My Favourite Barbies: Aviator Barbie


 AVIATOR Barbie -Blonde (AAFES Special Edition)

I thought that I might do an occasional piece on some of my favourite Barbies and why I like them. The first one I’d like to share with you is this one who I named Midge. That might sound a bit odd but I thought it suited her. She was released in 2001 and was the first articulated Barbie I bought. She came to me from the USA via eBay. I don’t recall how much I paid for her but she is still a favourite so whatever it was it was worth it. Followers of this blog will know that I like short-haired Barbies and I think she has a very nice expression. Here she is in her full kit.

USAF Pilot Barbie

Midge didn’t stay in her kit for long though. I have photographed her so often over the years since I got her that she has her own separate folder in my files. Midge has taken on a personality of her own too. She has a surname, Atkins; actually I give a lot of the girls last names but I have trouble remembering them all. It was so much easier with paper dolls where you could write it on their backs in biro. Midge is a photographer and is very interested in history and loves to photograph old buildings. She gets very angry when developers try to pull them down to build ugly new ones. (She gets that from me.) :)

Midge at home

She’s had boyfriends from amongst the Ken’s but some nights she’s ended up at home alone with a glass of wine and a box of chocs.

Midge and Roger

The love of her life.

Midge & Harley Ken Midge & Twilight Edward

Home Alone

Home Alone

Some nights she probably should have stayed home with a box of chocs.

Rocky Horror Night

Rocky Horror Night

I like to photograph Midge because she poses so well. She seems slimmer than the TNT Barbies being made at the time which makes some clothes seem big on her. Her waist is so tiny that in some outfits she does look a bit undernourished.  It does mean she can wear the Fashion Fever tops which look positively indecent on her more well endowed sisters with the older TNT Barbie bodies.

In Fashion Fever white blouse and jeans

In Fashion Fever white blouse and jeans

 

Here Midge models jeans and top from a Fashion Fever closet

Here Midge models jeans and top from a Fashion Fever closet

Midge in a Fashion Avenue outfit.

Midge in a Fashion Avenue outfit.

 

The props in these photos are mostly mine except for the blue and white striped couch, the red Sindy armchairs and the bar background which belong to my sister. The Ken’s are of course hers as well.

 

 

Reporting from the Pink Aisle- LITD Barbie and Ken hit Hobart


Warning – Rant Alert

LITD Barbie has finally arrived in Hobart along with Ken but none of the friend dolls which is a shame because I thought Midge looked rather nice when I saw her online and I also like the look of Summer and Raquelle.

I’ve been hearing about these dolls for a while so what did I think? Well I thought she was OK but nothing to get too excited about. I liked the real lashes and her face is likeable but when all is said and done I just saw another pink playline Barbie, not as bad as some but not great either. Well that’s my opinion anyway. I had a good look at Ken and while I thought he wasn’t bad I would have preferred to have seen a rooted hair one. However he wasn’t bad looking really and the  outfit was OK for once. At least he wasn’t wearing a tuxedo or a pink themed outfit.

I am so over the colour pink in toys and dolls. Do you know I passed by some toy dinosaurs and they had a pink dinosaur. No kidding! Is it just me that likes realism in toys? Do they(toy manufacturers) know that girls like other colours as well?

I only checked out three stores today, Target in Hobart, Toyworld and Big W in  suburban Kingston which we passed on the way home. They all had more or less the same range of dolls except that Toyworld had some collector dolls and the bargain Basics as well as playline. So what did I like? There were a few “I Can Be” Barbies. Nurse Barbie has quite a cute face and while her outfit had the regulation pink at least it wasn’t all pink this time. Most of the “I Can Be’s” are pretty enough but too similar to each other for me to want more than one. Once you take their outfits off they are going to be hard to tell apart I think. I’d probably buy the nurse if I could get her for a good price. Oh dear now I sound like that dreadful Rick on “Pawn Stars” (one of Hubby’s favourite shows).

There was the usual assortment of Princesses, Fairies and Mermaids.  They seem to be coming with more moulded on clothing than ever and it looks as if the latest mermaids don’t even have actual legs. At least that’s what the way they are jointed suggests. But you can style their hair and put stuff in it so that must be all they think little girls might want to do. I deeply hate this type of doll, sorry to those who like them but I really do.

There were some Fashionistas and I did quite like some of those although I tend to think Summer and Raquelle are prettier than Barbie.  I liked some of their outfits too. Teresa is a real disappointment to me. I loved the Teresa face mold. Some of my favourite dolls have the Teresa face and she always looked distinctly different from Barbie but now she just looks like a brunette Barbie. In fact I don’t find a lot of difference in the friend doll faces except for Lea and Nikki. They all have the same kind of look. I do like that LITD Midge has the Steffie face although I really like the Diva face on Midge. I have several of them. At any rate it is different. For me there is something about recent playline Barbie’s faces that just looks wrong to me and it is hard to explain just what it is. I generally pick dolls by their facial expressions and these just look blank to me. It’s not because I want to find fault and I feel like I’m always moaning about playline Barbies. I always look out for new ones optimistically hoping there will be something I’ll love like I did the Fashion Fevers and Basics and I’m always disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

I know that there have been periods like this in the past. All those blonde 90s Barbies you see at markets and recycle shops look pretty much the same with their hair mussed up and original outfits gone and some of the later 70s ones were, shall we say, pretty ordinary. So maybe there is hope that Barbie will come good again. Of course there are a lot of very nice collectible dolls. It’s just that I have a collectors taste on a playline budget. :)

I was pleased to see that there were a lot more fashions about than usual. Some multi outfit packs as well as individual outfits. Most were the usual pink and lavender but there were a few nicer ones as well. Ken got 3 outfits. A casual outfit which I quite liked, a top and shorts and  a tuxedo, another one, really? Oh well at least it was a different colour, blue pants, blue print shirt and blue jacket.  I didn’t buy any today. I thought about a couple, even picked them up but in the end decided against them, for now.

 

 

 

Barbie Basic Bonanza


Today I went to Toyworld to pick up the three Denim Basics Barbies I had on lay by. Before I went to collect them I checked to see if the special was still on. It was and even better the black-haired model 05 that I had hidden at the back of the display over 3 weeks ago was still there. Well maybe it was another one but she was there anyway. I intended to do the right thing and lay by her with a couple of passable looking outfits I’d found but the cashier informed me that they would not accept  a lay by of under $50. This is a regulation that some stores have and I find it infuriating.  However as my 05 was the only one there I didn’t want to risk losing her so I pulled out the plastic money and bought her right away. So now I have all the Denim girls except for 08 who I will look out for.

Back at home the great de-boxing began. Do other people find the packaging for Barbies as annoying as I do? But eventually I got them all out. The light in the doll room was not great by this time but I took a few quick photos to be going on with and will do more tomorrow of them in other outfits.

So say hello to:

Nicola aka Denim Basics 05

Nicola aka Denim Basics 05

Amy aka Denim Basics04

Amy aka Denim  Basics 04

Belinda aka Denim Basics 01

Belinda aka Denim Basics 01

April aka Denim Basics 07

April aka Denim Basics 07

My four new girls Nicola, Belinda, April and Amy.

My four new girls
Nicola, Belinda, April and Amy.

Love Is In The Air


I really enjoy taking photos of my Barbies with their boyfriends but as I don’t own many Kens myself I make use of my sister’s collection quite a lot. She doesn’t do social media so I try not to feature her dolls too often and if I do I always credit her for the use of her guys and props.

Today I’m going to show you a some pictures of my own happy couples where both dolls belong to me.
Until recently I’d never thought of taking photos of the vintage dolls in this way but on my Barbie shelves at home I have paired a lot of them up. Naturally a little romance is going to develop from time to time.

Love in the 70s

Casey & Friend

Stephen aka Ken as Superman is pictured here with Tess one of my regular models.
My Hero

Jan aka Red Basics Barbie wearing a Skipper dress which fits surprisingly well is about to hit the dance floor with her partner.
Shall We Dance?

Spa Day Saturday


Yesterday I decided that it was time to clean up the dollies that I bought on my trip away last week. The four dolls that I bought were all a bit grubby so the first thing that happened was they got a bath. As it seemed to be mostly surface grime I washed them in warm water and Wool Wash as that was what I had handy. I often use dish washing liquid and that does a good job as well. For really dirty dolls I do have some 911 from Twin Pines of Maine but I use it sparingly because the high cost of having it posted to Australia makes it expensive to use. I gave the girls a wipe down with some white vinegar on a damp cloth.

Here are the girls before and after their baths.

image dolls

Here are the girls waiting for their turn in the bath.

image dolls

Bathed and shampood you can see an improvement already.

For the doll with moulded hair that was about all that was necessary. She does have a few issues, I mentioned that the back of her hair had chew marks and a hole as if it had been pierced with something. When I cleaned her up I noticed that her toes had also been chewed a bit and she was missing some fingers. The fact that I didn’t notice that in the shop comes down to the fact that I was too busy looking for makers marks but really it doesn’t show up too much. I have an idea in mind for a knitted outfit for her which has a hood and mittens which would hide the imperfections. I just have to look out the pattern leaflet I saw it in.  In the meantime her original mummy made outfit looks fine.

Before

Before

image rubber vinyl doll

After

 

The curly-haired doll didn’t need a lot of work either. I washed her hair in the Wool Wash as well and after a rinsing and a comb she was fine. I believe her outfit is her original one so she will be keeping it.

Before

Before

image dressed vinyl doll

After

 

The other two dolls have long hair and it was very tangled so before I washed it I de tangled it as much as I could with a wide toothed comb. I washed it in Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and  used conditioner on it. Sometimes I use fabric softener which also does a good job but I didn’t have any on hand. I combed the conditioner through their wet hair to get the rest of the tangles out and then gave it a good rinse, dried it off, combed again and left them to dry over night.

Before her treatment

Before her treatment

image dressed vinyl doll

After, didn’t she come out well?

This morning I checked on them and the blonde doll’s hair  was soft and silky although still a bit damp. She is a very nice doll, unmarked so I don’t know who made her but in great condition with all her eyelashes intact. She has her original panties and shoes but I think her outfit is mummy made. Usually when I get dolls whose former owners, or their mothers, have taken a lot of trouble to dress them I leave them in that outfit even if it’s not quite what I would choose myself.

Before her treatment

Before her treatment

The red-haired doll had a few issues too. She has some purple staining on her face and hands. I may have to get some Remove Zit or similar product to shift it but I don’t want to take her eyebrows off too so I’ll have to be careful.  It’s not too obvious though. Her hair is the older coarse type of Saran and as you can probably see from the “before” photos it was a bit of a mess.  After I’d untangled it I decided to create a new fringe for her as what she had didn’t sit quite right. I don’t know how her hair was originally styled but I thought it looked neater in two bunches. I’ll have to find her some hair ribbons later.

image dressed vinyl doll

After, I was quite pleased with the result although she still has a touch of the frizzies.

While the dolls were at the beauty spa their clothes got a soak in Omo overnight to freshen them up. The green dress needed a minor repair. Finally everyone was dressed and ready to take their places on the doll shelf with the others. My next task will be to try to do some research into them although given the lack of markings or original outfits I don’t expect to find out much. I’ll let you know if I find anything out in another post.

 

 

 

 


 Fashion Doll Friday:Mod Era Casey

This week’s doll is one of Barbie’s Mod Era friends Casey. Casey is smaller and slimmer than Barbie, I think she has the same body as Francie. She has “real” eyelashes and can wear Francie fashions. What I really like about her though is her smile. Casey was released in 1967 and marketed as “Francie’s Fun Friend”. Unfortunately Casey arrived without shoes and as she has flatter feet she can’t wear Barbie’s shoes. However lots of girls went without shoes and bras in the mod era so I’m sure she doesn’t mind!

Casey

A Week of Doll Hunting


DSCN2737As people who read this blog will know I’ve been away from home for ten days or so visiting my sister. One of the things that we both love to do when we get some free time is to visit markets, antique and second-hand shops in hopes of finding items to add to our collections. My sister is a collector of stuff. She collects toys and teddies but also household items and anything else that takes her fancy. She is likely to come home with anything from a tea-cup to a typewriter. I stick to dolls because although I always see lots of other stuff I’d love to own I have neither the money or the space to collect anything else. Most of the time we buy things on eBay but it is a lot more fun to hunt up  a new treasure yourself I think.

Our travels this  past week and a bit took us to Sunday markets, antique shops, second-hand shops and tip(recycle) shops. During our first Sunday outing we visited a market at Sorell near Hobart and the historic town of Richmond. My sister found an antique teddy that she fell in love with in Richmond, the older and scruffier they are the more she likes them, but at first the dolls were thin on the ground. All I saw that day were a few down at heel Barbies with frizzy hair and no clothes and two beautiful Pedigree Walkers which I didn’t have a hope of affording.

Later that week we visited Ross and Campbelltown where neither of us found anything we wanted but we enjoyed a lovely sunny autumn day. We didn’t come home empty-handed as there is a sweet shop in Campbelltown where you can buy all kinds of imported goodies. We also visited a very interesting book shop.

Our next outing was to the Hobart suburb of Glenorchy. A secondhand shop that my sister likes proved to be lucky for me. Near the front of the store were several old dolls. We stopped to examine them and found that one was made of the rubbery type of vinyl that was used in the late 50s and early 60s, the doll had moulded hair and apart from a slight chew on top of her head was in fairly good condition. She was only $5 so naturally I bought her as I don’t have a doll of this type in my collection.

Old vinyl doll

Old vinyl doll

Meanwhile my sister was looking at one of the other dolls and told me that it was marked “Made in England” so we knew that she was also an old doll. She had what appeared to be her original outfit on including the shoes so she was a great find for $10. The third one that I bought was unmarked but to me her face looked like a Pedigree vinyl doll. Those dolls are often unmarked and I have several with similar faces. I’m a sucker for English dolls especially anything I suspect is a Pedigree so another $10 was outlayed to buy her. The cashier told me that one of the owners of the shop was a doll collector so I will certainly be checking that shop out again. All the dolls are dirty so this week they will have a good clean and I’ll be able to show you before and after pictures.

Our last outing of the week was to Evandale Market near Launceston and later in the morning the South Esk Market in the Launceston suburb of Invermay. We had to get up with the birds for those two because Launceston is a one and a half hour drive from Oatlands and Evandale especially, gets very busy and hard to find a park at.

I usually have lousy luck at markets so having already found dolls earlier in the week I was not really hoping for more but one stall holder had another doll which looked to be a 1960s one. She was just $10 as well so I decided to get her. I also bought two Barbies. I bought a lot of my early Barbies from stalls like this but in recent years I haven’t bothered as they are usually over priced for what they are and  I’m not a big fan of recent play line Barbies. My sister pointed these two out to me though. About 90% of doll stuff she spots is something I want so I took a closer look. One doll had the Fashion Fever body with the later legs which always look odd to me. She was blonde with the Lea face but different from Mel. The other was a brunette swap head Fashionista, she had a nick on her knee but it wasn’t too bad. The dolls were $4 each and I decided that they would clean up OK so I got them.

Now I’m back at home broke but looking forward to cleaning up my new dolls and somehow squeezing them on to the shelves.

The Barbies have already had their hair done and been redressed. So here they are.

image swap head fashionista

Swappin Heads brunette Fashionista

All she needed was a quick tidy up and a new outfit and Vanessa was good to go.

All she needed was a quick tidy up and a new outfit and Vanessa was good to go.

I was quite taken with this doll who has the Lea face.

I was quite taken with this doll who has the Lea face.

and here she is tidied up and wearing a new outfit.

and here she is, now named Diana, tidied up and wearing a new outfit.