we girls can do anything

80s barbie collection

Right, Barbie? Say what you will, I love Barbie. My Barbie dolls were my favorite toys when I was a kid, and I have already started buying Barbie stuff for Lulu. I grew up with a healthy self-image and I really don’t think my Barbies damaged me at all. (Of course, other people may think different — I don’t know, LOL!)

Anyway, when I was at my parents’ house on Mother’s Day weekend, I took back boxes of all my old Barbie stuff. I was so happy that my dolls were in (mostly) good condition, considering how long they’d been in a hot attic! I thought I’d shared them with you.

80s barbie collection

These three are my oldest. From left to right is Winking Western Barbie, Golden Dream Barbie, and Beauty Secret Barbie. Western Barbie is the only doll that sustained real damage. As you can see, the eye that winked is missing the eyelid. As I researched these Barbies from the 1980s, I learned that this happened to most of the Western Barbie dolls. The plastic just could not withstand wear, age, and temperatures and this damage is common. There is also some plastic broken off at the back of her neck. I think I was pretty rough on her. I am pretty sure Beauty Secret Barbie was my first doll, though this is my second Beauty Secrets doll. I melted the hair of my first one with a blow dryer. (I didn’t know better.) I still have the clothes and the accessory case, though. And finally, Golden Dream Barbie. I always wanted to take those weird gold armwarmers off her, but they were impossible to put back on! I still have the curling iron that came with her, as well as the comb.

80s barbie collection
Here we have Great Shape Barbie and Skipper, products of the interest in fitness and aerobics at the time. I know I had a Great Shape Ken doll at one point, but he exists no longer. I found his shirt, though, and it’s possible that his pants are in the bag of clothes.

80s barbie collection

And then Day to Night Barbie, Angel Face Barbie, Twirly Curls Barbie, and Dream Date (I think?) Ken. I have most their accessories; I just need to get them organized.


80s barbie collection

Finally, there are these two dolls. Among several generic “fashion dolls” in my box, I found these two, both stamped “Mattel” on the back, so I’m guessing they are some sort of Barbies from the 1960s. The clothes on them are not original, and obviously the one on the left has had a bad haircut. My grandmother made me heaps of doll clothes, so perhaps she used these as models to make sure the fit was right? I don’t really remember them, so I’m not sure.

Later this week I’ll share some of my favorite outfits that my Babci made. As a crocheter and a sewer, I have a true appreciation for how much work she put into all these doll clothes.

4 thoughts on “we girls can do anything

  1. Kathy

    I had a huge bag of them when I was little, most of the same ones that you had. Loved playing with them and used to give Mike the Ken doll to play with 🙂
    I’m upset that mine got consumed in the fire.

  2. Laura

    Great eyeshadow! Haha
    I loved Barbie too. I gave them all different names though. When I packed them away, I put them all back in their original clothes and labeled them with their name. I haven’t seen them since then, but someday I will open that box. 🙂

  3. Mike

    I could have sworn one of those dolls had a run in with a pair of scissors. 100% serious, I thought one got a hair cut.

  4. Eddie

    I know this post is almost an entire year old, but I just wanted to identify those final two dolls for you. The one on the left is “Sweet Sixteen”. She was produced briefly by Mattel in 1976. She was unrelated to Barbie, and didn’t make much of a splash. She didn’t have much of a line when released, just the doll with several outfits available.
    The doll on the right is Growing Pretty Hair Francie. Francie is older, perhaps 1971 if I remember correctly. She’s Barbie’s MODern cousin. The feature with that doll is that she had a ponytail that could get longer when you cranked her arm. I’d be careful with her, she has a problem with her limbs falling off. It looks like she’s had some blue eyeshadow added to her. They’re both really lovely.


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