Skipper (Barbie)

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Skipper Roberts
Vintageskipper.jpg
A vintage straight-leg Skipper doll with red hair wearing her original swimsuit.
First appearance 1964
Created by Mattel
Information
Relatives See: List of Barbie's friends and family

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 is currently only available with her hair colored black and purple. Usually, Skipper dolls had blue eyes.

The doll 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 a pair of twin dolls from the Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses line.

Vintage (1964–1974)[edit]

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 1964, Skipper dolls have changed drastically.[2]

Vintage versions[edit]

1964
  • Skipper Barbie's Little Sister
  • Skipper Party Time Giftset
  • Barbie Wedding Party Giftset Skipper Ken Barbie Midge
  • Japanese Skipper
1965
  • Skipper's friend Skooter
  • Skipper's friend Ricky (sometimes referred to as Skipper's first boyfriend)
  • 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
  • Living Fluff (Skipper's playmate)
  • Sunshine Special Sears Exclusive Fluff Doll Gift Set
1972
  • The Sun Set Malibu Skipper
  • Pose N Play Skipper (Sears Exclusive)
  • Pose N Play Tiff (Skipper's tomboy friend)
1973
  • Quick Curl Skipper
1974
  • No. 8126 Skipper
  • Funtime Skipper
  • Funtime Skooter

Vintage fashions[edit]

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

Vintage fashion packs[edit]

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 (1975–present)[edit]

Hawaiian Fun Skipper from 1991 with the large doe eyes that were popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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 or 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 14 years of age. Skipper and Barbie now are teenagers. They are close to each other's age. Skipper also appeared to have larger breasts which continued the controversy over her sexualization that has dogged Skipper in the past.[2]

Modern versions[edit]

1975
  • Gold Medal Skipper
  • Growing Up Skipper, Ginger
1976
  • Deluxe Quick Curl Skipper (Europe)
  • Olympica Skipper
1977
  • Funtime Skipper (Europe, revised)
  • Partytime Skipper (Europe)
1978
  • Malibu Skipper
  • Spiel Mit (Play With) Skipper (Europe)
1979
  • Skip-Chan (Japan)
  • Strandspass (Beach Time) Skipper (Europe and Canada)
  • Sun Lovin' Malibu Skipper
  • Super Teen Skipper
1980
  • Skipper's boyfriend Scott (today's active "super teen")
  • Sports Star Skipper (Europe)
1981
  • Disco Skipper (Europe)
  • Western Skipper
1982
  • Sunsational Malibu Skipper
  • Jeans Skipper (Europe)
  • Jogging Skipper (Europe and Canada)
1983
  • Horse Lovin' Skipper
  • Safari Skipper (Europe)
  • Super Dance Skipper (Europe)
1984
  • Great Shape Skipper
  • Great Shape Giftset (Europe)
  • Ritmic Skipper (Europe)
  • Sun Gold Malibu Skipper
1985
  • Hot Stuff Skipper
  • Strandspass (Beach Time) Skipper (Europe)
  • Regata (Sea Lovin') Skipper (Europe)
1986
  • Music Lovin' Skipper (Europe)
  • School Going Skipper (India)
  • Tropical Skipper
1987
  • Jewel Secrets Skipper
  • Tennis Skipper (Europe)
1988
  • Island Fun Skipper
  • California Skipper (Europe)
  • Teen Fun Cheerleader Skipper
  • Teen Fun Party Skipper
  • Teen Fun Workout Skipper
  • Teen Sweetheart Skipper
1989
  • Beach Blast Skipper
  • Cool City Blues Barbie/Ken/Skipper Giftset (Toys R Us Exclusive)
  • Homecoming Queen Skipper, Skipper AA
  • My First Skipper (India)
  • Pepsi Spirit Skipper (Toys R Us exclusive)
  • Super Style Skipper (Canada and Europe)
  • Teen Time Skipper, Courtney (Best friend of Skipper)
1990
  • Cool Tops Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney, Kevin (boyfriend of Skipper)
  • Dream Date Skipper (Toys R Us Exclusive)
  • Wet 'n' Wild Skipper
1991
  • Babysitter Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney
  • Barbie/Ken/Skipper Disney Friends Giftset (Toys R Us Exclusive)
  • Beauty Pageant Skipper (Toys R Us exclusive)
  • Cool Looks Skipper (Brazil)
  • Hawaiian Fun Skipper
  • Kevin (boyfriend of Skipper)
1992
  • Bathtime Fun Skipper (Target exclusive)
  • Brilho de Sol Skipper (Brazil)
  • Esporte Total Skipper (Brazil)
  • Festa de Casamento Skipper (Brazil)
  • Noite de Sonhos Skipper (Brazil)
  • Pet Pals Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney, Kevin
  • Primavera Verao Skipper (Brazil)
  • Sharin' Sisters Barbie/Skipper/Stacie Giftset
  • Skipper in blue minidress (Brazil)
  • Sun Sensation Skipper
  • 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
  • Babysitter Skipper, Babysitter Skipper AA, each with three babies whose names vary
  • Camp Fun Skipper
  • Cool Crimp Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney, Kevin
  • Fairy Fantasy Skipper (India)
  • Sun Jewel Skipper
  • 30th Anniversary Skipper (Porcelain)
1995
  • Fairy Fantasy Skipper (India)
  • Pizza Party Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney, Kevin
  • Tropical Splash Skipper
1996
  • Phone Fun Skipper, Skipper AA, Courtney
  • Sparkle Beach Skipper
  • Travelin' Sisters Barbie/Skipper/Stacie/Kelly Giftset (Toys R Us exclusive)
1997
  • L'il Sister Skipper (India)
  • Splash ‘n Color Skipper
  • Teen Skipper, Courtney, Nikki (Friend of Teen Skipper)
  • Winter Holiday Barbie/Skipper/Stacie/Kelly Giftset
1998
  • Cool Sitter Teen Skipper/Skipper AA, each with four babies
  • Extreme Green Teen Skipper
  • Pearl Beach Teen Skipper
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
2010
  • Barbie I Can Be Bride Set-Including Barbie, Ken, Skipper, and Kelly (Target exclusive)
2011
  • My Fab Sisters
  • Barbie: A Perfect Christmas
2013
  • Barbie and her sisters in a pony tail

Reproductions (1994–present)[edit]

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 ensemble from 1965, known then as "Happy Birthday".[5] In 2007 Mattel released its second vintage 1964 reproduction Skipper doll, this time wearing her "School Days" ensemble and sold in a gift set along with a reproduction of a vintage swirl ponytail Barbie doll wearing the matching "Knitting Pretty" ensemble.[6]

Reproductions[edit]

1994
  • Skipper 30th Anniversary; porcelain 1964 reproduction (Timeless Creations limited edition of 8,000)
2007
  • Barbie and Skipper "Knitting Pretty" Gift Set; 1964 reproduction (Gold Label limited edition of 7,500)

Popularity[edit]

Skipper Madison 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[edit]

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 considered 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, 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, Zach, who would have joined her in the "Totally Yo Yo" line, but for reasons unknown, he was never produced. Parents speculate that Zach would be too much of a sexual influence on Skipper and children. 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]

Acquaintances[edit]

Acquaintances
  • Chocho-Chan (1974, sold only in Japan)
  • Pretty Teen (1991, a Kmart exclusive)
  • Tori Burns, a Generation Girl Barbie friend made with the Teen Skipper body (first sold in 1999)
  • Chelsie Peterson, a Generation Girl Barbie friend made with the Teen Skipper body (first sold in 1999)
Celebrity friends
Disney friends
  • Peter Pan (using the "Kevin" body mold; first sold in 1994)
  • Wendy Darling (first sold in 1994)
  • Tinker Bell (first sold in 1994; similar styling and several of the same accessories were used for Fairy Fantasy Skipper sold in India the following year)
  • Alice in Wonderland (first sold in 1996)
  • Ariel (first sold in 1997)
  • Arista (1998)
  • Attina (1998)
  • Kayla (1998)
  • Eric (male body mold sized as a counterpart to the Skipper mold used for Ariel; 1998)
Fantasy friends

Skipper's fantasy friends were all produced in 1993.

  • Daisy
  • Hadley
  • Isla
  • Lily
  • Peppermint Rose/Rose Richards
  • Violet

Biography[edit]

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. Now she is younger than Barbie for two years. She must be 14 years old.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ xroads.virginia.edu. "Why Skipper and Midge were created". Retrieved September 22, 2006. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Kattis Dolls.net. "About and versions of Skipper". Retrieved September 22, 2006. 
  3. ^ a b Bubblecut.de. "Detailed information on versions of Skipper". Retrieved September 22, 2006. 
  4. ^ a b DollReference.com. "Information on various Skipper dolls". Retrieved June 8, 2007. 
  5. ^ BarbieCollector.com. "30th Anniversary Skipper". Retrieved May 25, 2007. 
  6. ^ About.com. "Information on the vintage reproduction Skippers". Retrieved May 25, 2007. 
  7. ^ Ebay.com. "Summary of information on Skipper". barbie. 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". Archived from the original on April 15, 2006. Retrieved September 22, 2006. 
  10. ^ DollReference.com. "Information on Skipper's friends Fluff and Tiff". Retrieved June 8, 2007. 
  11. ^ DollReference.com. "Information on Skipper's friend Ricky". Retrieved June 8, 2007. 
  12. ^ DollReference.com. "Information on Skipper's friend Scooter". Retrieved June 8, 2007. 
  13. ^ Kattis Dolls.net. "Details on Skipper's friends.". Retrieved September 23, 2006. 
  14. ^ Man Behind the Doll.com. "Information regarding Skipper's would-be boyfriend Zach". Retrieved September 22, 2006.