Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Table at next doll show

I will have a sale table at the next Queen City Beautiful Doll Club show in Sharonville on Sunday, Oct. 12.  This is north of Cincinnati.  I plan to sell NRFB playline Barbie and family items from the 1980s and 1990s.  Amazingly, the past few doll shows I've attended HAVEN'T had that for sale.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The frizzies

SunSet Malibu Barbies

Color Magic, blonde Twist N Turn and Plus 3 Barbies
and Now Look Ken

Twist N Turn Julias, Twist N Turn Twiggy

Hair Happenin's and SunSet Malibu Francie
and blonde, brunette and blonde Twist N Turn Caseys

One bend leg Skipper, two blonde Chrises
and three straight leg Skippers

blonde Chatty Cathy

I personally do not know what frizzy hair is.  When your hair is baby fine, poker straight, thin and oily, frizzies are the last thing you need to worry about.
My first exposure to dry split hair was through our Barbies when we were children.  Some of the dolls developed the problem even back then, late 1960s, early 1970s.  As an adult collector, I learned that this hair was actually Color Magic hair that had been reused.  Sometimes the brunette hair lightens to a shade that collectors call oxidized red.
Yet this doesn’t make sense to me.  Color Magic Barbie was sold in 1966, but I have 1964 Skippers and a Now Look Ken from 1976 with the same problem.  How much Color Magic hair did Mattel have left over if the strands could still be rooted into dolls a decade later?  Also, has anyone ever experimented on these dolls with the frizz to see if the hair would change color?
I’ve discovered one way to lessen how bad the hair looks, although the problem cannot be reversed.  First, cut off any stray hairs, although you know they won't magically grow back.  I've found older dolls with uneven rooting patterns; that is, there are locks/clumps that should have been shortened at the factory but weren't.  Go ahead, take a deep breath, and lop off the hair to even out the bangs.  Doing so will make the next step easier.
You will need some small Barbie size rollers, the ones with prongs.  Since you've gotten rid of the odd strands, next wet the hair and roll it up in the curlers.  Let the hair dry overnight.  When you remove the curlers the next day, there'll be more "poof" to the tresses.  You can even put a little hairspray on the doll to ensure that the hair will stay in place.
This salon work does not "fix" the problem.  But as I've noticed with my own hair, even if you can't make it pretty, you can at least make it look less bad.
I have found the problem more common with blonde dolls, particularly Malibus, although I have a few brunettes.  Dolls I have discovered with dried out hair are:
I also have a 1963/64 Charmin' Chatty with silver frosted frizzy hair, which leads me to believe that Mattel used this same hair on its other dolls as well.
In the photos, the dolls are wearing outfits from the same year that they were sold, unless otherwise noted.  The Chris on the left is my sister Joan's from her childhood and it was with this doll that I first noticed the horrible hair, even back in the early 1970s.  I “poufed” one of the Casey dolls’ hair.
Last but not least, I bought the Skipper with iron gray hair from Paul David.  He had no idea how her hair got that way, and I've never figured it out either.  It's that color all the way down to the lower roots.   It's not like it got bleached or anything, because the rest of the doll looks completely normal.

My bad hair dolls are
1964 blonde straight leg Skipper in original swimsuit
1964 blonde straight leg Skipper in 1901 Red Sensation
1965 brunette straight leg Skipper in 1910 Happy Birthday
1965 gray bend leg Skipper in 1920 Fun Time
1966 blonde Color Magic Barbie in Lunch Date
1967 blonde Twist N Turn Barbie in Best Bow
1967 blonde Chris in 3609 Plantin’ Posies
1967 blonde Chris in original outfit
1968 Twist N Turn Twiggy in 1725 Twiggy Dos
1968 blonde Twist N Turn Casey in 1209 Mini Chex
1968 blonde Twist N Turn Casey in 1213 Pazam!
1968 brunette Twist N Turn Casey in 1216 The Lace Pace
1970 Hair Happenin’s Francie in 1768 Waltz in Velvet
1972 SunSet Malibu Barbie in 3341 Long N Fringy
1973 SunSet Malibu Francie in 7710 Perky Fashions for Sand N Sea
1974 SunSet Malibu Barbie in 7746 Palazzo Pants Outfit
1974 SunSet Malibu Barbie in 7755 Dirndl Style
1976 Now Look Ken in original outfit
1977 Barbie Plus 3 in Best Buy 9153
1977 SunSet Malibu in 9470 Brocade Dream Steals the Scene

Also, 1963 Charmin’ Chatty in handmade jumper and blouse

The California line--The Ice Cream Shoppe

From the 1988 booklet, with the mat included

1989 booklet, mat not included.
FYI, the dolls are Jewel Secrets Ken in
#2691 Love Notes and
blonde Funtime Barbie in her original outfit.
 The Barbie Ice Cream Maker was sold between 1987 and 1990.  It was pictured in the 1987, 1988 and 1989 American booklets and the 1989 and 1990 Estrela booklets from Brazil.  It was not officially part of the California line but since it was sold at the same time many associate the two series.

These are the versions of the Ice Cream Maker.
1987 and 1988 #3653 Ice Cream Shoppe with the mat (Purchased at a flea market for $6.)
1988 #5163 California Ice Cream Cart sold only in Europe
1989 #3653 Ice Cream Shoppe without the mat
1989 Estrela Sorveteria (Ice Cream Shoppe) sold only in Brazil, came with the mat
1990 #5323 Ice Cream Maker

Accessories were clever but also very odd.  Chairs convert into ice cream cups.  Barstools double as plastic spoons.  (I wonder how many of those spoons ended up in the trash with other plastic spoons after a picnic?)  The push handles on the cart do not stay attached.  Since I am missing the backdrop sign, I would have not known what the stand with the two poles was, except for the booklet photos.  On the other hand, I love the mat and the Barbie-size ice cream cones!

This playset is beautiful, but its proportions are off, as you can see by my photos compared to the prototypes in the booklets.  The chairs and table are slightly short for the dolls.  Don't get me started on the bizarre ice cream spoon bar chairs which aren't really sturdy enough to hold a doll.  Meanwhile, the ice cream cart is several scale sizes too big for Barbie.

If I learn the Kmart variations for knit outfits #4464 Los Angeles and #4466 Santa Monica, I will add that information.  I will also add the company names or stock numbers of the licensed merchandise when I learn that as well.
The "Living Doll" record was written by Brian Wilson, Eugene Landy (Brian's infamous psychiatrist) and Alexandra Morgan (Landy's girlfriend).
#4467 Los Angeles from Kmart and #4469 California are two of my all-time favorite Barbie and Ken outfits.  Although Fashion Friend #7488 is actually a top and skirt, together they make what I think is the most beautiful sundress Mattel has ever sold.
As for making ice cream?  I will give you an update when I have the time to try this set to make it.

From the 1990 Estrela booklet from Brazil

As you can see, the 11 1/2 dolls
such as Mrs. Heart
are too tall to stand under the umbrella.

Only the smaller dolls
such as Megan Heart and California Skipper
fit in the ice cream cups/chairs.

Island Fun Barbie and Megan Heart
wearing outfits that match the Ice Cream Shoppe.

Perhaps all those yellow and white striped outfits
were meant to be the Ice Cream Shoppe employees' uniforms?

The California line--The playsets and accessories

The entire gang at the Surf N Shop.
The shop had umpteen accessories which were too numerous to show.
Skipper is the only one who can stand on the surfboard.

Cover of the summer 1988 issue
of Barbie, The Magazine 
Betsy Loredo's story
in the summer 1988 issue of Barbie, The Magazine

1988 #4461 California/California Dream Surf Shop (Original purchase price $8.99.)  It came with numerous accessories, including a long T-shirt that could double as a nightshirt.
1988 #4462 California/California Dream Hot Dog Stand
1988 #4520 California Dream Beach Taxi
1988 #5163 California Ice Cream Cart sold only in Europe
1988 #7939 California Dream Dune Buggy
1988 #7762 California Dream Pool Party
1988 #7767 California Dream Patio Pool Party.  Also known as California Dream Malibu Beach Party
1988 ? Club California Barbie Cabriolet
1988 #4930663 California Dream Jeep N Beach Party
1989 Estrela ? Lanche Legal (Cool Snack) sold only in Brazil.  Same design as the Hot Dog Stand
1990 Estrela ? Surf Sport Shop sold only in Brazil

1988 Barbie, the Magazine for Girls, summer 1988, with California Dream Barbie and Ken on the cover.  (Original purchase price $1.95.)  The short story inside was called “Volleyball Victory,” by Betsy Loredo.  It’s about a team called The Waves (California Barbie, Christie, Midge and Teresa, and Dr. Ken) against another team called The Beach Balls.  Others in the story are Nurse Whitney and Cheerleader Teen Skipper.  The article mentions the Surf N Shop, the Hot Dog Stand and the Beach Taxi.
1988 Barbie Journal, fall/winter 1988, published in Germany, had two beautiful photos of the new line of dolls.
1988 Thermos ? Club California lunchbox sold only in Canada
1989 Golden #1146-8 California Dream Big Coloring Book
1989 Golden #4914 California Hot Dog Stand Barbie and Ken frame tray puzzle (Original purchase price at Children's Palace $.99 on July 16, 1990.)
1989 ? ? California Barbie Travel Set
1990 Arco #7478 California Dream Barbie 5 1/2-inch plastic rotating miniature  (Original purchase price at Woolworth's $2.99.)
1991 Applause ? California Barbie rubber 3-inch tall miniature

from the fall 1988 issue of Barbie Journal

From the fall 1988 issue of Barbie Journal

From the 1989 Estrela booklet in Brazil

From the 1990 Estrela booklet in Brazil

1989 Golden Frame Tray Puzzle

Arco sold many variations of its mini spinners, which can be linked together.

The California line--The clothes

Back of the clothing box
From the 1988 poster
Barbie Journal, fall 1988

Barbie clothing
All came with shoes and accessories.  The woven cotton outfits came with yellow visors and yellow 1980s Hong Kong heels.  (How did she walk in the sand in those shoes?)  Felt belts and flying discs were dark pink or yellow, although there was no set color for any outfit.   The shoes varied for the knit ensembles.  The names come from the decals on the shirts.  You can find the outfits on ebay with both the California and California Dream logos.
#4464 Los Angeles yellow stretch pants, white T-shirt with flamingos decal (called Flamingo in Mexico)
#4464 Los Angeles from Kmart
#4465 California oversized white blouse and matching capri pants (Original purchase price at Children’s Palace $5.99 on Feb. 17, 1989.)  (Called Fisherman/Pescador in Mexico)
#4465 California oversized yellow striped blouse and matching capri pants from Kmart.  (Original purchase price $6.99.)   Matches Mrs. Heart’s and Megan Heart’s #9595 Jumpsuits from 1985.
#4466 Santa Monica white knit halter, dark pink stretch pants
#4466 Santa Monica from Kmart
#4467 Los Angeles pink print fitted blouse, matching mini skirt (Original purchase price at Children's Palace $5.99 on July 7, 1989.)
#4467 Los Angeles blue and white striped fitted blouse, matching mini skirt from Kmart (Original purchase price $6.69 on March 17, 1989.)  Matches the Kmart Fashion Friend #7488 sundress from 1990, also a Kmart exclusive.
#4468 Hollywood white knit oversized T-shirt and white knit stretch pants, long dark pink straight knit skirt (Original purchase price at Children's Palace $4.22, on July 9, 1992.)
#4468 Hollywood white knit oversized T-shirt and yellow stretch pants, long pale pink straight knit skirt from Kmart

One Ken outfit
#4469 California aqua print shirt, aqua stripe shorts, heavy white T-shirt (Original price $5.99 from Zayre's, on Feb. 17, 1989.)
#4469 California white shirt with LP print, blue shorts and blue T-shirt from Kmart (Original price $6.69 on July 7, 1989.)  

California Kens in variations of #4469 California.
On the right is a Kmart exclusive.

Island Fun Barbies in variations of #4465 California.
On the right is a Kmart exclusive.

Sensations Bopsy and Island Fun Teresa
in variations of #4467 Los Angeles.
On the left is a Kmart exclusive.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The California line--The dolls

California Barbie, Ken and Skipper in their original outfits 
This post is a corollary to my previous column about the separately sold swimsuits.
By 1988, I had already been collecting Barbie dolls for about five years.  Back then, pre-Internet, pre-Barbie Bazaar, there was no way to get new doll information unless you went into the toy stores or toy departments and actually looked at the merchandise.  Living in the suburbs, this was easy, as I was hanging out at said stores probably twice a week.
I remember the first time I saw the new line of California dolls in 1988.  It wasn't because of Barbie or Ken or Christie or their new friend Teresa.  It was because of the reappearance of an OLD friend.
THAT MIDGE?!  The friend who hadn't been around since 1966?!  Barbie's original bestie from Willows?!
I nearly fell over.  I suspect other Barbie collectors almost did as well.
The California dolls were not only beautiful, they were the first playline series aimed at both children and adult collectors.  Although department store specials and department store exclusives had been around for decades, Mattel had never officially created anything specifically for adults until it sold the porcelain Blue Rhapsody Barbie and the designer Billy Boy Barbie in 1986.
Even though the California line was sold only in 1988 and 1989, there were so many versions and so many available that you could find them on the shelves until the early 1990s.  I do not know the reason why the series name was changed.  The first dolls had the word "California" in block capital letters on the boxes.  The second version (likely 1989, although I don't remember exactly) had the words "California Dream" in a font called Mistral, which is the same font that California's license plates are written in.  There were playsets and separate outfits.  Even the Beach Boys got in the act, making a record that was included with the Barbie doll.

California Barbie with her box
Meanwhile, other countries had their own exclusives of these dolls.  Kmart had variations of all of the separately sold outfits.
I never have learned why Mattel reintroduced Midge, but she’s been available in stores in one version or another ever since.
"Living Doll" record
These photos are from my collection, the clothing booklets and reference books in order to show you what variety of California items there were.  There are other items as well; if you have them or know about them, could you tell me?  I have the vinyl record but I don’t know what the songs are on the cassettes.
Thank heavens for the Internet for providing me with so much information!  These are the items that I know about.  The hoarder in me kept many of my receipts when I originally purchased them (tax not included in prices).

#4439 California/California Dream Barbie.  She came with a light blue vinyl 7-inch 33 1/3 record called Living Doll, recorded by the Beach Boys and a Treasure Map comic book.  The shredded black LP-looking thing is actually a tote bag.  (Original Toys R Us price $9.99.)  California Barbie also sold in Europe in a multi-language box.  Club California Barbie was sold only in Canada and came with a separate music cassette. Playa California Barbie was sold in Mexico.
#4440 California Skipper.  Sold only in Europe in a multi-language box and a Treasure Map comic book that was in English, Spanish, Italian and German.  (Purchased from another collector via mail order in September 1988 for $35.)  She was the last of the mass-market old-style 9-inch tall Skipper dolls.
California Skipper with her box
#4441 California/California Dream Ken.  Treasure Map was included.  (Purchased at a flea market for $7.)  California Ken also sold in Europe in a multi-language box.  Club California Ken was sold only in Canada and came with a separate music cassette and a separate comic book called Fishing for a Prize.  Playa California Ken was sold in Mexico.
From the 1988 clothing booklet
#4442 California/California Dream Midge.  Treasure Map was included.  (Original Toys R Us Price $9.99.  Resold for $15.)  California Midge also sold in Europe in a multi-language box.  Club California Midge was sold only in Canada and came with a separate music cassette and a separate comic book called Scavenger Hunt/Le Rally.  Playa California Midge was sold in Mexico.
#4443 California/California Dream Christie.  Treasure Map was included.  (Original Drug Emporium Price $11.99 on May 20, 1993.  Resold for $15.)  Club California Christie was sold only in Canada and came with a separate music cassette.  Playa California Christie was sold in Mexico.  This doll was not very popular because her round face and her oversized loose T-shirt made her chubby-looking.
The European and American versions
of  "Treasure Map"
From the 1990 Fashion Fun Guide
#5503 Teresa. Treasure Map was included.  Club California Teresa was sold only in Canada and came with a separate music cassette.  Although she’s shown on the back of the Playa California dolls’ boxes, she is not named, so I am unsure as to whether she was actually sold in Mexico.  Teresa is the hardest doll to find.