Those 70s Dolls!
Despite my last post title, things aren't entirely back to normal, but I'm getting there. I have some lingering symptoms that ebb and then surge, just when I think I am recovered. Mostly, I am still suffering from fatigue. I could sleep about 20 hours a day I think! As a mom, of course, that's impossible. Track started up as soon as swim team ended so I am obligated to spend a great deal of the day driving kids around. I have been pushing myself to list every day and try to work my way back to my ordinary schedule. It helped that I was stuck upstairs with my inventory for a week; after staring at our surplus of outgrown but unlisted goods I was definitely inspired to get them out of the house!
On top of kids' clothes, toys, and plush, I prepared some dolls for sale. With the exception of a century-old Gre Poir doll, these have largely dated from the 1970s. I have a soft spot for these Barbies, because I owned them or their very similar counterparts as a child. I have some incredibly rare dolls just hanging around the house, and these are two of those. The top video is Free Moving Barbie, made only one year, either in 1974 or 1975 depending on who you talk to . She has a ball-jointed waist that releases for extra range of motion via a clip in her back. She came with athletic clothing and sporting goods and a separate set of patriotic, Olympics-style outfits were available for her. I have boxes and boxes of doll clothes in my office and I was able to put together several outfits for her, very similar to her originals and most from the same era. Many of these are as rare or even more rare than the doll. I love this Barbie face, the "Marlo" face! She doesn't have the rooted eyelashes the original Marlos had. Her hair is fantastic! It's nice and thick and you can curl it with your fingers. I found her a case from 1968. It was falling apart so I restored it with a new lining and outer border, all wipe-clean like the original. I was able to give her several sporty outfits and implements, like a tennis racket and ball bag with little foam tennis balls I made by hand. She has ice skates and a basketball and a swimsuit and swimming medal as well as a floral bouquet, just like in the Olympics! This is a really fun set for anyone who likes both sports and dolls.
The second trunk set I completed this week features the incredibly rare Super Fashion Fireworks doll and wardrobe from 1976. I knew as soon as I saw this doll she was different. She has the Stacey face, which is very rare in America, having been used briefly in addition to the Marlo face before the Superstar face debuted. The most recognizable Barbie with this face is the Sun Set Malibu Barbie from around 1970 (leading some people to call this the Malibu face). However, by the time I got a Malibu Barbie a few years later she had the Superstar face.
I knew this wasn't a Malibu Barbie because she has very pale skin, not the Malibu tan, and she was made in Korea, not Japan. Her hair is a different color, too, almost yellow with a hint of apricot, and it's a different texture: extremely thin and straight and dry. It's not damaged hair; it's clearly just a different fiber than I've seen on most Barbies. Barbie came with a lot of clothing and I actually identified her using those pieces. She's the Kresge exclusive Super Fashion Fireworks Barbie from 1976. This explains her lower-quality hair. Kresge was a dime store chain and this Barbie was sold with a set of clothes including the patchwork print maxi dress, the pink trousers, and the white blouse. Other clothes also came in the set and the doll originally wore an orange swimsuit, but those are missing. Even though none of the clothes are tagged I knew the dress and blouse had to be by Mattel because of their distinctive tiny buttons. Mattel used the tiny colored buttons as well as tiny snaps on clothing from Barbie's inception until around 1980 when they switched to hook and loop closures. The buttons and snaps are recognizable as Mattel because they are significantly smaller than those used by other manufacturers at the time. There is another version of the Super Fashion Fireworks set exclusive to Ben Franklin stores from the same year. That one includes the same doll in her swimsuit but with different fashions. There was also a "Barbie Plus 3" set sold at various discount chain stores using this Barbie in her orange swimsuit packaged with three outfits, different from those sold with the Fashion Fireworks sets. We didn't have Kresge when I was little but we did have Ben Franklin. Man, I loved that store!
I found another case for Barbie, and it's a rare one. I've never seen it before! It's from 1975 and features Barbie wearing a prairie style maxi dress with a headscarf. It has a Bionic Woman sticker on back! I loved that TV show. The case (and both these dolls) was black with mold but I was able to get everything really clean again. The cardboard inserts were starting to crack so I lined them in pink tape to stabilize them. I found extra clothes for Barbie to fill in the gaps made by the missing pieces from her original wardrobe. This is another really rare set, sturdy enough for play but terrific for a collector. You can find both sets in my shops linked to the Home page. I have been listing some very rare Mattel clothing pieces separately, such as the Growing Up Ginger original skirt, so you should check out the Doll Clothes section of my shops if you are trying to complete a certain doll.
I never actually closed my shops completely while I was sick. I still shipped orders, but on a slower turnaround time. So, I decided I am going to really take the long Presidents' Day weekend off. I will have a sale on eBay and Etsy but orders won't ship until Tuesday the 22nd. I am going to spend the weekend just relaxing and trying to completely recover. I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Back to Normal
Atelier Mandaline shipping and processing times are back to normal. Thanks so much to everyone who reached out to advise and check on us! My daughter is back to school feeling fine. I’m still dealing with some fatigue and breathlessness after physical activity but I’m better every day.
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.