Forgotten thrift store find

Someone at Flickr had photos up of their garage sale Mod era Barbies, and it reminded me of a doll I got from the thrift store a few months ago but never really felt that strongly about, so she has remained in her bag since then. I decided now might be time to have a closer look at her. (Since this involved tearing her head off as soon as possible, this is the slightly uncanny kind of photoshoot.)


...and head.

She's some kind of ballerina Barbie. The Internet tells me 1975-1979 or so. In fact I passed her up on my first visit to the shop, then changed my mind when I came back and she was still there. I've never really been a fan of this face mold, but I thought it might be useful to have one for reference at least. (It could be that Dreamhouse Midge has warmed me to these sort of pouty molds, because I never used to liked the Steffie mold either.)

I found lots of photos of dolls like this one, but none with this dress, so it's probably not original. Haven't ID'd it yet, but if I'm honest this was probably the main reason I got her: I'll never be able to say no to pink and white tulle, even if it needs mending!

ETA: Finally ID'd the dress! It's from the Sugar Plum Fairy set (1976): http://www.barbiecollector.com/shop/doll/sugar-plum-fairy-9326

The fabric had frayed enough to make this front seam unravel. It was mended but in a really ugly way, so I'll see if I can improve it. I have some kind of fray-stopping solution that I might try, but it's full of solvents and warning labels so I'm not sure I want to use it at all.

Luckily, the big rip in the skirt is in the back. I think I can make it look ok, at least if you don't look too closely.

That crown is firmly anchored in her cranium with a pin. I don't think it would be worth it trying to get it off, even if the gold has worn off in places. The hair isn't really salvagable, frizzled and with lots of missing plugs. The face is a bit dirty, but I don't want to use the 9-1-1 stuff and end up removing the cheek blush too. 

Something I missed when I bought her is that her hands are all chewed up. The legs weren't sticky until I washed them. Now they're very sticky. Well, since the head matches Midge's skin tone, she is now my excuse to buy an extra doll from the Glam Lux Style line (or whatever they're called).

"You needed an excuse?"


  1. (DollsAhoy from Flickr here) I had one of those Ballerina Barbies as a kid! I got her as a gift in kindergarten (1979), and, as a child, I thought she looked...mean. Her body has a gimmick, where if you hold her by that crown and swing her back and forth just so, you can get her to kick one leg around (so, if her hips seem loose, it's because they're actually supposed to be...) I eventually got that crown off (it's held in like standard Barbie earrings, if I remember correctly)...and, a few years after that, her arms fell off, having been strung with rubber bands. I tried customizing her head a few times before giving it to someone else to play with...

  2. She looks like a challenge which usually is a lot of fun!

  3. @DollsAhoy I'll have to try the leg thing - reminds me of the Barbie and the Rockers dolls that would move their arms if you twisted their waist (although I never really figured out how until I was an adult). I could probably just snip the crown off with a wire cutter.

    @grandmommy I tend to hoard projects, that's my problem... :)

  4. It is indeed the Ballerina Barbie from the 70s, before the 1977 introduction of Superstar Barbie, when they changed the face mold. My sister had this doll, although I remember it coming in a white tutu, not the pink one yours has. If you held the doll by the crown on top of her head, it "twirled".