Francie was presented to the public in 1966 as Barbie's mod cousin. While Barbie wore sophisticated fashions, Francie wore modern style clothing made with bright colors and patterns.
She was made slightly shorter than Barbie, although not as short as Skipper, leading the public to put Francie at an age between Barbie and Skipper. Francie was the first fashion doll to come with real eyelashes.
Mattel made Francie in many different configurations during the ten years she was on the market. From 1966 to 1968, she was available as a straight leg model and a bendable leg model. Beginning in 1967, she also was made as a Twist n Turn doll.
This model allowed her to twist at the waist. Also in 1967, Francie became the first dark complected doll for Mattel. Black Francie still used the caucasion molds, so she did not have true African American features. (article continued below)... Read more
If you are a collector of Barbies or you are simply looking to get started, you'll find that one of the first dolls that you will find most fascinating is the Vintage Color Magic Barbies.
This is one of the most rare and difficult to find Barbie dolls out there, and it has an impressive reputation as a collectors' item. It was introduced to the market in 1966 and it has the interesting trait of being able to change the colors of some parts of its body.
Along with the doll came two different color change packets that, when mixed with water, created change in the doll's swimsuit and in her hair.
You could make your choice between the doll with black hair that would turn to Ruby Red and of a blond doll that could change to Scarlet Flame hair, though there are reports of dolls that had never been removed from their packaging turning from black to red.
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In the package the Vintage Color Magic Barbie would include a diamond print swimsuit, a diamond print headband, a turquoise bobby pin, four hair ribbons, a belt for the swim suit, two color packets along with a sponge applicator, three bobby pins and an instruction booklet.
When looking at the price of these dolls, you will find that they can range from 200 to 400 dollars without the box, and between 800 to 1200 dollars if they are in boxes that have been opened.
It has been speculated that this doll, due to its position as a rarity, would be priceless to a serious collector. It is worth noting that some Vintage Color Magic Barbies have brighter make up, making them more valuable.
If you are going to be searching for a Vintage Color Magic Barbie yourself, you'll find that there are quite a few dolls that look quite similar. To assure yourself that you have the real thing, look for a 1958 stamp on the head rim and the body.
You'll find that it is worth noting this stamp because this line was reissued (albeit, without a color change ability) in 2004. Compare the retail price of 35 dollars for the 2004 and the hundreds of dollars for the Vintage and you can see a difference right away
When you are looking for a Vintage Color Magic Barbie for your collection, just be ready for some competition.
Your best bet is to try to look at retailers online and to see about other secondary retailers. Check out the auction sites and take a look at various different vendors. Though chances are slim, keep an eye out; you never know when you are going to get lucky!
In 1964 Mattel brought the Skipper doll out. The vintage Skipper dolls were supposed to be about 10 years of age. They were also Barbie's younger sister. Many moms liked the idea of skipper for their daughters who were a bit young for the older Barbie dolls.
This introduction of Skipper came 5 years after the first Barbie was brought out. Just like the Barbie dolls, the Skipper dolls went through many style changes and even an age change. Finally in 2003 Mattel retired Skipper for good.
The Skipper dolls were originally 9.25" in height. There was one version though where you could actually make her grow taller. This version was manufactured in 1975 and was aptly named Growing Up Skipper. With a turn of her arms her height changed and more surprisingly her breasts grew but not everyone was pleased with that idea. (article continued below)... Read more
Allan was advertised as Midge's boyfriend as well. Allan has the distinction of being the only one of Ken's friends to be given a last name.
The early versions of this vintage doll usually had red painted hair and brown eyes. Just like Ken, Allan was an 11 ½ " doll with straight arms and legs. One of the advertising hooks was that Allan could wear all the same clothes that Ken wore.
An interesting bit of trivia about the Allan doll is that he was named after Barbara Handler's husband, Allan Segal. (article continues below) Read more
Midge Hadley was introduced as Barbie's best friend in 1963 to counter criticism that Barbie was too mature for a children's doll. Unlike Barbie's sculpted features, Midge's face was fuller and gentler with a sprinkling of freckles across her nose.
Midge's fashionable flipped hair was available in three different colors: brunette, blond and red. There were a small portion of Midge dolls made without freckles and some that showed teeth. These models are extremely rare and very collectible today.
The original Midge had straight arms and legs, and came in a two-piece swimming suit. The color varied depending on the doll's hair color. She was made 11 ½ inches tall, just like Barbie, and a major selling point was the fact that Midge and Barbie could share clothing. (article continues below) Read more
The very first Barbie doll was dressed in a striped black and white bathing suit and sported a ponytail. The later versions of Barbie dolls wore varieties of fashion such as mod in the 60's and so forth.
The designers of Barbie's body had also made modifications to her such as giving her a waist that can be twisted, a wider smile and brighter eyes, to name a few.
Vintage Barbie dolls are dolls that were produced before 1972. Before purchasing a vintage Barbie, one should check the exact year that the Barbie doll was made.
The copyright date is another feature that should also be inspected, as the further back the years go, the more valuable the Barbie doll is. One example of a vintage Barbie dolls that are high in value are the ones marked with "1958" or "Japan" on the rear end or on the bottom of one of the feet. Read more
In 1959, Mattel produced the first Barbie with her hair pulled back in a ponytail hence the name Ponytail Barbie.
The Barbie doll had Barbie ™ Pats. Pend. ©MCMLVIII by Mattel Inc. engraved on every one of them, just to make sure that any imitation could not compromise their business.
Referred to by numbers, there are six different types of vintage ponytail Barbie dolls.
There are avid vintage Ponytail Barbie doll collectors that are keen on the differences among the dolls that are used to identify them, since different Barbie dolls have different values associated with them.
The several different vintage Ponytail Barbie dolls can be identified as follows: (article continued below)... Read more