Tuesday, August 16, 2016

¡Hola! Me llamo Barbie!

I have mentioned several times now that vintage Barbie has been boring me, which is true. The last vintage Barbie doll I bought online was way back in March. However, a couple months later I bought a cheap lot of parts from E-bay. It was really cheap. I think it was like 11 dollars with shipping and that was mostly shipping.

I clicked the link because it looked like it had the same head as that Sweet Sixteen clone doll I had bought a while back (I think I told you all this before). It was actually the same knock off head. I would have just clicked off the page, I don't really need another clone head, but something else caught my eye. The pictures were a bit blurry, so it was hard to totally confirm, but it looked like in this lot was something unusual something I hadn't seen before. I did some research and didn't find too much information about it I decided to buy it after thinking it over for a little bit. It wasn't a lot of money, and even if the parts lot wasn't what I was hoping it was, I can still use the parts.

It took a little while for the lot to arrive. This was partly my fault because the person said they had other parts for sale and I asked them what did they have and it turned out that was text from a different listing that they reused and was talking about that listing. So that little discussion delayed us a couple of days, but at least it arrived before the weekend and I didn't have to wait through an entire Sunday for it to show up. 

The majority of the lot was junk, some of it headed straight into the trash can when it arrived. The Sweet Sixteen clone head is nice, might get a re-root. Her hair is the cheap 70's era fiber that frizzes easily. If I do re-root her I'd probably bring her hairline down, she has a huge forehead. But for right now she's in storage with the rest of the random heads I have since I don't need another re-root project right now. I also got a TLC Hair Fair Barbie head that's missing paint and severely yellowed. But neither of those were the main attraction for this lot.

What is this mystery that's got me so interested? A Talking Barbie, a doll who's not particularly rare, but she had an unusual variation. She had the Japan style hands. By this time in Barbie history the majority of the Talking dolls were using the Mexico style arms. Those style arms would become the norm for Barbie for a long time. Dolls were not made in Mexico for a very long time (I remember hearing that Mattel had issues with theft) but it did create some unusual variations compared to some other places where Barbie was made.

This is one of those variations. Francie With Growing Pretty Hair also can be found with the Japan style hands. I say hands because at least with mine, it's a hybrid of the Japan arms and the Mexico arms. The arm is pretty much the same as the Japan arms, except the way it connects to the body. The original Japan arms had a post that connects into the body, the Mexico arms is where they started having the post on the torso that the arm wrapped around. The Mexico arms are notoriously fragile and snap off easily. This arm has the Mexico style connecting system. It doesn't even share the same mold lines as the Mexico arms, it looks exactly the same as the Japan arms, just with a different top part. Mine's a little more unusual since it has painted nails. Francie never had painted nails so when she accidentally got Barbie arms they weren't painted. I thought these were done by the doll's original owner but they are factory.

When I got this doll, she was in pieces. Her arms and legs had both snapped off. And I actually didn't
get her head in the lot. So I'm not exactly sure what head she should have. I gave her a 2nd issue Talking Barbie head that I had already, but I'm not sure if that's the correct issue head, or if she's even Barbie. She doesn't talk any more and when I pulled on her pull string it came out but didn't retract (darn it), so I'm not sure who she is. I do have the repair book for talking dolls and would eventually like to learn it so eventually she might get repaired. If I do manage to do that I'll learn who she is and what issue she is and get the correct head for her. Right now she's fine with that head. (Which is lovely except the hair is frizzy and one eye has a couple of missing eyelashes).
She took a while to repair because I actually ended up replacing her original legs. She did come with what I believe were her original legs, but they were pretty damaged. Her feet has been chewed up and for such an uncommon doll I wanted to fix her up with a better pair. I
just didn't have a nice pair of matching legs to give her. Luckily my friend Bradley had a pair and gave them to me. I was able to salvage her original arm knobs and one of her leg knobs. The other one was missing half of it, so I just ended up replacing it. I have rebuilt these style of knobs before, but figured in this case it was just worth it to replace it. Her melting wasn't actually too bad, her torso actually reminds me of the plastic they used on my made in USA Busy Barbie torso. They don't actually melt, but the plastic is super brittle so they end up breaking from that. They might need some minor melt repairs, but it's nowhere as bad as the traditional Talking Doll/Busy Doll melting. I'm glad I have this uncommon variation, she will need some light cleaning but she's a very nice doll. You just never know what you'll find on E-bay!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, blurry photos on an auction and something that just might be interesting... love that thrill, especially when it turns out to be worth much more than I've paid. Your doll turned out beautiful, although she needed much help.

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