Skipper Highlight Reel: Growing Up Skipper and Ginger

It’s time again for another Skipper Highlight Reel! You’ll be seeing more of these as this year continues. With Christmas on the way, I can’t buy many new dolls for myself! It’s far cheaper to highlight things I already own.

Growing up Skipper

This Skipper Highlight Reel is covering one of the more controversial Skipper releases, 1975’s Growing Up Skipper. Growing Up Skipper is a doll with a gimmick. Her box read, “Make her grow from a young girl to a teenager in seconds”. How, you ask? Well, by cracking her left arm in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion! You turn her arm counter-clockwise to make Skipper “grow slim, tall and curvy” and clockwise to make her “cute and young again”. Β (Quotes taken directly from the packaging.) Essentially what happens is when you turn Skipper’s arm counter clockwise, her torso grows in length and her bust grows slightly. Doing the reverse, will pull her torso down and make the bust disappear. (Watch the video review where I show this on a nude doll if you’re confused.)

Growing Up Skipper came with two different hair colors, pale blonde and strawberry blonde. Of the strawberry blonde dolls, there are two different hair styles. One release had long, shaggy layers in her hair, while another had a slightly shorter, more tame cut. The difference is slight, but noticeable if the two dolls are close together.

Growing Up Skipper

Above: Shaggy Strawberry Blonde, Pale Blonde, Shorter Cut Strawberry Blonde

Growing Up Skipper

Above: Pale Blonde, Shorter Cut Strawberry Blonde, Shaggy Strawberry Blonde

In 1976, Skipper made friends with Ginger. Ginger was only released in this Growing Up Skipper line. Ginger used the same face mold and body type as Skipper. My Ginger is not in her original outfit. Ginger’s original outfit was similar to Skipper’s, but had a teal color scheme. Her skirt is currently on one of my Skippers. (In case you’re wondering, my Ginger is wearing the Fun at McDonalds Fantasy Fashion.)

Growing Up Skipper

Of the two dolls, I think Ginger is the cutest. The brown hair and eyes Β look much cuter on this face mold than Skipper’s strangely painted face. Β It’s hard to tell from the grainy commercial above, but the prototype Skipper looks much cuter than what was on store shelves.

Growing Up Skipper

Because Skipper and Ginger grew in length when they changed from being a child to an adult, Mattel included a lot of accessories with this doll. You got a red unitard top, a long red and white skirt, short red and white skirt, white sandles, red flats and a scarf. My dolls aren’t mint and are missing certain pieces. Mattel released a handful of outfit sets for these dolls over the three years, as well.

Growing Up Skipper

Above: “Teenager” Skipper, “Child” Skipper

Do you remember Growing Up Skipper and Ginger? What do you think of these two unique dolls? Share your thoughts below!

September 16, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized.


  1. Trisha Andrews replied:

    I had both Growing Up Skipper and Growing Up Ginger in the mid-70s, and I will buy them back sometime in the future. As a nine and ten-year-old kid, I didn’t pay no attention to what hair colors, and face molds these dolls had. I thought Ginger had a different head mold from Skipper’s, not SHARING THE SAME ONE!

    • kewpie83 replied:

      I didn’t know for an embarrassingly long time, either! πŸ˜‰

  2. Shirley replied:

    I remember my grandmother bought the cousins this doll and was shocked and upset when she realized what the doll did to grow up. Apparently she did not read the boxπŸ˜€

    I really like you hair!!! You are so fortunate to look great in short and long hair!

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Thanks! My hair has been so long for so long that I needed to chop it off. It’s so much lighter now. πŸ™‚

  3. Lorraine replied:

    I have both these dolls πŸ˜€ I think they are cute. Mine are missing some of the accessories as well.

    • murielmakes replied:

      Just got mine out. They are both missing their shoes and Ginger is missing her body suit/leotard. You can see them on my blog – I have a ‘Skipper’ page πŸ™‚

      • kewpie83 replied:

        Nice Skipper’s! It looks like you may have the longer, shaggy haired version of Growing Up Skipper from the pictures. Also, the Sasha on your front picture is adorable. πŸ™‚

  4. barbtheevilgenius replied:

    I had Growing Up Ginger. I thought she was great. Since I often made elaborate stories for my dolls, I liked that she could “play” two different ages. I know my mom didn’t like the doll very much; I’m surprised we even had her. Since kids played with dolls until an older age back then, it wasn’t like I hadn’t already noticed that older females had different figures than I did.

    That polka dot skirt looks like it came with Ginger originally.

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yep. The skirt came with my franken-ginger that I didn’t show here. I think I have a few other pieces of her outfit somewhere, but none were in great shape.

  5. Iphis of Scyros replied:

    I found a Growing Up Skipper (pale blonde, I believe) at a local antique mall just days after I had been reading about her in a book on Barbie history. I don’t remember what I paid for her, but I still feel like she was worth it. πŸ˜€ I’m scared to actually use her “growing up” feature much, though, lest I break the mechanism. (Or, more likely, the rubber band. At least, I assume there’s a rubber band involved…) It was fun testing her at the antique mall to show the lady at the counter what was special about her, though. πŸ˜›

    • kewpie83 replied:

      Yeah, testing them is kind of scary. I’ve seen some with arms that you know you shouldn’t twist! Congrats on the find, though! Our antique malls usually have ziltch.

  6. Skipper Highlight Reel: Skipper’s Boyfriend Scott | Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter replied:

    […] time on the Skipper Highlight Reel, we covered Growing Up Skipper and her friend Ginger. This controversial line lead to the sudden disappearance of Skipper for a short period of time. […]

  7. Skipper Highlight Reel: Courtney, Skipper’s Best Friend | Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter replied:

    […] in 1988 along with Teen Time Skipper, Courtney was Skipper’s first new female friend since Ginger came and went a few years earlier. Teen Time Courtney made a huge impact on the doll scene when she […]

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