Thursday, August 31, 2017

Doll-A-Day 2017 #243: Bend Leg Skipper

  Today we're having a flashback to the old 'Skipper Saturday' posts. (There is a year's worth of them,if you care to check them out.) The doll today is bendleg Skipper.

She's not the Mod era Skipper you might think of when I say 'bendleg Skipper'.

She's the first bendleg Skipper.

She was first produced in 1965.

She came in this navy blue swim suit and red flats.

This is the 'tan skinned' original version.

It always looks gray to me, but anyway...

The pink skinned version came out a year later,but wore the same swim suit. The pink skinned bendleg doll was produced for one more year before Skipper got an entire overhaul and became Twist N Turn Skipper in 1968.

The first couple of versions of bendleg skipper almost always have bangs that won't lay down. I got lucky with this one. Her bangs are fine.

They are extra thick though.

She was the first bendleg Skipper, and her legs do bend extra far. The dolls these days with click bend legs don't have nearly the bending ability of the original bendleg dolls. According to a site called Design Life-Cycle,the reason is "when the major component of Barbie, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), was incinerated, it produced hydrochloric acid, which is linked to acid rain. By the late 1980’s, the German government passed a law limiting the amount of plasticizer allowed in PVC (Lord 298). They even worried about the inevitable carelessness of children playing with toys. They worried that if children accidentally swallowed a toy made of PVC, their stomach acids would extract the plasticizer leaving behind a hard, dangerous object. Mattel eventually gave in to the law, making the legs of Barbie less flexible..." (The references to German law are probably because this is a German page, or source,but the same applied to the United States.) 

This will be old news for most collector's of vintage Barbie and friends,but for those just starting out,remember to never store your bend legs doll with their legs completely straight. Always leave the legs at the first click. This is something I learned years ago from listening, (You might call it eaves dropping!),to doll artist, designer and collector Mikelman make comments as he shopped at a doll show. I know him, so I could have asked why, but then my eaves dropping would have been more evident! (I just happened to be standing nearby,honestly!) I suppose it's because it stresses the rubber of the leg,or maybe the knee joint.

This is my favourite of the early bendleg Skippers that I own.For one thing, she's about the only one without bangs that stick out into next week!

She has beautiful,silky red hair.

That's all for today.


  1. What a great Skipper! I'm also impressed that you know Mikelman!

    1. Michael and Paul David live in Ohio, so when we were dealers we used to see them at shows and auctions,plus we did a few shows they promoted.

  2. Thanks for sharing the link to this post! I had wondered exactly when Mattel had switched over to the less rubbery bendy PVC.

    1. No problem.I had kind of a hard time finding the information,although I had remembered reading something about it quite a while back. The site I quote wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it was informative.


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