Wednesday, June 25, 2014

こんにちは、私の名前はスキッパーです。あなたは私の友達になりたい?

Even though I had just bought that Standard Barbie doll, I was still not fully finished spending money that day. While I was doing the search that ultimately lead me to the Standard I also found another listing for a doll that was very interesting to me. I believed she was a doll that I had been hoping to add to the collection for some time now. There were only two issues, I wasn't sure if she was who I thought she was and she was super expensive. After I found that Standard Barbie I figured my new doll lust had been satisfied so I clicked off the page and walked away. Apparently my assumption was incorrect, I kept thinking about that doll. After a few hours stewing it over, I went back to the page (it took me a while to find it and I thought it had been sold, but I found it again). I looked the ad over closely and e-mailed the seller. I had a question I needed answering before I would even think about buying this doll.

A few hours later I got a reply from the seller confirming that what I thought the doll was, was in fact correct. I thanked the seller for looking that up for me, then asked if they would be willing to sell the doll for ten dollars cheaper than how much it was listed for. They countered with five dollars off, which basically made shipping free. I thought about it, but decided that I did want the doll. I thanked them again (they could have easily told me no), accepted the offer, and asked them to edit the listing and to reserve it for me.

Later that night they did and I bought the doll a few minutes after that.
And just like that I was a proud owner of a Skipper doll and 75 bucks poorer. I had just purchased my most expensive Skipper doll to date. Yes, this one was even more expensive than the Japanese Skipper. Ironically she's a different type of Japanese Skipper. She is a living Skipper doll who was produced in Japan, very similar to the Living Barbie that was produced in Japan that I shared with you not that long ago. Actually, she's extremely similar to Japanese Living Barbie. Skipper was also produced for the Japanese market and got a US release through a Sears Gift set called "Very Best Velvet". So she is out there in the US, but seems to be more uncommon than the Barbie gift set.

Just like with Barbie there are some key differences between the Japanese version compared to the much more common Taiwan version. Again, the easiest way to tell is just looking at their markings. Dolls from Japan will be marked Japan. But there are two other keys to identifying these dolls just from their looks. The first big difference is that the Japanese Living Skipper has a lighter skin tone than the very pink skin color of the Taiwan dolls. And the second thing is their hair, with two big differences, the first one is the color. The Japanese dolls are a much lighter shade of blonde than the brassy blonde that was used for the regular Taiwan dolls. They also have a slightly different hair style. They both have pigtails with a center part with a spit curl on the forehead, but the Japanese dolls have shorter hair that is styled in more of a bun at each ear instead of just curled at the ends. So those clues will help you determine what doll could be a Japanese Living Skipper, but the markings should be something you check out since they will confirm it. Sometimes a Taiwan doll can look a lot like a Japanese dolls, so check the markings before you spend a lot on one of them. 

Anyway, now it's time to talk about the doll. Skipper for the most part is in very nice shape (as she should be for what I paid for her). She has been played with, but very carefully. The woman selling
her was actually her original owner. She made a couple comments about how she's going to miss Skipper, which to a sentimental softy like me is sad, but I'm not forcing her to sell her. I did assure her that Skipper will be going to a good home, which is true. Her sentimental attachment is why she was only willing to give me 5 dollars off compared to the 10 I suggested. (And her sentimental attachment also let her jam Skipper into a too small for her flat rate box, I'm surprised she didn't break in the mail.) Anyway, Skipper is in nice shape. All her joints work and hold position well. The only real issues she has is that she was a little dirty when I got her, and she has a small scratch to her neck (dead center too, it's like she had a tracheotomy at some point). Skipper actually has her original hair set, which is KILLING me. Her hair is slightly messy from just 40 years of existence so I want to take it down and refresh it, but it's really not that bad so I feel bad taking it down since it's been like that for so long. The elastics have long since turned black and will crumble if I do anything, but she still has her original hair bows, and I know I won't be able to redo them anywhere are nicely as she has them now. I must admit, she herself is making me slightly uneasy. I've had her for several weeks now and I haven't even given her a bath yet. I'm just so worried about damaging her since I paid so much for her. There's a reason why don't I spend spend much on my dolls (although that number has been steadily creeping up), that way if something happens to one of them, while I'd be very upset I wouldn't be out a ton of money.
Skipper did come with a piece of clothing, nothing from her gift set however. She arrived wearing a
yellow play suit. It's actually the "romper" from "Sunny Suit" from 1969. It's missing a matching fabric hat, yellow vinyl bag, and yellow vinyl sandals. The romper looks to be in nice shape, might be slightly dingy in places but overall it's not that bad. It closes in the back with a button an a loop of thread. I think Mattel usually used buttons and elastic to close their clothing, so I have a feeling the thread is a replacement. The stitching on the inside doesn't look very well done, so that supports my theory. It does hold the back closed fine and it's not a big deal that it's been replaced. Usually with these things the elastic has dried out and needs to be replaced anyway.

So that's my most expensive Skipper to date. I do have an idea for dressing her, so hopefully she can be shown again soon with her new clothes.
However, that will mean I have to get over my fear of her!

P.S. The title of the post should say in Japanese: Hello, my name is Skipper. Would you like to be my friend?". If it's wrong, blame Google!

P.P.S. I almost forgot to share this.  When Skipper arrived the seller also included a really cute thank you.... note. I don't know what to call it exactly. It's a small band of wire with beads strung on it. Most of them are random, but it had word beads that spelled out "Thank You". It's roughly the size of a newborn bracelet, but I wouldn't give it to a newborn since it has a pointy wire at the end. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, I put it with the rest of my beads for now. I may eventually cannibalize it for some of the prettier beads. I just wanted to share with you all a cute little thank you the seller sent me. (Although, I wouldn't have just minded a simple paper note and a cheaper price on the doll!)
But you know me, I am cheap, cheap, cheap.
Thank you for reading my post!

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