Friday, September 22, 2017

Little known about Maddie Mod doll history

The brunette on the left is Princess Grace
and the blonde is an actual Maddie Mod.
Maddie Mod was sold
in many different styles of swimsuits.
I have found a lot of information about the Mego Corp., and a lot of photos of Maddie Mod dolls and outfits.  But I've find almost nothing about the history of the doll.
The earliest Maddies have the following written on their backs:
© 1968/PRINCESS GRACE DOLL/HONG KONG.  She's also got HONG KONG written on the nape of her neck.  I'm assuming the dolls were introduced to the public in 1969.
I don't know if Princess Grace was a subsidiary of Mego, or a separate company that Mego bought out about 1970.  I HAVE read that the doll was named after Madeline Abrams, the wife of David Abrams, the founder of Mego.
I don't know when the doll's marking changed, but at some point her back began saying:
©  MEGOCORP. MCMLXX/HONG KONG, and there is nothing on her neck.
My sisters and I received Maddies for Christmas 1970 (and we always liked the clothes for her more than the dolls).
The book Collectible Doll Fashions: 1970s, by Carmen Varrichio, copyright 2003 Schiffer Publishing, shows Maddie outfits sold from 1970 to 1977.  The 1976 and 1977 clothing packaging, although still saying "Maddie Mod" on the front, has a company called Summit Industries Limited as its manufacturer/distributor.  Another piece of trivia: in 1971 Maddie had a boyfriend named Richie with his own line of clothing, although I've never seen either the doll or outfits.
Maddie had her own competitors.  Some of them were: Marcie Mod by A&H Doll Manufacturing Corp., Maxi Mod by Shillman, Mini Mod by Totsy, and Missy Mod by Edico Productions.



Princess Grace, on the right, has an arch to her feet
and she is definitely high-heeled.
Maddie Mod, on the left, has flat feet that are slanted just a little.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Patsy Cline doll?

I was at a garage sale yesterday and the seller told me about two dolls she had received as a child in the 1970s.  One was a Patsy Cline doll and the other was a male country singer whose name she could not remember off the top of her head.
I have seen umpteen Dolly Parton and Marie Osmond dolls from that time period, but have never heard of a Patsy Cline doll.  I don't know if Patsy and her male counterpart were fashion dolls or bigger dolls.  I know there was a Patsy doll in the 1940s and 1950s, but that's not what the woman was talking about.  Have any of you seen a Patsy Cline doll from the 1960s or 1970s?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Willows in the 1970s, part 3

Rarely do you ever see the front panels of the Live Action House.
Only the living room section had a correct front.
The indoors of the bedroom and kitchen do not match the layout on the other side.
Close-up of the front of the Live Action House
Barbie's Pool Party was the first
of Barbie's many swimming pools.



This is the end of my long-running project to photograph dolls, houses and playsets by decade in a street-like setting.  Today it is for the 1970s.

In these photos are the following:

Dolls and outfits:
1971 Live Action Barbie in #3401 Fringe Benefits
1971 Live Action Ken in #1439 Suede Scene
1971 Live Action PJ in #3408 Super Scarf
1972 Pose N Play Skipper in #3295 Turn Abouts
1972 Pose N Play Tiff in #3372 Fun Runners
1972 SunSet Malibu PJ in #3468 Oh Boy Corduroy
1972 Walk Lively Ken in #3378 Western Winner
1974 Malibu Barbie in Best Buy #7813 (the polka dot outfit)
1973 Quick Curl Barbie in 1974 #7424 Regatta on the Sea
1975 Barbie Babysits baby boy (also known as Little Sweets or Mrs. Jones' baby) in his original outfit
1975 SunSet Malibu PJ in #7724 Bright N Gay for Holiday Play
1976 Deluxe Quick Curl Barbie in #7424 Regatta on the Sea
1976 Deluxe Quick Curl PJ in #9664 Sears Vacation Outfit

House and playsets:
1.  Live Action House from 1971
2.  Skipper's Swing-A-Rounder Gym from 1972.
3.  Barbie Garden Patio from 1973.
3.  Barbie's Pool Party from 1974
5.  Barbie's Ten Speeder from 1975

Here is some information about the house.  The exterior is yellow wood with red awnings (second version of the house, with different construction pieces).  The interior has a bedroom and balcony with AstroTurf upstairs, a living room with a shuffleboard and pond outside, and a kitchen with a swing and more AstroTurf outside. 


The first version of the house, sold in 1970, was called the Lively Livin' House, and each piece was separate and took a while to put together.  (I had this house as a girl, which is why I know this, but that house is long gone.)  The Live Action House was the second version with some panels and connecting pieces combined, and could be put together much more quickly, but it is not as sturdy.  (I purchased this as an adult collector.)  The third version, in 1973, was called Barbie's Surprise House and was the Live Action House plus some ivy seeds that could be planted to grow in small containers.

The front panel to the living room is the only one correct.  The back wall of the kitchen should actually be on the front wall.  Neither the front wall of the bedroom or the kitchen show the interiors correctly.  I'd love to be able to get several houses and completely rearrange the panels!

The pool holds about four gallons of water and remains to this day the most realistic looking of all of Barbie's swimming pools.


The garden patio wall was made of very thin molded plastic.  My sister Barb had it and the wall cracked apart in numerous places.  The accessories, though, would last a nuclear attack!

I love the swing set.  The regular swing, the teeter totter and the trapeze swing all look very realistic.  You're supposed to be able to insert the thumbs of the Living and Pose N Play dolls into the slots on the seat of the trapeze swing to make the doll flip, but the thumbs do not stay in the holes.  The funky spinner on the pole does not work either.  You sit a doll on the sit and instead of following the swirl, the chair goes straight down.

Thanks always to my sister Joan for letting me use her front yard and house.

Even more rarely do you see the back of the Live Action house.
From left to right are Ken, PJ., P.J., Barbie against the house and Barbie on the pool deck.

The pool holds up to four gallons of water.
It would have taken up too much time to fill it entirely.
Left to right are PJ, Barbie, PJ, PJ and Barbie.

Here is the pool as seen from overhead.
Obviously it's not big enough for swimming, much less diving!



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Living Barbie's three hair colors

Left: 1970 blonde Living Barbie in 1970 #1799 Maxi N Midi.  I had wanted that outfit as a child and as an adult it was one of the first outfits I bought.  Right: 1971 Living Barbie with centered eyes in her original outfit.  She is my most recent Living Barbie purchase.  I pinned her sarong around her neck so she can play superheroine.

Left: 1970 brunette (actually black hair) Living Barbie was my sister's First Communion doll.  Barbie wears 1970's #1463 Lovely Sleep-Ins.  Right:  This 1970 brunette doll has her hair separated as if she had been sold with two ponytails.  She is practicing her ballet moves in 1970's #1787 Prima Ballerina.

The two 1970s redheads (Mattel was no longer using the word "titian") are in 1970's #1781 Tennis Team (I have only one gym shoe) and 1970's #1788 Scuba-Dos.  The girl in pink wears the Sears Action Accents ski outfit, which clashes with her red hair.  Note how different her eyes are.  On the right is my last Living Barbie in 1970's #1464 Anti-Freezers, another one of my childhood desires.
I have more Living Barbies than I do any other version of her.  She used to be very easy to find.  A woman I know only slightly gave me a wonderful gift several years ago--her childhood Barbie collection, and that included Action Accents Barbie.  I would never have been able to afford the doll if I wanted to buy her.
I've photographed them separated by hair color.
You have probably noticed the abundance of outfits from 1970 and 1971 for Barbie that either slippers, boots or some kind of athletic footwear.  That's because the outfits were designed for Living Barbie's flat feet.
It always irritated me when I saw pictures in doll magazines of Living Barbie in high heels or another mod Barbie or friend in one of the flat-shoed outfits.  Couldn't anyone else figure this out?

etsy listings July 2, 2017

Here are the three items I placed for sale on Etsy last week:

1970s Skipper dolls, clothes, case

1992 Ski Fun Midge NRFB

1997 Miami/Splash N Color Ken NRFB

Sunday, June 25, 2017

etsy listings June 25, 2017

Here are my new Etsy listings from the past week.

1960s Skipper doll, case and accessories:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/522420746/1960s-skipper-doll-case-clothes?ref=shop_home_active_5

1975 Ideal Tuesday Taylors and Dodie, updated without the sunglasses:

1980 Mattel Starr doll and clothes:

1993 Playmates SeaQuest Lucas and Darwin:

Saturday, June 10, 2017