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Teenage doll - Barbie


  • Object:

    Teenage doll

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (possibly, manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca. 1961 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mattel, Inc (manufacturer)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Donald Arkinstall

  • Museum number:

    B.73:1 to 10-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This object is one of a collection given to the museum. This collection is quite important as it belonged to Dennis Arkinstall. Dennis worked in the toy industry for a company called Lines Brothers Ltd, they were mostly famous for their Tri-ang range of toys. Dennis was a sculptor and worked in the research and development of new toys for the company in particular the dolls which were produced under the Pedigree trade name. The catalogues highlight that their range of dolls are realistic and produced by a sculptor. We do not know when Dennis started working at the factory but we know that he was an influential figure in the designing of their most popular doll Sindy, which was produced in 1963.

This collection includes dolls from other manufactures as he would have collected them to inspire new ideas. They are often just heads, which was not uncommon as these were usually exported in large numbers and the bodies made at their destination as it was a cheap way to manufacture. The collection also includes moulds and experimental pieces from the factory as well as complete ones in their presentation boxes.

This particular object is possibly a Barbie, maybe by Mattel in ca. 1961. Barbie was first launched at a 1959 New York toy fair wearing this black and white striped bathing suit. This doll looks similar to that doll but has a few major differences, mainly her face and some of her limbs looking different. It could be that Dennis Arkinstall used this doll as an experiment and tried out different parts on her.

Place of Origin

Japan (possibly, manufactured)


ca. 1961 (manufactured)


Mattel, Inc (manufacturer)

Object history note

This item belonged to Dennis Arkinstall, who worked for Lines Brothers Ltd as a sculptor. It was given to the museum by his son after his death.

Descriptive line

Possibly a Barbie doll wearing blue and white bathing suit, made possibly by Mattel in ca. 1961.


Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys


Museum of Childhood

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