I don't know a time when I was without Barbie!
by Beth Cramer Stine
(Las Vegas, Nevada)
I don't remember exactly when I started playing with Barbie, but it must have been when I was old enough not to swallow the shoes! My first Barbies were purchased from the thrift store for my older sister who never really played with them. I still have the bubble cut Barbie and Midge, with the nose and fingers chewed off by my dogs. My first 'brand new' doll was a Living Skipper which I purchased by saving my money (it was $1.99 with the trade in of an old doll at Sears!). The following year I got another 'brand new' Skipper from Santa which was a real treat as my family couldn't really afford expensive dolls like Barbie (that Skipper has a burned scalp when I tried to make a hair dryer out of a desk lamp, silly me!). I continued to play with Barbie although I was way too old (I received Malibu Barbie & Malibu Ken from Santa in Junior High and everyone made fun of me!) I still have all those dolls and I treasure the memories playing with them and making clothing. I wanted to continue the joy with my niece and began to purchase Barbie for her, but she really didn't have that much interest. When the first Happy Holidays Barbie came out in 1988, I was thrilled because I could buy Barbies for myself and I've been collecting ever since! I lived in Japan for a period of time and I began purchasing Japanese Barbie dolls. Afterwards, I lived in Saudi Arabia and I found a toy store that was filled with Barbies and accessories from the 1980s. I wish I could have bought every item in that store! So you see I really don't remember a time in my life when I was without Barbie!
(Thanks for sharing Beth - how wonderful to have your childhood treasures and to add to them throughout your life!