When you’re looking for suitable books I can recommend you these books:
The Collectible Barbie Doll: An Illustrated Guide to Her Dreamy World, by Janine Fennick (1996)
Barbie Doll Around the World 1964-2007: Identification & Values by Michael Augustyniak (2007)
The Ultimate Barbie Doll Book by Marcie Mellilo (1996)
Barbie Fashion Vol. I – III by Sarah Sink Eames (1990)
Skipper Barbie doll’s little sister, second edition by Cottingham, Arend and Hemingway (2011)
The story of Barbie by Kitturah Westenhouser (1994)
It’s All About the Accessories for the World?s Most Fashionable Dolls 1959-1972 by Hillary Shilkitus James (2017)
And when you’re looking online for information:
e-book: Barbie® Talks!: An Unauthorized Exposé of the First Talking Barbie® Doll: An Expose’ of the First Talking Barbie Doll. The Humorous and Poignant Adventures of Two Former Mattel Toy Designers (2001)
https://barbieinthehouse.com/2017 (for Vintage and MOD Barbie dolls)
http://papusilemele.com/en/ (when you search for information about the latest Barbie collector dolls)
http://www.sewingandpattern.com/all-barbie-patterns/ ( Source for free patterns)
Have you ever heard from a company named Congost? Me neither until I found a very interesting book written by Michael Augustyniak. In the meantime he died but I still have the book and think it is a good source to get an overview what the global Barbie doll market has to offer. Recently I found several Spanish Barbie dolls made for the Spanish market ( not for the rest of Europe). Of course a collector wants to own what they can’t own. That’s the desire of collecting ( I think). Anyway, since I speak Spanish it’s no problem to look around. I did so and found some nice dolls in a short while.
What I found out in the meantime is that Congost got a license to produce Barbie dolls for the Spanish market in the late 1970s. Obviously they produced until the early 1990s. In the mid 1990s they can’t be found anymore. I assume that the capacity for production grew big enough in China in these years. It seems that there is/ was a problem with the quality. I saw some dolls with deformed arms and legs and missing hair. Barbie dolls in good condition from Congost seem to be hard to find. Why? No idea, I still investigate the problem.
Here’s a short video that shows some Congost Barbie dolls.I’m not sure if all are shown or not.
Here are some pics from my Congost Barbie dolls.
The skin tone is sometime a bit strange and the make up seems to disappear more often than from US version Barbie dolls. Here you can see what I mean in pics.
Have you bought doll stands for Barbie dolls in the last months? I bought some and I’d like to talk about the latest trend. I prefer metal stands for Barbie dolls but they are currently hard to find in good old Germany. I have no idea why but I have been searching for month and found no ones. I have some Kaiser doll stands and some no name stands in my collection. One doll stand is better than no doll stand. Anyway. It seems that in the last year doll stands from China have flooded the market. They are widely available and cheap. The processing is not bad and as a quick solution as transition they are okay in my opinion. Furthermore there is the advantage that just can adjust them to the size you need for Barbie, Skipper or Francie.
Nevertheless I have doubts that they may melt on the doll when using them for a long time solution. But I haven’t had the problem until now.
Have you heard about Takara yet? Probably not. Do you know that they are Japanese toy makers? Probably not. Why the hell am I asking you so much questions? Well, I like to teach and discover the world. So, if you have no idea what Barbie and Takara have in common, watch my video.
and if you want to know more about the Japanese doll craziness, watch this episode of Japanology.
And here’s a short commercial about Takara from the early 1980s.
It is said that in the time when this dress was made you dressed in a dress you wore after five when it was over five o’clock. Really? Sometimes I wonder how often the dressed and undressed themselves in the time. I know that I don’t have the time to dress and undress all the time because I’m at work usually and come home around 5 p.m. Anyway, I liked the Vintage After Five ensemble ever since I found out that it was made. Recently I got a my version but it’s not in the best condition. A button is missing and there are some holes in the dress but I’don’t want to complain. It has less holes than the Enchanted Evening I showed you last week. I plan to do my own copy this summer … I know a long time but I have another sewing project coming up but I’m still waiting for the fabric. So here’s the real After Five and stay tuned in for some new project in the future.
The other day I bought a Vintage Barbie outfit named Enchanted Evening and was very disappointed when it arrived here. The condition was so bad that I gave it back. I had no chance to use it for display. The only thing I could have done was using it as a pattern for sewing but that was not the intention I had. The fabric is very delicate. I don’t know exactly the fabric maybe some kind of satin and I saw no chance to repair it with my abilities. Here’s a pic of the back.
I even had problems to put the body into the dress because of it’s tightness. I didn’t want to destroy it and I thought this might happen by the next time I dress or undress the body.
So my advice before buying the dress from anyone selling online is
let them send you a pic from front and back
let them send you detail pics from the seams so that you can check before buying
try to read as much as possible about the fabric
ask someone who has the dress to tell you about the color
Today I cleaned a new Barbie doll in my collection. She’s from the 1980s and she’s from Spain ( made by Congost). I know it’s hard to find any information about Congost but they produced Barbie dolls under license in the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s for Mattel. I don’t know how many they produced but they must have produced a lot. I have heard that the quality is not the best one but anyway I like them.
This one arrived here only hours ago and since it’s Saturday I had time to clean her immediately. I can’t repeat myself often enough to tell you how easy it is to clean an old Barbie doll. I think I removed the dust and dirt from decades. You just need rubbing alc. and some Q-Tips. You dip the Q-Tips in the alc. and remove the dirt. Some collectors may say that it is dangerous because of the knee joints but I never had any problems with rubbing alcohol. You can literally see the dirt on the left leg. The right one is already cleaned.
It lasted a long time until I was able to find a Jewel Hair Mermaid that was not soooooooooooooooo expensive like all the others. For many years I had 3 Jewel Hair Barbie dolls but the fourth was missing. Then I got one in a lot but her hair was not perfect. The problem with these dolls is the hair. You have almost immediately tangles in their hair. She is definitively the Barbie with the longst hair ever made but the problem was to keep the hair in good condition. As a child this was a real nightmare. Tangles, tangles, tangles. I sold my version of the Jewel Hair Mermaid in 1997. I found the Afro-American version along my road as collector more than 10 years ago for real good price and the Midge in blue too. Teresa followed in 2011 0r 2012.
So why is she in my opinion cooler than Micheal Jordan?
I don’t know Michael Jordan in person
I have never owned any Michael Jordan dolls as a child
I’m not a fan of basket ball players
Michael Jordan has short hair
There is no movie about her
She’s cheaper than any Michael Jordan TV appearance
When I started to collect Vintage Barbies I had no idea how to distinguish all the different Ken dolls. Now I have one from each year (1961- 1964). When you have a look at the pics you can see differences. The make up differs each year. These pics show only the straight leg Kens.