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.
This is a typically question that comes up every now and then when you talk with other collector about the topic.
The Talking Barbies I talk about here were first introduced into the market in 1967/1968. They have a pullstring mechanism that makes a record spin inside the doll in miniature format.
One of my Talking dolls ( no Barbie but a normal Walking -Talking doll from around 1990) also had these little records. More abilities to do something leads to less space inside the doll. Maybe I’m a little bit old school here but I like these dolls. Maybe that’s why Talking Barbie began to fascinate me later.
Almost every collector I know likes them but not all of them are aware what to look for and what not. I for example have another look on Talking Barbie than someone who just wants to have one in his or her collection.
I want to repair them when I buy them. I’ve only bought one Talking Barbie just for fun. The other ones were bought to be repaired.
When you buy a Talking Barbie there are several things you should look for. The main thing to do is to check if you see an offer if the doll is complete or not. I don’t recommend to buy incomplete dolls because you will get problems to find the missing parts. Keep in mind here that these dolls are popular. They are sought after. If you are unsure if the doll you are interested in or not, ask another collector. Some of them are friendly and willing to help.
One of the weakest constuctions of Talking Barbies are her legs. They tend to fall of all the time. In my opinion this is a construction problem. Maybe body and the rubber of her legs did not like each other? I’m not chemist but I can assume.
Some daddies came up with solutions for the fallen of legs. Some used screws to fix the legs but inside the body they damaged the mechanism so that the doll won’t be able to talk anymore. Practically it looks like this inside:
So the make up of your doll is gone? Do you have to throw her away? The answer is no. You don’t need to throw her away. You can restore her with a little bit of acrylic paint, a brush or two and a wet palette. What a wet palette is can you learn in the following video below.
I can tell you from my experience here that your Barbie doll or whatever fashion doll, or doll you have. You can save her. Just have the courage to do it.
Maybe I can help you a little with this article. When I started doing repaints I had no idea that extreme small brushes are available. At first I only looked in hardware stores like home depot for my brushes, tested some nail brushes for artificial fingernails and came to the conclusion they were not right medium for me. So far no problem. I did not spend a lot of money for them. I started to look online for extreme small brushes. I found them under the brand of DaVinci Micro. I don’t want to make any advertising and they are not the only ones I have. My work is not perfect in this stage and I plan to experiment further here with brushes from different brands, check their feeling in my fingers, their behavior when painting, getting to know them until I will find the perfect brush for me.
Problems with beautiful and equal eyelashes
My problem when I work with acrylic paint are still the eyelashes. I tried watercolor pencils but somehow mine are not sharp enough, still looking not realistic enough. Hopefully I can solve this problem with a special kind of sharpener ( which I already ordered for a test) and different brushes.
What I can’t recommend is doing repaints just when you cycled around because you hands will still shiver a bit so that painting details is not recommendable in this condition. I recommend to grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and wait at least 30 minutes. After that it should be no problem anymore.
What I can recommend is that you try to relax even when your day was very stressful. This has an effect on your result. That’s what I can tell you from my experience.
Stories/Experiences with repaints after cyling directly
Several years ago I cycled home when I still working as a private tutor and after that I want to continue my repaint. My hands were so shaky I really had problems to paint any line. This lead me to the conclusion not do repaints directly after cycling. Like I mentioned before it is better, more relaxing when you wait for 20 or 30 minutes before you start to paint. Then this problem should be gone and it should not be a problem anymore. I only tried this once after painting but having to cycle uphill every time I have to go home I never tried it again.
I don’t know how many dolls you have at home but I saw this phenomenon among my Barbie dolls. I have a Jewel Hair Mermaid Teresa at home nrfb and for some time I observe that her lips started to bleed out even in nrfb condition.
I think I could fix it when I take her out of the box but I don’t want to do it. I heard from another collector that this could have been caused by Cadmium in the paint itself. I recommend you when you repaint dolls – avoid Cadmium in paint. No good, seems to be the material to bleed.
How to solve the problem doing repaints?
In the last years the industry obviously worked on the problems of bleeding. There are for example now some red tones from Liquitex that are free of Cadmium. So when you don’t paint it on the dolls, it can’t start to bleed, right?
How to deal with little paint jars with a cap you simply can’t get open
So and when we talk about paint here at the moment I had the problem recently that I wanted to use some of my little jars filled with paint but the caps were stuck. Man, this really left some blisters on my thumb. It’s very unpleasant to have such a situation. Nevertheless I found a very easy solution in the model making corner.
It’s always good to a pair ( or two) of pipe tongs at home. They come in very handy when you have small jars with the cap problem.
This week I was a little late when I started to write a new blog post and I wanted to finish it today. Now I realize my blog post was not saved … gee whiz I had so much work to do this week … I obviously forgot it but now that it’s Friday I wanted to post another blog post because 14 days passed by since my last post and I wanted to tell you about my updates. Instead of telling that new videos gonna come with delay I finally found some time to render new videos this week, actually my PC is just rendering at the moment and I have to wait for the video so I use my time to blog. Last weekend I started to work with Silicone for one of my next videos. I also want to work with Epoxide resin but I need time for it. I don’t want to make any mistakes because the stuff is very expensive I think it’s gonna be a big project, not the longest video but the things around. I already made several calls to be sure with the Silicone. I also did one for the Epoxide idea but it’s not the last one. The only problem is the working time of my contact persons. I only can call them in the morning. That causes problems when you are working full time because you’re also working but nevertheless I find a way to do it. I’ve done at least 400 – 500 phone calls this week. After closing time I felt not like doing much private phone calls.
Using the weekend to relax?
No, I’m the wrong person you should talk to when it comes to see somebody laying on a sofa. I’m almost always busy …preparing this …doingthat but I try at least to stop my work at 8 p.m. in the evening because you have to stop at least once a day for a rest and a good night’s sleep. I also try to read at least 3 pages per day in a book. The good news is that I can sleep very well at the moment and I feel relaxed after waking up.
Ideas I had for almost one year
At the moment I work on a project that came into my mind last year but I had difficulties to put it into reality because the material I used was not the right one. It has to do with the blue chunk you saw in my “projects for 2020” video. So I really thought for a long time how I could do it. In February I found a solution during a conversation with other crazy “makers”. I suddenly had a new starting point and it became much easier. That’s the video series I’m working on at the moment. I know my solution is not perfect but it will be good enough for a demonstration of my ideas. Maybe a chemist will come along and help me a little bit with knowledge???
Greetings and yeah, the crazy Barbiecollector is back with a new topic for you. Let’s talk about the hair today. Yeah, that’s what I want to talk about. I guess you never thought about the fibres on the head of a Barbie doll. I asssure you that you’re not the only one. There are different fibres that were used for different dolls in different decades. I give you a pic for every fibre as an example.
I can’t prove it because I’m no chemist but I think the first form of hair for Barbie dolls was Saran hair. Saran hair is soft and silky. In general it’s available in natural colors like different shades of blonde, brown, red and black. I can tell you from my experience in rerooting that it’s a material easy to work with. I heard collectors talking about that Vintage Barbie dolls – the very first ones – have a kind of mohair but nobody was able to proof it. So there a two fronts among the collectors – the ones who believe it and – the ones who don’t it.
I belong to the front who don’t believe it. Why? Saran hair is/was mainly produced in Japan. Guess what? Early Barbie dolls were produced until 1970 in Japan too. Mohair is more expensive. I can imagine from what I know of the Mattel history that production centralisation is/was an important factor. In times before stock reduction and in-time production I’m convinced that they used what they had in their production area or maybe in their own country due to short delivery ways, time and costs.
Importing goods is always time-consuming and expensive when you consider the import-fees and taxes. Wouldn’t it be cheaper produce with the products you have in your own country?
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Let's welcome my latest #modbarbie. She's a Platinum Twist n Turn Barbie who recently found her way into my collection. I hope you like her as much as I do. #barbietnt #tntbarbie #vintagebarbie #barbievintage #dollstagram #barbiemod #barbie1967 #barbieblond #superstarbarbie #barbiesuperstar #busybfromgermany #barbiedoctor #barbiedoctora??
Ein Beitrag geteilt von Busy B from Germany (@busybfromgermany) am
The material Nylon itself was discovered in the 1930s and mainly used for stockings for ladies at first. I found out that the first Nylon wigs were available in the 1960s. I found an ad on youtube. Since I only found chemical formulas I would estimate that Nylon hair was in the 1960s probably too expensive to use it for Barbie dolls. Do I have to mention that Nylon hair is very shiny and comes in thousand different colors? When you need a wig for carnival Nylon is your material. I assume from what I’ve seen so far that Nylon hair was used first for Barbie in the 1980s. The first dolls I know with this kind of hair are Barbie & the Rockers. Nylon hair was not used as widely as Saran hair was for Barbie dolls. I think it appears several times on special occasions but it was no standard.
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De vuelta a la vida ? #barbieandtherockers #barbierockers #80sbarbie #1986 #barbiefashions #barbiestyle #barbielife #ilovebarbie #barbiegram #instabarbie #barbiephotography #rockers #barbierocks #barbiespain #bringbacktolife #barbielover #barbiefan #barbieholic #matteldoll #barbie
Ein Beitrag geteilt von Gabriel Gómez. (@bdollsgabs) am
By the mid 80s a new form of hair was avaiable for Barbie. At first only a few dolls hat Kanekalon hair. I saw a Dream Glow Barbie with it and a Doctor Barbie. Maybe these dolls were something like a test if a child would accept it or not? I don’t know it. Anyway, Kanekalon hair is one of the big topics of the 1990s. Suddenly all Barbie dolls came with Kanekalon hair. There are a few exceptions like Hollywood Hair Barbie and Strollin’ Fun Barbie and Kelly/Shelly but 98% of the production of the 1990s had Kanekalon hair. As far as I was able to find out… Kanekalon is a cheap kind of hair, easy to produce and easy to work with although it tends to tangles. Probably cheaper in the dozen.
That’s why you often see Barbie dolls with bad hair cuts from the 1990s. You find the explaination why these dolls have hair cuts in the fibre itself.
Ein Beitrag geteilt von 90s Barbie (@90s.barbie.world) am
These three types of hair were used in the last 60 years. I don’t think that there’s much going on the market. From what I’ve seen in the last decade Mattel started to use Saran hair again. The amount of hair is smaller than it was 20 years ago but Saran hair is still used as Barbie hair while Kanekalon hair and Nylon hair are almost gone.
Have you ever asked yourself why suddenly in 1980 black Barbie dolls became available? It seems that the year 1980 marked one turning point in the barbie world. The why is a really good question. I’m not 100% but I think I read in a book that a law was changed by the time of 1980 and it became possible for Mattel to produce black Barbie dolls that were called “Barbie” for the first time. Sadly I wasn’t able to find out the name of the law.
Ein Beitrag geteilt von Barbie/Deutschland (@barbie_vintage_86) am
I’ve been searching on the internet for the correct information but I found nothing. The correct information is necessary I think. Anyway I don’t know if you realized it or not but before the black version of Barbie was called Christie. She’s a friend of Barbie, not Barbie herself.
In a way this is very astonishing since nobody ever thought of a black Barbie doll. That is at least my impression. What we should not forget is that she still had Caucasian features. In my opinion they are not 100% copies of their white sisters but they have a similarity of at least 70%. Of course the hair color is different. The make-up is different, adjusted to the skin tone. That’s not bad. In my eyes we got some very interesting variations through it. Let’s have for instance a look at Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie in the Caucasian version and the African-America version.
Ein Beitrag geteilt von ? Tanja ? (@jewel.barbie.doll) am
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She's the Barbie doll with the longest hair ever produced. Unfortunately her hair tends to tangles. #blackjewelhairmermaidbarbie #barbiejewelhairmermaidaa #barbiejewelhairmermaid #barbie1995mattel #barbievintage #vintagebarbies #vintagebarbiedolls #barbiemod #modbarbie #barbiesuperstarära #barbiesuperstar #superstarbarbie #barbiedoctor #doctorbarbie #barbiedoctora
Ein Beitrag geteilt von Busy B from Germany (@busybfromgermany) am
Not the only change in 1980
What we can see from the catalogs is that in 1980 the variety of Barbie dolls became much broader than it was before. Suddenly we saw an Asian Barbie doll and a Hispanic Barbie for the first time beside the black Barbie dolls. The range of products extended. We were introduced to the “Dolls of the world” line. Seen from a marketing point of view Mattel maybe now wanted to teach something.
What we can definitive say is that the 1980s were a decade of big variety concerning Barbie dolls. The Superstar Barbie was launched successfully in 1977 with a new head mold and maybe they wanted to enlarge the success by adding a variety of different Barbie dolls. Music became a very big topic in the Barbie world, not just as a listener but as a musician herself Barbie reinvented herself several times. Barbie and the Rockers sold well.
Ein Beitrag geteilt von Takara_Inside_the_box (@takara_barbie) am
Seen from a point of view in 2019 the 80s are a very interesting decade for Barbie collectors. Again you find collectors who seek their childhood treasures, collectors who were not even born in that era, collectors who collect all decades and some specialized collectors (who e.g only collect the clothes from the 1980s). We find a big variety. It’s not just one topic like in the 1990s the hair- thing.
I’m sure that I’m not the only collector whose enthusiasm about this question keeps within its limits. You may ask me why? The problem is that the wrong guys ask these questions. The main problem is that the questioner have no idea of what they have and sometimes the insight that the doll is not worthwhile at all.
The 1966 marking
Believe it or not but the 1966 Barbie doll marking was used for more than 40 years and the dolls with the marking on the back are not as seldom as the ones with the 1966 marking on their butt. Furthermore the mentioning of Japan on the butt is a feature that your doll is really from the 1960s. Later the production was relocated to Korea, Taiwan and many other countries in South-East Asia. At first Japan was the cheapest country in Asia for the production. That’s why Mattel produced the dolls there after WW II.
I don’t want to disgress from the 1966 topic. The 1966 shows us only one thing. The patent for the Twist and Turn Barbie body was patented in that year. Before 1966 the legs were stiff and had no joints. The same counts for the waist. Suddenly Barbie got a moveable waist. Early Barbie dolls have no joints at all.
That’s one of the biggest problems for collectors. We don’t want to be seen as cash cows. Sorry, we don’t buy everything. We have books that tell us how old your doll is. If we don’t want it, your doll is worthless. Worth is in the eye of the beholder.
What makes Barbie dolls worthwhile?
The worth of a Barbie doll is in the eye of the beholder. Rejects, Barbie dolls from the pilot production or just samples that never to any market are highly sought after. Of course Barbie dolls that were produced for foreign markets are also interesting for some collectors. Japan, Spain or countries in Middle and South America offer a wide range of products that set a collectors heart aflutter. In Japan Mattel did in the 1960s special Barbie dolls and clothes exclusively for the Japanese market. That’s why I have some Barbie books that have Japanese Barbie dolls and clothes as the main focus. There are lots of Japanese versions of the Barbie clothes that have different fabrics, details or colors. For some collectors that’s an attraction pole. The sample Barbie dolls from the pilot production for the market test were often taken home by Mattel employees. Do I need to say that there is a market among the collectors for these dolls? I guess not.
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#goldengirl Japanese exclusive Francie and her formal made from the reverse of Evening Splendor fabric. #vintagebarbie #francie #japanesefrancie #japaneseexclusive #barbie #barbiecollector #vintagestyle #vintageformal #dollphotography
Ein Beitrag geteilt von Russell Gandy (@colormagickid) am
Every collector is a hunter
Please don’t forget that there is the fact that there is a certain attractiveness for collectors. The harder the Barbie doll is to find or to get the more attractive the doll is. For me are Spanish Barbie dolls interesting. They are different from the normal European/Canadian versions. That’s what makes them interesting for me. The ones from India are not even completely recorded in any book. The South American Barbie dolls have a special make-up, much more eye-catching than the US versions. There are also dolls that are rare. Some of these rare Barbie dolls are Photo Fashion PJ or Hawaiian Superstar Barbie. I think Hawaiian Superstar Barbie was available in Europe/Canada only.
I can’t tell you anything about the sales figures of Photo Fashion PJ but I think she was not sold in limited quantity.
Ein Beitrag geteilt von Donatella Gemma (@gemmalella) am
The value is what somebody is willing to pay for your doll
There’s not really a right or wrong concerning the payment. One of the important factors is the demand. You probably get more money when there is a demand for your doll. When the output figures are high the price is low. It’s not advisable to push the price.
In this article I’d like to tell you a little bit about Talking Barbie repair. I know many collectors search for information about Talking Barbie repair. I’ve done it several times. It’s not the hardest thing to do but you need dexterity, prestidigitation and patience. Of course you should also know what to do in the repair before you do your first one.
Before you do your first repair you need some useful equipment. You need governor belts in the right size, the right replacement for the pullstring, the right ferrules to reattach the flower. Some tools are useful for the repair too like tweezers, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, disposable gloves, locking forceps and package tied. Some acrylic color in the right skin tone is also useful later after the repair.
You see before you can do anything you have to invest some money. Some collectors told me that they just tried to repair the doll without any knowledge and damaged the mechanism so badly that some of them threw the dolls away. I don’t recommend it. Before you do anything become familiar with the repair. I’ve done some videos while I repaired a Talking Barbie.
The range of my videos goes from the buy or not buy decision to the cleaning of the mechanism to the repair itself and then about how to reseal the body again and reattach the limbs again.
Don’t expect that the cleaning is a fast thing to do. It can last several hours depending on the leftovers of the governor belt itself. I’ve had some easy to clean dolls and some weren’t that easy to clean. Some Talking dolls are cooperative and others don’t.
One of my first Talking Barbie was not cooperative. I tested her for days and got not the right speed for the record. I almost became mad but I found a solution for the problem. The easiest Talking doll I repaired was a Talking PJ. She started almost immediately to talk after I did the test. The mechanism itself is kind of engineering art. It’s done in a very clever way.
If there are no injuries from the outside the mechanism can hardly be destroyed but by a father with a screw. The only weak point is the leg knob. The legs tend to fall of the body but only Talking Barbie I heard it from later produced 1970s Barbie dolls too. They all can be repaired with my method.
I’m not sure why this problem is there so often but maybe it’s because of the production process or maybe the attached legs exerted too much pressure to the knobs so that they just broke. I’m not an expert but I try to find the why.
The repair is not impossible
Due to problem that many collectors try to do the repair just so, I decided to do a video series that they realize where the problem is. It’s all about the right technique and the knowledge how to do it right. There’s no need just to destroy the doll just because you want to see what’s inside the upper body.
I’m not a fan of such actions. That’s one of my reasons to make this video.
My article this week is about useful cleaning material for Barbie dolls one should have. It’s important to have some easy to use things at home when you plan to buy old Barbie dolls. There are some things in every household that are very useful when we come to the topic of cleaning a Barbie doll.
To be honest I clean every Barbie doll I get if she comes without a box. That’s sometimes a lot of work especially when you buy a whole group of dolls. Believe as a longtime collector that will occur from time to time. Not every week, not every month but occasionally. What do you need for such an occasion?
Useful cleaning products
My little survival kit is a box of Q-Tips and rubbing alcohol ( at least 70%). You use the Q-Tips for a quick sip of rubbing alcohol. It is normally used for cleaning electronic devices, especially for cleaning dirty or old contacts. I highly recommend rubbing alc. I’ve never had any problems with it until now and I got the hint in 2011.
What else is useful for use at home? I can recommend you cleaning sponges from Aldi. There are several different products that are sold under the name but it seems that the chemicals attached to the sponges are different.
I heard of collectors that got problems with these sponges but I never had any problems with them. If the Q-Tip/rubbing alc combination is not working use the sponge. It brings sometimes benefits to have one at home.
What other collectors do
I’ve heard from other collectors that they use a mild soap and a sponge to clean their dolls. In almost 23 years of collecting I’ve never done it. Why? You can’t exclude the risk that the knee joints get wet especially when you clean Twist n Turn Barbie dolls from the first generation around 1967 since the have metal knee joints that tend to oxide when you work with water. It means in the worst situation they oxide and leave an ugly brown or greenish area around the knee. It’s the goal of most Barbie collectors to prevent these stains. The only I thing I can do is warn you about problem.
The ultimate clean Barbie doll?
Well, you might ask yourself if there is the ultimate clean Barbie doll. The answer is no. This comes due to the fact that the arms, legs and the head are made from a form of PVC and rubber and it’s hard to keep rubber clean itself. I already told you that there are problems with sticky legs and leaking softener. Here’s a short video how to do it.
Is the leaking softener a problem of the age
No, the leaking softener is no problem of the age. All I know about the problem is that it’s no age problem. The probability to find it in all decades from 1959 until today is high. I’m not so familiar with chemistry but read about the phenomenon and it is said that is has to do with the mixtures they use in the production machines. Obviously the recipe was changed a bit over the decades and sometimes you have problems that appear like 1987 the cow spots, that were caused by iron shavings in the mixture.
Other useful things to have a home for Barbie cleaning
I can recommend you guest towels. They are very useful when you want a doll to dry, no matter if you washed her hair or just cleaned her with Q-Tips and rubbing alc. I don’t dress the dolls immediately afterwards. I really give them time to dry ( often over night, often a whole day). Then you can be sure that you wont get any problems with water still somewhere on the doll body. Another advantage is that you can wash the little towels easily. They don’t need as much space in the washing machine as a normal towel needs. Even if there is a stain caused by a doll, it’s no problem because it’s just a guest towel. ( I never had this problem myself )