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Skipper Roberts
Vintageskipper.jpg
A vintage straight-leg Skipper doll with red hair wearing her original swimsuit.
First appearance 1964
Last appearance 2009
Created by Mattel
Information
Age about 11 or 12 years old

Skipper Roberts was a doll created by Mattel in 1964 to be Barbie's younger sister, as well as to oppose controversies directed at Barbie. Since Skipper was introduced, she has changed immensely. When she first came out, she was 9.25 inches in height (compared to Barbie's 11.5 inches), and then as newer versions were released she gradually became taller with an older appearance, eventually turning out to be almost as tall as Barbie. At first, Skipper was available with three different hair colors, but later was only available as a blond. Usually, Skipper dolls had blue eyes.

Skipper has also had many same-size friends and a few boyfriends. The doll also appeared as a character in several Random House novels and Marvel Comics. A fictional biography was developed for her from these, as well as from the backs of the boxes which held the dolls that were sold. Several celebrity and fantasy dolls were produced at the Skipper size, most recently two twin dolls from the Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses line.

Contents

Vintage (1963-1973)

Skipper was created, along with Midge, to counteract criticism that claimed Barbie was a sex symbol. Midge's facial appearance was gentler than Barbie's, whereas Skipper was a response to requests that wanted Barbie to have children; however, instead of having a married, pregnant Barbie, which would make her too domestic, Barbie would babysit Skipper.[1] As Barbie's little sister, Skipper was Barbie's first family member sold. Since their introduction in the early 1960s, Skipper dolls have changed drastically.[2]

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Vintage versions

1964

  • Skipper Barbie's Little Sister
  • Skipper Party Time Giftset
  • Barbie Wedding Party Giftset Skipper Ken Barbie Midge
  • Japanese Skipper

1965

  • Skooter
  • Ricky
  • Bendable Leg Skipper, Skooter
  • Skooter Cut 'n Button Set (Sears Exclusive)
  • Skipper On Wheels

1968

  • Twist & Turn Skipper

1969

  • Twist & Turn Skipper
  • Skipper Perfectly Pretty Gift Set (Sears Exclusive)

1970

  • Dramatic New Living Skipper
  • Skipper Barbie's Little Sister re-issued
  • Young Ideas
  • Japanese Skipper
  • Living Skipper Doll Vert Best Velvet Set
  • Twist & Turn Skipper

1971

  • Living Skipper
  • Sunshine Special Sears Exclusive Fluff Doll Gift Set
  • Living Fluff

1972

  • The Sun Set Malibu Skipper
  • Pose N Play Skipper (Sears Exclusive)
  • Pose N Play Tiff

1973

  • Quick Curl Skipper

1974

  • No. 8126 Skipper
  • Funtime Skipper
  • Funtime Skooter

Vintage fashions

1964

  • Ballet Class
  • Under Pretties
  • Red Sensation
  • Silk 'n Fancy
  • Masquerade
  • Flower Girl
  • Dress Coat
  • School Days
  • Skating Fun
  • Dreamtime

1965

  • Day At The Fair
  • Sunny Pastels
  • Cookie Time
  • Me 'N My Doll
  • Platter Party
  • Outdoor Casuals
  • Rain Or Shine
  • Land & Sea
  • Ship Ahoy
  • Happy Birthday
  • Fun Time
  • Sunday Suit
  • School Girl
  • Town Togs
  • Wooly P.J.'s
  • Party Pink
  • Lights Out
  • Saturday Show
  • Little Leaguer

1966

  • Can You Play
  • Tea Party
  • What's New at the Zoo
  • Chill Chasers
  • Rainy Day Checkers
  • Dog Show
  • Loungin' Lovelies
  • Let's Play House
  • Country Picnic
  • Junior Bridesmaid
  • Learning To Ride
  • Sledding Fun

1967

  • Beachy Peachy
  • Flower Showers
  • Rolla Scoot
  • All Spruced Up!
  • Right In Style
  • Popover
  • 'Jamas 'N Jaunties
  • Hearts 'n Flowers
  • Glaid Plaids
  • Lolapaloozas
  • Velvet 'N Lace
  • All Prettied Up!

1968

  • Baby Dolls
  • Patent 'n Pants
  • Posie Party
  • Quick Change
  • Real Sporty
  • Skimmy Stripes
  • Trim Twosome
  • Warm 'n Wonderful

1969

  • Chilly Chums
  • Drizzle Sizzle
  • Eeny, Meeny, Midi
  • Hopscotchins
  • Ice Cream 'n Cake
  • Jazzy 'Jamas
  • Jeepers Creepers
  • Knit Bit
  • Pants 'n Pinafore
  • Plaid City
  • School's Cool
  • Sunny Suity

1970

  • Budding Beauty
  • Daisy Crazy
  • Fancy Pants
  • Lemon Fluff
  • Lots of Lace
  • Pink Princess
  • Rik Rak Rah
  • Super Slacks
  • Triple Treat
  • Twice As Nice
  • Velvet Blush
  • Wooly Winner

1971

  • All Over Felt
  • Ballerina
  • Double Dashers
  • Dressed In Velvet
  • Goin' Sleddin'
  • Ice-Skatin'
  • Little Miss Midi
  • Long 'n Short Of It
  • Lullaby Lime
  • Sweet Orange
  • Teeter Timers
  • Tennis Time

Fashion Paks

1970

  • Happy Times!
  • Nighty Night
  • Side Lights
  • Summer Slacks
  • Toe Twinklers
  • Undertones

1971

  • Action Fashions
  • Check The Suit
  • Skimmer 'n Scarf
  • Some Shoes
  • Sporty Shorty
  • The Slumber Party

Modern (1973-2009)

Hawaiian Fun Skipper from 1991 with the large doe eyes that were popular in the late '80s and early '90s.

In 1975 Growing Up Skipper was released. The gimmick of the doll, which led to much controversy in the newspapers, was that if Skipper's arm was rotated, the doll would become an inch taller and small breasts would appear on her rubber torso.[3] [4] In 1979 Skipper's entire appearance changed. She was advertised as "Super Teen Skipper." She had a new body mold which included small permanent breasts, and a different head mold that made her look slightly older.[2] In 1985, Hot Stuff Skipper was released, which had another new head mold that included the addition of dimples and a longer face.[2]

Skipper changed again in 1988 with the release of Teen Fun Skipper. Her new body mold was taller and more graceful. Her waist was more flexible and her breasts were slightly bigger. Her eyes were also enlarged, giving her a cartoon-like look. At this stage she appeared to be somewhere between 13 to 15 years old. Later, Skipper had a new head mold with smaller eyes in a Pizza Party line, but with the same body mold.[2] Many collectors believe that the 'Pizza Party' head mold was the most popular, if not the prettiest, version of Skipper. Dolls with the 'Pizza Party' Skipper head mold and the 1960s head mold are the most sought after Skipper dolls by collectors.

Finally, in 1997, Teen Skipper was introduced. She again had a new body mold and was now almost as tall as her sister Barbie. This was mostly because of her legs, which were now long and lanky. Most notable of all, however, was Skipper's new face mold. She no longer looked like a child, but more like a girl on the brink of becoming a woman, appearing to be about 16 years of age.[2]

In 1994, the first vintage reproduction Skipper was produced specifically for collectors to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Skipper's introduction. Instead of the usual vinyl, the dolls were made of porcelain. She wore a blue reproduction dress from 1965, known then as "Happy Birthday." [5] In 2007, Mattel released their second vintage reproduction Skipper doll, this time sold in a gift set along with a reproduction of a vintage swirl ponytail Barbie doll.[6]

Modern versions

1975

  • Gold Medal Skipper (Europe)
  • Gold Medal Skipper (Italy)
  • Growing Up Skipper, Ginger

1976

  • Malibu Skipper
  • Deluxe Quick Curl Skipper (Europe)

1978

  • Partytime Skipper (Europe)
  • Malibu Skipper
  • Spiel Mit Skipper(Europe)

1979

  • Sun Lovin' Malibu Skipper
  • Beach Time Skipper (Europe and Canada)
  • Super Teen Skipper
  • Unknown French Skipper

1980

  • Scott
  • Jeans Skipper (Germany)
  • Sports Star Skipper (Germany)

1981

  • Disco Skipper (Germany)
  • Safai Skipper (Germany)

1982

  • Sunsational Malibu Skipper
  • Jogging Skipper (Europe and Canada)
  • Western Skipper

1983

  • Horse Lovin' Skipper
  • Super Dance Skipper (Europe)

1984

  • Great Shape Skipper
  • Great Shape Giftset From England
  • Ritmic Skipper From Spain
  • Sun Gold Malibu Skipper

1985

  • Hot Stuff Skipper
  • Beach Time Skipper (Europe)
  • Sea Lovin' Skipper from Spain
  • Sea Lovin' Skipper (Europe)
  • Sea Lovin' Skipper from France

1986

  • Music Lovin' Skipper (Europe)
  • Tropical Skipper

1987

  • Jewel Secrets Skipper
  • Tennis Skipper

1988

  • Island Fun Skipper
  • California Skipper (Europe)
  • Teen Fun Cheerleader Skipper
  • Teen Fun Party Skipper
  • Teen Fun Workout Skipper
  • Teen Sweetheart Skipper

1989

  • Homecoming Queen Skipper, Skipper AA
  • Teen Time Skipper, Courtney
  • Beach Blast Skipper
  • Pepsi Spirit Skipper (Toys R Us Exclusive)
  • Cool City Blues Barbie/Ken/Skipper Giftset (Toys R Us Exclusive)
  • Style Magic Skipper (Europe)

1990

  • Cool Tops Courtney, Kevin, Skipper, Skipper AA
  • Wet 'n' Wild Skipper
  • Dream Date Skipper (Toys R Us Exclusive)

1991

  • Babysitter Courtney, Kevin, Skipper, Skipper AA
  • Barbie/Ken/Skipper Giftset (Toys R Us Exclusive)
  • Kevin (Cool Teen Boyfriend)
  • Hawaiian Fun Skipper

1992

  • Bathtime Fun Skipper (Target Exclusive)
  • Beauty Pageant Skipper (Toys R Us Exclusive)
  • Pet Pals Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney, Kevin
  • Sun Sensation Skipper
  • Sharin' Sisters Barbie/Skipper/Stacie Giftset
  • Totally Hair Skipper, Courtney (Toys R Us Exclusive)

1993

  • Baton Twirling Skipper, Baton Twirler Skipper AA, Basketball Kevin, Cheerleader Courtney,
  • Glitter Beach Skipper
  • Hollywood Hair Skipper
  • Mermaid Skipper and the Sea Twins
  • Sharin' Sisters Barbie/Skipper/Stacie Giftset

1994

  • Camp Fun Skipper
  • Cool Crimp Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney, Kevin
  • 30th Anniversary Skipper (Porcelain)
  • Babysitter Skipper
  • Sun Jewel Skipper

1995

  • Pizza Party Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney, Kevin
  • Tropical Splash Skipper
  • Travelin' Sisters Barbie/Skipper/Stacie/Kelly Giftset

1996

  • Phone Fun Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney
  • Winter Holiday Barbie/Skipper/Stacie/Kelly Giftset
  • Sparkle Beach Skipper

1997

  • Splash ‘n Color Skipper
  • Teen Skipper, Courtney, Nikki

1998

  • Extreme Green Teen Skipper
  • Pearl Beach Teen Skipper
  • Cool Sitter Teen Skipper/Skipper AA

1999

  • Florida Vacation Skipper
  • Totally Yo-Yo Skipper, Nikki, Courtney

2000

  • Pajama Fun Skipper, Courtney, Nikki
  • Let's Drive Gift Set Skipper And Barbie (Toys R Us Exclusive)
  • Hawaii Skipper

2001

  • Fashion Party Teen Skipper, Courtney, Nikki

2002

  • Palm Beach Skipper

2003

2007

  • Knitting Pretty Barbie & Skipper (Vintage Reproductions)

2009

  • Camping Skipper

Popularity

Skipper Roberts was the original little sister of Barbie, and has been quite popular over the years.[7] When she first came out, she was an alternative for parents who did not approve of Barbie's adult figure. The first vintage Skipper dolls now have a value of US$195 MIB (Mint In Box). The brass headbands alone that came with these dolls have a value of $20. While vintage Skipper dolls, clothes, and accessories can sell for a lot of money, modern Skipper dolls usually only have a value of $10 to $20 MIB. If they have no box, the value may be only $5 or less.[8]

Friends

Skipper's friends at the vintage stage were Skooter (1965), Ricky (1965), Living Fluff (1971), and Pose N' Play Tiff (1972).[9] [10] Skooter and Ricky had their own head molds, and both had freckles. Skooter was available with the same three hair colors as Skipper had, but Ricky was only available with molded red hair, similar to Midge's boyfriend Allan Sherwood.[11] [12] Fluff and Tiff shared a head mold which many collectors think is adorable, with a contagious smile.[13] Most of Skipper's first friends were never seen after the lines they were produced for, but another Skooter doll, called Fun Time Skooter, was produced for the European market. She had auburn hair, a Twist N' Turn waist, and bendable legs. However, she had the head mold of the oldest version of Skipper, not the older Skooter doll, which many collectors found strange.[3]

Skipper's friend for the controveral Growing Up line was the brunette Ginger, made in 1976. However, after this line, Ginger was never seen again.[9] Skipper's first boyfriend, who was named Scott, was created in 1980, and was introduced the year after Super Teen Skipper came on the market. Scott sported puffy brown 1980s style hair.[9] Skipper gained two new friends after Teen Fun Skipper was first introduced. They included the brunette Courtney, made in 1989, and her second boyfriend Kevin, created in 1990.[9]

After Teen Skipper came on the market, her first African American friend appeared. Her name was Nikki, and she was made in 1997.[9] Teen Skipper was originally going to have a third boyfriend named Zach who would have joined her in the "Totally Yo Yo line," but for reasons unknown, he was never produced. However, the head Mold for the unreleased Zach Doll was later used for Generation Girl Blaine, the token boy in Barbie's "Generation Girl" Doll line. [14]

Biography

According to the Random House novels of the 1960s, Skipper is the second oldest child of the fictional George and Margaret Roberts of Willows, Wisconsin, their first child said to be Barbie. In these novels, she attended Baker Elementary, while the Marvel Comics of the early 1990s had her at Central Junior High School. The box of the first Kevin doll, Skipper's second boyfriend, that was sold, "Cool Tops Kevin", described Skipper as "the most popular girl in school." Like her sister Barbie, she has had numerous "acquaintances," celebrity friends, fantasy friends and Disney friends that were produced at her size. Some of these other dolls include Chocho, sold only in Japan in 1974, made with the Quick Curl Skipper body;[4] Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, introduced in 2000, made with the Teen Fun Skipper body; the Peppermint Rose dolls from 1993, also made with the Teen Fun body; and numerous versions of Ariel from The Little Mermaid, sold in either the Teen Fun or Teen versions. The Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses line sold two dolls named Isla and Hadley who were the size of Teen Fun Skipper dolls, but with a new appropriately-sized "belly-button" body.

Skipper in other media

Parody

On an episode of Saturday Night Live, Britney Spears portrayed Skipper in a sketch in which Barbie, portrayed by Amy Pohler, accidentally in an argument told Skipper that she was her mother. The basis of this sketch is most likely from the fact that the toy line never had dolls of Barbie and Skipper's parents (although the parents are present in the Novels and comics). This probably led to both the speculation and joke that Barbie was most likely Skipper's mother.

Mention

In an episode of Freakazoid!, The Big Question, a group of aliens travel to Earth in order to ask a question of allegedly universal importance. The question was, "That doll, Barbie: what's the name of her little sister?" After some small confusion on the President's part, Freakazoid responds with the correct answer. The aliens then leave the planet, cheering.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ xroads.virginia.edu. "Why Skipper and Midge were created". http://xroads.virginia.edu/~class/barbie/barb2.html. Retrieved September 22 2006.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Kattis Dolls.net. "About and versions of Skipper". http://kattisdolls.net/faces/skipper.htm. Retrieved September 22 2006.  
  3. ^ a b Bubblecut.de. "Detailed information on versions of Skipper". http://www.bubblecut.de/Barbie__Midge___Co/Skipper_etc/skipper_etc.html. Retrieved September 22 2006.  
  4. ^ a b DollReference.com. "Information on various Skipper dolls". http://www.dollreference.com/skipper_doll2.html. Retrieved June 8 2007.  
  5. ^ BarbieCollector.com. "30th Anniversary Skipper". http://www.barbiecollector.com/showcase/product.aspx?id=150354&t=modern. Retrieved May 25 2007.  
  6. ^ About.com. "Information on the vintage reproduction Skippers". http://collectdolls.about.com/od/dollprofiles/p/skipper.htm. Retrieved May 25 2007.  
  7. ^ Ebay.com. "Summary of information on Skipper". http://popular.ebay.com/ns/Dolls-Bears/Skipper.html. Retrieved June 8 2007.  
  8. ^ Kennedy, Paul (2003). Warman's Barbie Doll Field Guide. Krause publications. p. 61. ISBN 0-87349-627-2.  
  9. ^ a b c d e Barbie Collector.com. "Skipper's friends". http://www.barbiecollector.com/collecting/skipper.asp. Retrieved September 22 2006.  
  10. ^ DollReference.com. "Information on Skipper's friends Fluff and Tiff". http://dollreference.com/fluff_tiff_doll.html. Retrieved June 8 2007.  
  11. ^ DollReference.com. "Information on Skipper's friend Ricky". http://dollreference.com/ricky_doll.html. Retrieved June 8 2007.  
  12. ^ DollReference.com. "Information on Skipper's friend Scooter". http://dollreference.com/skooter_doll.html. Retrieved June 8 2007.  
  13. ^ Kattis Dolls.net. "Details on Skipper's friends.". http://kattisdolls.net/faces/skipfren.htm. Retrieved September 23 2006.  
  14. ^ Man Behind the Doll.com. "Information regarding Skipper's would-be boyfriend Zach". http://www.manbehindthedoll.com/BLAINE.htm. Retrieved September 22 2006.  

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