From my early times as a collector I knew that hunting for dolls was always very exciting. You never knew what you would find in the single toy shop back in the times before internet. I guess some of you remember these times. Me too. Belonging to the last generation that went to department stores and shopping malls for purchases it’s possibly hard to believe that this was not even 25 years ago.
I don’t know how it is in other parts of the world but in Germany the department stores and shopping mall owners made one big mistake so that even all the companies where you could order via catalog disappeared within a short period of time. They missed the opportunity to sell online. They simply did not want to update to the latest technique. Their product range became overpriced and they did refuse to adapt to the market situation. That’s also true for toys and toy shops. Toys R us was in Europe also one of the toy shops with a very late online presence and you had no possibility to shop online. If I had had the opportunity to buy all of these dolls online while they came out.
Of course I did not have the opportunity and so I had to wait until somebody offered the Native Spirit Collection Barbie dolls to me. At first I had only one, the Spirit of the Water Barbie for a long time. An eternity later the other two, the Spirit of the Earth Barbie and the Spirit of the Sky Barbie were offered to me and I bought them.
At the end I think it would have been easier if I had the chance to buy them online. Nevertheless they are wonderful dolls and I thought this is a good opportunity to present them to you.
Often when Supersize Barbie dolls are offered their hair is cut or they have other issues so that they are not perfect anymore. For one of the problems I made a video. It’s about the mechanism of the Supersize Super Hair Barbie.
She has a pull string mechanism similar to the one used for Talking Barbie. Some of you may think …. well that’s outdated. You are right up to a certain degree but the fact that the mechanism is working that simple brings us to the point that it can be repaired again once it’s broken.
I imagined something like a stick in her hair & her head and I thought that the string is attached to this stick in her head somehow. The understanding of the mechanism is correct up to a certain degree but it does not work with a stick but a simple plastic ring and to this ring is the string attached that comes out of her neck again. I admit I thought the hair would come out easier. It’s sometimes a little hard to pull but it works and it works for more than 40 years. How many toys with function do you know that work without problems until today?
That’s still a kind of quality work, isn’t it? Which device has worked for you the last 40 years without any failures? I don’t know much devices. Probably a fridge, a freezer or a mixer would still work but the energy efficiency is very bad.
Nevertheless I think it is possible to repair her. The missing or cut hair can be replaced with new hair and the mechanism can also be restored. The ring should not be very hard to replace. For the line I would use fishing line and the ferrules are also available online. All parts should no be hard to find. From this point of view a repair should be possible without any problems. Like always you need the skills to repair the doll. In my opinion the only hard thing to find is the pink ring in her back but it’s possible to use something else to replace the ring if you want. It’s up to you … like always.
Sometimes it’s hard to explain but in the last week I had the idea to tell you a little bit about a comparison between Kissing Barbie and Talking Barbie. I have repaired both and now I’d like to tell you a little bit about my little comparison.
My background of repairing Talking Barbie goes back almost a decade. In the meantime they are hard to get in Europe. Sometimes you find one but in other times it’s very hard to find any repairable Talking Barbie. Talking Barbies have one very big problem. Their legs tend to fall off. It’s a material problem. The PVC of the body reacts with the rubber of the legs. That makes the front part of the leg knob very fragile. Don’t worry. It’s just the front part. It can be repaired. It’s just important that you don’t throw anything away from the leg knob.
The amount of time needed for the repair of a Talking Barbie is hard to estimate. I was asked more often to repair a Talking Barbie for other collectors but I never did so because it’s really hard to estimate how much time you need for a repair. You never need exactly 7 hours. This comes from the fact that every doll is different. The problem is that you never know what’s inside the doll. A doll is not just a doll. Every Talking Barbie is different. It depends on different factors like the storage of the doll, the conditions she had over the last decades. Was she always stored in the same climate? Was she stored in a cellar or attic?
All these factors have an impact of the repair. Even the fact if she was dressed or not can play a role. You don’t know where the o-ring has left a black trace of something very guey. Even when you manage to reassemble her properly you don’t know if she will start to talk immediately again or if it will take a few hours until she is willing to speak again. The mechanism is a fragile construction like I already mentioned in this video here
The Kissing Barbie is an often overlooked doll. Some collectors don’t like her because of the discoloration of her breast/neck part. Others appreciate her but she has also a problem. She tends to break too. Her problem is in her body unlike the Talking Barbie legs. In my opinion the metal stick in her head is the weak point. That’s why you seldom find working Kissing Barbie dolls. Like mentioned in my Kissing Barbie video mentioned below I share some of my ideas what causes the problems.
And yes, I managed to repair her some weeks later but I would not recommend to repair another Kissing Barbie. I think it was a one time thing.
I can’t recommend to repair her. I think she was not planned to be ever repaired. The plastic is very thick and that makes it very hard to cut precisely into the body. She has 4 stabilizers in her body which are hard to cut through. Even the opening itself is very time consuming. I don’t know how long I needed for the opening but I think it was more than one hour. That’s a lot of time for a Barbie. If you have a better idea how to open her let me know in the comments.
I was already asked by other collectors if I got new Barbie dolls or Barbie family dolls for Christmas and I can say yes. I got some new dolls but I did not find as much as in 2020. I think that’s not so much of a problem as long as you really searched for them and wanted them for a long time.
I never expected for example to find an affordable Supersize Barbie. Supersize Barbies are hard to find in the meantime and they are really expensive. Something is always missing. No matter if it’s the dress, jewelry or shoes. Sometimes when they have a function the function is not working anymore. It’s what stopped me from buying the doll you see in my latest video with the hair function. Often the hair piece/ hair part is simply gone. I think one could repair the hair when you have a doll showing you how the mechanism works. That’s why this doll screamed “buy me” when I saw her.
The function of the hair will be covered in one of my next videos. It’s very easy but was not covered in any video yet. Let’s change this in 2022. She will also get some clothing. You know it’s not the problem to taylor something once you understand how to take the correct measurements.
Francie came along my way in November. We made an online doll convention online and there she was offered. So I bought the two of them you can see in my video.
You know I’m not the biggest fan of Fashionista Barbie but the one in the wheel chair somehow fascinated me since she’s black and she was available in Germany. I observed her the whole year but the price was too high for the quality so I had to wait until I found her for a good price.
Well, this year is over and it’s time to have a look back what happened in 2021. We had a lot of projects in 2021. Some of the projects were bigger and some of the projects were smaller. We had for example the problem with sticky legs. Sticky legs occur from time to time and especially when you store your dolls in different climatic conditions. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the production.
In February we covered the reroot of a Ponytail Swirl Barbie and repaired a Suburban Shopper with a big hole.
We also did some repaint work at a Spanish Barbie doll.
The last big project was the creation of a No Bangs Francie. Francie had no hair and we completely restored her hair including her legendary curl.