Monday, August 25, 2014

Doll-A-Day 213: Talkin' 'Bout Boys Week: Allan

  As  the Shirelles, (and, curiously, The Beatles.) sang, this week we're "talkin' 'bout boys". It'll be a week  of boy dolls, including a few you may never have heard of. But today's doll will be familiar to collectors of vintage Barbie and friends,and, in character at least, to fans of modern Midge. It's Allan.
This is Straight leg Allan, the first Allan, in his original outfit.

Allan was introduced as Ken's best friend and Midge's boyfriend in 1964. (That was the same year Skipper was introduced, so Allan is also turning 50 this year.)

And he's got the bags under his eyes to prove it.
Like with Barbie and her friend Midge, Ken and his friend Allan shared a body mold, so they could also share clothes. No clothes were produced specifically for Allan except his original swim jacket and trunks outfits. His sandals were blue strap versions of Ken's red strap cork sandals.

I don't know how Ken or Allan ever got into the military with these flat feet.

Plus this Allan at least seems to have webbed toes. Strange that this foot seems to be so badly molded, because it's toes are sharper than the other foot's toes. Looks like he actually has molded toenails.
Oddly enough, I have two original straight leg Allan striped jackets, and one has an Allan label and one doesn't.

This one didn't.

He has the same 'manly physique' (Ahem.) as Ken.(The doll, that is.Not my husband. He's a bit, uh, beefier...)
 He did, however, have his own car. "Hey Ken, I want to go for a drive...Can I have some clothes?"


Skipper rides with you in Allan's new roadster.It's a two seater, so I guess it's just 'You' and Skipper. Allan's walking.
 Unfortunately for Allan, it's remembered as Skipper's car,in spite of the fact that she was way too young to drive, due to the fact that most of the packaging and advertising pictures pushed it as a car for Skipper to ride in.
Poor Allan doesn't even get his picture on the box.
 Worse yet, the shipping boxes actually said "Skipper sports car'.

Allan was named after Allan Segal, the husband of  Barbie originator Ruth Handler's daughter Barbara. So, in real life, Allan married Barbie. Allan's last name is Sherwood. He is the only Ken friend to be given a last name.

In his second year Allan was produced as a bend leg doll, in a short red jacket to match bend leg Ken's Blue one, and blue swim trunks.

He was also discontinued the same year. In spite of his short run, straight leg Allan is fairly plentiful and can be had for a reasonable price. Bend leg Allan is harder to find and more expensive.

Allan's of this era all had red hair and brown eyes, (making him the ONLY brown eyed member of the Barbie crowd until Francie came along in 1966.


I bet Allan got the same comment I often used to get: "Your eyes are the same colour as your hair." I always hated that.

Allan resurfaced in 1991, with a new head mold and the spelling of his name curiously changed to 'Alan', as part of the Wedding Day Midge and Alan Gift Set, making him the only guy in the Barbie world to ever get married.(With Midge, of course, the only married woman.) He still had brown eyes and reddish brown hair.
Vintage Allan has molded wavy red hair.

After that Allan, or as he was now called, Alan, disappeared again for another11 years, until the Happy Family line of dolls. This time around he had another head mold, and the red hair was a thing of the past, as were the brown eyes.

Just the other day I was in Meijer and noticed that Alan has been introduced into the line of Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse dolls. (And, I suppose, into the animated series.) He's a brunette with very dark hair this time.
  Join me again tomorrow for another 'boy'.

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