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.

The biggest controversities about Growing Up Skipper

Can you imagine that you just tape a video, load it up to youtube and get many many comments? Great imagination, that’s what every youtube channel hopes. Then you get views and views and views but also a lot of strange comments in which people complain about the process of growing up itself because Mattel did a Skipper doll in 1975 with a function that when you move her arm in the right direction her breasts grow and she grows. I don’t know what exactly is the reason for this controversity.

I got comments like “why did you show this doll” and “what a shame” and comments of this quality. I taped it because I heard of the doll and wanted to see if the mechanism still works after almost 40 years. Talking Barbies don’t talk anymore because their mechanism works with a rubber band which tends to melt within a decade. I was just curious to see if it still works. Not more and not less. I don’t even know how good or bad she did sell. There are no numbers. Some people told me that it she is hard to find.

I found one and it was not the problem to get one in Europe. What I don’t really understand is the controversity my video caused. I was just curious to see if it still works. This is just a doll, no human. Why does growing up causes a discussion? Every human grows up.

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.

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

 

Time for Cool & Crimp Skipper and Courtney

This time I would like to introduce Cool & Crimp Skipper and Courtney. They are from 1993. I’m always surprised when I discover fashion trends from the past. The overalls are great. They remind me to the 1990s. I also can remember the dummies. I had a lot of them myself. I can’t believe this was a trend almost 20 years ago.

Cool & Crimp Skipper

Cool & Crimp Skipper with European Box

Cool & Crimp Skipper

Cool & Crimp Skipper

Cool & Crimp Courtney

Cool & Crimp Courtney with american box

Cool & Crimp Courtney