Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Barbie Trading Cards from the 90's

I remember I got these cards at a dollar store sometime in the early 90"s. I guess that makes them officially vintage since it's been over twenty years, but when I say vintage Barbie I just think of the original ones from the 60's.

I don't have much I can tell you about these because I am lazy and didn't do any research. But from what I can remember, each pack came came with two different types of cards. One type was the ones pictured above. Five cards (head, torso, hips, legs and feet) that assembled like a puzzle, and another card that closed like a little book and had slits so you could look at different outfit combinations. I have no idea what I did with those other cards so I can't show you, but it's the same prinsiple as those baby books where you have drawings of different animals and you can turn the pages to make a duck with bear feet or whatever. It was one of those little "books" and the 5 cards in each envelope if I remember correctly. And you could put all the little books toguether to make one big one.

 But why am I talking about the thing I can't show you when I can be showing you the other side of the cards?
Here it is.

And here are the rest of the cards I have (or that I found so far)

I'm not really if there was a game attached to this cards or what. Whoever designed it really went out of their way to make sure you knew which cards went toguether. I mean, in case you could'nt figure it out from the clothes, each one has a particular background, border AND symbol you can match. This always struck me as weird, since I always thought the point of something like this was to have fun mixing and matching. I guess it could just be a puzzle, but I think the age group that would need a puzzle this simple should probably have it made out of wood and not something edible like cardboard. Babies love to eat cardboard. I work at a store and I hate when customers with babies come to the register and hand me something to ring up and the tag is all wet and slimy because they let their baby chew on it while they were shopping. Ugh, and then some even get offended when you purell your hands. Let me tell you something people, baby slobber is only ok when it's your own baby! (or at least a baby you know)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween Fun - Kelly's Li'l Friends

It's my favorite time of year, Halloween! So I thought it was fitting to show some of my Halloween Barbies. The originally idea I was going to show a different doll for each day in October but it's already the 17th so that's not happening.

Anyway, to make up for the last or earlier entries, I decided to start with a 4 doll pack. This set is called Halloween Fun - Kelly's Li'l Friends, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, and it was a Target exclusive in 1999. As you will learn more me, you will find out I need to play with everything and nothing ever stays in it's box. Being that this is a 16 year old toy, that box is long gone so we will not be looking at it right now. We'll go straight to the dolls.

Halloween Fun - Kelly's Li'l Friends
Halloween Fun - Kelly's Li'l Friends

Halloween Fun - Kelly's Li'l FriendsHaloow
We will start with the princess, because I'm sure the kid that wanted to be the princess would probably insist to go first anyway. She's wearing a pretty nice pink dress with iridescent overlay and gold trim. it's nice enough to work as an actual princess outfit and not just a Halloween costume. It is however a little low on the accessories so I added this crown which I got from...somewhere

I realized I forgot to take a close up without the crown, so this counts as your face close up pic too.

She looks like she's wearing a little bit of make up, but not too overdone. Seems appropriate for a little girl on Halloween even though to be honest, Kelly wears that much makeup all the time. It's what happens when you have Barbie as a sister. Her hair is in a nice updo/bun with side swept bangs and she has light pink mary janes with  a molded bow decoration.

Here's another full body picture with her trick or treat bag.

And now we go from a fairly realistic costume to the complete opposite with the witch costume

She looks like she's wearing a very traditional type costume, like something from the 1950's, with the jagged bottom and the pumpkin applique. The only think that makes her a witch is the hat (and the trick or treat bag, I guess) but I like it a lot. It's very retro.

It occured to me while writing this that they don't really make too many costumes like this anymore. It makes sense since t-shirts are pretty much a universal everyday wear so you would wear a pumkin tshirt on October, but not as a costume. Or if you are like me, you wear the halloween tshirts year round, even though I'm more into bats and skulls than pumpkins.

On a side note, even as a child, I found it very stupid when a costume had a picture of who you were supposed to be in the middle of it. Like if you were dressed as Wonder Woman, it would have a picture of Wonder Woman's face on your chest. Why??? I wanted to look like the version of Wonder Woman, who WASN'T  a narcissistic weirdo who  wore her own face as a logo.

But let's get a closeup.

All four dolls came with trick or treat bags attached to their wrists with tiny rubber bands. They have all mostly disintegrated by now, and the witch is the only one who has hers still (somewhat) attached.

and here are all the bags together

I was going to add them side by side but I have no idea how to do that and I'm too sleepy to care right now. So let's check out the next one, which frankly I'm not sure what she's supposed to be.

I think she might be supposed to be a butterfly, but I think she looks more like a moth. Granted, a very glamorous and sparkly moth, but still a moth. It's the wings. Weird shape.
Still cut though... The only thing I don't like about her is those shoes. They really bother me. There's at least 6 colors in that outfit, couldn't they have picked one of those?

Last pic with her bag

And now we've come to Tommy, because he's a gentleman and ladies first. He is a scary skeleton in what looks like onesie pajamas. He has the hardest time standing up since he has no shoes and the seams at the bottom make his feet wobbly. I had to lean him against the backdrop to take the pics, but all the other dolls stand pretty well on their own.

He had a paper skull mask, which I didn't exactly lose, I just have no idea where I put it but I know I didn't throw it out. There were also some other cardboard accesiries but I don't remember what they were. A broom I think? Maybe a crown? I'm just guessing

I have considered doing some sugar skull makeup but he has a cute face screening and some adorable freckles so I feel kinda bad doing it. I have been debating this for 15 years, but I might finally break down and do it with some watercolor pencils so I can always wash it off if I don't like it,

I'm not as fond of his orange lipstick so that part wont be hard to paint over.

And there you have it. This is a really cute set, and I saw a few on eBay while I was trying to figure out what it's name was. It's the one that started my trick or treaters collection too so it's one of my faves.

Monday, September 7, 2015

My Oldest doll is a mystery

Right off the bat I will tell you that we will be revising this doll again sometime soon when I am able to take better pictures. I just really wanted to post something today and she is pretty cool even with the less than stellar photography.

I'm not sure who this doll is or when she came out, but she is definitely from the same era as the first Barbie, so that would put her around 1959. When I first found her I thought she might be a Bild Lilli ( the doll that Barbie was based on) but upon closer inspection I'm leaning towards the idea that she is a Barbie knock off. Someone once suggested she might be a Suzette, but after doing some research I found that Suzette doll were younger looking, with a more rounded face. The name stuck with me and we need to call her something, so let's call her Suzie from now on.

When I found Suzie, many years ago at a thrift store, she was pretty darned disgusting. She was filthy, her face paint had mostly rubbed off and her hair was a knotted mess. I wish I would have takes some pictures for a "before and after" and maybe I did and don't remember, it was a long time ago. I cleaned her and redid her face paint. Her eyebrows are original and I used whatever was left of her eyes as a guideline to repaint them and did her lips completely. I know they are a bit crooked but she was my one of my first repaints so I don't think she came out too bad. The hair was beyond salvaging so I just removed it all and rerooted her with some thin, bright red yarn that makes her look like she has tiny red dreadlocks. I did this mostly because I just happened to have red yarn and why not? 

She was naked when I found her but as you can see, right now I have her wearing a reproduction of Barbie's Solo in the Spotlight outfit. It fits her perfectly, but not the shoes. I have never been able to find shoes that fit her right.

By the way, in person the diffence in color between the head and the rest of the body is way less obvious. 
Here are some photos without her dress so you can see what she looks like:

As you can see she has pretty much the same body as a #1 Barbie. She has a hard plastic body with a rubber head and five points of articulation (head, arms and legs).

Here she is next to a Barbie reproduction so you can see what they look like side to side. As you can see Barbie is a bit taller and it;s not just because she has shoes and fluffier hair.

Here a 3/4 profile view.

And lastly, here's Suzie with a stewardess outfit I found at a dollar store. It does a good job of looking like a 1960's stewardess uniform as long as you ignore the velcro closure, the shoes kinda fit her and it even came with a suitcase. Not bad for a dollar!

If anybody has any idea to who this doll might be, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

That's all for now. Next time we see Suzie, I'll take some photos by sunlight so you can get more detail and less blur.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


My intention with this blog was to create a sort of inventory for my dolls. What will probably be of most interest to other people, is going to be my older, vintage stuff and (hopefully) the custom stuff I make. So it might seem odd that I start up with Olive over here which I made pretty straight from a pattern, but I really like her a lot, so much that she got me into making felt dolls, even though what I collect is fashion dolls (mostly Barbies and Monster High).

Olive is what inspired me to make other custom felt doll made to look like people I actually know, so I think she deserves her own spotlight. And now that I'm thinking about it, she makes a good model to review this pattern, for those of you out there that might want to make one.

I used Simplicity Pattern 1900, in case you didn't notice the big picture up there, and she was pretty simple to make so I can definitely recommend her as a beginner's project. I sewed her completely by hand. She has a few tiny curves in the hands and hair and I get easily frustrated by the sewing machine in these instances plus felt makes a very satisfying crunch as you sew it. I sew most things by hand but felt is by far the most enjoyable fabric.

A really good thing about this pattern is that the pieces are small enough that you can cut them out of those little felt rectangles that you can get pretty much anywhere  for about 35 cents each and they come in a great variety of colors. You can probably make the whole thing out of five rectangles, maybe seven if you want to make the clothes out of felt too, and still have bits left over for other dolls.

The only thing I changed from the pattern was that I used buttons for the eyes instead of embrodering them. I really like these tiny buttons so I needded to buy them. And then I needed to find something to put them on so I made Olive.

Here's one last picture of her sitting down which looks kinda weird but is the only other one I have and I'm too lazy to take new ones even though Olive and my phone are quite literally sitting next to me right now.