Barbie Journal and other resources for information

It’s not always easy to get the information you need in the Barbie world. There are several books about Barbie but which one is good and which one is bad? What is contained in the book? When found out that there were books in the early 2000s I was very confused. Which would be the right one for me?  I bought everything I found piece by piece. Some books are limited editions. The prices explode as soon as they are sold out. The content really varies. Some books are good for ID. They contain a huge quantity of Barbie dolls with their boxes.

Barbie ID book

Skipper ID book

Others focus on special topics like Skipper, the younger sister of Barbie.  Some books are really useful for learning about Vintage Barbie ( Vintage era from 1959-1967) and how to differentiate the early Ponytail Barbie dolls.

Barbie ID book for early clothes

There is a book series by Sarah Sink Eames about fashion until 1979. The series consists of three books, one for the Vintage era, one for the MOD era (Mod era from 1967- approx. 1976) and the last book contains the early Superstar era until 1979. You may ask yourself now what to do if you have fashions produced after 1979. Well, some collectors refer to Barbie Journals. I don’t know if they were available in the US too but in Europe they were. You could find them in lots of toy store with a Barbie doll department. When I was little there were at least 2 editions every year with the latest dolls, fashion, furniture and pets. It was like a little catalogue.

Barbie Journal Herbst/Winter 1986

In four weeks before Christmas I always was very fascinated by them with their perfect environment. Pure advertising but I liked it in time before we had the Internet.

Francie and her Growing Hair

In my last post I refered to Francie. I told about the different versions of her. Today I’m going to show you how the Growing Hair mechanism works ( for those of you that don’t have any Francie).

Francie, the cousin of Barbie

Today I’m going to present you Francie. She’s the first and only cousin of Barbie. She was released in 1965 and was produced for approx. 10 years. She disappeared around 1975. When she was available she was popular among young girls. At first she was only available as Straight Leg doll (without knee joints) but in 1967 a Bend Leg version was available too. Francie has a different body than Barbie and she is smaller. She was originally called Francine Fairchild but she was sold under the name of “Francie” and was thought to be a 14 year old.

The Francie dolls are popular among the collectors too. She was available in a wide variety of dolls like the two one I have in my collections. The “No Bangs” Francie is the most expensive doll. She has no bangs and giant hair do. I don’t have one yet in my collection but I really like her. She so late 1960s – stylish. Her wardrobe is very beautiful. Exiting outfits from the Mod-era (Mod-era 1966 – 1975) contribute to her popularity. The Growing Hair Francie was the only mechanism Francie doll.  I was glad to get one last week.

1970 Growing Hair Francie

1970 Growing Hair Francie

1967 Bend Leg Francie

1967 Bend Leg Francie

When the Barbie clothes had own names

A long time ago Barbie clothes had names. The era started in 1959 and ended in the early 1970s. Until then every clothing ensemble had its own name. The names were sometimes funny, partially inspired by Hollywood and had a very high quality… a kind of Haute Couture in miniature. Today I’d like to show you two of my early (Vintage) outfits. The first one is a dark gray suit with a white shirt called Saturday Date. The red socks came in an extra Accessory Pak along with the red tie. Hey, we can be creative in this point. We can combine what we like. Why not a red tie and red socks for a date on Saturday in 1961? Have you noticed the tiny zipper on the pants?

Ken's Saturday Date

The next outfit is for Skipper.  It’s called Sunny Pastels and was produced in  1965 for Skipper (Barbie’s younger sister, also available since 1965). The dress is made of cotton and has a very high quality too. Although the outfit is 52 years old the colors are still vibrant. By the way it’s one of my personal favorite outfits.

Skipper's Sunny Pastels

 

A look into my workshop

Behind the scenes I try to figure out how Vintage Barbie clothes (Vintage era from 1959 – 1966) were made. I’m especially interested the patterns for the fabric. How can I turn a piece of fabric into a piece of clothing. I want to design own clothes in the Vintage style later but at first I have to understand how the patterns are made and the result I get when I follow sewing instructions.

It’s not as easy as you might imagine. I have to deal with many different problems. Especially the body forms of early Barbie dolls seem to be one of my main problems. At first I thought they were all the same size but they aren’t. Although they seem to be the same size they aren’t and that’s a big problem when you don’t know it. Then you can’t adjust the pattern to the body. For example that’s my result when I tried to sew a blouse.Barbie Blouse

 

Vintage Barbie blouse

As you can see here the blouse seems to be to tight for the Midge/Bubblecut body I used here. Obviously the breasts are larger than it seems. I haven’t really measured until now but fellow collectors told me that the first Ponytail Barbie bodies are smaller/ the measures are different. That’s very interesting and a good thing to know. By the way it’s no problem that the blouse is to tight. I thought that I might get problems like these. I made it just for reasons of learning.

Differences in the Movie Date dress (Mattel) and Cream Puff dress (Fab Lu), a good copy of the Movie Date

Last week I found a Vintage Movie Date dress. Barbie Movie Date dress

It might not sound very special but here’s the story why I write about the dress. In summer 2017 I got a Vintage dress (Barbie Vintage era 1959 – 1966). I thought I had bought the Movie Date dress but in reality I hadn’t. I needed several months to find out that my dress without any label was made by Fab Lu. It got the name Cream Puff. The design of the Cream Puff is very similar to the Movie Date. The only difference is in the processing of the seams, the wideness of the stripes and the colour of the stripes.

Cream Puff looks like this…

Fab Lu Cream Puff

and here you can see the difference of the seams… the Fab Lu seam is normal, not special but in comparison to this seam the Movie Date seam is very different but very Mattel-like. I have seen the Mattel seams in very different outfits but all in the same way done.

Fab Lu Cream Puff seam

Vintage Movie Date dress

At first sight and without both dresses it’s very hard to see the difference. That was my problem too. I hope I can help you with my information.

 

Let’s dance … a new dress

Last year I wanted to buy a Let’s dance Vintage Barbie dress but most of the sellers refused to ship to Europe. So what kind of idea came into my mind? If I can’t buy one, why not do my own copy? I found a seller who recreated the pattern and bought it.

Two weeks ago I was able to start my work and within a few days I had my own version. It’s very similar in comparison to the real Let’s dance Vintage dress. Here are some pics of my version…

Finally I found the real Let’s Dance. Another collector from Europe had one left over.

Do you know what characterizes a Ponytail No.1 Barbie doll?

Well, there are some characteristics that you should know to be sure to recognize a Ponytail No.1 Barbie doll. Do you want to know them?

Here they are…

Ponytail Nr.1 Barbie doll

 

Wannabe restorers

I’m back from my vacation and want to talk to you about a serious topic. Again I heard from a case of bad work. I can only warn you. When you want somebody to restore something for your collection, check at least twice. You can never be careful enough. The best advice I can give you is to inform yourself how things are done and then ask the concerning person questions how to do this or that. Then you might be able to check if he/she understands the work. When I’m asked for advice I always tell people that there is a risk when you restore something. You don’t know how things were stored from the owner. The material doesn’t tell from the first sight. Of course the material can change and you don’t know it. It’s always your risk when you restore something.

Concerning a reroot it looks like this…

If the restorer tells you that big holes in the head are normal, think about asking another person to do it.

 

Ski Fun Ken is here…

Last week I was able to complete my Ski Fun series after almost 25 years. I didn’t it in the long term. It just happened. So now I have the the Ken, Barbie ( from my childhood, her Ski is missing on the pic but I have it) and the Midge …. that I always wanted so badly but I never got her. Poor me… had to grew up before I was able to buy her. Anyway now I can play with Barbie, Ken, Midge, Snowball( the dog) , Blizzard ( the horse), the carriage (carriage + sleigh) and the Chocolate Shop.

 

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