Vintage Barbie Dolls (Pre-1967)
Barbara Millicent Roberts was born on March 9, 1959. This date is when the toy fashion model better known as Mattel’s Barbie doll was introduced at the American International Toy Fair. The years from 1959 to 1967 represent the vintage era of Barbie.Who created Mattel’s Barbie?
The original Barbie doll was created by Ruth Handler. She and her husband co-founded the Mattel company in 1945. Barbie was named after the Handler’s daughter, Barbara. Ruth is also credited with designing much of the vintage Barbie’s clothing and accessory collection.What styles of vintage Barbies were produced before 1967?
Many different Barbie dolls and accessories are available from the vintage era of Barbie. These include:
- 1959: Ponytail Barbie Numbers One and Two: These vinyl Barbie dolls have shoulder-length hair and short, curled bangs. Their hair can be either blonde or brunette. The original Number One model has white irises and holes in her feet for the stand. Number Two has blue eyes and no holes in her feet.
- 1960: Ponytail Barbie Numbers Three and Four: These Barbie dolls are very similar in appearance to earlier versions. The dolls have either brown or blue eyes. Number Three Barbies are often faded because of the vinyl from which they were made. Number Four was made from a type of vinyl that held its color.
- 1961: Ponytail Number Five: Red, or Titian, hair was introduced as an option for these dolls. An identifying characteristic of this doll is its greasy face, caused by seepage from the plastic.
- 1962-1964: Ponytail Numbers Six and Seven: Improvements were made to the materials for this vintage doll, and some of them have painted legs. There are several variations of their makeup colors.
- 1961-1967: Bubblecut Barbie: This doll has a short, curled hairstyle that is sometimes parted on the side. This was a tremendously popular doll for Mattel, and small changes were made to her look through the years it was manufactured. She comes with several different shades of hair and makeup color. Some versions had full hairstyles.
- 1963-1965: Fashion Queen Barbie: Mattel’s vintage Fashion Queen came with three wigs: a blond bubblecut, Titian flip, and brunette pageboy. Her head has molded, painted hair in the shape of a close chignon.
- 1964-1965: Swirl Ponytail: This version of Barbie has side-swept bangs. She may have any one of five shades of hair.
- 1965-1966: American Girl Barbie: This vintage doll marked a significant change in the look of Barbie. She has a short bob haircut with straight bangs. She has bendable legs.
Miss Barbie was introduced in 1964. This original doll is the only Barbie doll to have eyes that open and close. She has bendable legs and, like the Fashion Queen, she has three wigs: a light pageboy, red bubble, and dark flip. She was only on the market for a year. Midge, Barbie’s best friend, came on the scene in 1963. Skipper, Barbie’s little sister, came along in 1964. Although the original Midge is a redhead, she and Skipper are both available with all three hair colors.