Saturday, June 27, 2015

What I've found from the library's database

The earliest ad I've yet found for Barbie.
The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 29, 1959

Doll history article page 1
The Los Angeles Times, Nov. 28, 1965

Love the photos in this 1965 article!

The Business Front, July 18, 1967, mentions SPP and TNT

The Business Front, page 2

The Business Front, page 3

The Los Angeles Times, Aug. 18, 1973,
about the current Barbie playsets.

With my Cincinnati Public Library card, I can access the various research databases to which the library  has subscribed.  My favorite site is ProQuest, which has access to old newspapers and magazines.  I can search any topic I wish.  Since I research Barbie, I choose to look for both ads and articles.
Here are some articles I've found about either Mattel or Barbie from the 1960s or 1970s.

Friday, June 26, 2015

US 50 sale update

All you need to go with this
is a red checked cotton bodysuit
and a pair of capri-length skinny jeans,
and you'll have your own Barbie Picnic Set outfit!

Who knew there was such a thing as a Barbie fishing rod?
That was one of my purchases during the US 50 sale.  I know the sale was 6 weeks ago, but I'm finally ready to write my summary.  Shopping was a little different this year, since I cheated and also went to stores, two antique malls and a used bookstore.
On Saturday, May 16, I drove east on US 50, starting in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and then going to Hillsboro, Ohio.  I'd never been on 50 past Clermont County.  Unlike 50 in Indiana, the highway in Ohio is narrow and windy and at times deserted.  There were even flat stretches with no farmhouses and few trees, and I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.
I've gone east for the sale only one other time years ago.  One household along the way then had a bunch of early 60s Barbie stuff (it's where I bought the Barbie and Francie Dressing Room Case I wrote about a few weeks ago) and she STILL had Barbie stuff for sale this year.  She's a little pricey, but I did buy the Cruise Stripe dress and shoes.
I spent Saturday night in Hillsboro, 70 miles east of Cincinnati, and Sunday night in Chillicothe, 30 miles past Hillsboro.  From Chillicothe I drove on US 35 northwest to Premier Outlet Mall in Jeffersonville and spent two nights there.  Four days of shopping!
My most unusual purchase?  I went to the Tru-Valu Hardware Store in Hillsboro.  It was there I found the fishing pole.  It was made by a company called Shakespeare (what does Shakespeare have to do with fishing?) and was dated 2013.  It's fuchsia and comes with a lighted reel that flickers.
Here is my list of purchases:

1.  A 1973 Barbie Sew Magic kit, which I write about yesterday.
2.  Rocky Mountain Holiday, a VHS tape of a John Denver special which, unbelievably, I did not own already
3.  Naked Tutti, Jazzie, Christie, Skipper, Barbie and Ken, plus pieces of a few '90s outfits
4.  Primrose Day, a novel by Carolyn Haywood, my favorite childhood author
5.  some other children's books, including Lauren Brooke's first Heartland novel
6.  a pretty sweatshirt that looked wintery, not Christmas-y (Do you know how hard it is to find winter-themed clothing that isn't for the holidays?)
7.  a white long-sleeved Oxford collar blouse (Again, long-sleeved, button-down, 100 percent cotton collared blouses are hard to find since they aren't in style at the moment).
8.  miscellaneous small items

1.  Chillicothe has an Elder-Beerman store!  I didn't know that chain still existed!  I bought myself two pairs of shoes and have been wearing them constantly ever since.
2.  A pair of red Keds like I had as a little girl and a blue tank top at the outlet mall.
3.  The aforementioned fishing pole, plus an item I am saving for my cat for Christmas, at Tru-Valu.   (Sshhhh!  Don't tell her!)

I haven't been to Chillicothe in decades.  The old way to get there was to go up Interstate 71, get off at the Jeffersonville exit, and drive southeast for miles on Highway 35, which was then another lonely two-laner.  Well, Chillicothe has doubled in size, and Highway 35 is now a four-lane, divided straight freeway, and it took about 45 minutes less time to get from one city to the other.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sew Magic: Pretty and ugly at the same time

Mattel introduced Sew Magic in 1973.

Follow the instructions to make
your own clothes for Barbie!

I wonder what would happen if I sent in the order form now?!

Pattern pieces could be reused to make other items.

The solid pink and blue brushed cotton squares
The fabric with the circular daisy pattern

The original owner of the Sew Magic kit that I recently purchased didn't follow the kit's instructions.  And so, this month, neither did I.

Sew Magic, and its sister set Knit Magic, was Mattel's attempt at craft projects for little girls in the mid-1970s.  The sewing machine, rather than using thread, used a glue called Miracle Stitch.  I don't know what Miracle Stitch actually was--it might have been a form of rubber resin.

Frankly, I like the pink top better with the short skirt anyway!

My sister had a Sew Magic.  The clothes were cute enough, but the brown glue was sticky and soaked through the fabric, leaving caramel-colored stains on the clothes that could not be washed out.  Over time the Miracle Stitch cartridges dried up.  We eventually sold the sewing machine and its supplies at a garage sale.  The clothes hung around for a while longer, but because they were so cheap looking compared to my mother's sewn creations that they, too, were eventually tossed.
I took apart the rose print skirt and resewed it.
Note the brown stains from the Miracle Stitch.

I found a Sew Magic set in the box, with most of its accessories, not including the cartridges, at an antique mall.  It was only $20, even though it came with the box, clothing and even some of the tiny pieces.  Many collectors, even though they consider the 1960s Sew Free and Color Magic clothing as official Barbie products, do not feel the same way about Mattel's Sew Magic outfits.  That may be why the resale prices for these kits are so low.

One unusual detail about #8670 Sew Magic Fashion Set is that the date on the box is the year it was sold.  Ninety-nine percent of Mattel products are sold the year AFTER the item is copyrighted or patented.  In the back of the instruction booklet is a form to send away for other kits, and they seemed kind of costly at $4 each.  The box also came with a rather complicated warranty card, and I was briefly tempted to send both of these Mattel to see what kind of answer I might get!  Then there are two plastic waistband guides with a 1972 date on them.

So what is included with the Barbie Sew Magic Fashion Set?  Four fabric pieces of a fuzzy cotton that seems almost like a very lightweight felt--two have different flower prints, then there are pink and yellow solid squares.  A headless, armless, legless mannequin; two strips of satin ribbon and two belt buckles, among other items.  If you ever find a light plastic belt buckle by itself in a bunch of used Barbie items, it is likely one of these buckles.

The instructions say for you to use the rose print fabric for the long skirt and the dark pink fabric for a sleeveless top and simple purse.  The original owner of the kit I bought STARTED to do this.  She finished the skirt with the Miracle Stitch, but only cut out the blouse and purse.  The instructions then said to use the orange and pink flowered fabric for a cap-sleeve blouse and the yellow for the skirt.  However, she used the yellow fabric to cut out another purse and the flowered fabric for the mini skirt, but left both unfinished.
I "unstuck" the long skirt and attempted to wash the glue out of it, but without any luck.  I then hand-sewed the long and short skirts, the top and the two purses.  Just like other mid-70s Barbie items, I did not hem the armholes of the top and purses!

I redressed my 1973 Quick Curl Barbie in the shirt and short skirt and added one of the satin belts.  As you can see, the outfit is actually very becoming!
You will see mentioned in reference books and websites that the basic Sew Magic kit came with two blouses, two skirts, a purse, a mini dress and a set of baby dolls.  That's only partially true.  The basic kit came with the fabric for the skirts, tops and purse, but you could have easily used the cloth for other creations.  You had to use your own fabric to make them to sew the dress and nightie.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Empire camper always misadvertised

From left to right are Adam, Music, Bonnie Breck,
Love, Flower, Peace and Soul.
The Hasbro dolls fit the flower child theme of the Volkswagen Camper.
Soul and Bonnie Breck go for a drive
in the Empire Volkswagen Camper.
Empire's Volkswagen Camper from 1975
is the perfect size for the Sunshine Family.
Why is Skipper, not yet a teenager, driving a van?

Oh, does Skipper's outfit hurt my eyes!

Two Stevies (left and right), Stephie,
baby boy with freckles and Little Sweets
are setting up a campsight on the beach.
Despite long-running assumptions in resale information, and even the box's liner notes (DESIGNED TO FIT BARBIE, SKIPPER & ALL OTHER ACTION DOLLS), the 1975 Volkswagen Camper sold by Empire is not for Barbie dolls.

The Camper is pictured in the 1975 Sears Wish Book.  Malibu Barbie stands next to it, and she is clearly taller than the van.  Notice that even the front of the box (my photo, although the glare from the flash is blocking the text) has the names Barbie and Skipper on it.

Instead, the vehicle is sized for 8-inch dolls, but which ones?  The photos on the box are just bizarre.  The girl is 1972 Pose N Play Skipper in her original swimsuit and her skirt is Barbie's Best Buy 7748 Lace and Ruffles from 1974.  I have no idea who the guy is.

Its accessories are very nice.  I especially like the card table, which really looks like one with that checker top!

Mattel's Sunshine Family dolls fit in the Camper perfectly!  But the Volkswagen is a little brightly colored for these earth-toned, eco-friendly little dolls.

The van seems more suited to the groovy hippie Hasbro Love dolls, but they were sold only between 1970 and 1972.  And no action figure would be caught dead in such a gaudy, flower-decaled vehicle!

I have to wonder if Empire already had a van like this made for action figures, and then decided to make a similar version for little girl customers.

Houses et al 1980 to 1984

Honey is one of the few horses
that the dolls can actually sit astride.
A large dog such as Beauty takes Christie for a walk,
not the other way around!

I don't know which set of dishes goes with the Bubbling Spa,
so Skipper and Barbie are using both.
There's a very slight difference between the brown shades
of the accessories of the cart and the grill.
The battery-operated Electronic Piano allows us humans
to play simple tunes such as "Alouette."
Very scary--the toilet actually flushes.
Also, Barbie's name is imprinted on the top of the tank.
Note the early mobile phone that was included with the Dream 'Vette!
Note the Yale pennant, the birthday card and the "Forever" Valentine
on the wall of Starr's bedroom.
The exterior of the Fashion Doll Bedroom Case
1981 (dated 1980) #10900
Fashion Doll Bedroom Case
Made by Tara Toys
Although not mentioned as such, the case was designed for the 1980 Springfield High Starr dolls.
Pictured are the 1980 Starr wearing #3321 Slumber Number from 1981 and 1980 Kelley in a generic jeans and blouse.

My dolls are the 1980 Starr in #3321 Slumber Number and 1980 Kelley in #1388  Casual Living.

1982 (dated 1981) #5019
Beauty and Puppies
Made by Mattel
Fur Afghan hound and plastic pups, but all I own is Beauty herself.

My doll is Pink N Pretty Christie in #3676 Sun Top and Shorts.

1981 (dated 1980) #3299
Dream Vette
Made by Mattel
Pink Corvette Stingray.  For Golden Dream dolls

My doll is Golden Dream Barbie in Fashion Collectible #3688 from 1982 and her original overskirt.

1982 (dated 1981) #5085
Barbie Electronic Piano.  Cream-colored, battery-operated grand piano with stool.  For bent-arm, dressier dolls such as Pink N Pretty Barbie (who is pictured on the box)

My doll is Pink N Pretty Barbie in #3800 Fun N Fancy, both from 1982.

1983 Dream House (dated 1982) accessories.  For the Dream Date dolls
Made by Mattel
#1045 Dream House Commode
Playset with orange toilet and white towel rack.

My doll is Dream Date Barbie in #5610 My First Slumber Party.

#1478 Dream House Patio Barbecue
Playset with burnt orange grill
#1480 Dream House Patio Recliner
Playset with burnt orange patio furniture
Both made by Mattel

My dolls are Hawaiian Barbie in #5703 Fancy Pants, Dream Date PJ in #5703 Fancy Pants (the Kmart version) and Bride Tracy in #5701 Garden Party.

1983 (dated 1982) #5880
Honey, Skipper’s Show Pony
Made by Mattel
Dark brown horse playset.  For Horse Lovin’ Skipper

My doll is Horse Lovin' Skipper in her original outfit.

1984 (dated 1983) #7145
Bubbling Spa
Pink exterior.  Sun Gold Malibu dolls

My dolls are Sun Gold Malibu Barbie in Fashion Extras #4917 halter top and #4914 shorts and visor, and Sun Gold Malibu Skipper in #4876 Pool Party.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Houses et al 1975 to 1979

A day of hiking has left Ken exhausted.
Barbie had the most beautiful swimsuits
and summer outfits in the mid-1970s!

Ginger stops by to check out Skipper's
teen bedroom with the reversible comforters.
Why WOULDN'T Barbie hang upside down?
The most comfortable outdoor spot in Willows
is Wishing Well Park.
The dress on the left is similar to many Barbie mid-70s outfits,
but she never had anything like the one on the right.
I think the 1975 version has the prettiest interior
of all of the Sleep N Keep cases.
It looks like Barbie used the leftover fabric
from making Skipper's canopy to sew herself a dress.
1974 (dated 1973) #7795
Pool Party
Made by Mattel.  The exterior is white metal with blue and yellow accents.  The interior is blue vinyl.
Only the 1975 version sold at Sears came with the mat.  For Malibu dolls

My dolls are 1974 Yellowstone Kelley in #7788 Dazzly Duds for Beach Days, 1975 SunSet Malibu PJ in #7241 Bright N Gay for Holiday Play, 1976 Deluxe Quick Curl Barbie in #7424 Regatta on the Sea and 1976 Deluxe Quick Curl PJ in #9664 Sears Vacation Outfit.

The 1976 summer Olympics were in Montreal, Quebec, in August.  Events included gymnastics (with Nadia Comenici), swimming and track/athletics (with Bruce...errr...whatever...Jenner).

1975 (dated 1974) #7240
Olympic Gymnast Set
Made by Mattel
Blue parallel bar.  For Olympic Malibu and Free Moving dolls dolls

My dolls are free Moving PJ and Free Moving Barbie in #7271 Gold Medal Swimsuit, SunSet Malibu Skipper in #7224 Gold Medal Swimsuit and Quick Curl Cara in #7244 US Olympic Fashions to Wear on Parade.

1975 (dated 1974) #7899
World of Barbie Sleep N Keep Case
Made by Mattel
Sears exclusive
1974 Sweet 16 Barbie in #7755 Dirndl Style from 1974
1975 Free Moving Barbie in generic red slacks, blue polka dot shirt, white short sleeve cardigan

My doll is Sweet 16 Barbie in Dirdnl Style.

1976 (dated 1975) #9282
Growing Up Skipper 2-in-1 Bedroom
Made by Mattel
Plain exterior.  For Growing Up Skipper and Ginger

My dolls are the 1976 Deluxe Quick Curl Barbie in #9757 Why, Gypsy? (which matches Skipper's canopy), 1975 Growing Up Skipper in #9021 Games in the Garden and Growing Up #9023 and 1976 Growing Up Ginger in #9121 Going to School and #9122 Happy Days.

1976 (dated 1975) #9271
Young Sweethearts Wishing Well Park
Made by Mattel
This is the most elaborate and beautiful playset Mattel ever made.  Unfortunately, I do not have all of the pieces.  For Michael and Melinda

My dolls are Michael and Melinda in #9585 Party Day Blue.

1979 (dated 1978) #2316
Campin’ Out
Made by Mattel
Playset only with orange tent.  For Sun Lovin' Malibu dolls

My doll is 1979 Sun Lovin' Ken in Fashion Collectible #1376.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Houses et al 1970 to 1974

Ken and Ken want to go sailing.  Tuli and Chocho want to hike.  Francie and Barbie plan to shop. Skipper wants to stay at camp. The other Barbie is dressed for tennis.  Nothing is final yet.  Not everyone has their shoes on.
I couldn't resist.  I had to set up this scene
like the painting American Gothic.
PJ, Skipper and Barbie sneak around
to the back of Cafe' Today.
Barbie, Skipper and PJ wait for the Cafe' Today to open.
Cafe' Today is very casual--shoes optional. 
Flight attendant Roberts and Captain Carson
greet passengers Kelley and Steffie
waiting to board the Friend Ship.
Steffie and Kelley have their private accommodations
aboard the Friend Ship.
(Yes, I know Barbie's lost one of her shoes and Ken doesn't have any at all!)
How many things are wrong in this photo?
No helmets, the Jones baby is unsecured
and Barbie's feet can't reach the petals!
The best Skipper playset ever--the Swing-A-Rounder Gym.
You seldom see the back of the Lively Livin'/
Live Action House with the patios closed up.
Although we don't know the name of the street that Barbie lives on,
her house number is 5150.
The fences of the Live Action house stand up better
than the ones for Lively Livin'.
I own only the coat to Long on Leather.
The rest of the outfit that Francie is wearing is #1245 Snake Charmers.
The Mountain Ski Cabin is very cozy inside.

1970 #4983
Cafe’ Today
Made by Mattel
The exterior is pink wood with a fountain and white trellis.  The interior is stone walls with yellow appliances and a purple linoleum polka dot print floor.  This was my sister Barb's as a child, and I have permanently "borrowed" it.

My dolls are Living Barbie in #1510 Glamour Group, Twist N Turn PJ in #1792 Mood Matchers, Bend Leg Ken in #1589 Red, White and Wild, and Living Skipper #1513 Young Ideas, all from 1970.

1971 (dated 1969) #4961
Live Action House
Made by Mattel
The exterior is yellow wood with red dormered rooftops (second version of the house, with different construction pieces).  The house number is 5150. 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.  For Live Action dolls
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.)  Also different is the way that the fencing is installed, which allows it to be more erect.
The third version, in 1972, 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.

My dolls are Live Action Barbie in #3408 Super Scarf, Live Action Ken in #1439 Suede Scene and Live Action PJ in #3401 Fringe Benefits, all from 1971.

1971 (dated 1970) #4994
Country Camper
Made by Mattel
The exterior is yellow and orange Fiberglass.  The interior is orange.  The tent came in solid orange, orange and yellow gingham or an orange print.  This was my sister Barb's as a girl, and I have permanently "borrowed" it.  For SunSet Malibu dolls

My dolls are Malibu Barbie in #3412 Fun Flakes, Malibu Ken in #1472 Sea Scene, Malibu Skipper in #3467 Teeter Timers and Malibu Francie in #3458 Olde Look, all from 1971.

1974 (dated 1973) #8669
Goin’ Campin’
Made by Mattel.  I've combined this with the Country Camper.
Tent-Trailer with an orange base and a yellow tent.  For SunSet Malibu dolls

My dolls are Sun Valley Ken #7837 Tennis Gear Set to Score, SunSet Malibu Barbie in #7842 Neatest Tennis Set at the Net, Curl Chocho in #7848 Beachy Bits for Sunny Fun, and Curl Tuli-Chan in #7846 Rough N Ready Comfy Camp-Ins, all from 1974.

1972 (dated 1971) #4284

Barbie Garden Patio
For the Busy and Talking Busy dolls, because they can hold the gardening tools.

My dolls are SunSet Malibu PJ in #3486 O-Boy Corduroy and Walk Lively Ken in #3378 Western Winner, all from 1972.

1972 (dated 1971) #1179
Swing-A-Rounder Gym
Made by Mattel
Orange and pink swing set.  For Pose N Play Skipper and Tiff

My dolls are Skipper in #3295 Turn Abouts and Tiff in #3372 Fun Runners.

1973 (dated 1972) #4283
Mountain Ski Cabin
The exterior is white wood paneling.  The interior is wood paneling with a fireplace, bunk beds and a storage closet.  For Quick Curl dolls
Pictured is 1970 blonde Twist N Turn Francie in #1760 Long on Leather from 1970

My dolls inside the cabin are Quick Curl Kelley in #8682 New Fashion Coat and #8681 Chic & Neat, Quick Curl Skipper in #8613 Winter Day and #8611 School Starts, and Quick Curl Barbie in #8687 Pantsuit with Fur, all from 1973.

1973 (dated 1972) #8639
Friend Ship
Made by Mattel
The exterior is white painted metal with black, blue and red United Airlines trim.  The interior has white print walls and red flooring.  For Quick Curl dolls
Pictured in the storage compartment are #3429 Cold Snap from 1971, a generic blue trench coat, #3338 Mainly for Rain from 1972 and #8682 New Fashion Coat from 1973.
The pilot is 1972 Walk Lively Ken in #7707 Authentic United Airlines Pilot Uniform from 1973.

My dolls are Quick Curl Barbie in #7703 Authorized United Airlines Stewardess, Mod Hair Ken in the pilot uniform and Quick Curl Kelley in New Fashion Coat and #8681 Chic and Neat, all from 1973.  Also, Walk Lively Steffie in Mainly for Rain and #3337 All American Girl, all from 1972.

1974 (dated 1973) #7777
Made by Mattel
Yellow bicycle.  Unfortunately, it will not stand up by itself.  For Malibu dolls

My dolls are the 1974 SunSet Malibu Barbie in Best Buy #7813 with the Barbie Babysits baby (AKA the Jones baby or Little Sweets) in the basket.