Tropical Barbie came in a one piece flowered swim suit, and was hyped as having the longest hair ever. I have a few Tropical Looking Barbies in my doll collection. There were many issues of Tropical Barbie from the 80's and 90's. These dolls always featured a flowered swim suit, but Tropical Splash had a two piece flowered swim suit and was scented. There was an Island Fun Barbie, a Beach Blast Barbie, and a Hawaiian Fun Barbie. All of these dolls looked very similar. There was also a Tropical Skipper, Ken, Miko, and Teresa. AA versions of Tropical Barbie and Ken were also made. Mattel is still making swim suit Barbies each summer, but the tans are not as deep as in the 90's. There was a commercial for Tropical Blend tanning lotion lotion with a jiggle about a “savage tan”. Dark tanning was popular when we still believed we could tan safely if we only used the right sun care products. Darkly tanned Barbies are a reflection of these trends, which have now been reversed and tanning is no longer consider fashionable due to the damage and aging of skin it causes. However, Barbie won't get cancer, and she looks great with her Savage Tan. Malibu Barbie was the first version of a sun tanned Barbie Doll created in 1971, and her tan is not as dark. There has been reproduction has recently been made of Malibu Barbie. If only they would reproduce Malibu PJ which used the Steffie Head Mold. The Steffie head mold features closed lips without teeth showing, and larger more attractive eyes. Malibu Barbie worn a blue one piece swim suit, and Malibu PJ worn a purple one piece suit. Malibu Skipper wore an orange two piece suit, and was slightly smaller preteen doll. These were large bathing suits that covered a of skin. Barbie now shows off her navel in small bikinis.
I started doll collecting with Jem Dolls in the 80's, and Barbie in the 90's. I also collected Sailormoon Dolls when the series was current, and the dolls were in production. I have collected Takara Jenny and Friends Dolls (the Japanese version of Barbie), as the Japanese Sailormoons made by Bandai. I did not want to leave out the American Sailormoons Dolls that were Barbie sized so I picked up the set at Walgreen’s, I even found a Canadian Irwin Sailormoon, but my collection is by no means complete. There were so many Sailormoon Dolls released, that it was impossible to collect them all. I also like the more hard to find Korea Fashion Dolls like Mimi. But, still don't have a Mimi Doll due to the high cost of shipping from overseas. I have a collection rare Suki Suki Sailormoon dolls from Korea, which I found on eBay. I just recently started to collect vintage Ginny Dolls, but I prefer the more modern vintage dolls from the 60's, 70's, and 80's, instead of the 50's. More modern vintage dolls are still available at reasonable prices. I like the Madam Alexander Doll Company, Mattel, Volks and Hasbro, but I have an Parabox Obitsu doll with exchangeable parts, and ball joints. My collection includes a Bob Mackie Platinum Barbie from 1991 and Plantation Belle Porcelain 1992 Plantation Belle. The Plantation Bell Barbie wears a reproduction of the 1959 Plantation Belle fashion, and is a repo of the 1964 Swirl Ponytail Barbie Doll. I like reproduction dolls, because you can get a doll in good cosmetic shape. I also like character dolls, and I have a 90210 Brenda Doll Beverly Hills from 1991. I limit my collecting to dolls small enough to be stored in limited storage space, under 12.5 inches in height. Even smaller dolls like Blythe, Kewpie Dolls, Trolls, Dawn, and Liddle Kiddles are adorable and worthy of collection. I have a Takara Licca Doll, that is a smaller scale Jenny, similar to the Barbie little sister counterpart Skipper. The Sailormoon Bandai doll line contained some smaller size dolls. Sailor Cibi Moon, Sailor Saturn, and the Amazoness Quartet are part of my doll collection. I loved tiny dolls given away with promotions from my childhood. They even had dolls inside colored plastic bottles with fragrances, that could be worn as jewelry. Wow, we have come a long way in the history of dolls, and eBay bring it all to your doorstep. There is always something interesting to discover and collect in the Doll World from optimistic dolls like Malibu PJ (tanned before the sun rays were found be harmful) to ghost white Japanese ball jointed dolls. There are even dolls that come dead inside a tiny coffins. Dolls are expressions of the way we feel joy or sadness, and reflect the current social trends, becoming time capsules to days gone by.
The best way to store your dolls is not in the carboard box they came in. Many people leave the doll in the box because it increases the resale value, but this is not what is best for the preservation of the doll. It is most important that you keep your dolls in a dry area with low humidity at a constant room temperature away from dust and mold. Humidity and home or apartments containing mold can permeate the vinyl and cause green mark to appear on the dolls. These marks are non removal because the mold is growing inside the body of the doll. Cheap earring and jewelry can lead a greening known as green ear, which affects many vintage 1950 Barbie Dolls. Do not spend a lot of time combing or styling your dolls hair, because this leads to frizzy damaged hair. Avoid playing and handling your dolls more then necessary for the preservation. Some modern Ball Jointed Dolls come with wigs that can be replaced or exchanged, and are made of the more expensive material called resin that is more durable and longer lasting. Even daylight can be degrading to the plastic and the face paint. Some doll clothes made of cheap materials may leave marks on the plastic or vinyl of the dolls. It is best to store your dolls in archival tissue paper in plastic boxes away from the elements including daylight to keep the colors of the hair and faces fresh. Store your dolls without shoes, because dolls stored in shoes can ruin the feet by becoming molded to the feet. Modern dolls now come with the shoes and accessories in little plastic bags instead of on the feet of the doll. I would be interested in seeing a new San Francisco Barbie Doll Club. I was a member of a San Francisco Barbie Doll Club, that is now defunct. We even had San Francisco Barbie Club Doll Sweatshirts for Barbie sized dolls. I would also like to start a club or join a club that was more inclusive beyond Barbie.