Friday, March 29, 2019

doll show is march 30

The Queen City Beautiful Doll Club's next show is tomorrow, March 30, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at EnterTrainment Junction in West Chester, Ohio.  I won't be there myself.  Admission $5.  For information, call Margie at 513/207-8409.
I am spending an exciting morning getting two new tires and my oil changed at the car dealer, so there goes my tax refund and my doll spending money!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Differences I've seen in the booklets for 1970

Above: Since the back of the tan booklet is blank,
a wrap-around is included.

My assumption: in early 1970 (on top)
Mattel had not yet decided on the spelling for Rory and Tangy,
and whether to use an ampersand or the letter N for "and."

Note that in the early 1970 booklet that Skipper's Fancy Pants included shorts.
Also, Triple Treat used two different fabrics for the bodices and belts.

In the earliest 1970 booklet,
$2 got you six magazines and the Salute to Silver dress.
The mid-1970 booklet advertised seven issues for $2.

The latest 1970 booklet advertisement for the fan club
showed six issues plus a necklace for $2,
which was repeated in the 1971 booklet.

There were at least four Barbie booklets that Mattel published for 1970.  They are:
1. A tan colored booklet dated 1969 with Living Barbie on the cover, and then a wraparound over the booklet.  Since Living Skipper is not pictured, she may not have been available for sale yet that winter.
2.  A tan colored booklet (that I don't own) with Living Barbie on the cover that incorporates the information from the wraparound on the back cover.
3.  A pink booklet dated 1970 picturing Living Barbie and Living Skipper with the wording "See letter from Barbie inside back cover."
4.  A pink booklet dated 1970 picturing Living Barbie and Living Skipper with the wording "Join the new Barbie Fan Club today!"
The photos will show you some of the differences among the booklets, most notably regarding the fan club information.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Another transitional booklet is the one for 1972-1973

The covers of the early 1973 and late 1973 booklets
may look the same, but there are slight differences.

As more doll hair products were introduced in 1973,
they were pictured in the booklet published later that year.

On the top are two pages from the early 1973 booklet,
with the added plane and dune buggy in the later booklet.

The back of the early 1973 Barbie booklet is basically blank,
while the later version pictures the extremely rare Vanity Case.

Despite what you read in Barbie reference books, there were no Barbie booklets specifically for 1972  in the United States.  This is what you WILL find, however, if you are lucky, as the two booklets I am talking about are rare.
One booklet is dated 1972, The Beautiful World of Barbie, and must have been released in early 1973.  The front features Quick Curl Barbie from 1973; the back is blank except for the Mattel logo.  Inside you will find Quick Curl Barbie, Kelley, Francie and Skipper (1973); Mod Hair Ken (1973); the Barbie Beauty Center (1973); Busy Barbie Ken, Steffie and Francie (1972); Talking Busy Barbie, Ken and Steffie (1972); Malibu Barbie, Ken, Francie and Skipper (1971); Malibu PJ (1972); Pose N Play Skipper and Tiff and the Swing-A-Rounder Gym (1972); the Country Camper (1971); the Camp-Out Tent (1972); Garden Patio (1972); Hair Originals (1972); the 1972 and 1973 Best Buys for Barbie, Ken, Francie and Skipper; the shoe packs from 1972; and various cases from 1969 and 1970.
The second booklet is dated 1973, The World of Barbie, and shows only 1973 items: the Quick Curl dolls plus Miss America; Mod Hair Ken; the Quick Curl Boutique; the Malibu dolls; the Country Camper; the Camp-Out Tent; the Friend Ship (1973); Goin' Camping Set with the Tent Trailer and Dune Buggy (1973); the Country Living Home (1973); the Surprise House (1973); the Get Up N Go outfits for Barbie, Ken, Francie and Skipper (1973); the 1973 Best Buys for Barbie, Ken, Francie and Skipper; 1972 Hair Originals; Beauty Center; the 1972 shoe packs; and the 1973 Sew Magic Machine and extra sewing packs.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

1978 booklets are on different papers

I vaguely remember a time in the late 1970s when, for whatever reasons, glossy paper was not available.  I remember seeing magazines that normally used enamel shiny paper had switched over to the rougher newsprint.  However, I cannot find any reference to this incident on the Internet.
Mattel must have been affected by this paper shortage, as I have found its 1978 Barbie booklet on both glossy paper and newsprint.  I've also found a variation in the way the photos were printed.
Here are three different 1978 booklets.
The 1978 Fashion Photo Barbie booklet can be found on both glossy paper and newsprint.

The bottom version of the 1978 booklet has all the photos in the same direction.
The top version has them upside down to each other.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

She's 6 decades old now and doesn't look a day over 20

Here are examples of the Roberts family (left to right): Tropical Splash Skipper in #12618 Tea Set for Two, both from 1995; 1995 New Baby Sister Kelly in her original outfit; 1967 Bendable Poseable Todd in his original outfit; 1992 Littlest Sister Stacie in #9365 My Sister Stacie Gift Set from 1993; 1992 Teen Talk Barbie in #7596 Dress N Play Cheerleader Set, both from 1992; and 1999 Krissy in her original outfit (at Barbie’s feet)

I had submitted the following article to The Cincinnati Enquirer, but it wasn't published, so I am placing it here.

Your childhood friend Barbara Millicent Roberts turns 60 years old today.
You remember Ms. Roberts.  She’s a resident of Willows, Wisconsin, the young woman with at least a hundred careers.  Rather top-heavy.  Long legs.  Always wears high heels.  Long hair pulled back into a ponytail.
I am, of course, talking about the Barbie® doll, who was introduced by Mattel at the Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959.
I’m not going to tell you the history of the Barbie doll.  And except for a few comments, I am not going to tell you about the various controversies surrounding the doll.  You’ve read that information before, and it is easily found on the Internet and even in doll history books.
Instead, what I am going to tell you is some trivia about the doll which the public often doesn’t know.
Barbie is the daughter of George and Margaret Roberts of Willows.  The Roberts have five other children: Skipper (who has never been given an actual given name); Stacie (known as Tutti in the 1960s and 1970s); Todd (the twin of Stacie/Tutti); Chelsea (whose previous names were Kelly in North America and Shelly in Europe); and baby Krissy.  Barbie’s ranged in age from 16 to 40, while over the years Skipper has been 10 to 17 and is now about 13.  Stacie’s in primary school, Chelsea is kindergarten age and Krissy is about 6 months old.
The siblings have cousins, too:  Francie Fairchild, about 16, daughter of Claude and Lily Fairchild; Jazzie, probably 17; and Max and Marie Roberts, Stacie’s age.  There have never been dolls made of George and Margaret, although they were prominently featured in stories in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and now in the Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures on Netflix.  Most of the dolls mentioned above had their own friends (meaning the same size) and their own lines of clothing.
Barbie’s boyfriend Ken has his own back story.  His full name is Kenneth Carson, with a brother named Tommy, father named Frederick, grandmother Edna and great-grandfather Kenneth.  (Only Ken and Tommy have been dolls, and his mother has never been given a name.) The names Roberts and Carson came from the Carson/Roberts Advertising Agency in Los Angeles, which Mattel used in the 1960s.
Over the decades, Barbie’s best friends have been Midge, Christie, PJ, Teresa, Kira and now Nikki.  As of 1999, more than 500 friends had been made for Barbie, although I don’t know what the total is today.  They include acquaintances such as the Heart Family and the Springfield High dolls; celebrities, beginning with Twiggy (Lesley Hornby) in 1967 and Julia Baker (Diahann Carroll) in 1969; Disney dolls such as Cinderella and Snow White; alien friends such as Spectra and SunSpell; fantasy friends such as the ones from Fairytopia and Mermaidia; and foreign friends made by other companies in different countries, including Viky by Estrela in Brazil and Flora by Takara in Japan.
Barbie and Ken have never married, although some of their friends are:  Tracy and Todd, Midge and Allan/Alan plus Midge’s parents, and Mr. and Mrs. Heart plus Mr. Heart’s parents.
Also as of 1999, more than 3,900 versions of the Barbie doll alone had been made.  How do you determine your doll’s age?  Never, NEVER, NEVER pay attention to the 1966 date on a doll’s backside.  That is NOT when it was sold.  1966 refers to when the Twist N Turn waist was patented, and it was stamped on Barbie and friend dolls up through 1999.  A better determinant of a doll’s age is to look at the country of manufacture, starting with Japan in 1959.  There are millions and millions of dolls out there with 1966 written on them.
As for the controversies, most of you have heard the complaints about her figure, facial features, skin color and hair.  Entire theses have been written about these subjects.  Here is a list of some other complaints, many of which are quite amusing:  “Math class is tough,” switching voices with Hasbro’s GI Joe®, Rollerblades® making sparks and catching fire, Ken’s earring, the video doll.  You’ll have to look these up yourself to find out more.
Since I am a collector, there is one question that everyone wonders about me, and alas, my answer is no.  I do not own a Number One Barbie doll, sold in mid-1959, the original with holes in her feet that were inserted onto a little pointed stand.  I’ve read that Mattel made 350,000 of this doll, although no one knows how many are still in existence.  In 35 years of collecting, I have seen a Number One TWICE.  Finding a Number One doll is akin to winning an Oscar or going into space; theoretically, anyone could do it, but few people actually are able to do so.

Mary Wernke of Sayler Park has been collecting Barbie and family dolls for 35 years.  She’s owned more than 1,000 of the dolls over the decades, and set up an exhibit for the doll’s 35th anniversary in 1994 at the Cincinnati Museum Center.  Her specialty, and favorite doll, is Barbie’s sister Skipper, and you can read more about Skipper at Wernke’s Twitter page at

Friday, March 8, 2019

1969 clothing book that is transitional

Mattel also had a transitional booklet for 1969.  The World of Barbie Fashions Book One was dated 1968 for the 1969 market but still had some 1968 merchandise pictured.  Barbie's World: Bright, Swinging, Now was dated 1968 and contains all 1969 merchandise.
The earlier booklet did not show Talking Ken, the Truly Scrumptious dolls or Talking Julia or Julia's outfits, but had an unusual inside front cover series of photos.

The top booklet is a transitional one
between 1968 and 1969.

Since Talking Ken is not pictured in the earlier booklet,
I'm assuming he was not yet for sale.

As with Talking Ken, I'm assuming that Talking Julia
and the Truly Scrumptious dolls
weren't available until later in 1969.

The earlier 1969 booklet still pictured
the 1968 Twist N Turn Francie.

Older cases from 1967 and 1968 are shown
in the transitional 1968/1969 booklet on top.

Note the change in the Hair Fair items
between the earlier and later 1969 booklets.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

1968 Clothing booklet that is transitional

I own dozens of Barbie booklets from 1959 to 1999 and sometimes notice details in them that others may not have.  This post is going to be about two booklets from 1968.  The first booklet is called The World of Barbie Fashions and is dated 1966.  I believe this booklet was meant to be transitional, as some of the items in it are from 1967 but most of them are from 1968.  However, the talking dolls are not included.
The second booklet is called The World of Barbie Fashion Book 1 (there were actually several of these), which is dated 1967.  Everything in it is from 1968, and the new talking dolls are pictured.  The covers of these two booklets are slightly different, but what is really funny are the clothing variations I am going to show you.
The upper booklet in each photo is one dated 1966 and the bottom one is dated 1967.
The top booklet shows Melody in Pink Tutti
while the bottom shows Stacey,
the standard Tutti and Chris.

The bottom booklet has added Twist N Turn Stacey.

I don't know what happened to the color
of Night Clouds in the bottom booklet.

Here are two equally funky
pairs of sunglasses for Culotte-Wot?

Did The Silver Cage come with
two different pairs of stockings in the actual package?

Not only are Skipper's outfits pictured from booklet to booklet,
note that the early swimsuit is pictured with striped panties.