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!