Sunday, May 28, 2017

Laundry Day

Oh golly, it's been a while!

But, to be fair, it was slow going in the vintage Barbie department over the winter.  Now that we're back to flea market season, and "good for photographs outside" season, I can get back to writing a bit.

I've been cleaning up Barbie and her clothes for as long as I've been collecting Barbie.  I've tried, failed, tried again, and kept going.  Like many collectors, I'm no mint-condition obsessed person.  I'm happy enough finding slightly messed up dolls and clothes and doing what I can to make them better.

One of the lovely things about vintage Barbie clothes is a lot of them were made out of sturdy fabrics and remain very washable to this day.  Yeah, they're old, but a lot of their flaws are still repairable.

So, I've used products from Twin Pines of Maine for cleaning up dolls for about 20 years.  The products really work better than anything else, at least in my opinion.

I hadn't had any of their products around the house for a while, so I decided to place an order and refresh my stock.

When my order arrived, I pulled out a bunch of white Barbie items from the doll clothes bin and stuck them in some Perk (doll clothes cold water detergent) with some added Booost (detergent booster.)

Honestly, I had forgotten how well this stuff works!

Check out this before and after comparison of two "Friday Night Date" dresses that were equally yellowed/dirty.

The whiter one is after about 24 hours of soaking in the Perk/Booost solution.  They were about equally dingy gray, though the left one didn't have age/dirt spots.

Close up of the comparison.  Additionally, the brown spots you can see on the dirty one also came out (almost) completely with Perk/Booost.  There's a sliiiiiight yellow discoloration where they were, but you'd have to be looking for it to spot it.

So, while Perk/Booost is pretty pricey, I still recommend it if you really want to clean some doll clothes (or other vintage textiles.)  Though this outfit isn't worth much, it's certainly worth more now than it was when it was gross and dirty.

I've got some more before/after comparisons coming up that I can show you later.

I should also note, that Perk/Booost can't help everything.  I had an orange PAK skirt with some sort of funky red/brown stain on it (possibly lipstick) and it did not come out even after 24+ hours of soaking.  (But I might just dye the skirt brown I guess.)   However, a satin white PAK dress had gross brown stains I didn't think would come out, but they came out completely.  So it seems like luck, and just test it and see.  If it doesn't work, you're no worse off than when you started.  If it does work, then great!  You've improved your collection.

More pics coming later.


Some late additions:

Before and after.. the brown stains on this dress came right out.  (The flecked on glitter was already mostly gone.  Otherwise, it would have come off, just FYI.)  It came very clean!  The flocking didn't come off, which was a nice bonus.

Another trashed Friday Night Date dress had a torn-off sleeve but I threw it in the wash bin anyway.  It came very white, so I suppose I have to stitch the sleeve now!

Dirty and brown Friday Night Date dress had age spots.  Came very white, the spots are nearly all gone, the largest one has a slight yellow remainder.



 These Ken shirts came pretty clean.... still a little yellow but maybe some more soaking would help.

The brown stain is less visible now, still a slight spot as you can see.. also the dress had a blue color to it from a previous stain treatment and it came much more white.

I had to take some stitches out to remove the rose from the dress before treatment.  The gross brown stains miraculously completely came out!  Also, this dress had really funky gross white stains on the back of the train.. it looked like maybe milk or something.  It COMPLETELY came out.  Of course, now I need to press and re-stitch.. but who cares about that, it looks clean as new!  I am VERY impressed.

Well, this is a surprise.  This thing was totally trashed as you can see.  I soaked it first for 24 hours and there was no improvement.  When I soaked it again, 48 hours, in a stronger solution, it came pretty clean.  You can't tell, but it still has spots, they are MUCH lighter though.  Now if you wanted to dye it another color or something to cover the stains, you probably could.  Much nicer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

You Ought To Know Peteena!

So this isn't really a Barbie-themed post, but you have to meet my friend Peteena!

Here's lovely Peteena, the brainchild of Hasbro in 1966.  Peteena is part dog.. part fashion doll...  a true fashionable French Poodle through-and-through.

She came wearing a green and yellow polka dot bikini, and had a wardrobe of a variety of mod and sporty outfits.  

I'm not sure who thought she was a good idea, for by all accounts she was a total flop.  However, despite her short time on the market, she's become very popular with collectors today, and she's pretty scarce and minty examples of she or her outfits can command high prices.

I'd wanted a Peteena for a long time, but I never had any luck finding one, until I got her in a box lot full of mostly junk at a doll auction last autumn.  Yay!

Here she is!  As you can see, mine isn't in the best of shape.  Her hair is a little matted.  Her vinyl is a little discolored.  And she's missing one set of eyelashes.  Her nose is chipped.  Not to mention she's missing her tail.  Peteena's tail was removable to aid in dressing her... so most dolls no longer have their tail.  This is par for the course, most Peteenas are in rough shape when they do show up.  

Peteena's shown here wearing Ideal's Tammy's outfit Walking Her Pet from 1964.  It's a really cute outfit... with lots of sweet details.  Most of Tammy's clothes fit Peteena pretty well, but as you can see the skirt is a little long on her.  (She's 9" tall compared to Tammy's 12".)

The heart charm on the sweater is marked "Japan".  Several of Tammy's outfit had this heart charm.  The other side has a floral design.  It's often missing from the jacket.

It also had an oversized purse.  Tammy's clothes were nice quality, but the accessories often weren't as accurate or well-scaled as Barbie outfits.  This purse is big enough to be a laptop bag (before laptops!) on both Tammy and Peteena.  But it does really open and the chain strap is a nice touch.

Here's Tammy's goofy-looking unnamed dog, which I guess can hardly be considered weird, since he is being walked by Peteena.  The dog is filled with wires and is very bendy, but doesn't look much like an actual dog.

But then again, neither does Peteena.

Walking Her Pet for Tammy included these items:

-  Red leather-like skirt that snaps closed in the back.
-  Blue-and-red wool sweater with pocket flaps made out of same fabric as skirt.  Gold medal heart marked "Japan" hanging from right pocket.
-  Red vinyl purse that really opens on gold medal chain
-  Red shoes marked "Japan"
-  Bendy white dog with brown ears, red tongue, silver tinsel flecks.
-  Leash with gold chain, red handle
-  Red scarf (not shown.)

I hope you enjoyed this quick look at Peteena and a nice Tammy Doll outfit.

PS.  The title of this article is a tribute to Titina, a silly song from the 1920s. :)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nostalgic Barbie Fabric

I was delighted to find this vintage Barbie polar fleece fabric at Jo-Ann's for half off!  (Which ended up being about $7 a yard.)

It's furry and fluffy and I'll probably make a blanket.

Plus, it features actual Barbie outfits!

Here Barbie wears Swirly Cue #1822.

Here she's in her original swimsuit #1160 from 1966.

They can't really make "silver" for the top, but she's wearing Zokko! #1820.

And All That Jazz, #1848

Really fun!!!

The fabric is made by Cranston fabrics and is probably available at your local Jo-Ann's as well.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Today's Flea Market Find - (07-31-2016)

Fresh from the fleas is this lovely ponytail Barbie:

The guy at the flea market (really, more of an antiques/collectibles show) had a large number of nice vintage Barbie dolls for pretty cheap.  I'm wishing I would have bought a few more now, but I only had so much cash on me.. ugh.. I am kicking myself in the butt right now!

ANYWAY.. this pretty girl, I'm going to call a #3/#4 transitional doll.  She has the rubbery-type arms and legs, nice soft brows, and the solid-body torso.  She has the typical faded-to-orangey lips that are often seen on #1s, #2s, and #3s.  Blue liner.  Torso might be slightly faded/blotchy white in parts.

No green.. just a few flaws.  Nice thick hair, flocked scalp... little curly soft bangs.

She's a beauty and was not that expensive.  So, I'm glad.

Obviously I haven't cleaned her up yet but she's very lovely.

Her nails also have some of the fading-to-orange look.  She wasn't wearing this when I bought her.

Not a very good picture of her face showing the bit of orangey fading to the lips, but otherwise her face is not bad.

Re-styling the ponytail will be the worst part....I've done it before but never on such a nice doll.

What dolls did I leave behind?

Sadly, the guy also had a lovely and in pretty-good-shape lemon blonde American Girl Barbie which I'm wishing I would have bought now.  The price was pretty reasonable.

Also, he had a Color Magic midnight/redhead which unfortunately her poor hair was chopped down to super short, basically ruined.  Too bad because I don't have a Color Magic in my collection and would have bought her in a minute if it weren't for the chopped hair.

He had a couple of nice bend-leg bodies, some TNT dolls and mod-era Kens.  A Barbie head on a Francie body... etc.

Besides the Ponytail shown here, the Lemon American Girl was probably the best in the lot.  Sadly, not many clothes or accessories or anything, which is really my main focus collecting-wise right now.

Oh, and he had a ton of Dawn dolls & accessories/clothes too.  I'm trying to cut back on my Dawn collecting unless it's very cheap or something I really want, because I have soooo many Dawns now!  Haha. :)  

Anyway this guy was really nice, willing to cut me a deal and wearing a "Han Shot First" T-shirt. Such a refreshing change from the sorta-kinda-jerks I sometimes have to bargain with at the flea market.

I hope he's there next time and hasn't sold the American Girl because I'm really sorry I didn't buy it. 
-_-  I wish I had given him my card.

I don't have a nice American Girl in my collection.  I have one, but she has a broken knee and faded lips (my fault.. I treated green ear and inadvertently bleached out her lips.)

I have a couple of bend-leg Midge dolls that are willing to sacrifice a body if I ever find a nice American Girl head, though.

They always say it's what you don't buy that you regret.  I guess that's true.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Travel With Dolls

Am I the only person out there who likes to take a few dolls along when she goes on a trip?  I simply can't leave everyone at home..

From my earliest days of having a Dawn doll in my pocket in the car, to now... I gotta have a doll along for the ride!

I like to use this little travel case made by Ponytail, which yes, did manufacture early Barbie cases and vinyl items... but also manufactured their own line of products, including cute kid-sized luggage like this "hatbox" design.  It's just the right size to hold a few dolls and their things, and the graphic is oh-so-cuuuute.

Of course, I'm not sure how well it would work on a plane, but since I'm strictly a road-tripper, it's a perfect little box to take some dollies with me.

Here's the lovely doll that usually comes with me... a pretty Skipper I snagged for $10 at a yard sale years ago, wearing the rare dress from the Perfectly Pretty gift set.. I imagine she is the doll from the gift set as well.  (Oh, if only they had the rest of the outfit!)

She's with a 1980s Barbie teddy bear, and vintage non-Mattel luggage.

A note about the luggage, it's part of a 4-piece set.  It included 3-sizes of suitcase in the Samsonite style, and a train case with a removable tray, which Skipper is sitting on.  It came in a multitude of colors, the most common being this teal color, and an off-white kind of ecru color.

I believe it also came in a bright lime green color, a navy blue (?), bright yellow, a peachy tan, a brighter white, and red. Possibly more colors.

If you come across the set in any color other than teal or ecru, it is definitely rare.  If you find it in red, it is VERY sought after by collectors!  (My mom has the human-sized in Samsonite red!)

Red is scarce, and definitely the most prized.

The luggage was made by Payton Products of Brooklyn, NY.  Apparently they were founded around 1951, and defunct by 1980.  They also manufactured other dime-store type toys and games, toy cars, army men, farm animals, and the like.   I don't where this cute luggage set was sold.  But it turns up often enough that it must have been widely available.  Probably in dime and toy stores everywhere.

(Image above from This Ebay Auction, please check it out if you are interested, via This Ebay Seller)
Here it is new in package!  Note that it uses the actual trademarked Samsonite name.  I wonder if you could buy it at the airport gift shop?

Note the three suitcases have faux "wheels" on the bottom, while the train case has little nubby feet.  All of them are hinged and have faux closures at the top, looks just like real Samsonite!

Beyond being adorable, you can really use this luggage!

It can easily hold a few dresses for Skipper (and this isn't even the largest size.)

Here's the inside of the train case.

Here it is with the tray removed.

All of these cute little extras were able to fit in the train case... I seem to be missing a purple shoe..

Here's Skipper with her sleeping bag and footie PJs from 1974-1975, Get Ups N' Go #7713 - Sleep Set, which also came with a cute green sleep cap, which I've misplaced somewhere.

Getting ready for bed with Chris doll, who is wearing #3616 - Pinky PJs from 1968 - 1969.

Mattel of course, was never blind to the fact that kids want to travel with their dolls.  Oodles of doll cases were available over the years, perhaps the easiest vintage Barbie item to find in the history of ever, though of course some are rare or very rare.  

Barbie, Midge, Ken, Skipper, Francie, Tutti... they all had their own special doll cases.  Some cases have even been made specifically for collectors to keep their dolls safe and sound on the road.

I'll write more about traveling with your dolls at some other time, I just thought I'd give you this little glimpse of a collector on the go!

Travel Kit

Occasionally, I've traveled with even more doll friends, haha!  (Picture from 2009)