Unexpected ways to meet Tropical Barbie

Do you know Tropical Barbie with the vibrant swimsuit from 1985? Yes, that’s right. She is already 33 years old but she’s not alone. She has many sisters worldwide and I don’t want to talk from the US version. She has a sister in Spain, one in Peru and one in Venezuela. Maybe there are even more versions I never heard of. I have four versions. Two versions made for the US, one from Spain and one from Peru. I haven’t found a version from Venezuela but there are pics online.

Anyway today I want to share my versions of the dolls with you. The Spanish one came in May into my collection although she is hard to find. One of the US versions came recently. My first version came several years ago but her hair is very thin. The versions from Malaysia and the Phillipines are the same but the make up is different. The blue is different and the amount of make up used for the dolls.

Different versions of the Tropical Barbie
Different versions of the Tropical Barbie
Different versions of Tropical Barbie

Let’s celebrate 22 years of Barbie collecting!

Sometimes the time goes by really fast. That’s how it feels when I look back. I really started 22 years ago with Collecting Collector Barbie as she was called in the last 10 years. When I started in late 1996 the whole collector thing was known as Barbie Collectibles. I still have some advertising and catalouges from back then. All of them were made very high-quality. I guess the input to produce the whole thing was very expensive and very time consuming back then. Not to forget to mention that it was a very expensive hobby since single dolls were very expensive and at first I had to convince my parents to drive with me to special toy stores where they were sold. You were never sure what to find. It was not like ordering online. It was still unknown to most people. I got my first book online ordered in 2003. Man, that was a thing… and the delivery time for English books to Germany was 4 weeks from amazon.

My collection is not under age anymore

In the last decades I got to know many Barbie collectors. Some collected only for a short while. Other are long time collectors like me. What we all have in common is a topic to talk about. Although it became easier to order the dolls online you often still need the help of other collectors because there’s always you want and can’t buy immediately.

Totally Hair Barbie around the world

Have you ever asked yourself if the Totally Hair Barbie had the same make up in every production place around the world? If your answer is no, then you are right. There are many different make ups depending on the production place. Here are some of them as examples.

African American version of the Totally Hair Barbie
Steffi head mold
Ultra Hair Whitney, a friend of Barbie
Totally Hair Brunette version ( only sold in the USA and Venezuela)
Ultra Hair blonde version
Totally Hair Barbie/ Ultra Hair Barbie

Thanks to Christian Felipe Silva for the permission to use his pics.

The unbelievable flexibility of Raquelle

I know I’m a bit late with my blog post this week but I had so much to do … no time to write earlier. Nevertheless I have a new topic for you. I got my very first modern Raquelle last week. I think she’s the Dream house Raquelle. I don’t know it exactly. Although I’m not a collector of modern Barbie playline dolls I must say I like her.  She’s nice. I admit I played around with her a bit. She helps me to generate new ideas for my blog and for my videos.

Her hips are wider than the hips of most Barbies I own. So she hasn’t very much clothes to wear now. I put her in one of my handmade dresses, a copy of the MODERN Sunflower dress where you can adjust the opening. She’s looking good, isn’t she?

Raquelle moves
and she discusses
Oh, I’m so small.

Why Chelsie is sexy

I never thought about the name in detail but several days ago I got a Chelsie doll that I wanted for a long time. But there is an oddity because there’s another Barbie family member with the same name but she’s a little bit older although she’s still very young. Maybe this was planned, maybe it wasn’t but for sure there are two dolls with the same name. The first Chelsie doll was a friend of Shelly and I think she was available in 1996. I have her in my collection ever since.

The second one with the same name is part of the Generation Girls series from the Millennium. Chelsie is here a grown up character and a friend of Barbie. Maybe she’s a student. I’m not 100% sure what this group is representing. Anyway, have a look yourself.

Little friend of Kelly /Shelly
Chelsie, little friend of Kelly/ Shelly
Generation Girl Chelsie Dance Party
Barbie Generation Beat
Generation Girl Chelsie
Barbie Generation Girl Chelsie

By the way, she was a Toys ‘r’ us exclusive … if anyone remembers this toy chain that is now gone. I like her. She’s cute somehow and I’ve been searching for her for several years.

What everybody is saying about Winter Sport Barbie

In times before Fashionista Barbie and Made to Move Barbie was available my generation already got to know flexible Barbie bodies. The first ones available were the Gymnast Barbie from 1993 or 1994 and Winter Sport Barbie from 1994 or 1995. The flexibility made a lot more movements possible. Maybe this was the reason why she was at first only available as a sportswoman?

I had her as a kid. She was one of the last I really wanted for playing. I always liked her and recently I had the chance to get one. So I have her back again. This is maybe not very exciting for you but for me.

Barbie 1994
Winter Sport Barbie and Midge

I found Midge almost a decade ago but Barbie was somehow harder to find.

Ken prototype heads you don’t see often

Sometimes pics appear from Barbie prototypes.  Last week I got to see some Ken prototype heads. I asked Patrick McGovern for the permission to show them.  I think it’s a Mod Hair Ken prototype but I’m not 100% sure.

Anyway, enjoy the pics.

Mod Hair Ken
blond Mod Hair Ken Prototype
Mod Hair Ken
blond Mod Hair Ken prototype
blond Mod Hair Ken prototype
brown Mod Hair Ken prototype
brown Mod Hair Ken prototype
brown Mod Hair Ken prototype

I must say I really like these prototypes. I think they had sold well. I’m not 100% but I think the first blond rerooted Ken came in the 90s or as a Fashionista Ken recently. I’m not so good informed about Fashionistas because I don’t collect them.

Reasons you should be talking about FAO Schwarz at the moment

Do you know the toy store FAO Schwarz in New York? Probably not if you’re not a habitant from New York or a Barbie collectors. Why do I talk about the shop here? 

Well in the last weeks there was an article that the shop should move. The shop belonged for a while to the Toys’r’us company which failed for bankcrupcy in 2017. In 2016 the Threesixty group bought it from TRU. Obviously they have great plans for the oldest toy store of the USA. There are plans to open a shop in the legendary Rockefeller Center in November 2018 and an additional shop in LAGuardia airport. 

The shop was known to Barbie collectors for their special FAO Schwarz dolls from the 1990s and 2000s. I have some of them but not all. I really like the creativity from the 1990s. Below you can see some pics.

FAO Schwarz George Washington Barbie 1997

The shop was also known for it’s big piano installed on the floor ( which can be seen in the movie “Big”with Tom Hanks which was filmed in the 5th Avenue Shop in 1988.

FAO Schwarz George Washington Barbie 1997
Jeweled Splendor Barbie 1994 FAO Schwarz
Jeweled Splemdor Barbie 1994 FAO Schwarz
Jeweled Splendor Barbie 1994 FAO Schwarz

And here’s the link that showed up last week https://www.wsj.com/articles/fao-schwarz-is-set-to-return-and-it-needs-people-to-dance-on-the-big-piano-1535410371

Warning: You’re losing money by not getting Miss Yanbal from Basa (Peru)

I was recently told that there are several undocumented Barbie dolls produced by under license by Basa in Peru. It made me curious and I was offered to buy one of them. To be honest I never heard of  Miss Yanbal before. Maybe her title is similar to Miss Universe. I don’t know exactly.

What I know is that she’s from 1985 and it seems like she originally came in a bathsuit with white and golden lace and a sash that says “Miss Yanbal 1985”.

Interesting to know is that she has no markings her body. There are obviously some Basa Barbie dolls that have no marks. It seems that some have marks and some not. Among the collectors it caused confusion in the past. Some said that without a marking the dolls are clones.

Barbie from Peru
Miss Yanbal Barbie 1985 from Basa, Peru

The only Magic Moves Barbie from Congost resource you will ever need…

I admit in the last months I found lots of Congost Barbie dolls from Spain. I have no idea why but I buy the dolls when they become available somewhere. My latest find is a Spanish version of the Magic Moves Barbie. I have no idea what her name is. I bought her as Spanish Magic Moves version. She is indeed different from the US version. It seems that the boxed dolls from Spain are extremely hard to find so I bought mine without any box. She still has 95% of her hair (which is quite good for a Barbie doll from Spain). She also has her complete make up. This time no problems with repaints. The only thing she’s missing is her original outfit. At the moment she’s wearing a mini dress. I’m not sure to which Barbie doll the dress belongs.

 

Magic Moves Barbie Spanish version

 

The mechanism does not work anymore but I don’t care very much about it.