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What happened to Barbie's little sister Skipper? Plus, A Barbie Time Line for All Fans
Do you see any consistency?
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Skipper has had some serious PLASTIC REMOLDING
What happened to Skipper? You know Skipper, Barbie’s little sister. My two year old daughter has a bit of an obsession with Barbie, a personality trait which was passed down to her by me. In an effort to bribe her to be good, I told her I would get all my old Barbie Dolls from my mother and father’s home. To my surprise, she followed through and was well behaved, giving me little grief the other morning as I was attempting to get both her and her slightly older brother dressed, out the door and to daycare after sleeping in too late. I kept my promise to my daughter and found my way to my parents storage barn, and after an hour long adventure through memory lane, I pulled out an old Playskool Plastic Toy Box, filled with Barbie and everything that Barbie offered in the 1980’s. Aside from the fashionable 80’s wardrobe I had collected, and my Glue Head Ken Doll, I noticed Skipper, Barbie’s little sister.
I had the versions of Skipper which was made in 1985 and 1988 (which was the peak years for my Barbie Obsession before I reached recovery). These two versions are two completely different emendations of Barbie’s younger sibling, and compared to the versions of Skipper which have transcribed over the past 20 years, are two of the more innocent versions of the doll. 1985 Skipper looks like she had a bit of Down syndrome, and lacks any type of female attributes other than the long locks of blonde hair. 1988 Skipper has more of a round baby face, bigger/wider eyes and has hit puberty showing some breast development.
Although Barbie has obviously been well endowed with breasts and a figure to seduce a mountain lion into submission, I was wondering what the heck Mattel was thinking when they decided to make Skipper grow up and then fall back into the teen years? 1997 Skipper might as well have been Barbie… but the 2011 version, looks more like an annoyed 16year old being told she can’t wear her big sisters clothes or drive the Barbie Pink VW Bug to the Beach Resort. I realize that Barbie changes with the times, but can’t we get a little consistency with the dolls or at least the progression of age?
Well I guess that is that... or we could go back in time to see how Barbie and all that applies came to be what is still deemed Mattel’s #1 Produced Toy. Why not… this is about the one and only Barbie Legacy isn’t it?
It is a Barbie World for Many Barbie Girls
She has been the constant playmate for thousands of little girls for over 50 years
Who, What, When or Where...Have no fear Barbie was There! Yay Barbie!
Barbie was produced by one Ruth Handler in 1959… She was modeled after a comic book character from London named Lilli. The first version that Ruth came up with for her Barbie Doll was rejected by Mattel-whom claimed it would be a flop and the market for such a doll did not exist. In 1959, Barbie premiered in a New York Toy Show, and although attendees were not impressed, little girls everywhere wanted to trade in their Baby Dolls for Barbie Dolls. It took Mattel years to catch up with the supply and demand of the doll. The first Barbie Doll sold for only $3 in its introductory year, selling over 300,000 dolls.
Barbie has, ever since her introduction in 1959, been at the forefront of all the latest fashions and trends. In 1964, when Skipper was introduced, Miss Barbie was reinvented, and became the only doll on the market with the ability to open and close her eyes. Ken was introduced into the market as Barbie's Boyfriend in 1961 and Skipper Barbie's little sister was introduced in 1964. Initially, Ken has fuzz for hair. It was two years after his introduction that his locks were painted on.
It was not until 1965 that Barbie was able to bend at the knees. 1965 along with the bendable knee was also the year that Barbie was first suited up as an Astronaut. The knee bend made dressing and undressing Barbie for her dates with Ken more plausible for young girls. (The ironic thing about 1965 Barbie is that women were not even allowed into the space program in 1965…that came a few years down the line).
In 1968 Ken disappeared, but Christie, Barbie’s first African American Friend Appeared, and broke into a whole new untouched market of little girls. Although 1968 was without Ken, Barbie developed a voice. With the pull of a string on her back, Barbie was able to speak 6 phrases. Wonder why one of these phrases was, I have a date tonight, but Ken was not manufactured this year?
In 1969, Ken finally shows back up and he too has a voice. I suppose the year he disappeared he was working out because when he returned he came back with larger more defined muscles to sweep Barbie off her feet.
It was 1970 in which Barbie lost her sideswipe model stance and had a strait forward head and appearance. Her sideswipe stance was replaced with the Hippie look as the Hippie Era swept over the nation. The year before Barbie lost the model stance she was given more movement with bendable arms along with legs and hip swivel. This is what I like to consider as the year Barbie became double jointed.
In 1976 Barbie becomes the ultimate over achiever, she was an Olympic Star as a Skier, Skater and Gymnastic Mentalist. Even while participating in the Olympics, Barbie still has time to work, becoming a Doctor, a Nurse, Ballerina and a Flight Attendant. I am also convinced that the following year Barbie entered rehab for her addiction to speed, granted I can not find the ‘Strung Out’ Barbie Doll, or “Hospital ward” Barbie Doll anywhere, they must exist.
In 1980, Barbie made many friends when Mattel in an effort to desegregate the nation introduced Hispanic and Black Barbie followed by Asian Barbie the following year. But it wasn’t until 1993 that Native American Barbie paved Toy Store shelves.
Also in 1981, Barbie embraced the ‘Cowboy Chic’ with her western attire contributions.
To keep Barbie as a fashion Icon, 1986 Barbie sported clothing designed by Christian Dior and other High Fashion Designers of the time.
In 1989 Barbie became all that she could be and joined the Army, Navy, Air force and Marines. 1990, was the year Barbie became Punk Rock, with Barbie and the Beats debuting. The Dolls were paired with a musical collection made by Barbie herself. The hot pink cassette tapes were played on walkmans everywhere. Although little girls loved the cassette tapes, Barbie’s musical career was short lived and only lasted that year.
In 1997, before she turns 40 in 1999, Barbie gets a Harley and becomes the #1 Toy for the year, which amazed and shocked most Marketing Professionals.
Throughout time, Barbie has been apart of life for almost all girls. For some reason no one ever had enough Ken to go around? Perhaps this is because, Barbie is about being a girl, and becoming anything you want to become-with or without a man.
Although she may have had a boob reduction and had to begin being made with sheer panties…Barbie is Barbie, and even if we didn’t love her as children, we knew her. Barbie has and will always be an Icon and perhaps a bit of a Role Model for many future generations to come.