Nostalgia - Midge or The Beginning

Some years ago when I still did the "Finds of the week" posts, I had some called "I'm a collector" in which I shared vintage items. Over time my collections have mostly stopped growing due to different reasons, but they are still there and still loved. I also have vintage items, some inherited, some gifts, some from fleamarkets, some more interesting than others.So I thought it could be fun to share some of them every, now and then and tell their story.

Are you a collector and can you say exactly when and how you started your collection/s? My guess is you can.
While gaining and possessing a new piece is exciting, even more so if it is something you have been looking for for a long time, there's also the thrill of the hunt. You can be a wild hunter like my ex or you can take the more relaxed approach like I did, simply because I can't walk as fast or am not tall enough to see everything around me at a glance.
I might not have found as much as him at fleamarkets, but that made every good find even more special.

My Barbie collection started with such a good find and it was mere luck.
I had a platinum TNT Stacey when I was a child, I have told her story a long time ago. How my sisters got Mattel dolls for Christmas and five year old me nagged until I got one as well. How I played library with her and loved her so much that she has been in a pretty sad condition for a long time.
It has also been years since I told the story of the Billy Boy Barbie book my sister got and how my fascination with Barbies was rekindled in a completely new way. What can I say, I just can't resist tiny zippers and buttons. And I mentioned finding a Midge doll.

I'll never forget that moment, actually I could show you the spot at the university fleamarket (where the Steiff collection started as well, by the way, topic for another time maybe) almost exactly. Only thanks to the Billy Boy book I knew that the doll in the box (not hers, but a big one) was a "BL" (bendable leg) Midge, more rare than her straight leg (SL) predecessor. Was she in perfect condition? No. Was I excited, anyway? Oh yes, I was. Did I almost squeal when the seller replied to my question that she was 4 DM (about $2.50 at the time)? You bet!
As clear as this is in my mind, however, I'm completely lost trying to remember what she wore, but think it was probably a swimsuit, not necessarily hers, though. I guess I was so fixed on her face and hair and being able to identify her that the outfit didn't matter. That of course changed a lot during my collecting career when I learned more and more from my books.

Midge, Barbie's best friend, came out a few years after Barbie herself, in 1962, to be exact. Back then all you could move on the bodies were the arms and legs at the shoulders and hips.
In 1965 and 1966, Midge didn't just get bendable legs, but her hairstyle changed from a tight outward flip to a loose inward flip. She came in three hair colors, blond, titian, and the brownette of my doll.

My Midge has lost her hairband which would have held her full bangs together, she also has a darkened face (and the current heat wave has given her sticky arms again which need to be cleaned and powdered), but for her age - which could be the same as mine if she is the first issue - she is still looking very good, definitely better than me. Not one grey hair on her! ;-)
I didn't hesitate to put her into Dinner At Eight although it is a little older than she is (1964). Maybe she has borrowed this beautiful persimmon colored jumpsuit with the airy looking hostess coat in a burnt orange with metallic golden threads from her BFF Barbie, who knows? I just think the orange goes so beautifully with her hair - and the hair of a brunette SL Midge I have that wears the same outfit.

When I took Midge home, I didn't even realize that the first stone to my vintage Barbie collection had been laid there and then.
My next lucky find not long after made it impossible for me to stop ...


  1. Very cool story! We often know people collect certain items, but not how they got started on collecting or the particular collectible. And Midge does look very smart in her orange dress.


    1. Thank you, Michelle!
      I think the best thing about being nostalgic is getting to hear the cool stories that are so often behind individual pieces. Even a simple purchase at a thrift shop or an online auction can come with a cool story.
      If there were a book with collectors telling a story about their finds, I would definitely read that!

  2. I was never much of a Barbie kind of girl, but I do enjoy seeing the vintage ones now, in all their finery. I tend to collect things that I like, knick knacks and kitchy stuff.

    1. My first attraction was not Barbie as such, but the miniatures that came with it and the amazing quality of the vintage items. To me, she's something I am not at all regarding fashion and her careers.
      I'm still not a fan of the blond/pink Barbie, but I love my vintage ladies ;-)