Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vintage Barbie

Ever since I was a teenager I have been boxing up toys and books with the aim of passing them on to my progeny.  For a decade or so, I even managed to store them at my parents house, until they wised up and started depositing ancient boxes of books and old school reports on my door step.

Alongside my Ramona Quimby and Trixie Beldon books, I also kept a collection of Barbie dolls and clothes. What remains are the dolls and clothes I wasn't able to sell at a Sunday morning swap meet in my late teens.  What remains was probably considered daggy in the early 90s so no one wanted it. 

Today, what remains is vintage.  I'm kicking myself for selling the rest of the collection.

Vintage: this is a mixed blessing really.  For not only does it mean I now own some pretty original Barbie fashions from the 1960s through to the 1980s, but it also means that my childhood was about three decades ago, so my toys may now qualify for the moniker 'antique'.

Many of these dresses were hand made by my aunty and mum. And I can pretty much guarantee that you can't get outfits like this anymore. 

A little bit of Mad Men...

How are these for disco-tastic...

Oh the gold lame jumpsuit...

And into the 1980s... a kaftan, one piece jogging suit and a very big hat!

Perhaps the most telling part of my collection is the box it is has been stored in for the past 20+ years.

This state of the art tape cassette was a gift from my parents who had been overseas.  It weighed about 4 kilos and its major selling point was the fact that it could play both sides of a cassette without needing to eject and turn it over.  I remember listening to Abba and Little River Band on it while I was doing the vacuuming. Good times.

*These rather dapper poses are not necessarily because I am trying to portray Barbie as an active jogger or dancer... These clothes are 20+ years old and some are beginning to fall apart (not helped by Miss 4 year old being a tad rough trying to dress her 'new' dolls...) no I have had to pose them like this to prevent too much exposure of plastic booby. 


  1. Ha ha love the modelling! Go Barbie! Actually I never was into Barbie - my Mum tried to interest us by giving us one to share at Christmas but we never even fought of her. But looking at your photos I'm almost tempted ...

  2. Oh Hilarious! How I LOVED my cassette walkman! AND roller the vintage barbie...I was big in love with my dollhouse and cabbage patch doll and about to pass on the wooden cradle my mother made (yes, me thinks was mid-life woodworking course crisis on her part!!) to my daughter who loves any kind of 'dolly' in spite of her 2 big brothers! Love the barbie fashion...lucky girls you've got ;)

  3. fantastic! your girls are so lucky to have these!
    hubby's parents kept all their toys so now lil emp is playing with ninja turtles and he-man :) my mum 'lost' all my baries when we moved house - I am still devastated about it....

  4. Turns out that the 'Mad Men' dresses were made by my mum for her Barbie doll back in the 60's. Every time she made herself a new dress, the doll got one too. That is incredible and means these dresses are fifty years old. They are holding up a lot better than the shop-bought clothes from the 80's.


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