Color Magic Barbie: A Truly Groovy Mid-60s Barbie, With Hair You Can Color Too!

Vintage Color Magic Barbie Doll

Color Magic Barbie Doll With Golden Hair, c. 1966

For me, one of the most iconic Mid-60s Vintage Barbie Dolls is the Color Magic Barbie.  She has bright and groovy colors and long hair, very unlike the older-looking and more prim and proper Ponytail and Bubblecut Barbies that came before her.  Additionally, you could change the hair and bathing suit color with the color changing chemicals included with the doll!  This puts this doll in a long line of dolls that DO something, from early paper mache dolls with crying squeakers from the mid 1800s, to Bebe Phonographe by Jumeau (played records so “talked”) all the way through to today’s modern Barbies that often have a special “play” feature.

This Barbie was released in 1966, during the American Girl Barbie doll era. She has the American Girl Barbie body and face, with bendable legs. Her box converted to a closet, and included many hair-play accessories including bobby pins and hair ribbons (plus the afore-mentioned hair color changers. She wore a groovy multi-colored diamond swimsuit with matching hairband, and came in two hair colors–golden blonde (pictured) which changed to scarlet flame, and midnight, a dark brunette that changed to ruby-red.

Mint vintage Color Magic Barbies with “high color” (very bright facial painting) are valued today at Continue reading

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Dance of the Lady Doll by Tonner Dolls

Tonner Dance of the Lady Doll

Dance of the Lady Doll by Tonner Dolls

I am going to be blogging about a different doll every day from Monday through Friday. That said, I am not going to title each blog “Doll of the Day” since that will make it hard to find blogs over time, as well as being monotonous.  Each doll will simply be presented with a photo, information and some discussion.  Each blog will then be placed in an appropriate category, so eventually you can look at a category like “Celluloid Dolls” or “French Antique Dolls” or “Vintage Barbie Dolls” and look at all the dolls in one category. Although I will do my best to blog every day, when traveling I may not be able to do so.

I thought that we shouldn’t simply discuss new blog housekeeping matters without also enjoying a beautiful doll. The doll pictured is the Dance of the Lady Doll by Tonner Dolls. The New York City Ballet doll series from Tonner is one of my favorites. This particular doll is from George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. The doll was produced in 2008 and had an initial retail of $139.99 and a limited edition of 1,000 dolls. She has a Emile head sculpt and the ballerina “en pointe” foot.  For those not familiar with Tonner Dolls, these dolls are fully articulated, made of hard vinyl and stand about 16″ tall.  Tonner Dolls are one of my favorite Modern Dolls thanks to the beautiful design and costuming.

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Doll of the Day: German Wax-over Paper Mache Bonnet Doll

waxoverpaperwithhatI attended the Theriault’s Kaleidoscope auction in Las Vegas last weekend. The auction highlighted the collections of two collectors,  Helen Welsh and Evelyn Heidepriem.  I especially enjoyed the dolls at this auction because many of them had a little twist, or were a little different from the norm.

This doll is no exception. I’ve always had a soft spot for wax-over paper mache German dolls, and I especially noticed this little doll because not only was she wax-0ver paper mache, but she had a fabulous paper mache attached hat that matched her boots!  With glass eyes and a darling little antique costume, this girl had attitude, and she definitely needed to come home with me!  She is circa 1880, and these little wax-over dolls are so often really beat up, it was wonderful to find one in this condition.  By the way, am I the only one who is constantly surprised at the age of antique dolls? This doll is approximately 134 years old!

Also, just a note of housekeeping regarding the photos on my blog. You can always click on a photo to bring up a larger picture.  Additionally, please feel free to share my photos and posts on your social media including Pinterest, Facebook , and Twitter!  Of course, I always appreciate a link back.

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Welcome to Denise Van Patten’s New Dolls Blog!

Jumeau French Fashion Doll

Portrait Jumeau French Fashion Doll With Wood Body

Welcome! As many of you know, I have been writing about, collecting, and photographing dolls for many years! I was the Doll Collecting Guide at from 1998 through 2012. I am the author of The Official Price Guide to Dolls from Random House’s House of Collectibles. I travel and lecture about dolls, appraise dolls, buy and sell dolls, and, of course, have collected dolls since the early 1990s.

It’s great to be back writing about dolls on a regular basis! I’ll be talking about dolls and doll events here, sharing my doll photography with you, and, I hope, having conversations about dolls with you, my readers on a regular basis.

For those who have wondered where I’ve been for the past two years, due to a diagnosis of severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, I had to close my bricks and mortar doll shop, and I also had to give up writing for Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, I am very happy to be back! Besides my return to writing, I am resuming my doll-related travels as well as the sale of my antique and vintage dolls on Ruby Lane, and my modern dolls on eBay.

So let’s undertake this new doll adventure together!

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