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ABC Doll Club

The club's Archivist has compiled a listing of some major articles which have appeared in past newsletters. Members can obtain photocopies of the articles that interest them by contacting the Archivist or the club Secretary at the above email address.

Please click here to print or download an index of ABC Doll Club newsletter articles from 1992-2013 (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader)

 

An example of one of our past articles -

AMERICAN GIRL VARIATIONS

1965 brought a new innovation in Barbie® dolls - bendable legs. While this new body was used on some Bubble Cut dolls and even some Swirl Ponytail dolls (and had been used for the Miss Barbie® doll of 1964), a doll with a new hairstyle was released - the 'American Girl'. This doll had straight chin length hair with a centre part and a fringe; a style we would call a 'pageboy' or a 'bob'. Some rarer dolls were available with longer hair parted on the side and held in place with a turquoise ribbon headband. These American Girl dolls are some of the most beautiful vintage dolls ever produced. In fact, in a recent Barbie® Bazaar poll an American Girl was voted the most beautiful doll produced while an American Girl Side-part came in at number three. The American Girl has become one of the most sought after and coveted of all vintage dolls. But like a lot of Barbie® dolls there are many variations to be found.

The 1965 American Girls (stock number 1070) came with either a short chin length hairstyle or the rarer side-parted hairstyle in a variety of colours, from pale blonde through to dark brown. There was also a range of lip colours used on these dolls. The lip colour is prone to fading. They were made from tan vinyl and were marked © 1958/Mattel, Inc./U.S. Patented/ U.S. Pat. Pend. in indented text. They wore a one-piece swimsuit with a multi-coloured striped top and turquoise bottom.

The 1966 American Girls (stock number same as 1965 dolls) have the same bob hairstyle as the 1965 dolls but the hair fibre tends to be softer and the style is slightly longer. Some dolls have shoulder length hair. The rarer side-parted style was also available. Again a variety of hair and lip colours were used, but the lip colour on these dolls does not tend to fade. These dolls were made from tan vinyl and wore the same swimsuit as the 1965 dolls. They are marked © 1958/Mattel, Inc./U.S. Patented/U.S. Pat. Pend./Made in/Japan. On the earlier dolls this was indented text, while on the later dolls it was raised text. Some dolls have indented text with just the words Made in Japan in raised text. Some of these dolls have more vivid face paint similar to that used on the 1966 Colour Magic dolls. These are referred to as 'high colour' and are by far the most beautiful of the American Girls.

Some rare and unusual American Girls made their way to Europe and Japan in 1966. These dolls were the same as the U.S. issue except that they were made from a new pink toned vinyl. They were available with either the bob or side-parted hairstyle and some had the high colour face. There have even been some found with pink toned straight leg standard Barbie® bodies and the new pink toned head on tan toned straight leg Midge/Barbie® bodies instead of the new bendable style. Some of the 1966 dolls have been found to not only be made of the new pink toned vinyl, but to have the new 1967 Barbie® head. These dolls carry a new stock number - 1163. They have a non-twist waist, bendable legs and the same markings as other 1966 American Girl dolls. The neck knob on this body is larger than that of the 1967 Twist and Turn body, so these dolls look to have fuller faces than the 1967 dolls. They have the 1967 hairstyle - long straight hair with the sides swept up in a turquoise ribbon and a fringe. The hair tends to be a coarser fibre than the later Twist and Turn dolls and a variety of hair colours were used. They have been found with either rooted eyelashes or painted eyelashes. They wore the same swimsuit as the other 1966 dolls although some have been found with swimsuits made from the same striped fabric as 1964 Straight Leg Allan's beach jacket.

There may be other variations out there. Please let us know if you have any. How did these variations come about? We are used to Mattel producing rarities that seem to be made from left over parts and outfits from other dolls. But this doesn't seem to be the case with some of these dolls. Were these dolls made to 'test the waters' for the new vinyl and head mould? Or were they especially made for the foreign market? We can only guess. And does it really matter when these are some of the most beautiful rare dolls around.

 

© Jennifer Burnett

 

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