Goofy-guy doll collector, me, will now give you a grand tour of the Barbie Shelf. This is a place in my home that was originally created by the previous owners of the house. It was a place in the upstairs play room apparently meant for the things that needed to be kept out of little girls’ reach. Maybe pampers and baby wipes. Cleaning supplies. And possibly toys that were not to be broken immediately and had to be regulated. I don’t know why else you would grace a playroom with a shelf up near the ceiling and above the only door into the room. It was, however, perfect for the plastic people who were destined to take it over as their own.
It begins above the bedroom door. My wife has a thing about keeping her dolls mint in box. She has more of an eye to their value as collectible investments. The fashion Barbie nestled above the door in her box is a recreation of a 1962 doll that was reissued in 1999. You can also see the Teacher Barbie that the Princess once de-boxed and played with. And there you can also see the start of the Wizard of Oz collection. There are little munchkin dolls and the Ken doll dressed as the Cowardly Lion in the picture.
In front of Dorothy and Glinda from Oz, you see some of the recycled Goodwill Barbies that I bought naked and abandoned, cleaned and dressed, washed and tried to brush out their hair. One of them had some marker on her face that had to be soaked off with secret sauce to restore a more human look. The one in the middle is a 1980’s Asian Barbie. There is also a Cowgirl Barbie wearing an extra gun belt from a CA Lone Ranger set.
The kids are protected by Eustace the purple pottery dragon who was fired in my mother’s kiln during the height of her doll-making hobby and painted by me. The kids here include a tiny Tommy doll, three Skippers from the early 70’s, and Hermione from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. You can see the Scarecrow and the Tin Man in the back, and there’s also Goodwill Barbie that for some odd reason has purple hair.
Ricky (a 1960’s boy toy for Skipper) sits with Ashley Olsen between more recycled Goodwill Barbies. 1980’s Skipper is trying to push poor roller-skate Barbie off the shelf.
My newest My Little Pony in mutant almost human form, Rainbow Dash the Equestria girl, is the blue doll in the middle here. Mary-Kate Olsen can be seen in the Blue dress. All you can see of Britney Spears here are her legs and feet, probably a safety feature of this tour. The topless ballerina Barbie is wearing a jacket, but I could not close it on her extra large Barbie mammaries. Princess Jasmine, my daughter’s somewhat beat-up favorite begins Disney Princess Row.
Li Shang is still mint in box, but Mulan isn’t even on the shelf any more. Some of Mom’s dolls got played with by the Princess. Mulan lost her hair. There is one American Girl doll here, bought at a yard sale for 25 cents, but I found a dress to fit her at Walmart in a sale bin. Unfortunately I can’t name her correctly yet and she is barefoot like most of the Goodwill dolls.
Almost to the end of the shelf, you can now see Apple Jack and Twilight Sparkle, my other two mutant pony girls, discovered at an After-Christmas Sale at Toys-R-Us. They are standing on Grandma Beyer’s home bingo set from the 1930’s, and Disney Princesses are lined up behind them.
At the tail end of the shelf you will see Twilight Sparkle again to take the focus off poor 1980’s nudist Skipper (I robbed her of her clothes for one of the older, more rare Skippers that are worth a bit more to collectors). Seated between is Asian Rock n Roll Barbie (Leah actually). You may have noticed I am careful not to over-identify any of the members of the collection. I got taken to task on E-Bay about descriptions of which Barbie was which once. There are people out there much more rabid about doll collecting than I. The difference between a 1980’s Butterfly Tattoo Barbie and an Anniversary Edition Malibu Barbie can get you challenged to a duel… with rapiers… in France. I had to talk him into balloons and blunderbusses (an idea borrowed from Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines), and I lost. I had to settle for the price offered even though my own research suggested I was not wrong. (Well, okay, maybe I didn’t really go through with the duel thing, but the argument was just as intense and just as silly as that.)
So that is my long-winded essay on the essentials of the Barbie Shelf. I will be looking at it a lot for the next few years since it is in the room I am using as my bedroom. (Not in perfect health, I needed a room that I could completely seal up at night in order to breathe better.) I really didn’t think I could pull off 500 words about this one goofy shelf in the house, but I now realize that I have nearly reached 900.