Skipper Doll

 Barbie's Little Sister

In 1964, the world's most famous fashion doll acquired a little sister - Skipper, who  wore a sailor inspired red and white bathing suit and a brass headband. The 'tween' doll was 9 /4 inches tall and Mattel created a special wardrobe for her, some of which co-ordinated with Barbie's and it was made with the same meticulous attention to detail. Barbie's creator, Ruth Handler,  was adamant that the the dolls' clothes and accessories would  be well-made, chic and totally up-to-date. Skipper had bright blue eyes and long, very combable, straight hair and she was available in blonde, titian or brunette.

Mattel's Skipper doll proved to be not just an adjunct to her big sister, as many children owned a Skipper but not a Barbie.  The latter's mature, voluptuous dimensions,  meant that as a character she was sometimes hard for a child to identify with. By contrast Skipper was 'one of them', a pre-pubescent child they could superimpose their imaginative roleplay on. In addition, some claim Skipper was introduced to counteract criticisms about Barbie's overly "sexy" appearance.

Skipper also acquired two new friends of her own...Scooter and Ricky and in 1966 was joined by two younger twin siblings, called Tutti and Todd. They were a cute 6 and 1/2 inches tall and had fully posable rubber bodies.

Over the years Skipper's appearance morphed into an almost entirely diffrent doll - (taller, more mature) but then so did Barbie's. Part of the success of the Barbie concept was that the dolls changed in accordance with cultural shifts in the wider society, though many Barbie purists claim the modern Skippers do not match the original for style and quality. In 1994 a vintage reproduction Skipper made of porcelain was introduced to collectors, to mark the doll's 30th anniversay and in 2007 a second vintage Skipper came out, this time in vinyl and sold in a gift set with a reproduction vintage Swirl Ponytail Barbie.

History of Barbie