Krista's Doll Restoration


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"Which Ponytail do I have and how can I tell the difference?"   
This is a very common question.  With attention to the details, along with some practice, you will easily be able to spot the differences!

PLEASE NOTE: The numbers you find on the vintage dolls' left buttocks, under their arms, on the legs, etc. are absolutely meaningless!  These are a mold I.D. marks only, and they have no significance whatsoever to collectors. Also, the number on the left buttocks does not determine what 'number' your doll is. Please use the guide below to help you determine this.  There are so many variations (and body markings can also rub off over time) so please be aware that this is just a very general guide. Your doll's markings may vary with no significance to the variation whatsoever.

Brunette and Blond #1 Barbie Dolls

1959 Number 1 Ponytail -- Barbie's Story Begins!

- Blonde or brunette (more like black) hair
- A flocked head underneath the hair
- Hair was rooted with two rows of plugs around the perimeter of the head
- Soft bangs that were made out of the same hair as her ponytail (a synthetic mohair, probably nylon)
- Vinyl that has usually paled -- often very pale (white!) and is known to smell 'like crayons'
- Arched brows (upside down 'V' shape)
- White irises, black outlined pupils
- Red lips (often faded)
- Navy eye-liner
- Some early #1s seem to have been 'hand painted,'  but the paint should still look smooth, matte
**I advise that rubbing alcohol not be used to test the face paint for originality on the #1/#2 Barbies. I have seen cases where alcohol has removed original paint.**
- Heavy (partially) solid body, with tubes inside her legs and therefore holes in the balls of her feet (to position her on the pronged stand)   
- Known to 'smell like crayons'
- Red fingernail and toenail polish
- May have what is known as 'mold marks' across the upper thighs (lines that look as if someone tried to saw the limbs off)
- Sold with black/white swimsuit, black '#1' shoes (i.e. shoes had holes in the bottom to fit on the stand), white sunglasses, Barbie™ booklet, black pedestal pronged stand (marked 'Barbie™', hoop earrings
- Markings (on her bottom): Barbie™/Pats.Pend./©MCMLVIII/by Mattel/Inc.
-Marking on bottom of the right foot says, 'Japan' and can be found written lengthwise or width-wise, within a little box (For an example of both 'Japan' markings, please click on the link below - please note that there is no significance to this other than the differences in the molds)

An example of a brunette #1 on the left and a hand painted ponytail #1 on the right

Important -- Please click here for information regarding genuine #1s/#2s vs. fake #1s/#2s

Please click here to see the restoration of a genuine #1 Ponytail Barbie

1959 Number 2 Ponytail

- Completely identical to the Number 1 Barbie's features except without the tubing in her legs/holes in her feet
- 'Japan' written on right foot
- Same markings as the #1
- May have 'mold marks' across the upper thighs (lines that look as if someone tried to saw the limbs off)
- Same accessories as the #1, but Stand is no longer pronged. There is now a hole in the center where a wire piece could be inserted and then positioned under Barbie's arms. Stand marked 'Barbie™'


Note that brown eyeliner is unique to the #3 Ponytails, though they also can be found with blue

1960 Number 3 Ponytail

- Same blonde and brunette hair color
- Same flocking on head underneath the hair
- Hair was also rooted with two rows of plugs around the perimeter of the head
-  vinyl that fades to varying degrees. 
- Known to 'smell like crayons'
- Same soft texture of bangs (same hair as used for ponytail)
- A flocked head underneath the hair
- Brows that are softer and more rounded (rather than arched)
- Blue irises rather than white/black
- Either brown or blue eye-liner (both found equally as often).  However, of all the vintage Barbies, only the #3s were painted with brown eye-liner!
- Red lips (often faded to a lighter, orange-red)
- Red nail polish
- May have 'mold marks' across the upper thighs (lines that look as if someone tried to saw the limbs off)
- Same body as the #2 Ponytail above (partially solid and usually pale, no holes in feet/tubes in legs)
- Came with black/white swimsuit, black pedestal stand marked 'Barbie™ (the hole for wire piece is now located towards the outer edge of the pedestal), black open toe shoes, white sunglasses, Barbie® booklet, and either hoop or pearl earrings
- Same body markings as first two ponytails
- Some of these early dolls, including some #4s, can also be found with nipples!

As you can see, #3 Ponytails are most definitely susceptible to green ear. Please do not leave metal earrings inside any of the dolls' ears.

Ponytail #3 with Factory Braid

Ponytail #3 with Factory Bun

1960 Number 4 Ponytail

- Same black and blonde soft hair and bangs
- Same flocking underneath the hair

- Hair was rooted with two rows of plugs around the perimeter of the head

- Vinyl now retains its tan color
- Known to 'smell like crayons'
- Body feels heavy and solid but to the touch (especially on the back)  vinyl is often 'squishy' feeling
- May have what is known as 'mold marks' across the upper thighs (lines that look as if someone tried to saw the limbs off)
- Blue eyes and blue eye-liner
- Red lips
- Red nail polish
- Softly curved brows
- Same markings as first three (or perhaps 'Barbie®' -- seen on the later #4s)

Transitional #3/#4 and #4/#5 Ponytails


Note the coarser looking bangs than the previous years

1961 Number 5 Ponytails

- Many changes occurred this year as Barbie was definitely mass-produced by now.
- The titian (redhead) hair color was introduced.  Now there is blonde, brunette (raven) and titian
-Flocking no longer found on heads
- Bangs are now a different texture than the ponytail. Bangs feel coarse and are thickly curled
- Hair was rooted with two rows of plugs around the perimeter of the head
- Body became much lighter ('hollow') and has a more 'plastic' feeling to  it
- Face is thin due to the small neck knob on the hollow 'Barbie' body.
- Eyes range from blue to a turquoise blue
- large red lips
- Curved brows (a bit more arched than the #3s' and #4s')
- Often a 'greasy' face. This was caused by the type of vinyl that was used
- Accessories include the black/white swimsuit, black open toe shoes, white sunglasses, a now completely wire (black) stand, a Barbie® & Ken™  booklet, and pearl earrings
- First issue to be sold with a wrist tag (purpose of which was to identify the genuine Barbie from the knock-offs)
- Sometimes found with delicate painted legs (skin tone) 
- Like ALL vintage Barbies, ears turn green if the earrings are left in
- Markings (again on bottom) are the same as the first 4 ponytails only now Barbie™ becomes Barbie®

This more unusual ponytail was only made for one year. She had watermelon lips and nails. The doll in the center is shown with her orig (not touched up) lip paint.

1962 Number 6 Ponytail

- Often thought of as a transitional doll because of her unique watermelon color lips as opposed to the previous red
- Same thin face of the #5 dolls (same 'Barbie' body with small neck knob, but nails are painted watermelon pink)
- Should not have a greasy face (vinyl of the 'greasy faces' was changed in 1961)
- Same blue to turquoise eyes as the #5 dolls
- Same hair colors as the #5 dolls
- Hair was rooted with two rows of plugs around the perimeter of the head
- Same body and markings as the #5 dolls
- Nail polish is now watermelon as opposed to the earlier red
- Sometimes found with delicate painted legs (skin tone) 
- Sold with red jersey swimsuit, red open toe shoes, black wire stand,  wrist tag, pearl earrings and booklet
- Watch those 'pearl' earrings if left in the ears.   As always, it is recommended that you remove them immediately so they do not cause 'green ear.'


1963 - 1964 Number 7 Ponytail (often lumped into the Number 6 category above!)

- Another big year for change!
- Body now includes the markings for the Midge doll (who has the same body): 'Midge™/©1962/Barbie®/©1958/by/Mattel, Inc.'
- Body made of same hollow vinyl, but now the neck knob is much larger (watch those neck splits!).  Small neck knob Midge/Barbie bodies can also be found, however.
- Hair colors have changed: lemon blonde, ash blonde, brunette (not raven black like the #5 and #6 ponytails), and titian (redhead)
- Hair was rooted with two rows of plugs around the perimeter of the head
- Small coral lips, could be very thin on some ponytails!
- Blue eyes with blue eyeliner
- Same brow shape as the #5s
- Sometimes found with delicate painted legs (skin tone)
- A chubbier face (due to the larger neck knob on the Midge/Barbie bodies)
- Sold with red jersey swimsuit, red open toe shoes, black wire stand,  wrist tag, pearl earrings and booklet 

**Still don't see your doll listed here? Maybe she is a 'Swirl' Ponytail?  Swirl Ponytails
or maybe she is the 1972 Montgomery Wards exclusive ponytail**



Some Photos...

Original Ponytail single hard curl  and an unusual ORIGINAL banana curl or bun


Blond Ponytail #3 with brown eyeliner and re-styled hair (single hard curl)

Brunette #3 Ponytail with blue eyeliner and her hair restyled with multi-curls


Restored Ponytail #4s  
The blonde has been re-styled with multi-curls
The brunette has been restyled with a single hard curl.


Restored Ponytail #5s with very long, coarse bangs. A multi-curl hair re-style for the blonde
and a single curl hair re-style for the brunette.
The blonde was successfully treated for green ear.

For examples of what I can do for your doll, please check out my Re-root Gallery and Before and After photos.

Two original small German Bild Lilli dolls, one inside her original plastic tube


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