Saturday, August 25, 2012

Francie Comparisons for Ms. Leo

My Fuchsia 'N Fur Francie Has Arrived! post of August 20, 2012, received a comment from Ms. Leo of I-Luv-Dolls.  I have copied an excerpt of the comment that contains a few questions Ms. Leo posed.

... This face [sculpt] looks closer to the vintage Francie. The Wild Bunch and Glad about had a flatter nose and the Smashin' Satin's head seemed to be narrower. The new [Fuchsia] N Fur looks spot on!

Is she on a slim Francie body? I couldn't tell from photos. In photos her legs look curvy and not the thin legs of the older doll. BTW, Is it wrong to wish for articulation on this type of doll? Is just the body silkstone or is the head too.
In my reply to Ms. Leo, I promised to do a Francie comparison to provide accurate answers to her questions. 

The dolls used for the comparison:
  • Original Francie from childhood
  • Wild Bunch (WB) Francie, a 1997 reproduction of the 1st black ("colored") Francie
  • Fuchsia 'N Fur (FnF), the 2nd, most recent reproduction black/African American Francie
Original 1965 Francie, Wild Bunch Francie (1997), Fuchsia 'N Fur Francie (2012)

In the above image of the three dolls, you can immediately see that WB Francie (the doll in the center) has a different head sculpt than the original Francie on the left and the most recent repro doll on the right.  WB Francie's nose is not as keen as the other two (click the image to enlarge).  Her eyes appear larger as well.  I did not remove her from the box lining so I was unable to examine her body and legs, but I have concluded that WB Francie is basically a different doll than the original and now the 2nd reproduction doll.


Wild Bunch Francie and Fuchsia 'N Fur comparison headshot (WB Francie's face and nose are both fuller; her eyes are, too).  This picture has too much flash; FnF's color is off as a result.


Original Francie and Fuchsia 'N Fur share the same head sculpt.

Fuchsia 'N Fur's head sculpt, as Ms. Leo put it, "looks spot on" when compared to the original.  She is on a slim body like the original doll.  Both dolls have slightly arched feet, but that is where their similarities end.

Their differences are:
Hairstyle and color
Rooted eyelash length and fullness (original Francie's eyelashes are longer, not as bushy as FnF's).
Eyeshadow and lip color

Hand comparison:  WB and original Francie have same hands.

Hands:  WB and original doll have same cupped hands with fingers molded together; FnF's middle and ring fingers are molded together; the thumb, index, and little fingers are separate.

Leg comparison -- original Francie and FnF Francie

Different Legs:  Original doll has straight legs with bendable knees. FnF has shapely, stationary legs because they are Silkstone.  The right knee is slightly bent.

Body markings differ:

Original Francie is marked on the inside rim of her head:  ©1965 Mattel Inc / Japan

On her lower right buttock:  ©1965
Mattel, Inc.
U.S. Patented
U.S. Pat. Pend
Made in
Japan
Fuchsia 'N Fur is marked on her neck: ©1965 Mattel
On her back:
16421
©2010 Mattel
Made in Indonesia

Finally, the original Francie has a soft vinyl face, arms, and legs, and a plastic body.  Fuchsia 'N Fur is made of Silkstone.

Side Note 1:  According to The Ultimate Barbie Doll Book by Marcie Melillo (Krause Publications, 1996), the original black Francie's markings are the same as the original white version's with one exception.  The copyright year on her lower right buttock reads ©1966.

Side Note 2: Before the 1st and 2nd reproduction of black Francie, I longed to own an original black version and had been willing to pay book value had I found one in mint condition.  With reproductions that closely resemble the original, this is one collector who no longer desires nor needs an original.    

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25 comments:

  1. Wow, when you compare them side by side, Wild Bunch Francie doesn't look much like a real Francie at all. So glad that Mattel got back to the original look. Thanks for this informative article.
    Zendelle / VintageDollCollector.com

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    1. Hello Zendelle,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this post. I too am glad Mattel returned Francie to her original look.

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  2. She is still gorgeous! I enjoyed seeing her again.

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    1. Thanks. I don't think I'll tire of looking at FnF Francie any time soon.

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  3. I'm sorry I had you up so early to do a post but I am really glad you did it! This is great info. One of the key changes I have notice from doll issuings across the board is eyelashes. Vintage dolls had longer lashes. The new Star dolls have short lashes. They can make a big difference in the look of a doll. Are the Francies similar in complexion? They look like it from the photos. I lot of people rebody silkstone dolls on other bodies to give them articulation. Most silkstone dolls don't have heads as hard as their bodies, so you can do this. This appears to be a new hand! It is not the typical silkstone hand either. It looks like they made some changes to the silkstone Francies that are different from silkstone Barbies. So, I guess this means no vintage Francie outfits for these dolls? Sad! Many people who like Francie like her for her look in vintage. I guess this is another Mattel ploy to get you to spend money!
    Anyway, I am waiting on your comparison of the dolls. That should really be interesting. Please include shoes and feet so we know if we can use some of our old Francie items on her. Have a great weekend!
    Ms. Leo

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    1. Hi Miss Leo,

      To answer your additional questions instead of creating yet another Francie post, I took some comparison photos and uploaded them to my Fuchsia ‘N Fur Francie Flickr set. Comments for the additional photos are also included on Flickr and will hopefully answer your questions.

      I am unable to do a shoe comparison because Wild Bunch Francie’s feet are still attached to her box liner and I would have to disturb her attachment to remove her boots. I do not own any vintage Francie shoes, but I can tell you that Vintage Francie’s feet are larger than FnF Francie’s. FnF Francie may be able to wear vintage shoes if they are enclosed; sandals, maybe not. The feet comparison is illustrated in the Flickr images.

      Your complexion answers are also illustrated there and include a comparison of FnF Francie with African American 1959 Debut Barbie. These two dolls are entirely different complexion-wise and body-wise.

      I believe, because FnF also has a slim body like the vintage Francie doll, she will be able to wear some of the vintage Francie clothing.

      Hopefully the additional images (the last 5 in the set) and captions help! Here is the link or URL if the link does not work:
      http://flic.kr/s/aHsjBy95nu

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  4. Thanks for this comparison post. Interesting to learn the differences among these dolls.

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    1. Dana - Thanks. Glad I was able to increase your Vintage versus Repro Francie knowledge.

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  5. Thanks for the detailed comparison. I am amazed that your childhood Francie still has her original eyelashes. The eyelashes on my Twist and Turn dolls of that era fell out early on.

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    1. You're welcome, too, Limbe Dolls.

      I am glad Francie's eyelashes have remained intact. I did notice some discoloration of her vinyl when checking her body marks. Some of the colors from her bathing suit have bled into the vinyl.

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  6. Great comparison post! You have kept your childhood Francie in great condition. The few dolls that I have are like Limbe Dolls...the eyelashes have practically fallen out.

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    1. Amazingly, all of my remaining childhood dolls are well preserved. I enjoyed them as a child but my play was gentle on purpose.

      Sometimes even with gentle play, materials used and/or poor craftsmanship lead to eventual disintegration of parts and materials, something we just cannot prevent.

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  7. Thanks for the comparison info. I love my Wild Bunch Francie and can't wait until I can order her. I'm glad you are soooo loving her!

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    1. Thank you, Brini. I hope you're able to order her from BarbieCollector.com before she sells out, if you are a member of the Barbie Fan Club.

      Anyone else interested in purchasing Fuchsia and Fur Francie who has not joined the Barbie Fan Club: Join the Barbie Fan Club for $24 and then purchase Fuchsia and Fur Francie. With the current sale at BarbieCollector.com that extends through August 30th, you will be eligible for $10 off Francie's retail price of $74.99. I am not sure if you'll be able to also use the $20 BFC Reward with the purchase, but it's worth a try (that would be a total of $30 off if purchased before August 30th). Go to the following website to join the BFC and/or call 1-800-491-7514 to inquire about eligible discounts after joining: http://​www.barbiecollector.com/​shop/doll/​2012-barbie-fan-club Barbie Fan Club

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    2. I have been urging people who expressed interest in FnF Francie to join the Barbie Fan Club to avoid paying the exorbitant prices the doll is being offered for on eBay and by doll dealers. The BFC membership is now sold out. Because membership was still available less than week ago, I believe Fuchsia 'N Fur Francie's release contributed to the now closed fan club membership.

      I hope Mattel realizes that FnF Francie contributed to the now closed fan club membership and will offer additional vintage repro dolls and fashions like Brad, Curtis and Cara, and perhaps Live Action Christie and Malibu Christie, just to name a few as future BFC exclusives.

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  8. Very Nice Post!
    Great To See The Differences Trough The Time!
    Lovely Dolls!

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    1. Thanks, Jorge. I added these photos and five additional ones to the Fuchsia 'N Fur Francie Flickr set.

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  9. Thanks so much for this! I love seeing doll comparisons. Between the three I'd still be more drawn to the newest version. There's just something about her.

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  10. Hi I love black dolls,you have a great blog,followed you :) Please follow me back at:http://dollsvalley.blogspot.in/ thank you!

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    1. Hi Pam,

      Thanks for visiting, commenting, and following. I will return the favor.

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  11. Hello from Spain: thanks for reporting in such detail. I love reading this comparison. I prefer the new version.. keep in touch

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    1. Hello Marta! Thanks for visiting and commenting. I think the general consensus is most people prefer Fuchsia 'N Fur Francie over the others. Reproduction vintage clothing packs would be nice for her.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!