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)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mod Ken - Part 2

Part 2 

Continuing the series on Ken's mod outfits, let's look at a few more of them, hmm?

In 1969, Ken got 4 new outfits, plus one gift set.  In 1970, he got 6 additional outfits.  He also got a new friend, Brad!  Brad was African American and known as Christie doll's boyfriend.  He came wearing his own unique outfits.  Brad was Mattel's first African American boy doll.

There seems to be some debate over whether Ken's mod PAK items were available during 1970 or only 1971.  Perhaps they came out late in the year for Christmas.  Since they seem kind of scarce, I'm thinking they weren't available for long.  I'll discuss them in a later article.


Here's a list for you for 1969 - 1970 outfits:

Ken 1969:

-  Breakfast at 7 (#1428)  -  (1969 - 1970)  (See previous article)
-  Rally Gear (#1429)  -  (1969 - 1970)
-  Town Turtle (#1430)  -  (1969 -  1970)
-  Guruvy Formal (#1431)  -  (1969 only)
-  Fabulous Formal Gift Set (#1595)  -  (1969 only)  (Sears Exclusive with Barbie)
-  Talking Ken Original Outfit (#1111)  -  (1969 only)

Ken 1970:

-  Play It Cool! (#1433)  -  (1970 only)
-  Big Business (#1434)  -  (1970 only)
-  Shore Lines (#1435)  -  (1970 only)
-  Bold Gold (#1436)  -   (1970 only)
-  Casual All Stars (#1514)  -  (1970 only)  (Sears Exclusive)  (NOTE:  Some pieces came in several color variations.)
-  Talking Ken Original Outfit (#1111)  -  (1970 only)  (Same stock number as 1969, but different outfit.)
-  Bendleg Ken Original Outfit (#1124)  -  (1970 - 1971)
-  Bendleg  Brad Original Outfit (#1142)  -  (1970 - 1972)
-  Talking Brad Original Outfit (#1114)  -  (1970 - 1973)
-  Red, White, And Wild Gift Set (#1589)  - (1970 only)  (Sears Exclusive)  (NOTE:  Not to be confused with a later 1972 outfit that has the same name)


ANYWAY:  I'm going to share pictures for as many outfits as I have in my collection!  I'm not going to go in any particular order, sorry.. just whatever outfit I felt like putting on Ken at the time, haha!

Play It Cool! (#1433)

Here's Ken's lovely Play it Cool! (#1433) from 1970.  What a crazy pair of pants, huh?

The pants are made out of a very loose knit that is prone to threads pulling from the weave.  The shirt and socks are a soft knit that tends to get pilly and is also prone to tearing at the seams.  The shirt closes with snap in the back and has raglan sleeves.

The jacket is a very nice, high quality felt-like material which seems to hold up really well.  A really nice imitation of camel hair.

YKK zipper and knit-weave close-up.

The pants have a YKK zipper fly and a hook-and-loop closure.  Here you can see the loose knit close-up.  Mine are pulling a little around the top, probably from aggressive pulling by some kiddo of the past.  These are difficult to get onto Ken's sticky bend-legs, so remember that baby powder if they won't pull on, and avoid rips or damage to the fabric.

The coat is the only tagged piece.

The coat is the only tagged piece.  The little teeny threads that hold down the collar are often found snapped, actually, I accidentally snapped one while I was putting it on Ken doll.  Thankfully, it's a quick-and-easy repair, so don't worry too much about it.

Also, do you notice something above the tag?

Close-up of pull-string hole.

Some people think this is a hole or damage to the outfit, but it's not!  It's a hole for Talking Ken's pull string.  Most Ken outfits from this era have a hole in the back of at least one piece so that the pull-string can be easily accessed while Ken is wearing his clothes.  What a cool idea, huh?  They are very carefully put in, too.  So, if you see one, it's not a flaw.. it's the perfection of Mattel's design on this one. :)

Squishy-style JAPAN dress shoes.

The shoes are squishy-type (and fit nicely over the socks), and they are marked JAPAN. 

Outfit without coat.

Here's Ken wearing the outfit sans coat.  Those are some pants!  These pants were in my collection for a long time when I was a young collector and it took me a long time to identify them.  The print is so large, but trust me, guys really did wear pants like that.


Here it is with the coat, with my chopstick holding down the collar with the snapped thread.  (Oops!)

A really nice thing about this coat is that the sleeves are generously cut so that the sweater sleeves don't get all wrinkled and bunched-up when you put it on over top.

Play it Cool! as pictured in the Barbie booklets.

Next up, here's Rally Gear (#1429) from 1969 - 1970.

Rally Gear #1429

My outfit isn't in the best of shape.  The jacket is in pretty poor condition and the pants are stained.  The shirt seems to show up way more commonly than either the jacket or pants.

The jacket's collar is folded up, it should be folded down.  It's made out of a faux-leather-like material that doesn't hold up very well.  You can't really tell here, but it is double-breasted and has two rows of buttons.

The pants are a cotton-like fabric with a YKK zipper and hook-and-loop.  The shirt is a nice, crisp high-quality shirting-type fabric with three buttons.  It closes with hook-and-loops.

No socks were included.  The cowboy boots are squishy and should be marked JAPAN, though later boots are nearly identical and may be marked with other country names.  Uhm, I don't think mine are an actual pair since the color isn't the same.

Showing the tag and hole for talking string.

The shirt is the only tagged piece.  As you can see, it has a hole in the back of the neck to accommodate the talking string.  Remember, it's not a flaw, it's a clever design element!

Showing the slit for the talking string in the jacket.

Here's the slit in the back of the jacket for the talking string.  You might think this is a flaw, but it's supposed to be there.

It's a bit difficult to get the jacket over the sleeves of the shirt without wrinkling them something terrible, which is why I haven't put this on a doll for you. 

Booklet picture.

Here's Rally Gear in a Barbie booklet from the era.  See how the jacket is double-breasted with a fold-down collar.  The pockets are real, by the way.  Note the talking ring sticking out of the back.

I hope you enjoyed Part II!  I'll be back with more MOD KEN soon.

Click here for MOD KEN PART 1

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sunday's Flea Market Find - The Dirtiest Dolls Ever

Dirty Dolls, Bought Dirt Cheap

Got to the flea market really late on Sunday, so of course I wasn't expecting to find anything halfway decent, let alone any vintage Barbie stuff.. but low and behold I found

The dirtiest Barbie dolls I have ever seen.

Just look at these girls, I mean, wow!  They're filthy!

The Fashion Queen or Wig Wardrobe doll's face is caked with grime, one-arm Titan Barbie-Body Bubblecut has the grossest legs.  Clone head-on-Barbie/Midge-body is filthy, wearing Barbie in Switzerland #822, and equally-filthy Mary Make-Up only came home with me because she was wearing #1619 Fun N Games, and I hoped I could clean it up.  Plus, one slightly less dirty headless Barbie/Midge body, and a not-quite-as-filthy Ken shirt (1962's PAK Sport Shirt).

They were $2 each with the Ken shirt for free.  Now, they are so grimy that I was wondering if they were even worth $2, but I thought maybe I needed to rescue them.

A face only a collector could love.


They were so horrible, I did actually hose them off before I brought them inside.

After that, I let them soak in soapy water for several hours, and after that, started scrubbing with Soft Scrub, soap, and tooth brushes.  They are looking a little bit improved.

I gave the clothes a quick wash, too. I think maybe Barbie in Switzerland is a lost cause, but the Ken shirt cleaned up surprisingly well, as did Fun N Games.  Gonna let Fun N Games soak in some Biz for a few days and see how it goes.

If nothing else, the arms and legs surprisingly still have great nail polish, despite the dolls looking like they've been buried for about 30 years.

A work in progress...

Well, I'm sure they feel a bit better at least.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Barbie's High Sierra Adventure - Flea Market Find

Another fun little flea market find.. this one from a few weeks ago, I think I paid $10.  It's Barbie's High Sierra Adventure playset from 1974.

I think it is pretty much complete.  It looks like Barbie on the box is wearing the shorts from #7702 Get Ups 'N Go - Camping, but I'm not sure about that.  Haven't been able to positively ID the top yet, but I'll edit this when and if I do.  That polka-dot fabric appeared in several outfits of the era.

Looks like a later Malibu Barbie with the later "ballerina style" arms.

I LOVE the little blurb on the box:

"Daytime is boat 'n hike time...
Nighttime is camp 'n sleeptite time...
And ALL the time is FUNTIME!"

The back of the box is a real treasure, the illustration and story about Barbie's trip is just so cute!  And boy, is she brave to be out camping in the middle of nowhere by herself.   Neither weapon or mace was included in the accessories, haha!

Some of the goodies in the box... the little green plate of eggs isn't from the original set but some kiddo stuck it in Barbie's backpack!  Funny story about the orange plate.. the nice lady who sold me the set at the flea market found it separately and kept it for me until she saw me again a few weeks later. :)  

Here's the pots and pans, and cups and mugs.  They all snap together in a stack and fit snuggly into Barbie's back pack.

Here's the camp stove and lantern.  I suppose Barbie could carry the lantern, but there's no way that camp stove is fitting on her pack!

Here's the very nice and very clever backpack... a fabric pack with cardboard liner fits over a plastic frame.  Barbie's sleeping bag rolls up and slides into the bottom.  Really nice quality for the era.  I didn't bother to unroll the sleeping bag, because it is thin vinyl and would probably never flatten out again.  The green fabric pack ties shut with a piece of twill.  There are also pockets on the side to hold Barbie's shovel or other items.

Here's Barbie's fishing pole which has no string.

Barbie's boat is molded orange plastic and has some special foam inserts in the bottom to keep it above water.  Yes, it really does float!

The tent is a yellow vinyl piece that slides over a 3-piece plastic frame.  A junky Malibu Barbie I got at the flea market a few weekends ago is serving as model here.    Also, there's no way Barbie's going to be able to carry that tent so I hope she brought that in her car or camper. :)

Can you see the cute pocket on the side of the backpack?

More close-ups of the accessories.

Junky Barbie is wearing Best Buy #7823's top and Best Buy #9154's pants.

Here's the back of the backpack so you can see how it all hooks on there.

The side of the box lists the contents: tent and frame, sleeping bag, backpack, boat, backpack frame, lantern, frying pan, plate, tackle box, fishing pole, paddle, 2 pots, campstove, canteen, shovel.

Note that the dishes and mugs aren't listed in the contents so I think maybe a little girl added them. Otherwise this set seems 100% complete!

I'll close with some somewhat lousy pictures of the instructions.. I'll try to add better quality scans at some point:

Basic assembly of items instructions.

It has a pattern to use to cut out the cardboard to put in Barbie's pack.  Thankfully nobody cut it out!  (Though somebody did make a cardboard liner for the pack.

How to fold up the sleeping bag.  Not an easy operation so mine is staying rolled up where it is.

Assembly of the tent and boat.

I hope you enjoyed this look at this playset!  I have never seen anything about it before so it's definitely a fun addition to your Barbie collection.  You can have lots of fun photography opportunities with this one.