Sunday, September 21, 2014

Doll-A-Day 239: Skipper Saturday: Review of 50th Anniversary Skipper Brunette Doll

  Ken surprised me with the 50th Anniversary Skipper for our 25th Anniversary on the 16th. She's the second 50th anniversary doll, the brunette, and she's our Skipper today.

The first 50th anniversary Skipper was a blonde. She sold out in a couple of days. I think I prefer the brunette anyway. For some reason, she's still available. Mattel must have made more of the brunettes, or maybe most people who wanted one of the anniversary dolls had already bought the blonde.

She came in a brown shipper box, and was packed with plenty of packing peanuts. (I have to also mention that the packing peanuts are the biodegradable kind made from corn I believe. Good for Mattel.)  Straight out of that box her real box was covered with tissue paper.

Her box is shoe box style,and very pink. I know that's the Barbie thing, but Skipper is not Barbie. Also, it's an anniversary doll, so maybe the box should have reflected the vintage style a bit more.It might have been nice to have a reproduction of an original Skipper  box, like the boxes produced with the 35th anniversary Barbie dolls.

Better yet, a miniature reproduction Skipper box, like the ones provided with the 40th Anniversary Ken and Barbie dolls. They even came with tiny reproduction dolls!

Those would have appealed to someone like me, who loves miniatures, or sets up dioramas. But I guess Skipper might not play with a doll of herself.
 Of course, people do...

And anyway, Skipper had a doll of her sister...

Anyway,the box lid lifts off and Skipper is displayed under some nice protective plastic, so she can be seen but not get dusty.

 She comes with a certificate of authenticity.

And there was this card...

...with Ken's own personal message.That's a neat touch.

The plastic just lifts out, and now we can touch the doll and all the cool little accessories.
She has a wrist tag, just like the original.

Skipper comes wearing a reproduction of the vintage Skipper fashion 'Happy Birthday'...again. Some people have complained that Mattel reproduced the Happy Birthday fashion for a second time with the blonde 50th doll. (It had previously been used on the 30th Anniversary porcelain Skipper.)
And by the way: eww!
And I can see their point. With all the classic Skipper fashions, why reproduce the same one again, even if it does fit the theme? Well, to be sort of fair, the porcelain doll is, I think, a bit bigger than an actual Skipper doll, so it wouldn't work if you wanted to steal the outfit for a vintage doll. (But why would you do that instead of just buying the original? You can get a fairly decent one for a reasonable price.)And this time they also reproduced the accessories,and that's an easier way to get those elusive little candles and party poppers.

But maybe they could have put a different outfit on the brunette, just for the sake of variety, because now it's been available as a repro three times. Of course, again let's be fair: The brunette is just a different hair colour for the same doll. It's still the 50th Anniversary Skipper. Redoing another vintage outift would have been another entire project, so that would have meant new costs. I get it.
  So anyway, getting back to the subject at hand,all the little do dads are attached to the backing with various clear rubber bands,clear soft plastic belt type things, and t-ended plastic ties.(And then those are all covered with tape!)

Skipper herself is attached by lots of the same. She had one of the clear belt things through her dress, and it was difficult to get out.

Once you finally get her out of the box there is still this plastic cup with wings attached to the back of her head.
It's attached with those t-ended plastic thingies and wasn't the easiest thing to cut off. Her shoes were attached with the clear belt things.

Her gloves were held on by clear rubber bands, which caused them to kind of bunch up.
Here is everything removed from the backing.

She comes with a stand, in three pieces, a reproduction of the original booklet, (and it does say it's a repro on the front.),present, cake, six candles, four paper napkins,two party poppers, a plastic doily to sit the cake on,and a paper invitation. Her outfit consists of the dress, half slip,white gloves and anklets, white shoes,'straw' hat, and her gold coloured headband. Once you put that stand together, it doesn't come apart again for storage and you can't get the lid on the box with it put together.
Once free of the backing, all the birthday goodies look like this.

Everything was in it's own little plastic bag, and the bags were taped shut: Not a good idea when you have delicate paper things inside! Best to totally remove the tape before trying to empty the contents out! The paper napkins were also held in place by SIX (Count 'em,SIX.) tiny t-ended plastic thingies. It made for a pretty display of the napkins in the box, but it was hard to cut those things without cutting the bag, and you can't get the napkins out unless you remove the t=ended plastic things!

Pretty good reproductions. I hope people don't get away with selling them as the originals. Here's a comparison with the originals.
Originals on the top, repros on the bottom. Keep in mind the cake originally came with brown or yellow decoration. I just have the yellow version.
It's easy to tell the repro here. The original, (on the right), is a piece of wood covered with gold paper.The repro is a gold plastic box.They got the flower pretty close to the original though.

Back of the present.The shape where the ribbon is to fit is molded into the box.

New                                          Old

New                                               Old        

Old on the left this time, (Sorry!) It's made of tissue paper and tied with thread. The new ones are molded plastic with painted ties, and they're a lot bigger.

The new cake on the doily,with the plastic candles fitted into the holes in the cake. If Skipper is supposed to be about 10, why does she only have 6 candles on her cake? They look more like lipsticks.

There are four paper napkins and they actually unfold.
 And here is pretty Skipper free of her cardboard confinement.

Her hat sits up strangely on her head.

She looks very good. Way better than the Knitting Pretty red haired repro.

For one thing, her bangs don't look soaked in hair gel to make them lay down.
She looks a little cone headed here.
  Her hair  looked like a solid colour at first,but in different lighting I could see it's actually a blend of shades, just like some vintage Skippers.

Her bangs are a little choppy.
 Her hair is super soft.

It's quite long and thickly rooted. I could hardly wedge her headband in it.
Her eye paint looks good, almost like vintage Skipper.There seems to be too much of the dark ring on the outer edge of her iris' though.
Here she is compared to a few vintage Skippers:

...with a two tone brunette...

...and the dark brown haired girl we saw last week...

...and a pink skinned straight leg for comparison of colouring.
 See what I mean about the eyes? Not saying it isn't maybe an improvement.
I'm noticing she seems to be just ever so slightly more jowly than her companions.
The closest comparison to her lip colour amongst my Skippers seems to be this brunette Sample Skipper, (Who needs her hair combed...):

I read someone's comment that these dolls have legs that don't feel 'vintagey'.They were right.But the arms feel right. Also it's good that there is no big mold seam down the legs like there has been on the repro Barbie dolls.
When I had a good look at her gloves, I noticed they're kind of shoddily made.

The hem is already coming out. It isn't sewn around the top, so it's unfolding, and unraveling.

And the other one has a popped seam.
But on the plus side, her dress embroidery is very nice!

Here she is with a vintage Skipper in a vintage Happy Birthday fashion.
Not bad. (And please ignore vintage girl's droopy drawers.)
The ribbons and the embroidery on the new doll's dress are slightly darker.

And the original's bodice is more fitted.

And from the back...

Obviously Mattel ties bows better than I do.
The holes are bigger in the older slip, (on the right.)
The new shoes, on the left have less pointy toes and aren't as shiny s the old ones. The new socks are more stretchy.
The bottoms of the new shoes.
And about that hat, and why it sits funny on her head:

New on the left, old on the right. The new one is actually made of a similar 'straw' type stuff to the old one.(And yes, I need an upgrade to my vintage one.)

But, the old one has one thing the new one hasn't...

...the satin covered wire thing to hold it on her head. It has to just balance on top of her head. And don't breath or it will fall off.
She had some hair caught in her neck joint...
Notice the mold date on her neck says '2013'.
So I pried her head up a bit to pull it out, and found that she seems to have the old fashioned neck knob, but for some reason it's bright pink!
I didn't try to take her head all the way off because I was afraid she didn't have the old fashioned neck knob. If she had a modern one I could end up breaking it and her head wouldn't stay on.
Ivy commented that she's a bit too pink to look like a vintage Skipper.
...and her arms are a little too shiny. Minor points compared to the accuracy shown otherwise.
They did produce Skipper in a pink skin tone anyway.Which brings me to this: Wouldn't it be great if Mattel reproduced Twist and Turn  Skipper? But, having said that, I have seen the repro Mod Era Barbies, and they are just not close enough. If they could make the amount of improvement in their Mod Era repros that they made between producing the Knitting Pretty Skipper repro and this one, it could be great.
I really like her. I think she's very accurate for the most part, and I'm very pleased with her. She's the next best thing to a brand new vintage doll.

And here are some more pictures just because she looks so great.

That's all for today. See you again tomorrow for another doll.

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