991 and “Shaving Fun Ken” in 1995 or 1996, then the Ken of “Butterfly Princess Barbie” also had real hair and a late 90s version of the Shaving Ken too. All the other editions had painted hair. Ken was constantly available and a reliable companion until 2004. Suddenly Ken and Barbie were separated and Barbie got a new boyfriend called Blaine but their relationship did not last that long. At the begin of this decade there was a reunion of Barbie and Ken.

Mod hair Ken prototype

In 1981 the Sunsational Malibu Ken (black version) was the first official black Ken. I read about it that it became possible due to changed laws in 1980. A hispanic version of Ken was available in 1983, the Sun Gold Malibu Ken (hispanic version).

More friends

In 1982 Ken got a friend called Todd ( not sure if Todd from Tutti and Todd grew up or if this is another character). In 1986 he got a new friend called Derek (Rocker Derek).

In 1987 a new friend called Steven ( also afro-american) was introduced. He was available until 1994 and then was discontinued again. https://www.pinterest.de/pin/622341242240814201/?lp=true

Skipper got male friends too

Skipper also got a male friend or boyfriend in 1979 called Scott but he disappeared again in 1980. Later in the early 1990s she got a new companion called Kevin from around 1990 until 1995. Unfortunately I was not able to find more information about Kevin.

Barbie doll wiki: Stacey and Stacie

My post from last week inspired me to write more about Barbie dolls friends and family. In my article I’m talking about Stacey and Stacie.

Stacey had her first appearance in 1967 as Barbie’s Talking friend/Barbie’s friend from England. The Talking Stacey doll was spoken by Gwen Florea, who wrote a very nice book about her time at Mattel in the 60s and 70s. I was unfortunately too late to talk to her. It was only a short while before she died. Bad luck …

Stacey was designed as a friend of Barbie from England. She had the same size like Barbie doll and of course they were able to share clothes. Stacey brought lots of MOD(ern) clothes from the Carnaby Street in London, England to her friend Barbie. Maybe that’s how to crazy and colorful MOD clothes came into Barbie dolls wardrobe?

Stacey was available as blonde version and a red haired version ( I love this version but I don’t have one at the moment … hope that’s going to change one day..) . She was available until 1971. In 1972 she was sent to retirement… so sad … I wish they had produced her for a longer time. I can’t imagine that the sales figures were that bad.

Suddenly Barbie got a sister called Stacie

Anyway in the early 1990s Barbie suddenly got a sister called Stacie. I would say she was approx. 10 years old in the good old time. She was a twin and had a twin brother called Todd ( who somehow reminded me of the Todd from the 1960s, Tutti’s twin brother). One of my thoughts was that she should maybe present a kind of a modern Tutti. Stacie could first be seen at the time Midge became a bride. She was sold at Toys r us together with Todd as flower girl and ring bearer. There was also a big gift set for the Midge Wedding with Stacie, Todd, Midge, Alan, Barbie and Ken. I think she reappeared one or two years later a steady character of the Barbie family and got an own clothing line, friends Janet and Whitney and disappeared around 2000. So one could think she was sent into retirement before she became a teenager?

Obviously she came back in the last decade but her character was changed. She became older and appeared in the Barbie movies. In the meantime she was sold as a doll again.

Barbie doll wiki: Skipper, her first and oldest sister

In 1964 Barbie got a sister called Skipper. She was the first member of Barbie doll’s big family. (Just for the case if you don’t know it the family grew until 1999 when Krissy was born). I wonder how old Barbie’s mother was when Barbie was born and she was 40 years older when Krissy was born, a wonder of fertility !!!

No, just kidding a little bit. When Skipper came out in 1964 she was available in blond and brunette. Sadly not as a red haired version …

More changes in the 1970s

Until 1971 her look was not changed very much. The first change of her face I think came when she was available as Living Skipper. Her hair style also changed a bit. In her history her body was also changed several times. One of the most controverse Skipper dolls was the Growing Up Skipper (available, I did a little bit of research https://youtu.be/9LuI0W8SmzY) in 1975. She has a mechanism inside her body and when you twist her arm in the right direction her body grows and she gets breasts. From a technical point of view very interesting since this mechanism works in my Growing Up Skipper until today, so it must be a very simple but effective mechanism with a spring I think (just from the sounds I hear when I move her arms). Her body also changes a bit. She becomes taller.

In the late 1970s Skipper changed again. She became known as “Super Teen Skipper” in comparison to Superstar Barbie. In the late 70s everything became “super”. She got a new face and a new body. I think there are hardly two Skipper dolls that have the same size in my collection. I don’t know the exact number of how often face and body were changed but the longer the dolls were available the more often face and body changed. The 80s finally brought us Hot Stuff Skipper with another face and body and in 1988 she got a new face again. She got her “Kulleraugen“-face as we call it in Germany. She got a face that reminded me of Japanese comics even before I knew how there were called. Nobody told us that when we watched Japanese comic TV series. These early series from the late 70s or early to mid 80s series came to us with a great delay but Skipper looked in a perfect way to what we all watched in TV back then. I really loved the comic like eyes of Skipper but in the mid 1990s her look changed again. The “Pizza Hut”Skipper got a new head mold and another body. This version was only used for a short time. I got her back then as “Phone fun” Skipper.

When Skipper became Teen Skipper

Shortly after we got to see “Phone fun” Skipper she suddenly grew up to the same size like Barbie doll. Her new name was Teen Skipper, again new head mold and new body. She somehow lost her outward appearance of a 13 year old girl and became at least 16 years. A very nice version of this Skipper can be seen of her in the Slumber Party Skipper. After the arrival of the year 2000 she suddenly disappeared from the screen for nearly a decade.

Here’s a link to Slumber Party Skipper https://www.flickr.com/photos/151597660@N03/33570714055

After the year 2000

Then she was suddenly available again . In 2010 we saw her again in a gift set from Target, being a bridesmaid and in 2012 with colorful hair. It seems that she is available on a permanent basis again in 2019. When you google her, you’ll find her but it seems that she’s between 15 and 17 years now.

More about Skipper

She was born as Skipper Millicent Roberts. She was originally designed as a 12 or 13 year old teenage girl. She was requested by Barbie owners who wanted another doll to play with beside Midge and Ken. By the way Skipper was the door to younger girls who were maybe no teenagers at the time (Yeah, in the early 1960s lots of teenagers had Barbie dolls. I know this may sound strange to you. Nowadays Barbie becomes uninteresting when children leave the kindergarten and go to school.) Skipper had many friends during the different decades starting with Skooter and Ricky in the 60s , Courtney, Kevin, Nikki became later friends with her.