Two Barbie dolls from my childhood, Beauty Secrets 1979 and the 1975 Ballerina.

So how did all this Barbie doll collecting start? I must say, I’m not quite sure, other than to pin point it down to the moment I saw a picture of a doll from my childhood on the page of a Facebook friend. I recognised her immediately, and asked my fellow Barbie fan what she was called. She replied she was a Beauty Secrets Barbie from 1979, so knowing what she was called I then did a search on ebay, and I found her! This is the doll I had kept until my early 30s, and in good condition too, but sadly lost while moving around after my divorce.

The asking price for a mint in box starts from $100! But I wanted to see and touch her, so one still in the box was out of the question. I did bid on one that went for $15, but her hair looked terrible so I stopped bidding and someone else got her. Then I saw these two dolls in an auction for 8 dolls, the seller did not know what any of them were, other than to say some were Barbie dolls. I recognised the ballerina as also being from my childhood, and decided I needed to win the auction! I bid far too much, plus postage it cost me over $51! But now I have these beautiful dolls, and because they started it all off, I’m thinking I’m not sure I want to sell these two. As guilty as I feel for wasting money on such a silly thing, they were the reason why I spent the money, so maybe I should keep them afterall?!

When the dolls arrived in the mail, I was horrified. Their hair was terrible, they were very grubby and had a very strong ‘old’ smell. There were only 3 Barbie dolls, not 4 like the seller stated, and one Ken doll, and I didn’t know what the others were. I have since identified them all, which has been a very satisfying experience! It’s been a bit of a thrill to discover the proper name for each doll. I’ll hopefully find time to blog about the other dolls soon. But I’ve started with these two, as I knew from the start who they were.

I practised cleaning hair on some other dolls before cleaning these two. The Beauty Secrets doll’s hair was stiff and hard, like it had been ruined with some substance, I was sure it could not be saved. The Ballerina’s joints were limp and she sits delicately in your hand, her limbs are still attached but do not hold. Both their faces were incredibly grubby and dirty, I wasn’t sure I could clean them. But I used a toothbrush and some baby shampoo and gently scrubbed their faces and they came up very nicely. I rinsed the Beauty Secret’s hair and the stuff came out as if were aged hair conditioner, and her hair came up soft. The Ballerina’s hair is frizzed, perhaps as if someone has used a hair dryer on it, so I couldn’t do anything with it and now have it tied back with a band, inside the snood I made a while ago. I think I’ll practice on some other dolls before I try an intensive conditioning treatment on her hair. To wash their hair I first used hair conditioner, then shampoo, then carefully combed out the knots holding the hair firmly at the scalp, then more conditioner and left it in for a few hours, then rinsed thoroughly. On the hair of these dolls I didn’t put any baby oil like I might on younger dolls.

I washed the clothes, and because I don’t have the Ballerina tutu, I put her in a gown that came with these dolls, but was worn by another Barbie. My guess was it was a ‘proper’ Barbie dress, and my hunch turned out to be right! Its the dress worn by the Happy Birthday Barbie from 1980! A very fitting dress for my 1975 Ballerina with a missing tutu, I think! Because these dolls are special to me, I put some genuine Mattel Fashionista shoes on them, the Beauty Secrets even has some extra Fashionista accessories I had spare, too! I had to really squeeze the feet into the pink shoes, which is not a good idea as this could damage the feet. I’ve heard serious doll collectors remove the clothes and shoes for storage, to minimise damage over time. There is already some metal poking through the soft plastic of her legs, which can not be fixed and will continue to deteriorate. Inside the purple makeup case that came with the doll in 1979, are a hairbrush, comb, mirror and compact I found in the other auction I bought. I’ll write more on that ebay buy another day …

Advertisements

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Val
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 22:00:47

    Yes I too was a Barbie collector I played with them but they were not neglected or ruined I gave them to my niece when I had my first son (I just knew in my soul I would not have a little girl to pass them on to I don’t have the heart to ask her about them…over the years however in care of my own and other playmates I learned the secret caring for that horrible synthetic hair when abused or stressed (baby oil makes it perfect again) it coats it and returns it to normal as much as it can to all the Barbies try not to use too much but too little would do nothing…you could always dab off access. I had Barbies that tanned and flip top streaked black and blond and camera action, Cher you name it I had it Grow up Skipper actually grew taller and developed breasts if you can imagine…
    Hope this helps,
    Fellow Barbie Lover

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: