Vintage Barbie Shoes
Barbie has always been envied due to her amazingly stylish wardrobe, her figure, and of course, her abundant amount of shoes.
This is mainly due to the fact that Mattel targeted much of their marketing revenue to the details of her fashion ensemble.
There are many interesting facts about her open and closed toe heels and pumps. This makes it very fun and exciting for any vintage collector to find the various shoe styles.
If you look on the bottoms of all of the open-toe pumps, they are marked with the word "Japan" in capital letters. The pumps are also hard plastic. (continue article below)...
Barbie Ken Skipper Shoes Accessory Case Vintage Lot Japan Cookie Time Ski Queen
However, on rare occasions a collector has found the shoes marked with no mark at all. Either way, each open-toe pump has a left and right shoe that is easy to distinguish as a pair of shoes.
Many collectors say that if you are trying to figure out the accuracy of a pair of Barbie doll shoes, you should not refer to the Mattel fashion booklets. This is due to the fact that many of the booklets have mistakes. For example, one booklet said that the "Plantation Belle" outfit had white open-toe shoes when it actually had light pink shoes.
The navy blue open-toe pumps are often hard to identify because the navy tone is very hard to distinguish, and often appears black at first. The navy blue pumps go with the "Commuter Set", "Busy Gal", and "Gay Parisian". To tell the difference, you can place the navy pumps next to the black pumps in good lighting and you can tell the difference.
The glitter open-toe pumps are much favored by collectors and are sometimes hard to identify if the little specks of gold or silver have worn off. Silver glitter pumps have glitter on both the heel and strap.
The gold glitter pumps have gold only on the strap. If the glitter is worn off, you can look for traces of the glitter on the heel of the shoe. If you find any remains, then the pump was once a silver glitter pump.
Black and white pumps are the easiest to find due to the fact that they came with many different outfits and fashion packs. The red open-toe heels are actually the 3rd most common, even though they only came with five different outfits. Yellow and orange pumps did not come with any particular Barbie and came in a Barbie fashion pack instead.
A very valuable pair of Barbie shoes would be the turquoise open-toe pumps. They did not come with any Barbie's or fashion packs. You could only find them with the American Girl Barbie and bendable-leg Midge that were available on the market from 1965 to 1966. These are very hard to find and desired by collectors, especially paired with the bendable-leg dolls.
Many feel that Barbie's closed-toe pumps are her most attractive shoes. They are also made of hard plastic, and the shoes are marked "Japan" on the bottom just like the open-toed pumps. There are no distinguishable left or right shoes, making them more acceptable to interchanging.
The first closed-toe pump was made to go with the Ken's 1964 Little Theatre outfit known as "The Prince". It was supposed to symbolize Cinderella's glass slipper and it came on a small magenta pillow for Ken to offer Barbie. The clear pump has been found with a regular and a tall spiked heel.
In 1965, Mattel began producing more "sexy" closed-toe pumps with a more dramatic heel. The pumps with the very high heel are more rare due to the fact that by the middle of 1965 they had a regular heel again. If you can find a Barbie with the ultra-high heel, then it will be worth more value.
Even though the Barbie shoes are very small and easy to lose, they are fun for all collectors to look for. Each pair of shoes has something different to offer and a different story or value. Always remember that if the shoe was on the market for a very short amount of time, then it will be worth more.
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