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Ponytail Barbie (1959-66)

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Number two dressed box Barbie doll
#2 Dressed box doll
Number two dressed box Barbie doll
Showing pink box
Number three Barbie doll
#3 Barbie in box
Number three Barbie doll
Note curved eyebrows
Photos courtesy of eBay seller luving_dolls.

Body Construction
The ponytail Barbie dolls are all-vinyl, 11.5" tall, with rooted hair, molded eyelids, pierced ears and side glancing eyes. They are jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. There are six (some collectors say five) different variations on this ponytail doll, which was produced through 1963. The table below describes the variations. All ponytail dolls had the same Mattel stock number, 850. The first three versions of the ponytail Barbie were made of a pale vinyl which has often turned a ghostly white.

1959#1Blonde or brunette hair, white irises, pointy eyebrows, copper tubes in feet. Round stand w/prongs.
1959-60#2Same as #1, but no tubes in feet, round stand w/ wire support (no prongs).
1960#3Same as #2, but blue irises, curved eyebrows, some had brown eyeliner, all wire stand
1960-61#4Same as #3, but made of tan toned vinyl
1961#5Same as #4, but has a hollow torso (noticeably lighter weight), some redheads were made.
1962-66#6Same as #5, but lip colors varied from pale pink to red. 1963 dolls had the Midge/Barbie body markings (see below).

Nearly all ponytail Barbie dolls are marked "Barbie TM // Pats. Pend. // (copyright symbol)MCMLVIII // by // Mattel // Inc." Only the #6 dolls made in 1963 are marked "Midge TM // (copyright symbol) 1962 // Barbie (R) // (C)1958 // by // Mattel, Inc."

The first five variations of the ponytail doll were sold wearing a black and white striped swimsuit, and came with black open toe heels. The number one and two dolls came with white sunglasses with blue lenses. Most came wearing gold toned hoop earrings, but later number two dolls and all others had pearl stud earrings. Number six dolls were sold wearing a red swimsuit. Barbie had many, many outfits that could be purchased separately.

Original box for vintage ponytail Barbie doll

The box that early ponytail Barbies came in had a white background and illustrations of dolls wearing various outfits. The "Dressed Box" dolls that were sold to stores to use as display models had pink backgrounds. After the bubble cut dolls were introduced in 1961, ponytail dolls were sold in boxes that featured illustrations of dolls with both hairstyles.

Sources for this page include:

  1. "Collector's Encyclopedia of Barbie Dolls and Collectibles" by Sibyl DeWein & Joan Ashabraner
  2. "Barbie Fashion" vol 1 & 2 by Sarah Sink Eames

Copyright 2008-2013 by Zendelle Bouchard.