Featuring in this little diorama : Barbie My First from 1982 wearing Fashion Fun #2088 - Baby boy of The Heart Family from 1985 - Miko Island Fun from 1987 wearing Fashion Fun #2091 - Ken Superstar from 1988 wearing Twice as Nice #4889 - Malibu Barbie from 1975 wearing Fashion Fun #2090 and the beautiful dog Beauty!
First I want to apologize for the quality of the photos. The light in the room was all yellow and it was also hard to take pictures without the glass reflections. I did my best!
PART TWO : The fashion dolls
In the 80’s the dolls that were selling the most were the fashion dolls, with Barbie on top of the list. But many other dolls, which are called « Barbie clones » by most of the collectors nowadays, are definitely worth it.
In Spain for example, the company Famosa got really successful with « Nancy » and her little sister « Leslie » but more especially with « Darling » and her glamorous fashion line.
|Nancy, Leslie and Darling|
|Darling as a blonde|
|Darling as a brunette|
In Italy, Effe produced « Véronique » a tall fashion doll that came with a Haute Couture fashion line created by Pierre Cardin.
Hasbro produced a few fashion dolls in the 80’s, one of them was called "Fashions by Me!" in the US and "Clélie" in France. She had slots on the side of her body so little girls could attach fabric to it and make home made outfits. I find quite strange so i definitely need to get one so i can figure out how it works.
I never heard of these dolls before so it was fun to discover them!
The true Made in France star fashion doll was called "Tressy" and she’s very famous among french collectors. She is more of a 60/70’s doll since she stopped being produced at the beginning of the 80’s but she is definitely worth mentioning.
She was created by Bella and the collectors recognize the Tressy dolls of that era with the specific marking on her neck: ’31-14’. Her eyes are blue and look straight ahead. She still has growing hair and bendable legs.
The same mold with the ’31-14’ marking also served for later dolls called "Bella" and "Bouclette" but without the special growing hair.
The other famous doll from Bella is called "Cathie". She is a taller doll, and a direct competitor to Supersize Barbie. She is basically a bigger version of "Tressy" as she also have growing hair and have similar fashions. (the only fashion of Tressy i own is the same as the one Cathie is wearing on the picture below and is called « Candide »).
"Cathie" stops being produced in 83 when Bella is bought by Berchet. They rename the doll "Nathie" and she no longer has growing hair.
Unfortunately, in 1984, the Bella/Berchet company is closed.
But if i had to choose another doll, besides Barbie, that represents the 80’s the most, it would be, without a doubt, and I’m sure many would agree: "JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS " of course!!
I loved that doll! They didn’t have the prettiest face, but they were so cool.
For those of you who don’t know these awesome dolls, they were produced by Hasbro in the mid 80’s.
The idea was to create an animated series of 65 episodes to promote dolls which were of course meant to compete with Barbie.
It was a big success at the beginning but their high price, the fact that they were a little taller than Barbie (so no outfit swap was possible) and the ever growing success of queen B, had the sales dropped. The show was cancelled in 1988.
The story was about the Starlight Music record company and the daughter of the owner, Jerrica Benton, alias Jem. She was the leader of a pop rock band called The Holograms.
Their main competitor in the business were The Misfits, whose manager was an old employee of Starlight Music.
I had Jerrica, my brother had Rio (Jerrica’s boyfriend) and my sister had one of the Misfits. Good times!
"The Moondreamers" were the second Hasbro toy line to have his own cartoon on US television. They were heavenly creatures creating dreams for children on earth. Their enemy was the Scowlene Queen who created nightmares.
I'm not a big fan of small dolls like that, but it was interesting to find out about them!
|The Scowlene Queen|
The next doll is not really a doll to me. But she was so famous in the 80’s and maybe even still now (I’m not sure) that it had to be a part of that exhibition. I’m talking about the cutest toy, "Polly Pocket"! It was created by Chris Wigg for his daughter in 1989 and was produced by Bluebird, an english company. Mattel finally bought it in 1998. I think i had some, but i probably lost them pretty quickly.
Then came a doll i heard about before but knew very little about. Her name is "Sindy". She’s british and she looks gorgeous.
I was very surprised when i saw her in the showcase because she looked nothing like i pictured her in my mind. The reason is actually quite simple.
"Sindy" was produced for the first time in 1963 by Pedigree until 1986. Then Hasbro bought the license. This is when her face started to change and lost all her charms (i think). I knew the 90’s Hasbro version of "Sindy" which was a bit of a cheap Barbie knock-off to me. The Pedigree one on the other hand is so cute and classy, i fell in love with her.
I'm definitely gonna buy one someday :)
Cartoon and animal characters also inspired many toy manufactuers!
My brother had quite a few dolls for boys like "Big Jim" and Action Man etc. I think they're very cool! Love all the different faces for him to wear!
I had many dolls from the "Tintin" doll serie. I still have them even if they are in bad shape. I love the books and i loved the dolls.
Well "Kiki" and "Popples" ares classics to me. I had a couple as a kid and i think they are great toys.
Another small doll that was very popular back then was the lovely "Strawberry Shortcake". She was created in 1977 by Muriel Fahrion when she was working as a card illustrator for American Greetings. All the characters were named after a fruit and smelled like it, it was so cute! These dolls were distributed by Miro-Meccano in France.
I had a few of them but they got lost..
And at last, of course, what kind of an 80’s dolls exhibition would it be, if they didn’t have a Barbie showcase??? so i leave you with a couple of shots of our favorite girl :)
|Scott 1979, Ken Jogging 1981, Barbie and Ken Roller Skating 1980, Ken Great Shape 1983, Skipper and Barbie Sports Star 1979|
|Private Collection 1988, City Style 1987, Beverly Hills 1987, Barbie Western Busy Hands 1980|
|Barbie & Ken Golden Nights Disco 1980|
|Barbie Beauty Secrets 1979, My First Barbie 1980, Glamour bed 1987, Fancy Frills 1989|
|Paris Pretty Fashions 1988|
|Ken Jogging 1981|
|Skipper Great Shape 1983|
Hope you enjoyed it and made a few discoveries like i did!
A few weeks ago i went to the very last exhibition of the "Musée de la poupée" in Paris. Unfortunately the museum doesn't have enough funds to keep their little space in the center of Paris anymore. It makes me quite sad because i saw many great exhibitions there in the past.
But I have to say, what a better subject than "Poupées des années 80" (Dolls from the 80's) for my final visit.
The first part was about baby dolls and other "bigger dolls" and second part was about fashion dolls.
We start with a french company called Corolle which was very popular during the 80's. I don't think i ever owned a Corolle doll but I remember seeing them everywhere in the toy stores.
The company created in 1979 was an immediate success at a time where dolls from the US were the top selling dolls.
They produced various types of dolls but their most famous ones were the "baby corolle" and the little girls always dressed in high quality clothes. They had a bit of a "preppy" look which is probably why I wasn't that much into them.
When Mattel bought the company in 1990, it was still very popular.
|Bébé Chéri Boule de Neige - 1987|
|Marie Corolle Bicentenaire - 1989|
|Les Triplés - 1986|
|Poupée Madame Figaro - 1985|
At the beginning of the 80's the romantic type dolls from the late 70's were still popular. The most famous one in France was "Marie d'O", a doll created by Marie Madeleine Tancre. She produced about 4000 dolls a month.
I never heard of these dolls before but i quite like them.
|Poupée Marie d'O - beginning of the 80's|
Claude Brabant is another french artist who created unique dolls painted and sewn by herself called "Création Clo".
She was also a Barbie collector and she wrote a book about the history of costumes worn by barbie and Ken. I adore that book!
"Le Musée de la Poupée" also did a couple of exhibitions presenting her creations.
Clodrey is another french company selling rag dolls in the 80's.
|Poupée Amy de Clodrey - 1983|
I think that the next dolls that were presented at the exhibition truly represents the 80's.
Their story began early 70's when an American named Martha Nelson Thomas created a new concept called "Little Doll Babies". They were unique pieces sewn in coton which were sold with an adoption certificate as if they were real babies. Her idea was kind of stolen by Xavier Roberts who decided to produce similar dolls called : "The Little People".
Very soon he sold the concept to Coleco and then Hasbro and the dolls were re-named "The Cabbage Patch Kids". These new models had still the body made of fabric but their heads were in plastic.
They were a massive hit!
They were distributed in France by Jesma under the name "Les Patoufs". I think i had one but i can't remember for sure. What i'm certain of is that I had the vinyl!
I remember a song in particular which went like : "je déteste les Patoufs, je déteste les Patoufs - je suis la sorcière, la sorcière(...) - je suis si amère je sers pour la citronnade"! ahah ("I hate the Patoufs, I hate the Patoufs - I am the witch, the witch (...) - I'm so bitter, I'm used for lemonade"!)
The dolls didn't sold as well in France as the Corolle dolls but they served as models for sticker albums called « Les Crados » (« The disgusting ones ») which were extremely popular!
I had two of these albums. Basically it was a pun with your first name and a disgusting or scary image to illustrate it. But It was for kids so it wasn’t too bad!! I loved it :)
In 1990 Mattel created a mini doll inspired by the Cabbage Patch kids.
Between 1985 and 1988 Mattel released a new doll called « My Child ». They were really soft dolls in coton simply called « Mon Enfant » in France.
Other famous 80’s dolls in France are Tinnie and Kattie by Raynal and Kenner, but I’ve talked talked about them before here : Samia, Kattie and other dolls
In the 50’s, the magazine « Mode and Travaux » started selling dolls, outfits pattern and fabrics. It was so popular that they continue to do so in 2017!
In the 80’s the company Petitcollin produced them. They were named Marie-Françoise, Michel and Jean-Michel. These names were not very modern for the 80’s, which is why in 1986 they released a new doll called Emily with a more modern look.
|Mode et travaux dolls - early 80's|
|Emily doll by Petitcollin for Mode & Travaux - 1986|
I don't personally collect theses big dolls, but i love all toys coming from the 80's. Especially if i had one as a kid!
So that’s it for the part one of the exhibition, Hope you enjoyed it!