Friday, January 31, 2014

Doll-A-Day 31: Straight Leg Skooter

Today's doll is Skipper's friend Skooter.
This is pretty neat: See that tiny leaf? That was actually a full size rose leaf, so I tried to get rid of it so the branch would look in scale to Skooter. When I squashed the dry leaf, to get rid of it, what was left looked like a real leaf, only tiny.I couldn't have done that if I'd been trying.

Skipper was introduced to the Barbie line in 1964. (In fact, Mattel just released---and sold out of just as quickly!---the 50th anniversary Skipper doll. But more about that tomorrow.) Skipper must have been feeling lonely by 1965 because she got two friends that year.One friend was Ricky, and the other was Skooter.

Skooter has a cute, turned up nose,brown side glance eyes, and freckles. She came with side ponytails, in blonde, brunette, or titian, and shared the same body mold as Skipper.(So did Ricky, but that's another story. And one that doesn't completely make sense.) Sharing bodies meant Skooter could share all of Skipper's clothes,(and Ricky's too.), which was a good thing, because the only thing of her own she ever got were her swimsuits!
Straight leg Skooter original swim suit.

No clothing was produced for Skooter, except this Cut 'n Button set,but you had to make the clothes yourself.

Oh well, she looks great in Skipper's clothes! In fact, some things just look better on a Skooter.I like this Skipper outfit,Sledding Fun, from 1966,on a Skipper too, but it just looks right on a Skooter.

This Sledding fun is complete except for the red and white plastic sled... Skooter is using a Flexible Flyer type sled like the World kids used in my photo story  The World Kids Go Sledding, on January 23rd.

This sled is so cool. You can actually steer it.The handle bar really moves the parts.
Sledding Fun has a red sleeveless turtle neck shirt, stretchy blue snow pants with built in red socks,cute jacket with white furry collar and real zipper,red rubber boots,white furry mittens that are red on the palms, and a hat that matches her cool jacket.

The hat can actually be reversible,(blue or a matching fabric to the coat).The inside and the ties of the hat are the same fabric as the jacket, and the blue side matches the pants.
And yes, that's real snow in her hair. We've had two relatively normal cold days, and now it's starting to get REALLY cold again and snow.

I wore red rubber boots just like those when I was a kid.
I don't seem to have a picture of the red ones, but here are some white ones just like them.Man, what is it with my teeth? Thank goodness they didn't stay like that.

Skooter started out with a 'tan' skin tone, (which actually looks grayish to me),and straight legs. In 1966 she got a new pink skin tone,still with straight legs, and then Bendable legs.(The bendable leg dolls came in both skin tones.) After that Skooter disappeared entirely and has never returned.

Most people like to think of Skooter as Midge's little sister and Ricky as Allan's little brother. In truth, the Barbie story books of the era refer to Skipper "going next door to Skooter and Ricky's house",so apparently they were siblings.So, unless Midge and Allen were We don't even want to go there. I'd like to get a ratty Skooter and turn her into a boy. I think her face would make a really good boy, and Ricky must be tired of being the only guy his age.
  In doing a little Skooter research I came up with someone's suggestion that Skooter and Charmin Chatty share the same head mold. In spite of the massive difference in sizes, there may be something to that. They're both by Mattel, and may have shared the same sculpter. And look!
Take the glasses off this girl, and what do you have? Attack of the 50 Foot Skooter!Same mouth, same nose.Both even have side glance eyes.
    I would have taken a picture of Skooter next to one of my Charmin Chattys to show how much they really do look alike, but my camera seems to be having a problem at the moment.(That's why there aren't more pictures of Skooter.) Just trust me. Plus you can watch for Charmin to be doll of the day in the coming weeks. I'll post a picture then.UPDATE: Find the Charmin Chatty post and the comparison pictures HERE.
  Join me tomorrow for Skipper Saturday.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Doll-A-Day 30: Another Little Doll By Me or A Doll of My Own Making:Newsboy

Today's doll is another little doll I made myself.

He's less than an inch and a half tall.

His head is wooden, painted with acrylics and sealed with non yellowing clear glaze.His body is a wire armature,covered in felt. His cloth clothes aren't removeable, but if you really wanted to, you could take his newspaper bag off. He has individual fingers.His arms and legs are poseable, but the newspaper is glued to his hand.

  He's supposed to look like a 1930's newsboy.

He has a purposely ragged sweater,(the Great Depression and all.),a plaid cloth cap, and real shoe strings.

Ivy made the tiny newspapers for me. He has one in his hand, ("Read all about it!"),and some in his bag.
The papers in the bag are removeble. This little guy is one of Ivy's favourites of the dolls I've made.
Like the last doll I made that was doll of the day,he was part of the special order that the lady never paid for.Her loss!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Doll-A-Day 29: Brunette Hair Fair Barbie

  Today's doll is technically just a head, but hey, it's already over an hour late to even be  doll 29. So don't complain!

Brunette Hair Fair Barbie head on a Twist and Turn body, wearing the Floating Gardens I got this summer, (mentioned in Fantastic Finds of the Week, from August 6th, 2013).

  Hair Fair Barbie was produced between 1966 and 1970.The package contained a blonde or brunette Barbie head, various combs and brush type things,some hair pieces, a wig, and a 'wiglet', which was a hunk of hair you stuck on top of the dolls head to make it look like she had a piled up hairdo.

  No body was included. You were expected to rip the head off the body you already owned,(and do what with it?!), and stick the new head on your possibly already worn out body. Well, I guess it was good for kids who had chopped all their doll's hair off and wanted a fresh start. In that case it was perfect, because these kids  were obviously into hair play and would appreciate the wigs and hair lumps.

  I love the Hair Fair heads. They're beautiful 'dolls'.

They have rooted eyelashes, and in the case of this girl, bright blush and very nice lips.

Barbie Bazaar once did an article on Barbie's dressed to resemble 50's and 60's actresses. Brunette Hair Fair 'played' Batman's Bat Girl, (commissioner Gordon's daughter Barbara),actress Yvonne Craig. So now that's who I always see the doll as. She really looks like her, especially when I can get that side curl going..

  I have a couple of blondes too, but this brunette girl is my favourite.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Doll-A-Day 28; Penny Brite

  Today's doll is Penny Brite.
   This is my Penny Brite from when I was a kid. I was forced to name her Penelope by my sister.

My 'Penelope' on the left,in her original dress and shoes. My sister's Penny on the right, in the Penny Brite fashion Velvet Princess.(Notice Penelope's legs. I could never get them to restraighten after I bent them.They always strayed to one side.) I still have their hair bows and Penny's dress.
  She got to name hers Penny because she was older. I guess she figured she got there first, in general, and therefore was entitled to have first dibs at everything. (As I've mentioned before, even though we got our Barbie's at the same time, hers was Barbie and mine had to be Barbita, and we got our G.I. Joe's at the same time and hers was Joe and mine was John.I guess I could appreciate the fact that it forced me to be creative.)
  Penny was made by Topper/Deluxe Reading. (Topper was the parent company and they produced toys under a variety of names. Deluxe Reading was one of those.) As far as I can find out, she was produced from 1963 to 1970. She's approximately 8" tall. Supposedly she has bendable legs, and---SURPRISE!---bendable ARMS! I always knew she had bendable legs, but even though I've had a Penny nearly my whole life, I never realized her arms were supposed to be bendable until I read it recently. That's probably because her limbs are just about the most unposable poseable things I've ever come across! I can imagine all the kids across the country who owned a Penny Brite in the 60's, struggling to bend those arms and legs. They're basically the same construction as a Tutti doll: rubbery vinyl limbs with wire in the middle to make them hold a bend. Except that Penny's arms and legs are a lot firmer than Tutti's. In a way I guess that was a good thing, because I've never seen a Penny Brite with her wires poking through like a Tutti. (No kid could have possibly bent the arms or legs enough to wear them out!)
  Penny came wearing a red and white dress with flower appliques, (These vary sometimes from dress to dress.), a red hair bow, (straight pinned into her head! Ouch!)and white shoes.

   Her original 'box' was a plastic case with a blue bottom half, and a clear top. The handle folded down into the case to become a bar for hanging clothes. I remember mine, but Mom threw it away when I was a kid.
  She was popular enough that Topper also produced a case, which came in various colours,quite a few outfits for her, and several playsets, including  "Kitchen Dinette",  "Bedroom Set",  "Beauty Parlor", School Room", and "Travel Set".

She should be wearing the school room outfit.Sorry about that.

She even had her own car! How old was this kid? She goes to elementary school, yet she runs a beauty parlor and drives a car. This is Travel Set.

Somehow I have amassed quite a few Pennys! I just wanted some to display the outfits on and it led to this.They were all so different I couldn't decide which to get rid of.Back row, L to R:Winter Princess with the boots from Singing in the Rain,the sweater and skirt from the Schoolroom playset,original dress, Chit Chat,and  Smart Shopper. Front row L to R: The Pajamas from the Bedroom set with the pink shoes from Flower Girl,the dress from the Kitchen and Dinette playset, and another original dress.
  We never owned any other Penny Brite outfits.In fact, as the only place we ever shopped was a couple of grocery stores, (We bought our Penny's at the Big Bear grocery.), a Revco drugstore, and the 5 and 10 Store, I don't think we even knew they sold any other clothes.
"Penny Brite's world is everywhere..." Her world couldn't have been 'everywhere'. It apparently wasn't where we were.

  Penny has cute side glance eyes, molded dimples, and painted teeth.The variety in Penny Brite dolls is kind of surprising. They were obviously not hand painted, but variations in the darkness and sharpness of their  eye paint,the brightness and amount of their lip paint  as well as the differences in the prominence of the teeth and the way their hair lays, gives them different personalities.

No two Penny's are exactly alike!  
Middle Penny doesn't have any eyelashes.What happened there? Left side Penny has big, fluffy hair.Right side Penny has a unique center part.
  Her head has a ball joint, so it can tilt in cute ways, including up, down, and to the sides,  as well as turn from side to side.
No blush, blush, no lips. These girls do it their way!
  It isn't that easy to tell when you find a Penny Brite outfit. They aren't well marked. Alot of things are attributed to other dolls. That red and white gingham dress is often listed as belonging to Skipper, the Flower Girl dress to Tammy's sister Pepper, etc. In fact, sometimes Penny is mistakenly identified as being part of  Ideal's Tammy family. She does kind of look like she could be related. A cousin, maybe...
"Hey, wanna be my sister?" Penny on the left, Pepper on the right.In case you forget that, it's written on her shirt.

Go away kid, you bother me...
Penny even has the stiff bendy legs that would later be used on the 'Posin' series of Tammy dolls, including Pepper and brother Pete.Her hair is a very similar fiber too.
  Everything that's popular gets copied, and Penny had her own clone doll in Miss Cindy by Cragstan. Miss Cindy even had her own fashion sets, and they weren't bad.

'Teenage'? They don't look teenage to me.

  A lot of people must have fond memories of Penny.In 2007 she was reproduced by Charisma dolls.They made a Penny doll, and several of her vintage outfits.(Winter Princess now has SPANDEX pants!Say it isn't so!) They were cute, and close to the original. It just wasn't the same though. They were too perfect somehow. Or maybe just too expensive looking. (And actually expensive too!) They were also identical.That's something you definitely don't get with the old ones.They also went on to produce Penny as Tinkerbelle, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White.But I'll keep my old Penny. In fact, Ivy wanted a Penny when she was little, but she hated the new ones too. She got a vintage Penny instead.You can't repeat the charm of the original.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Doll-A-Day 27: Mrs. Beasley,her history, my life long love, and a Yard Sale Tale

  Today's doll is Mrs. Beasley.Beware:this is a long post. If it shows up for you like it does for me, you'll have to click 'read more'.

    Mrs. Beasley has had a very long shelf life, especially considering that she was just a toy on a TV show that only aired for 5 years in the first place, the last of which was 42 years ago. The TV show was "Family Affair". It began in 1966, when I was 4 years old. I looooved Mrs. Beasley and spent my life yearning for one. She was on every Christmas and birthday list until I grew out of her I suppose. (I know you'll catch me saying that about a few things, but it's true. When I want something I REALLY want it!)
  Mrs. Beasley began life as a Rushton "Jill" doll, (as in "Jack and..."). 

Anissa Jones as Buffy with the original Rushton Jill as Mrs. Beasley.
My perfect Beasley. What? Read on.

    Somewhere along the way the doll was changed to the Mrs. Beasley we know and love, made by Mattel. These days Mattel would have to license the look of Rushton's Jill  or get sued.  I guess you could get away with more then!
The original Beasley.

    The full size 21" Mrs. Beasley doll is a pull string talker.She says 11 different phrases, like "Do you want to try on my glasses?" Her voice was by an actress named Georgia Schmidt, who people remember mostly as the first Talosian on Star Trek.

The pull string talking Beasley was produced for several years, beginning in 1967. She actually outlived the show she was from.Mrs. Beasley was so popular that she was sold in several other forms, including paper dolls,a talking rag doll version with yarn hair...
As in this 1974 catalog ad.

...and a smaller Beasley that came with a 10" talking Buffy doll.(10" Buffy had the same head as the Mattel Small Talk dolls.)
This is from the 1969 Wards catalog.
 I don't have much interest in the rag doll, but I eventually warmed to the talking Buffy and little Beasley. I also own some loose paper dolls,and the book Buffy and the New Girl.

I didn't know about any of those as a kid except the large talking doll. But I did own the Tutti sized Buffy with the tiny Mrs. Beasley.

This is from a 1968 catalog.

This is my childhood Buffy and Bease with the 10" talking Buffy and her Bease.My poor Buffy was brought out of storage and her head was turning brown and her socks had  nasty brown stains on them. I removed her head, and found that her neck wires were rusting I lightened her head by leaving it in the sun for a few weeks, and painted her neck wires with clear nail polish. It took them ages to dry---they stayed sticky for ages---but when they finally dried I put her head back on. She hasn't returned to the advanced brown state she was in when I found her, so, for the moment at least, her disease is contained.The nail polish keeps the metal wires from coming in contact with her vinyl head, and I guess it stops them from emitting as much of the gases that turn the vinyl dark.
I got tiny Buffy and Beasley one Christmas in place of the talking Mrs. Beasley I had asked for.I was SO disappointed. I'm glad I have them now, and I did enjoy playing with them. They just weren't that Mrs. Beasley I wanted so badly. Buffy is 6" tall and uses the same body as the Mattel Tutti, Todd, and Chris dolls. (Tutti and Todd were Barbie's little twin brother and sister, and Chris was their friend.) I think the face mold may be the same too, but then I'm still trying to decide if the Tutti and Chris molds are the same and just look different because they're painted differently. Buffy's dress and polka dot bloomers are almost identical to Tutti's "Walkin' My Dolly" outfit. The difference is that Tutti's dress is slightly shorter and the skirt is more gathered at the waist so that it flares out more, and the Walking my Dolly dress has a Tutti tag inside.

Non childhood, but better condition Buffy with Walking My Dolly Tutti.

Here are the three together: My childhood Buff, other Buff, and WMD Tutti. Ken shot down my identification information by pointing out that my old Buffy has the short, Tutti style dress.Well, I know it's her original, and that Tutti's has a Tutti tag in it,and besides,it doesn't quite flare out as much as Tutti's, and that's the difference I READ anyway, and...SHUT UP KEN!

  This set was released around the same time as the 3 "Pretty Pairs" sets, and while it could have fit the theme of a doll with her own doll, it wasn't a "Pretty Pairs" set.The pretty pairs also had Tutti's body and included Angie and Tangie, Nan and Fran, and Lori and Rori.The only one I own is Angie, which was our Doll of the Day recently.

Pretty Pairs Angie.
  The Mrs. Beasley that came with Tutti style Buffy is about 3" tall. Her collar and skirt are removeable, as are her glasses. (The same goes for the slightly larger Beasley that came with the talking Buffy doll. In fact, they are the same glasses. They didn't make different sized glasses for the different sized mini Beasleys.) 
Tiny Buffy: "Holy cow! What have you been eating?!"

That removable factor is why you almost NEVER see one of these Beasleys with glasses. The larger ones were hard enough to keep track of, as evidenced by the fact that they are few and far between too. The tiny glasses are the same as the ones that came with a vintage Francie (Barbie's 'MODern cousin') outfit and Skipper's Right in Style.

Tiny Beasley and slightly bigger Beasley: "You're wearing my glasses!" Skipper, in Right in Style, feels trapped.