Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Most Unbelieveable Deal: Barbie's New Dream House

    Ok.A couple of Fridays ago I dropped Ken off at work and headed to check out the thrift stores, which are on that side of town. I went to our local Salvation Army, which is both a donation center and a store. They have had some great vintage dolls this summer, so I'm prepared for almost anything lately, but not what I found that day. I found a couple of dolls, but nothing too amazing. I came out and was putting my bag in the van, when I looked over to the front of the store where the donation door is. I got really excited because I saw what I knew was a vintage cardboard Barbie structure in a box. I just couldn't tell which one it was. I went up to have a look and freaked. It was Barbie's second house, the New Dream House.

Barbie's New Dream House from 1964. The rooms could be configured in different ways.



We had one of these as a kid. Well, I say 'we'. My sister got it for Christmas one year.

My sister and her New Dream House on the left. I'm on the right, and much more concerned with that new washing machine.I've already opened my new dish set, (in the foreground), and obviously my Tiny Thumbelina, because that's her pink box next to the dishes. Into the '70s the dishes were kept in that Thumbelina box.

  I loved it. We didn't get to play with it much though. Our mom was obsessed with a clean house,and she considered The Dream House a mess waiting to happen.It spent most of it's life in a closet, and we weren't very often allowed to "have that thing spread out all over the floor."   She lived in constant fear of "What if somebody was to come" and find our house a mess. Having "that thing spread out all over the floor" constituted a mess. (As did blanket houses, and most other forms of play. This is why we mostly played in our rooms or outside. Other than a tiny table and chair against the wall between the living room and "the good room", no one entering the downstairs of our house would have had any clue that children even lived there.) Did I mention that we lived in the middle of nowhere, the nearest neighbors at least a mile down the road in either direction, and nobody ever came? 
  When we got older my sister gave me the house. She forgot about that when we grew up though, and gave it to her first husbands nieces. So it was long gone and I really wanted to replace it. I finally got one off 'an auction site' ast year, and it only has a couple of problems. (You can see it in my post from last October,More Amazing Barbie Stuff Today.)
  I couldn't tell how bad the house at Salvation Army was because it was all apart and piled in a box.I went in right away to ask the clerk if someone was there who could put a price on it for me. She said nobody would be there who could do that until Monday.Of course, this was Salvation Army, so there was always the danger of them pricing it by taping a big tag to it, (And it's cardboard, so we all know what that means, right boys and girls?), or writing the price on it with their stupid black crayon pencil.I then asked if I could go out and take a look at it to see if it was even worth bothering with. She said sure, so I headed out. I stuck my head in the donation loading doorway to tell them what I was up to.I started to look through the box. It was in pieces and has a bit of wear to it.I started taking the bits out to see if I could tell if it was all there. I noticed the patio door was there, and the paper rug. Pretty soon the guy who takes in the donations came out to get to work. He asked me what the thing in the box even was, because it was in so many pieces he couldn't tell. (And he is young, so he had never seen a cardboard doll house before!) I explained that it was a house. He said, "The worst pieces are in the bottom." He said he thought it was a piece of junk. He then said, "Just take it. I was gonna throw it away." I told him I couldn't do that. He said,"Yeah. People do it all the time." (Take stuff they've thrown away, that is.) I still said I couldn't do that because it would be stealing. He kept saying, "Seriously. I'm going to throw it away. It's trash." Finally he said, "I tell you what. I'll put 10 cents on it and I'll take it up front for you." I could tell he really was going to throw it away if I didn't take it, because he didn't want to mess with it. (And I don't think he wanted me spreading the bits out all over the sidewalk to figure out what was there.) In that condition it wasn't sellable really, and he didn't know what to do with it. So I said ok. I went in and told the clerk. When he brought it up he said he had put 20 cents on it.What do you think I said? "Oh! Well you said 10 cents! Forget it!" Yeah right! The clerk looked at it and said, "That's junk. I'm not gonna charge you 20 cents. I'm charging you 10. Actually, it has to end in 9, so I'm charging you 9." It was 10 cents after tax!
  So I'm reeling. I can't get home fast enough. I'm dying to see if this thing will go back together. I'm also dying to see what all is in the bottom of the box to see if the two things I'm missing from my Dream House are down there. (I'm missing the living room lamp and the tv screen with the Larry the Lion Animal Yakker picture on it.)

So I got it home and started trying to get it back together. When I finished it looked like this:

It's all there! The house that is. The ironic thing? This house is missing the exact same two pieces as my house!! Man!

It has all the furniture and everything except that living room lamp and that one tv screen! What are the odds of that?!




The sliding patio door! My favourite part!

 The second house is way harder to find than the first one. You can hardly give the first one away, while the second one commands a high price. One reason is that the second one is so much cooler than the first one.The first Barbie house is just one room. The second house is cleverly designed so that you can rearrange the rooms.There's a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, and a patio, with built in grill and fold up hedges.There's a closet, kitchen cupboards,and an oven, that all open. And best of all, there's that sliding patio door. That was always my favourite part.When we made Emma a doll house I made sure that one of the things it had was a sliding patio door!
The price the kid wrote on the box.
And my final price!

I'm still trying to figure out how I can fix my house's bad flap with this house.The problem? My house has a bad flap on the bedroom side, and this house has a bad flap on the patio side: same piece of cardboard!


 
  The house also contained these two pieces of vintage Barbie clothing:


And some nice homemade clothes:

I love the things you find in old toys like this. Years ago the kid  who owned this house made a mailbox for it's little inhabitants:
I was wondering aloud what the pill bottle was for. Before I could say it Ivy said it for me: maybe it's the newspaper box.
They also made this wedding invitation:
Barbra, 'Mardge', and Scooter McDorm are invited to...

 "You are invited to our wedding tomorrow at 6:30 pm. Sincerly, Barbie and Don" 'Don'? Who's Don?
That has to be my best find this summer! I had to share it, since no one around here was very excited!
UPDATE: In fact, I was missing TWO tv screens, so I did get one of the ones I was missing from this house. Just not the Larry the Lion one! I also have a Beatles card taped to the screen I had, so I added the non Beatles card one from this house to my house.(Kept the Beatles one though!)  

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations times 1000!!! This is the best find!!! A-ma-zing :-D. I so had to laugh when I read that you said that it was 10 cents and to forget it for 20 cents!

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  2. Yes, I very much doubt I'm going to beat this deal for a long time!

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  3. that is AMAZING. i am obsessed with barbies 'new' dream house. i have the first studio. so hard to find...and at a thrift store! i am jeals to the max. haha. on ebay even the ripped/missing pieces ones are $100+.

    very nice!

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    1. Yeah. I'm always going to enjoy telling this story! It's one of those finds you always envy other people having, but it never happens to you! I got beat out though. I ran into a lady at the doll show yesterday that I know from the doll auctions, and was telling her about the Dreamhouse. She said she found one years ago, sat out by the road at a yard sale, WITH A FREE SIGN ON IT! I've been topped!

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  4. Wow. That is beautiful! I had one as a young girl and loved playing with it. Enjoy!

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    1. I always loved this house! I only wish I had gotten one years ago when my kids were little enough to want t play in it with me!

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Thanks in advance for your comments.