Tuesday, April 10, 2018

It isn't just Toys R Us

I started a discussion at the Cincinnati doll club Yahoo group about the stores I used to shop at for toys.  The discussion started as a result of Toys R Us closing.  With the other members' help, I've compiled a list of all the stores that I used to buy Barbie (and occasionally other dolls) from

There is also a link to Wikipedia, but that listing will make you sad.

What I discovered is that Walmart had little to do with these other places closing.  Many of them had gone out of business or were bought out long before Walmart ever came to these cities.

National discount or department store chains
Ben Franklin
Gold Circle
Meijer Square
Service Merchandise

Toy stores
Arnoldt’s Fairyland (Cincinnati store)
Child World/Children’s Palace
Johnny’s Toys
Toys R Us

Cincinnati store chains
ChinaTown/Van Leunen’s
Rink’s Bargain City

Used to carry toys but don’t anymore
JC Penney

Carries toys but is teetering on the edge

Monday, April 9, 2018

new items on etsy

These are the items I've placed for sale on etsy in the past few weeks.

Five Uneeda Pee Wees plus some other small dolls
etsy Pee Wees

Kenner Always Sister oldest sister outfit
Always Sister outfit MIB

Reissued Miss Revlon clothing pattern and dress I made
Miss Revlon dress, pattern

Nine 1997 Biography magazines

Saturday, March 31, 2018

local major garage sales

Here's a brief list I compiled of the annual city sales that I've found so far.

Delhi Community Yard Sale
April 21, 9:30 a.m.
Delhi Senior Citizens Center parking lot, 647 Neeb Road

Community Yard Sales
May 3, 4 and 5
September 20, 21 and 22
Rising Sun, Indiana

US 50 Yard Sale
May 18, 19 and 20
Washington DC to Sacramento

Beckett Ridge Sale
June 9
West Chester, Ohio

Spring Community Yard Sale
June 9
Vevay, Indiana

US 127 Yard Sale
Aug. 2, 3, 4, 5
Michigan to Alabama

Thursday, March 29, 2018

April 14 doll show

Here is the flier for the April 14 Queen City Beautiful Doll Club Show.  For the first time in years, I won't be able to attend myself, but I wanted to let the rest of you know about it.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

2 dolls on etsy

I placed two dolls for sale on etsy two weeks ago.  They are both not removed from box, but there is box wear.  Here they are:
1997 Galoob Together in Paris Anya
1997 Galoob Czar Nicholas

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine-themed Barbie clothing not as common as you think

Bend leg Skipper in #1945 Hearts N Flowers
and Cool Tops Skipper in Fashion Starter #721-6
admire the child's bracelet that Tuli-Chan
(in her original gown) is holding.
Teen Skipper loved hearts!
Here are Extreme Green in a Teen Time outfit,
while Florida Vacation and Totally YoYo
both wear Teen Scene summer outfits.
Barbie loved the heart print
from her 1984 Loving You Gown
that she had it reused in the 1990s,
with Pretty Hearts and Freundschafts.
Outfits for romance-loving dolls:
Loving You Barbie and Sweet Roses PJ
in their original gowns

Cleo made a number of Barbie Valentine
children's cards over the years.
On the right is Sweet Roses PJ modeling
#4812 Romantic Valentine,
while on the left Loving You Barbie
wears the similar unnamed Fashion Fun #7503.

I wanted to write an article with photos about Barbie and Valentine's Day, and the research has been tougher than I expected.  With a few exceptions, Barbie and her family and friends haven't had a lot of Valentine or heart-themed clothing.  Since the heart is such a universal symbol, you'd think there would be more merchandise.

The exceptions:
The 1980s Heart Family:  Although some of the original outfits have hearts on them, I looked through their separately sold outfits and they have very few, if any, hearts on them!
Some 1990s special edition Barbies: 1991 Pretty Hearts, 1993 Secret Hearts Barbie and Ken, 1995 Bob Mackie Queen of Hearts, 1996 Pretty Hearts, 1996 Valentine Sweetheart, 1997 Target Valentine Romance, 1997 Valentine Fun and 1999 Target Valentine Style.  I don't recall anything specific before that, and I don't know about the merchandise sold in 2000 and after.
Teen Skipper in the late 1990s had a number of outfits with hearts on them.  I will show you three of them in a photo.

I think the most romantic year for Barbie had to be 1984.  That was the year of Loving You Barbie and Sweet Roses PJ, plus I will show the dolls redressed in two of the ball gowns for that year.

Some comments:
1967 #1845 Hearts N Flowers came in two versions: a bright green background and a white background.  It's actually a loud school outfit, as it came with books.  It has a fake jumper that's all one piece, a jacket, boots and socks and a cap that will remind you of the Beatles.
1974 Curl Tuli-Chan was sold only in Japan.  Like other Quick Curl dolls,  her limbs fall off very easily.  Her hair is black with red streaks, and the streaks are the wires.  Her hair is very, very stiff, and unlike the rest of the doll, is so strong it could withstand a tornado.
1984 had a number of beautiful dolls, including Loving You Barbie and Sweet Roses PJ.  PJ, a rare brunette, has the poofiest dress Mattel has ever made.  The layers of the gown are supposed to represent petals and each satin petal is lined with a stiff netting.
1984 Loving You Barbie's outfit would reappear in the 1990s.  Mattel must have had a lot of the heart print netting left over.  The fabric would be used in the 1991 Pretty Hearts Barbie, which was renamed Freundschafts (Friendship) Barbie in 1992 in Germany.
1984 #4812 Romantic Valentine is the first (maybe only) Barbie gown that was a separately sold outfit that mentioned Valentine's Day.  It is skin-tight and hard to get over Barbie's hips and breasts.  My advice:  pull up the pink underlining all the way first, over her breasts, and then pull up the separate lace outer section.  There are many similar looking strapless gowns with lace on the top during this time period.
The Cleo Barbie Valentines for 1989 are one of many Barbie greeting cards that have been made over the decades.  I don't think a list has ever been created of greeting cards.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

I've compared some sports theme dolls

The full title of the playset is #7420 Olympic Gymnast Set for Barbie and PJ.
No, I don't understand the spinner either.
SunSet Malibu/Gold Medal PJ in her original swimsuit,
Free Moving PJ in #7424 Regatta on the Sea
and Ballerina Barbie in #9658 Mix N Match Set

This article is about two different but related topics:  three similar gym outfits, and the PJ Gymnast Set.

The first half pictures three outfits that are easy to confuse.  The 1975 Gold Medal Gymnast PJ original outfit, 1975's #7424 Regatta on the Sea, and 1976's #9658 Mix N Match Set.  The photo shows Gymnast PJ in part of her original outfit, Free Moving Barbie in Regatta and Ballerina Barbie in Mix N Match.  I don't own the gymnast bodysuit, just the Olympic swimsuits.  The difference is that the bodysuit has a high collar but the swimsuits have a regular open collar.  I also don't own the bikini pants to Mix N Match, so Barbie is wearing the yellow slacks from Regatta.

The second half features the PJ Olympic Gymnast Set.  You could get this set with or without PJ; I have the one without.  It is one of a few PJ gift sets sold over the years.  The front of the box is a photo of PJ performing and the back of the box shows some of the poses you could supposedly do.  I don't have the spinner thing, so I cannot tell you about it, but I do have the gauntlets (I guess that's what they are called) to hold the doll on the bar.

You have to put the gauntlets on the doll first, then slide them over the bar, then hang the bar on the towers.  It's almost impossible to put a doll in the gauntlets if you place them on the bar and tower first.  Getting the bar to slide between the gauntlets is difficult and you will have to forcibly bend the doll's thumbs or hands to complete the job.  The SunSet Malibu and Free Moving dolls of 1975 have different arm and hand arrangements and neither type of doll is easy to get onto the bar.  I also tried the 1976 Ballerina Barbie and her hands and arms don't allow the bar to slide in at all.

I couldn't get either a Free Moving or Malibu doll to do all of the poses on the box back; the dolls are simply too stiff, even with bendable legs and soft vinyl arms to get into position.  So I am demonstrating what I WAS able to do with the dolls.

Maybe the dolls were flexible enough to do these pose
in 1975, but they aren't now.
Hanging upside down is a good way
to straighten your back and clear your head
Barbie prepares to hang from her legs.
Next step is the hardest:
Sliding the horizontal bar past the hands.
PJ looks ready to do chin-ups!
I guess the horizontal bar could also be used as a dumbbell?