Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another bucket list item, this time, almost literally

As little girls (late 1960s-early 1970s), my sisters and I owned only one swimsuit at a time, and sometimes we would wear them to the pool for two summers in a row.  Likewise, our Barbie and family dolls each only had one swimsuit--the original outfit in which they were sold.  So I was always puzzled when I looked through the clothing booklets and saw additional swimsuits for sale for the dolls.  Why did they need them?
Of course, as an adult who usually has three bathing suits at any one time, I understand now!
This blog is about separately sold swimsuits for the dolls.  Obviously there are many more; these are the ones that I own.
Some of the photos were taken in my mother’s yard.  The two dolls on the wooden ledge were on my apartment balcony.  The rest of pictures were shot at the baby pool at Dickman Pool in Sayler Park in Cincinnati.
Unless otherwise noted, the dolls and outfits are from the same year.  Many of the outfits came with accessories which I either don’t own or have not included in the photos.
And, yes, these pictures are another bucket list item, images I had in my head as a little girl but it took me decades to get all the stuff together to capture them on camera.  And with all the water, the word “bucket” is almost a literal one!
So what is happening in each of the photos?

Skipper and Tutti have temporarily abandoned the rest of the Roberts family at the beach to explore the boardwalk.  Skipper has set down her beach bag and Tutti has already lost a shoe.

1966 brunette Bendable Poseable Tutti, 3603 Sand Castles (It also came with socks, a pail and a shovel.)
1967 redhead Bend Leg Skipper, 1938 Beachy-Peachy (It also came with a yellow metal headband.)

1970s #1
Barbie (far right) is giving scuba diving lessons to Skipper, Francie, Kelley and Ken.
1974 SunSet Malibu Skipper, 7848 Beachy Bits for Sunny Fun (One of two Get Up N Go outfits, it corresponds with Barbie’s Dazzly Duds.  It also came with a maxi dress, slacks, shorts, headband, halter top and a tiny yellow handkerchief.)
1973 SunSet Malibu Francie, 7710 Perky Fashions for Sand N Sea (One of three Get Up N Go outfits, it also came with a maxi dress and blue sunglasses; hard to find.)
1974 Yellowstone Kelley, with hair cut short.  7788 Dazzly Duds for Beach Days (One of seven Get Up N Go outfits, it also came with fins, mask, snorkel and skim board; and corresponds with Skipper’s Beachy Bits.  This is a truly beautiful outfit.)
1970 Bendable Leg Ken, 1435 Shore Lines (This also came with shorts and a mask; corresponds with Scuba Do’s.)
1970 redhead Living Barbie, 1788 Scuba Do’s  (It corresponds with Ken’s Shore Lines.)

1970s #2

PJ and Skipper are dreaming of the Olympic swim team, while two Barbies and Jamie are taking it easy on the deck or mat of 7795 Barbie’s Pool Party.  Only the 1975 version from Sears came with the vinyl mat.
1975 SunSet Malibu Skipper, 7274 Gold Medal Olympic swimsuit (One of six Best Buy outfits, it also came with a towel.)
1975 Free Moving Barbie, 7424 Regatta on the Sea (One of 20 Best Buy outfits for the year, it also came with yellow slacks.)
1976 Deluxe Quick Curl PJ, 1975 7271 Gold Medal Olympic swimsuit (One of seven Barbie Gold Medal outfits, it also came with a striped towel and gold medal. The swimsuit also appeared in the Sears Olympic Fashions set.)
1976 Ballerina Barbie, whose crown is hidden under her hat, 9664 Sears Vacation Outfits (It also came with a halter top, maxi skirt, pool wrap, bikini bottom and purse.)
1972 redhead Walking Strolling in Style Jamie, 1970 1511 Sears Fashion Bouquet red bikini top plus the skirt from 1975’s Best Buy 7206  (Fashion Bouquet set also came with a spring coat, dress, three-piece suit with sleeveless top, scarf, sunglasses and shoes.)

The 7145 Bubbling Spa from 1984 is the most popular pool of the 1980s.  Also being used are 1983’s 1478 Dream Furniture Barbecue and 1480 Dream Furniture Patio Recliner and Serving Cart.  Tracy won’t go in the water because she is too fragile and Spectra can’t go in the pool because she’s afraid she’ll rust!

1980 Sun Lovin’ Malibu Skipper with straight legs, 1409 Beach Party (One of four Fashion Favorite ensembles, it also came with a red minidress and white sneakers.)
1989 Style Magic Barbie with really bad hair!, 1988 My First 4581 (One of nine My First outfits, it looks like a tutu, but it’s not.)
1981 Pink N Pretty Christie, 1939 Beach Dazzler (One of eight Fashion Favorite outfits; it also came with dark pink snap strap heels and a cape coverup.)
1984 Sun Gold Malibu Skipper, 4876 Pool Party (One of six Fashion Fantasy ensembles, it also came with a red sweatshirt and red sneakers; Skipper’s 20th anniversary outfit.)
1980 Springfield High Tracy, 1391 Beach Party (This is one of three Fun Teen fashions.  As for Tracy, the elastic inside her has rotted and she is collapsing, literally, unfortunately.)
1987 Out of this World Spectra, 3615 Sunsuit (This is one of 11 separately sold and surprisingly revealing outfits sold for Spectra.)

1990s #1
Ken and Barbie have to hurry to rescue Fashion Friend before she tips over!
1991 Kmart Fashion Friend Party Teen, (no stock number) Fashion Favorite (One of eight Fashion Favorites, the towel and tote bag are next to the pool.  The chaise longue is from 1992’s 2141 Barbie Splash N Fun Raft.)
1991 African-American Costume Ball Ken, (no stock number) Active Wear (one of six Active Wear sets)
1994 Gymnast Barbie, 11290 Raft Really Floats (One of four Floatin’ Cool swimsuits with inflatable pool toys, it also came with a bowl containing grapes, bananas and an apple.)

1990s #2
Arco Mattel sold numerous pool and water playsets during the 1990s.  Here are the pool, diving board, float, yellow ring and yellow beach ball that came with 1990 7426 Arco Wet N Wild Pool Set; plus the purple ring and ball that came with 1992 2141 Arco Splash N Fun Raft; and the beach chaise from 1990 7427 Wet N Wild Surf Set.
1990 Wet N Wild Skipper, Walgreens Fashion Starter 721-5 (This was one of two outfits sold for Skipper at Walgreens and it also came with a camera.  A blue version of Trendy Teen 714-1, it also came with a bright pink knit top.)
1994 Sun Jewel Shani, 10754 Goin’ to Hawaii (One of four Dream Vacation travel ensembles, it also came with a suitcase that’s impossible to open and sunglasses.)
1993 Caboodles Barbie, 3619 Romantic Sailing Adventure for Two (One of four Great Date sets, it was sold with white clam diggers for Barbie, plus a blue striped shirt, white shorts, sunglasses, white sneakers, a silver chain and a captain’s cap for Ken.) 
1994 Happy Meal Whitney, 10746 Swimsuit, Shorts & Top, Plus Beach Gear (One of four Feeling Fun outfits, it also came with a pink T-shirt and black-and-white checked shorts.)
The flying discs on the diving board came with the outfits that Barbie and Stacie are wearing.

1990s #3
Pocahontas and Barbie brought almost everything they own to the strand!  This is all they hauled to the beach:  the yellow life ring, two champagne(!) glasses, flying disc and a bottle of soda from 1990 7426 Pool Set; plus the umbrella and stand, jet ski, flippers, scuba mask, sailboard and beach chaise from 1990 7427 Wet N Wild Surf Set.
1996 Color Splash Pocahontas, 1995 (no stock number) Pocahontas Swimming Dress N Play plastic mat, seashells, crown, bag, skirt and one-shoulder top (One of four Dress N Play outfits; this one also came with two fish, moccasins and a comb.)
1995 Teacher Barbie, whose eyes, lips and earrings match her clothing, 13018 Rain Slicker and Beach Bag’s tote.  13020 Windbreaker and Rain Hat’s vest and swimsuit. (Two of four Yacht Club outfits.  Rain Slicker also came with a yellow raincoat, blue miniskirt, white knit tank top and white sneakers.  Windbreaker also came with a hat and white sneakers.)

Some details I discovered as I set up the scenes.
The 1970s pool is the most attractive of all of Barbie’s pools.  The instructions say to fill the pool only halfway with water, but what little girl (or big collector girl) wants to do that?!  The Sears mat does not stay flat on grass, nor does the floor of the pool.
The Fashion Bouquet bikini is not the same as brunette straight leg Midge’s two-piece.  The 1970 version is skimpier.  Midge’s swimsuits have white elastic, while the 1970 bikini has matching color elastic.
Neither the jet ski from from the Surf Set nor the float from Raft Really Floats will support a doll in the water.  The chaise longue from the Splash N Fun Raft will hold a doll but will tip if the water gets too rough.  You have to place a shorter doll such as Stacie or original Skipper onto the floats for the Pool Party or the Wet N Wild Pool, and then hang their hair over the edge of the pool for ballast in order for the floats to not tip sideways.
You can stack the two tables that come with the Dream House’s 1480.
There are only a few bubbles blown up each time one uses the pump of the Bubbling Spa.  Being hard plastic, the spa is the sturdiest of the pools and the best one to take outside.  It is heavier and can squish down the grass.
The scuba mask that comes with the Surf Set has square left and right sides plus slightly rounded upper and lower sides, while the mask that comes with Ken’s Active Wear outfit is a true oval.
I don’t know how sturdy the Wet N Wild Pool is on a flat concrete surface, but it is terrible to set in the grass!  The sides really flop over!
Regarding the dolls and outfits that actually went for a swim:  The wet clothing did NOT shrink!  But the hair of the dolls that have really long thick tresses, such as my Gymnast Barbie, took almost 24 hours to dry completely.
I don’t think Mattel planned for this to happen, but the 1991 Fashion Favorite lavendar swimsuit gets transparent when it gets wet.
Despite its name, Swimming Dress N Play is not meant for water, as the cloth is felt.  Also, there are no panties under the little skirt.
Fashion Friend and Pocahantas need to be careful, or they could get arrested for public indecency....
Last but not least, the word is "longue", not "lounge".

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