Last week I saw the video I posted last week. I saw there a Japanese Barbie book which I have never seen before neither heard of. Although I can’t read Japanese it seems very interesting since this book was written by the Japanese seamstress of Charlotte Johnson ( first Barbie designer). The woman has an interesting story to tell how to make prototypes for later Barbie doll dresses but I think it is far more interesting to learn how she saw the whole thing.
The only place where I could find this book was Amazon Japan. So I created my account. That was not as hard as I thought it would be. You can switch almost everything to English and need a credit card but that’s almost all you need. In my case I got a mail from the customer service which I misunderstood at first because it was all written in Japanese. Very funny and the google translator obviously did it wrong at first too. So several days later I got a second mail from the customer service that said something was wrong with my credit card. They were right. I had given them a wrong date. After I changed the date it was no problem to order and by the begin of the next week the book should already be here. So this was my adventure buying at Amazon Japan. If you get a mail from the customer service after your order you know what this means … check you credit card.
Have you heard about Takara yet? Probably not. Do you know that they are Japanese toy makers? Probably not. Why the hell am I asking you so much questions? Well, I like to teach and discover the world. So, if you have no idea what Barbie and Takara have in common, watch my video.
and if you want to know more about the Japanese doll craziness, watch this episode of Japanology.
And here’s a short commercial about Takara from the early 1980s.
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.
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.
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.
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.