Like many people, you may not have heard about Growing Up Skipper until the Barbie movie came out! She’s one of Mattel’s “uh-ohs” like Sugar Daddy Ken, lol. Growing Up Skipper #7259 (Barbie’s little sister) debuted in 1975 but was discontinued in 1977 amid controversy over how her body “grows.” Mattel received numerous letters from women’s groups and parents complaining about the doll and her ability to grow breasts. The front of her box stated, “Make her grow from a young girl to a teenager in seconds." The back of her box said that she transforms from a cute little girl to a tall, curvy teenager. (Ummm… curvy?! She could stand to eat a cheeseburger.) I just had to add her to my collection though – and her friend Growing Up Ginger. More about her later.
Mattel had good intentions and thought the new body style would give kids "2 dolls in 1 for twice as much fun" and hoped to show how young women develop when going through puberty. When you turn Skipper's left arm forward, she grows an inch taller and develops small breasts, making her grow up from a young girl to a teenager in seconds. Rotate the same arm backward, and she goes back to pre-pubescence.
The fashions in her box fit both the young girl and teenager sizes. She comes in a red bodysuit with a blue removable collar, a short red and white houndstooth plaid mini skirt (a long version is also included), a blue scarf, red knee-high socks, red head band, red flats and white platform sandals. She has blue eyes and long, center-parted straight blonde hair that flipped out at the ends, a la the 1969 Marlo Flip Barbie hairstyle - just longer. In 1975, she had pale blonde hair and when the second version was available in 1976, she had slightly shorter, golden blonde hair.
1976 Growing up Ginger #9222 was made from the same head mold and “growing” body mechanism as Growing Up Skipper. She has long brunette hair parted on the side and brown eyes. Like her pal Skipper, her fashions fit both the young girl and teenager. She comes with a turquoise body suit with a pink collar, two turquoise and white polka dotted skirts (one long and one mini), a pink scarf and ankle socks, turquoise flats and white platform sandals. She was only available in 1976 which makes her much harder to find (especially in the original box - see below).
Mattel produced six additional outfits that fit both Growing Up Skipper and Growing Up Ginger. I love all of them! Colorful and funky, very 70s. There is a Growing Up Skipper Deluxe Fashion Set that included two fashions. There is also a cool 2 in 1 Skipper bedroom set that transforms from a girl’s room to one for a teen! There were bunk beds for Growing Up Skipper and Ginger. The bunk beds transform into an elegant bed with canopy. The desk with chair, lampshade, books and notebook become a make-up table with mirror. You could also buy Growing Up Skipper paper dolls and coloring books.
Skipper used to have a young male friend named Ricky. He looks like Allan's mini-me! Question to ponder... why didn't they make a "Growing Up" Ricky?! Now THAT would've been funny! Is that a banana in your pants, Ricky, or are you just happy to see me?!
Stop by my Barbie influencer Amazon storefront at amazon.com/shop/influencer-e50a405a!
#GrowingUpSkipper #GrowingUpGinger #SkipperDoll #Skippers #70sSkipper #SkipperDoll #GingerDoll #BarbiesLittleSister #ModBarbies #VintageBarbies #BarbieCollecting #BarbieCollector #SkipperCollector #CollectingSkipper #SkipperDolls
Search for any Barbie or other 70s doll blog posts in the box below!