Please note: The information below - especially on Japanese pink and tan skin Skippers/dressed box Skippers - derives from my own independent research and most of it has not been published in any form before. Like all parts of this website no part of this information - neither written information nor photographs - may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means including but not limited to electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without my written consent. You are entitled to use the information for your private, non-commercial use only. If you want to use the info on your book/website/etc. PLEASE CONTACT ME PRIOR TO USE!
The "Japanese Skipper dolls" #S950 were sold from 1964 until 1966 and had the same features as the regular SL Skipper dolls, except for their eyes. Japanese Skippers had black eyes that glance to the left and light blue eyeshadow. Three black eyelashes were painted on each side of her eyes and most of the dolls had black eyebrows. However, Japanese Skippers with brown eyebrows have been found. These dolls are extremely rare.
The majority of the Japanese Skipper dolls came in the pink skin tone. I believe pink skin Japanese Skippers were sold in 1966 only (when the regular Skipper was first issued in pink skin tone). Usually, their faces and/or arms have discolored over the years. But there are also "tan" Skippers (extremely rare). You hardly ever find Japanese Skippers with their original lip color, usually their lips have faded and/or turned butter white. If you see a Japanese Skipper with dark red lips, you can be sure they are repainted. Almost all Japanese Skippers have "green" around the hair line, which was caused by the headbands (oxidation). This does not deduct from their value.
Japanese Skippers were sold in the three basic hair colors: "Redhead", "Brunette" and "Blonde". Most likely, they came in the same boxes like the regular SL Skipper dolls, probably with the addition of a tariff sticker at the bottom of the box. Most of the Japanese Skippers that came in "Dressed Doll" boxes were Tan Skin Skipper dolls (more info further below).
Japanese Tan Skippers are either marked Skipper © 1963 Mattel, Inc. or © 1963 Mattel, Inc.
Japanese Pink Skin Skippers are marked © 1963 Mattel, Inc.
These dolls are extremely rare and probably the most expensive SL Skipper dolls to be found on the market. Even Japanese Skipper in medium condition are saught after by collectors and are sold at a high price.
Pictured above: Page of the Japanese Barbie booklet
Rare blonde Pink Skin Japanese Skipper
Left: Here you can see a comparison of tan skin (blonde) and pink skin (brunette - original lips) Japanese Skippers.
Right: Two pink skin girls
Blonde Pink Skin Japanese Skipper
From 1964 until 1966 some Japanese Skippers were available in “Dressed Doll Boxes”. The dolls in these boxes usually came with tan skin (doll markings: Skipper © 1963 Mattel, Inc.) and with some (maybe all) of the regular outfits available for Skipper in the first two years. You can find a few pink skin Japanese Dressed Dolls (doll markings: © 1963 Mattel, Inc.) wearing outfits available in 1966 (like, for example: Dream Time). In addition, also a dressed doll box with a blonde tan Skipper wearing a kimono was availabe.
The stock number 0950 and the graphics and outside appearance of a Japanese Dressed Doll Box was the same as the one of/on the regular boxes (except for the sticker on the bottom of the box with the number of the outfit enclosed), but they differed from the dressed boxes sold in the US. (You can find more info on the U.S. market dressed doll boxes in chapter "Straight Leg Skipper #0950 ...").
The boxes came with liners. The dolls were not sewn into the boxes. The booklet enclosed was made for the Japanese market. The bottom of the wire stand that came with that box was round and black and had a gold “Skipper” print on it.
Very rare blonde Tan Skin Japanese Skipper with brown eyebrows and original lip colour dressed in "Town Togs" - in her original Japanese dressed doll box - with liner and stand.
Rare blonde Tan Skin Japanese Skipper dressed in "Rain or Shine" in her original Japanese dressed doll box.
Japanese dressed doll in her own kimono. Collection of Patrick McGovern.
Pictures from the Japanese Barbie booklet showing the dressed doll box fashions and the black stands that were included in the box.
The Skipper Kimono #S2001 sold in the "Dressed boxes" was also available as a fashion set. This set contained a cream-white brocade kimono with gold cranes, a waist sash (obi) in two patterns (one pictured on the Japanese Barbie booklet, the other one was gold and red striped), a clutch purse or drawstring bag made of the same material like the kimono or with red and gold stripes, japanese sandals (pokkuri) and socks (tabi). Since this outfit is very rare, it is sold for very high prices.
There are (non-Mattel) reproductions of the Japanese Skipper kimono. Although the fabric is also a 60s kimono fabric used for dolls produced for the Japanese market by other companies, the fabric is not exactly the same like the original. The easiest way to find out if the kimono is a reproduction or an orgininal is by looking closely at the cranes. You can find a comparison further below.
The kimono is pictured in the Barbie booklet available in Japan:
Comparison of the original kimono fabric (to the left) and the vintage reproduction fabric:
Japanese Skipper dressed in a reproduction of the original kimono (the shoes are not original):
More photographs of Japanese Dressed Dolls & boxes can be found on "A guide to vintage Skipper dolls - vol 3", including photographs of a pink skin Japanese Skipper dressed in Dreamtime:
Above you can see the cover page of the Japanese Barbie booklet in which the Japanese Skipper is pictured. It was produced by Kokusai Boeki Kaisha Ltd, a Japanese company founded in 1937, which is specialized in goods and services importing and exporting. They also produced the early fashion booklets included in boxes and packaging for Mattel’s dolls and fashion outfits available in the rest of the world. Mattel went into business with Kokusai Boeki Kaisha in 1957.
In Japan, not only the Japanese version of Skipper was sold, but also the regular version. Here is an overview of Skipper (and her friends) available in Japan:
- Japanese Skipper
- Japanese Dressed Doll Boxes
- U.S. Skipper
- U.S. Skipper Dressed Doll Boxes
- U.S. Skooter (a Skooter dressed doll box has been found)
- U.S. Ricky
The U.S. version Skipper's boxes were the same like in the U.S. (described on the page "Straight Leg SL Skipper ..."), except for the sticker attached to the bottom of the box with the KB (Kokusai Boeki) label, a pat. number, and the number of the fashion enclosed on it. You can find more info on the dressed doll boxes above.
Skooter and Ricky also had a sticker attached to their boxes (probably also the regular Skipper box with Skipper in her OSS), which state their production numbers (# 1040 for Skooter, #1090 for Ricky).
P.S. The U.S. Skipper version was available in every country where the first Skipper dolls were sold (like in Germany, Great Britain, France, Canada, ....).
There were some later Skipper issues sold on the Japanese market only:
"The Sun Set Malibu Skipper" #1069 (1971 - 1974) was also sold as a Japanese issue in 1972 - maybe already in 1971. In Japan, she came with the same box and with the same accessories as the American version, with an extra sticker stating "Sun Sun Skipper" in Japanese. She was almost identical with the Amercian version, but she had brown eyes and a dark brown scalp, brunette hair and rooted eyelashes. This doll is very, very rare.
This Skipper doll had the same body as the regular Quick Curl Skipper (1973 – 1975) and quick curl hair in titian, blonde and brunette. Cho Cho Chan was sold exclusively in Japan in 1974.
Butterfly Skippers were dressed dolls, they came in long dresses with butterfly wings. They shared the same head mold with Living Eli and Malibu Eli dolls of that time. Some Best Buy Outfits were available for Cho Cho Chan.
They had their own stock numbers and were sold on blister cards with Japanese writing. Butterfly Skippers are hard to find.
Doll marking: © 1967 Mattel, Inc. Taiwan U.S. Patented. Other Patents Pending
Skip-Chan was sold in Japan in 1975 and 1976 as a dressed doll . She came in four different, untagged party dresses and unmarked flats. The outfits were only sold with this doll.
The stock numbers of the dolls were S1201, S1202, S1301 and S1302. Except for their pink skin these dolls resembled the Malibu Skippers sold at the same time. They are hard to find. Marking:
© Mattel 1967 Philippines
The box was marked “Made in the Philippines and Japan”.
Following photos and dolls: Courtesy of Dawn Austin
The right, titian Skipper is a repaint. Both dolls are dressed in beautiful kimonos.