Barbie Vintage Doll Clothes Labels and Tags
Barbie dolls and fashions are listed by the date the item was on the market. However, a collector should be aware that the manufacture obviously must make their supplies prior to it being on the market, thus an outfit label or tag that has a date of © 1968 means that it was made or copyright in that year, but probably was not on the market till at least the following year. So when trying to identify an outfit look one year after the date on the tag.
Also, outfits had only one label or tag but often several clothing pieces. Labels are most often found in the outermost clothing piece for female attire. In a three piece suit for Barbie: jacket, blouse, pants or skirt the label will be found in the jacket. In # 991 Barbie’s Registered Nurse the label is in the navy cape, not the white nurse dress. Male fashions do not follow this example, it seems the labels are more often found in the shirt rather than the jacket.
Barbie is the star of the Mattel doll line, so other 11 1/2″ friends were meant to share her wardrobe, this way a new doll could be purchased but a whole new wardrobe was not necessary. Other than a dolls original swimsuit, only a handful of outfits were designed and labeled for the doll friends. Julia had four outfits, Stacey and PJ doll each one gift set outfit. The same was true for Francie sized 11 1/4″ dolls, her friend Twiggy had four outfits labeled for her and Casey just one. Skipper and friend Skooter are 9 1/4″, Skooter only has a swimsuit labeled for her, but Ricky also 9 1/4″ sized, has the same body as Skipper and Skooter, of course, got his own wardrobe of six outfits. Ken is 12″ tall, 11 3/4″ only in 1963 and shares his wardrobe with friends Allan, Brad and Curtis.
Earliest Barbie Doll Clothing Labels 1959+
1st label Barbie ™
© BY MATTEL
2nd label Barbie ®
© BY MATTEL
All early Barbie clothing and dolls were made in Japan. Mattel Barbie doll zippers in the clothing have YKK on the pull. Mattel doll clothing metal snaps may carry the mark of * 5 0 0 or K 5 I 0 (there may be other markings too, but this is what we found on 10 garments from this era). In 1972 Mattel introduced color coded packaging, stopped labeling or tagging clothing and no longer used title names for outfits.
Shoes – early Barbie open toe heeled shoes have a left and a right to the pair. The left shoe is marked Japan. The same is true of Skipper’s flat shoes, the left one is marked Japan. During the MOD era Skipper’s shoes are marked Taiwan with these being larger as bend leg dolls have larger feet.
Reproduction outfits are tagged Barbie ® Reproduction © BY MATTEL. A Gay Parisienne reproduction outfit has the white faux fur stole label of Barbie ® © BY MATTEL.