Skipper Dolls - An Introduction:
Skipper was introduced by Mattel to be Barbie's little sister in 1964. At the time of her introduction, Skipper was meant to be a little girl about 10 years old. Later, she became a young teenager. In the 1960s, Skipper was an alternative for Moms who objected to Barbie's adult look and body.
Years of Production of Skipper Dolls:
Skipper was introduced 5 years after Barbie, in 1964. She was in nearly continuous production until her retirement in 2003. Skipper was resculpted many times, and had many different body styles as well. Many collectors consider the early 1960s Skipper dolls to be truly iconic and not matched by the later Skippers in quality or styling.
Size of Skipper Dolls:
In 1964, Skipper was 9.25" tall. Later versions which represented a young teenager were taller. Also, Growing Up Skipper, produced in 1975, had two heights. With a rotation of Skipper's arms, Skipper grew in height (and, more controversially, grew small breasts).
Materials Used To Make Skipper Dolls:
Skipper is generally made of soft vinyl for the head and harder vinyl for the body. Additionally, the 30th Anniversary Skipper doll, produced only in 1964, was made in porcelain.
Company That Produced Skipper Dolls:
Mattel, Inc. produced Skipper dolls.
Popular Versions of the Skipper Doll:
Mattel's original Skipper doll was a hit. Referred to by today's collectors as "Straight Leg Skipper," she had long hair (blonde, brunette or redhead) and bangs. Other notable 1960s Skippers include the next version of Skipper with bendable legs, Twist and Turn Skipper and Malibu Skipper. Later versions of Skipper included the notorious Growing Up Skipper and many, many young teen versions in the 1970s through 1990s. The 30th Anniversary Skipper was done in porcelain. In 2007, Mattel released the first reproduction 1960s Skipper, presented in a Gift Set with a reproduction Swirl ponytail Barbie.
Skipper Friends and Family:
Skipper was so popular that she had her own friends. Skipper's 1960s friends included Ricky, Skooter, and Living Fluff. As sisters, she shared family members with Barbie, and they included cousin Francie. A later friend in the 1970s was Ginger.
Secondary Market Prices for Skipper Dolls:
As with most other vintage 1960s Barbie secondary market prices, prices for vintage Skipper items are lower than in recent past years, mostly due to the effect of vast amounts of vintage items always available on eBay. That said, very rare Skipper variations, very rare never removed from box ("NRFB") outfits and very rare Skipper accessories from the 1960s can still sell for hundreds of dollars. The vast majority of mint Skipper items can be found for under $300.
Other than the vintage 1960s Skipper dolls, most Skipper dolls and outfits do not bring high prices, even though some of the 1970s and 1980s versions of Skipper are nearly impossible to find still in their original boxes. The teen versions of Skipper are not generally very popular with collectors. Growing Up Skipper, NRFB, can easily be found for under $100.