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Nostalgic Barbie Paper Dolls


Barbie Nostalgic Paper Dolls

Peck Aubry Paper Dolls

Roma M. Welsh
Barbie dolls joined the doll scene in in 1959. Fourteen years earlier in 1945, Mattel’s co-founder Ruth Handler saw her four year old playing with paper dolls of adult figures and fashions. This was one of the events that inspired her to create a three dimensional doll with a wardrobe named “Barbie,” after her daughter named Barbara. Elliott Handler, Ruth's husband, took Ruth's plans for the fashion doll to Japan, where mass market toys could be produced more economically. The first prototype was finished and brought home to the United States. Ruth wasn't totally pleased, but space had been booked in the 1959 New York Toy Fair and time was of the essence. So, Ruth went ahead with the debut of the Barbie doll--the changes would be worked out later.

Barbie Paper Dolls Make The Scene

Barbie paper dolls first became available in 1962, only three short years after the debut of the Barbie doll. The Western Publishing Co., Inc. began production under license from Mattel, Inc., on a line of paper dolls based on the Barbie doll and fashions.

There have been several paper doll artists throughout the years. Al Anderson designed the paper dolls of the 1960's and early 1970's. Barb Rausch designed some paper dolls but is best known as an illustrator. The well known paper doll artist, Tom Tierney has drawn paper dolls of both Barbie and other famous people.

Various Barbie Paper Doll Companies

Western Publishing Co., Inc. has printed paper dolls under three trade names: Whitman, Golden and Golden Books. Whitman was the company name seen on Barbie paper dolls from 1962 until 1984. Golden was first seen on Barbie paper dolls in 1980 and continued to be used through 1994. Both Whitman and Golden have produced paper doll books and boxed paper dolls sets. Golden Books was first seen on 1994 paper doll books.

Peck Gandre and Peck Aubry Paper Dolls

In 1988 Linda Peck and Marilyn Gandre, creators and owners of “Collectible Paper Dolls From Peck-Gandre" produced several Barbie doll paper dolls under license from Mattel, Inc. These were the Nostalgic Blonde Barbie, Nostalgic Brunette Barbie and Nostalgic Ken paper dolls. These paper dolls were produced in celebration of Barbie’s 30th Anniversary. Released in 1989, all of the dolls were hand-painted, unlike the the Barbie paper dolls later produced for Mattel by Peck Aubry (these paper dolls are the personal focus of my Barbie paper doll collection.) The paper dolls are packaged in beautiful graphic portfolios. Each paper doll in this series is 11 1/2" tall and comes with 16 authentic Barbie fashions (8 full color and 8 black & white.) These paper dolls are highly sought after by both Barbie doll and paper doll collectors.

In 1993 Marilyn Gandre left Peck-Gandre to pursue other interests with her daughters, which led to the company name change to Peck Aubry.

More Nostalgic Paper Dolls From Peck Aubry

In 1994 Peck Aubry was again approached by Mattel to create paper dolls for Barbie’s 35th Anniversary. Peck Aubry was delighted, and in turn, introduced The Barbie paper dolls in what Mattel called a “Photo Real” process (the paper doll itself is a photograph of that particular Barbie doll). Fashions were designed and painted from actual Barbie outfits of her era. Three Barbie paper dolls were created that year: The 1959 (Number 1), The 1961 (Bubble Cut), and The 1964 (Pony Tail Swirl).

In 1965, the American Girl Barbie doll premiered with her bendable knees, a perky “Dutch Boy” hair style and stylish makeup. In 1995 Peck Aubry published the 1965 American Girl Barbie paper doll with her trend-setting wardrobe.

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