Skipper Turns 50 in 2014!

Skipper, my favorite sister of Barbie‘s, turns 50 in 2014.  She debuted in 1964 in response to complaints that Barbie was too mature for their children to play with.  With a wardrobe that matched her older sister, Skipper was a great success for Mattel.

Now, nearly 50 years later, Skipper is back on the shelves and a bit of a YouTube sensation, starring with her sisters in the web series, ‘Life in the Dreamhouse’!  Turning 50 is a big thing, especially for a doll or toy, so I expect great things for Skipper in 2014.  What, pray-tell, do I want to see?  Read and find out!

Skipper by Mattel

Skipper by Mattel

Collector Dolls:

Mattel has released a few Skipper exclusives in the past, including a porcelain Skipper to celebrate her 30th anniversary in 1994 and a Gold Box Barbie and Skipper set, Knitting Pretty, in 2007.  For Skipper‘s big 5-0, it would be great to see a new collector’s doll.  A reproduction 1964 Skipper with a never before released outfit (or variant on a popular outfit) or a ‘re-imagining’ of a foreign exclusive like the Japanese Skipper are top on my list!

Vintage Skipper

Vintage Skipper

Japanese Skipper

Japanese Skipper

The collector in me would also like to see a three set–three Skipper’s from three unique years together in one package with new birthday themed fashions that are reminiscent of their ‘decade’.  Think about it– how awesome would it be to have a reproduction 1964 doll packaged with a big ‘anime’ eye Skipper and new modern Skipper all in one?  On the same note, it would be a great to see a friends or boyfriends set, where we see reproductions of various of those dolls, as well.

Skipper Line Up

Skipper Line Up

The one thing I don’t want to see with any collector exclusives is for them to be sold only to Barbie Collectors Club members.  I’m not a member and don’t plan on becoming one solely because I don’t see much benefit in becoming a member. While you can almost always find exclusive pieces on eBay, it would be a lot easier if these were available to the general public right off the bat.

National Barbie Convention 2014:

It would be an awful shame if the National Barbie Convention for 2014 decided to ignore Skipper during her 50th.  If I were in charge of the convention, I would definitely amp up the Skipper presence with one of the dinners being a ‘birthday party’ of sorts for her and a lot of souvenirs themed towards Barbie’s little sister.

Basic Dolls:

With the popularity of the ‘Life in the Dreamhouse’ web series and the new, yet to be released ‘Dreamhouse’ doll line, I would love, love, love to see a set themed around Skipper‘s birthday. For Skipper, I’d love to see her in a dress that has body to it.  Instead of the sporty, tight dresses and skirts we have seen her in repeatably, I want to see her glam’d up a bit with her hair and clothing styled differently!

The current Skipper mode

The current Skipper mode

Those are just a few things I want Mattel to think about for Skipper‘s golden birthday.  At the very least, I want them to acknowledge it with a doll of some sort!

What would you like to see Mattel do to celebrate Barbie‘s little sister Skipper?  Why not leave a comment or two and  tell us what you’d like to see!

May 23, 2013. Tags: . Uncategorized.


  1. Holly replied:

    I would love to see a two-doll set with a Skipper reproduction of her first release and a contemporary Skipper. I think a now-and-then set would be incredibly cool.

    In general, I want to see more styles and friends of Skipper released for this generation of dolls–I’m attracted to her smaller size and so would like some more fashion packs for her. Right now I feel that if one owns any Skipper from this generation, one owns the “spirit” of any of them–they’re all too similar to each other. As a buyer, I feel ripped off buying a new Skipper doll; I feel lile overall I’m overpaying for a new set of clothes and hairstreak.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I SO agree with you, Holly! I’m missing two of the new Skipper’s, which is very out of character for me. When they first started the new line, I would snatch new ones up when I saw them, but now, like you’ve said and I’ve lamented hundreds of times now, they’re so similar that what is the point… I can go back into the past releases and give you the name of the line they’re from (ie: pet loving, pizza hut, sun jewel, etc), but the ones that have been released over the past two years have very little identity. *sigh*

  2. Molly replied:

    You’ve got some great ideas! I hope they do something special for Skipper next year too

  3. Teresa B. replied:

    I like the three pack idea. Vintage, anime-eyed, now. That would be an awesome idea.

    In your picture of your “vintage skipper”, I have that same shirt only for Barbie. It was part of my mom’s vintage collection. I would love to have the Skipper to match!

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I got that at a toy/doll show a few years back. I wish I remembered what it was called! I’ll look it up and let you know. It’s on eBay occasionally. I really do love the ‘matching sets’ that Barbie and Skipper had back in the day!

  4. Taswegian1957 replied:

    I agree Mattel should release something special for Skipper’s birthday. I quite like the idea of releasing dolls from the different era’s from original Skipper through the 70s, Teen Skipper and yes some Skipper friends would be great. A modern take on Ricky or Kevin is long overdue. I agree to that it would be great to release them to the general public not just as expensive collectible dolls. It would also be great to see some outfits, repro or other released separately for us de boxers who don’t want to buy the dolls just to get the outfits.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Great idea’s. I’d love for (this) Skipper to get a boyfriend, or heck, a best friend.

  5. Taswegian1957 replied:

    Reblogged this on Dolls, Dolls, Dolls and commented:
    I really enjoyed this article about Barbie’s little sister Skipper and it has inspired me to do a photo shoot with my own Skipper’s very soon.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      thanks for the reblog! Have a great photo shoot!

  6. Rebecca replied:

    I’d like to see fashions for her, without having to buy multiple dolls. We went to three different stores looking for boxed skipper fashions and NOTHING. 😦 we got a boxed set of the sisters, with Barbie, Skipper, Stacie, and Chelsea (I guess tutti became Kelly, and Kelly became Chelsea – she’s about an inch taller than Kelly…)

  7. KatGurl replied:

    I would love to see a vintage reproduction of Skipper in her very first swim suit, with some of her early outfits – especially 1902:Silk’n Fancy; 1903: Masquerade; 1908: Skating Fun and 1906: Dress Coat. It would also be great if they released a selection like they did for Barbie’s anniversary.

  8. Laura Ostermeyer replied:

    I love Skipper and wish Mattel would have packs of shoes and fashions for her. I feel like she’s very neglected! In the meantime I will probably try to make some shoes and clothes myself. They are really missing out on a huge amount of money that fans of Skipper would be willing to spend!

  9. heather replied:

    I love Barbies a lot and skipper

  10. Mary Wernke replied:

    My favorites from each decade: 1968 Twist N Turn, 1975 Growing Up, 1987 Jewel Secrets and 1992 Sun Sensation

  11. Hailey replied:

    I agree, I love and hate the new skipper. Chelsea and Stacie both got to grow up a bit with newer taller bodies and skipper shrank. Now I don’t mind skippers height, cause I agree with you that she was looking more like barbie, but for the body mold I find it a bit off that her chest is like the same proportion as Stacie’s. As for hair, the Disney set was different and the safari line is going a bit different as well, with pulled back hair styles w/ different lengths and makeup that has WAY darker top eyeliner.
    For her 50th I really would like to see a blonde open smile skipper. I do love that this new skipper was brunette (I am one as well) but when you look at the first releases of bathroom set and skating skipper they did a blonde version and I was really drawn to it. So yeah birthday styled skipper with blonde hair open mouth smile and a new hair style, maybe loose curls or something. Also if you look at the Max and Marie set you may notice how similar their faces are to skipper, so I know they can do an open smile on her!

    • Mary Wernke replied:

      I am trying to learn Skipper’s actual birth date. I’ve not yet seen it mentioned anywhere. I’m assuming it is in March. I guess a different way to ask the question would be: What was the opening day of the 1964 Toy Fair in New York? Because that would be her official birthday.

  12. Anthony W replied:

    Skipper would be super cute with the first TNT Barbie hairstyle:: long hair, bangs to her eye brows, and hair at the sides pulled up and tied into alittle top ponytail

  13. Mary Wernke replied:

    I’ve been trying to figure out just when Skipper turns 50, and I think I’ve found an answer.
    The other well-known figure introduced at the 1964 Toy Fair was GI Joe. Thanks to Google, I discovered the pages of a book by Karen O’Brien which mentions the history of Joe. O’Brien wrote that Joe was first shown at the fair on Feb. 9. I’m assuming that is also the day Mattel introduced Skipper.

    This link shows you the pages of the book:

    If the link doesn’t work, you can try copying and pasting.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Good hunting, Mary! I will do a bit of digging today, too, to see if I can find anything else. (I’ll need something to do at work!)

  14. Mary Wernke replied:

    My Twitter page is (mainly) about Skipper. I wrote to Mattel asking about her birthday, and I got an answer (kind of).

    Three years ago, I Tweeted about the 1995 porcelain Happy Birthday Skipper.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      That’s hilarious! I facebook’d them this morning and got the same answer! I wonder what that PR lady was thinking when she got so many questions regarding Skippers birthday! I am actually kind of shocked that Skipper doesn’t have a real birthday!

  15. Blondie replied:

    Hi! I love Skipper. I want her to change so bad, she needs to customize her look. I’ve notice eye color/streak/eye size change. One of the very first Skippers has larger eyes than current Skippers. Her eyes vary from purple to blue. I make my Skippers look different, my first Skipper hair was cut today because A-It was gross and B-She needed shorter hair. So now she has shoulder length hair. I play with my dolls so I am working on a varied collection from Vintage to Ugly-Face (Island Fun) to Anime/Doe Eyed to Pizza Party to Teens to New. I am making an army of Skippers and Kelly dolls.

  16. Mary Wernke replied:

    On a related note, I consider Skipper’s 1984 outfit, 4876 Pool Party, to be her 20th anniversary outfit. Note how similar it is to her original swimsuit. I posted a photo of her 1984 outfits on my Twitter page.

  17. Mary Wernke replied:

    I’ve finally finished my commentary about Skipper and her birthday dresses up through 1999. You can find it here:
    I hope you will find it useful.
    I am 3 years older than Skipper, and she is aging better than I am……

  18. Mary Wernke replied:

    At the Queen City Barbie Club meeting today, I brought my 1965 and 1994 birthday Skippers and another member brought her 50th birthday Skipper. We took photos of the three dolls together.

  19. dawn replied:

    How about starting Skipper convention?????

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I have thought about that, actually! What can I say, I dream big! The problem is that to plan a convention, you need way more people involved in the planning. It’s too huge an undertaking for one person, especially me, who isn’t very good with math and money handling. I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea if we could get a bunch of people to handle getting it off the ground. 🙂 I actually think a Skipper convention would be a blast!

      • dawn replied:

        Let’s see about doing it.

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