Have you ever realized that Skipper had in the 1990s more head molds than ever before in her existence? Have you noticed that we not only have one Skipper face but at least 3 different ones in the decade?
In the begin of the decade we only have the big eyes head mold from 1987 which is also known in Germany to as the “Kulleraugen Skipper“, means simply big eyed Skipper. Somehow these eyes remember a lot of collectors to the comic or manga like outward appearance of some Japanese comics.
I don’t want to do any speculations here but maybe this comes from the fact that after having cable TV in Germany and other European countries some broadcasters bought licenses from Japan to show some classic Animés like Georgie, Lady Oscar and a lot of other series from Japan. I think this hit a nerve back then without realizing it.
I did not question the TV program, just watched back then but I had no idea that the stuff came from Japan. It was mixed with American comic series. The offer to fill a whole afternoon with comics was broad enough. However after 20 – 25 minutes there were breaks for advertising and that’s where Skipper came into the game. We had no chance to escape the ads. We had no chance to recognize that we were trapped in the advertising and always got a little brain wash. They created the wish and we the need to buy it.
It was a thing to talk in school breaks about “Have you seen this and that” advertising? But to come now back to the face molds we only had the big eyed Skipper for a while in Europe. Maybe that’s why she was popular among us little girls? From looking into all my research books I know that the Pizza Party Skipper appeared in the US in 1993 but in Europe she was not sold ( as far as I could find out). I don’t remember having seen her anywhere. The first Skipper I remember is the Phone Fun Skipper. She had this new smile in her face and I admit I was attracted by her. So I asked my mother to buy one. I can’t really remember how I got her but she’s one of the few Skipper dolls I kept from my childhood.
In retrospect I did not realize at the age they were available that this doll could ever be a rarity because she was only used for a few head molds. So that’s sometimes something that you find out much later. Much more often you saw the big eyed Skipper. At the end I think it’s not bad because I think she hit a nerve at least among us Europeans because of the Japanese comics running in TV. In retrospect I also realized that the 90s had a bigger variety of Skipper face molds than any decade before and that’s why I decided to talk about this topic.
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.
Ken got a friend called Allan
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People loved wearing hats and coats in the 1960s. Was it a lot colder back then? #kensdaywednesday #barbieallan #barbiemidge #allansherwood #midgehadley #barbiedreamhouse
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.
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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.
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).
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).
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Dereck the rock star 1986 ????#barbie #instabarbie #rock #rockstar #star #neon #80smusic #80sbarbie #barbiecollection #barbiecollector #dereck #barbiederek ?
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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.
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 …
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Two TNT Staceys. #barbiestacey #modbarbie #stripesarehappening #barbie
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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.
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.
Today I’d like to share with you another little treasure of my collection. It’s literally a little treasure because the set is very small. A small set for a small doll named Krissy. I don’t know exactly when she was released for the first time but I assume it must have been in 1999. She’s the youngst of all Barbie doll sisters and she was only produced for a short while. It may be that she is again in the current playline (the Barbie dolls that you can find in any toy shop). She’s very fragile. Her limbs are attached with strings. She’s really cute but hardly a doll to play with because of her fragility.
I have only this Krissy only play set with her. The other sets became very expensive in the meantime.
I haven’t blogged about my Shelly/Kelly collection for several years. Today I’m going to change it. I really liked this little sister of Barbie from the beginning in 1994 or 1995 (she was not available in 1994 in Germany). She was so cute and I decided I had to have her. At the beginning there were only a few dolls. Back then I was not so much interested in playing with them but rather use them for a display. So I bought what I found. I think I was a little too old when this one was released but I found her later for only a few bucks. That’s the Eatin Fun Kelly. #kelly #shelly #barbieblog #barbietreasurechest #eatingfunkelly #barbielibrary
Believe it or not 14 days ago I got my very first Vintage Allan! I wanted him to accompany my Vintage Midge that I got last year.
Allan was the boyfriend of Midge in the early 1960s and they dated and almost 30 years later after a re-issue of Midge and Allan in the early 1990s they finally married and almost twenty years later they got offspring.
I found her to be a bit lonely and in October I found him. He needed a break before his long journey. I dressed him in 1990s Ken clothes. Not the best choice but better than being naked. I think I’ll go shopping for him in the next weeks. He gives my underrepresented male fraction a bit more weight.
Until then I’m going to show you pics how he is looking now.
After several weeks I was able to complete another outfit. It’s the outfit of the Music Lovin Skipper. I got the doll in May but until last week her outfit was incomplete. She was missing one of her cuffs, her shoes and her Walkman. By writing the word “Walkman” I feel so old because when I was little twenty years ago I had one but if you ask the youth of today they won’t have heard of it. So, a Walkman is a device to play a cassette for those who have never heard and never seen this device. Things one used before we had MP3s.
So back to the topic. This young girl was only available in Europe and Canada. She wears an eye-catching yellow combination and was released in 1986. She is hard to find in good and complete condition. So, here she is…. Music Lovin Skipper.
This time I would like to show you my very first Vintage Barbie family member. Vintage is the era called from 1959 to 1966/1967. I recently was able to buy a blond haired Skooter. She is an early friend of Barbies little sister Skipper. My Skotter hat straight legs. You can’t bend her legs. That means she is an early doll and belongs to the Vintage era. Skooter dolls produced after 1965 has a pink skin tone (not as pale as my Skooter is) and they had bendable legs.
Furthermore I would like to tell that I bought her without clothes. The clothes Skooter is wearing are from the mid 1990s and were made for Skipper. Unfortunately I have no other clothes for her at the moment.