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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Throwback Thursday review: Jennifer

RagingMoon1987 is back again, and I'm going to veer away from larger dolls and do a couple of weeks of Barbie clones.  This week's doll arrived way back on April 20th, which was a big FML day.  My mother discovered that she was overdrawn and ended up having to take some money from me to keep herself afloat, my grandmother was seriously ill (and never fully recovered), and we had to file an insurance claim to get our fence halfway repaired, a process that ended up taking two months, though we had no way of knowing that back in April.  Either way, it was nice to open up the mailbox and see this doll smiling back at me.  Her name is Jennifer, and she's a Barbie clone.
I can't say that I know much about Jennifer, other than that she's marked "Hong Kong" on the neck and that she's "the swingingest 11 1/2 inch doll," per the box's description.  Judging from the language and the yellowed tape on the box I think she dates from the 1970's, but she may be a lot younger than that.  This is the only Jennifer doll that I've seen for sale, and Google doesn't appear to have a lot of info, so I think I've got a good find.  So let's take a look at her outside the box.  She's already falling out of it anyway. 
Unlike most of my Barbie clones, Jennifer has brown hair.  These dolls can come with blonde hair as well, but I managed to land a brunette. 
The hair is simply styled, just shoulder-length hair with bangs and a center part. 
The root job is hit-and-miss, about what I'd expect from a Barbie clone.

The fibers are better than those on other Barbie clones I've seen.  They're a little bristly at the ends, but they're also smooth and shiny and don't go in all directions...and they're not falling out in clumps either!
Jennifer's face is interesting for reasons I'll go into shortly, but first let's review it.  She's got a cute expression.
Jenifer's eyes and eye makeup are robin's egg blue, and her eyelashes are rooted and are a little darker than her hair.  
It's hard to tell with those thick lashes, but Jennifer is wall-eyed.  
Her mouth is an open smile, as if she's talking or laughing.  It's painted a simple pink.
It's this mouth that gives me a strong sense of deja vu.  Jennifer's face looks eerily like the face of a collector doll I saw several years back, Most Mod Party Becky.  If I've got the story right, Becky was a Francie-sized doll who made it to the prototype stage in the 1960's, but never made it further than that until Mattel decided to revive the idea in 2008.  She shared a face with Francie's friends Casey and Twiggy, a face that had a wide, joyous smile.  I never understood why Mattel chose to use Casey's head instead of Francie's for Twiggy, because Twiggy's publicity pics usually required her to look serious.  Shame too, because she was cute when she smiledStill is, too.  LOL, I love Twiggy!!!  Anyway, Jennifer's smile looks hauntingly like Becky's and Twiggy's and Casey's, though i unfortunately have none of the above to compare her to.  She also bears a passing resemblance to an early P.J., though she doesn't favor P.J. as much as she does Becky.
There's also another obscure clone doll from a company called Jilmar named Mindy, and she looks similar to Jennifer.  I was hoping Mindy might lead me to Jennifer's manufacturer, but no dice.

Moving down, Jennifer is wearing a goofy-looking peasant dress.
For some strange reason, this dress reminds me of the Mod Barbie fashion Fab City.  It doesn't look a thing like Fab City, so go figure on my reasoning there.  My mind works in strange ways.  Anyway, the bodice of Jennifer's dress is white with long, full sleeves.  The cuffs of these sleeves are trimmed with lace.
The neckline is medium-low, scooped, and trimmed with more lace.
The skirt and the waist join at Jennifer's rib margin.  This is accurate for the era, but it makes placing the sash a little awkward.  At first, I didn't think the sash was placed properly, but apparently it's supposed to look like this, with a bit of the striped fabric extending above the sash.
The sash is just a simple piece of orange ribbon, by the way.  It's long enough that I usually wrap it around Jennifer twice before tying it in the back.
The ends are fraying, so this ribbon's days may be numbered.
The fabric of the skirt drapes nicely, but this comes at the cost of being thin.  It's possible to see daylight through both layers of this skirt.
The material is printed in a black and white stripe pattern, similar to but not the same as a zebra's stripes and highly like the dress that another of my clone dolls wears.  Dresses in the seventies were either very short or very long, and Jennifer's ankle-length dress is on the long end of the spectrum with a ruffle at the bottom that adds some fullness.
The skirt is hemmed, but the hem has come undone in a few places.
The dress closes in the back with a snap that is agef and hard to undo.
This whole dress is rather baggy around the waist without that ribbon, so the ribbon sash serves a more important purpose than I originally thought.
Jennifer wears no shoes or jewelry, just that trippy dress...and a yellow plastic stand.  
The stand is pretty rudimentary, just your X-shaped stand that came with some Barbie dolls back in the day.  It wedges between Jennifer's ankles and holds her standing like this.
Under the dress and stand, Jennifer has your typical, run-of-the-mill clone body.  Her arms are vinyl, and the rest of her body is stiff, hollow plastic.  Her legs are very thin.
Not all of my clone dolls have that twist waist so Jennifer has that much up on them.
In fact, Jennifer outdoes some of the brand-name dolls of her era too.  My P.J. is an example; she's a talker, and a twisting waist wouldn't have allowed for that talking mechanism.
Jennifer's shoulders and hips have simple pivoting motion, meaning that I can put Jennifer in a walking position...
...or seat her...
...or put her in a stilted waving position.
Oh yes, Jennifer can turn her head, and also lose it.
Something rattles around in Jennifer's head when I shake it, so I assume that may have been some sort of attachment to keep overly inquisitive kids (or adults) from pulling the head off.  If that's the case, it didn't work too well.  That's it in terms of posing, though.  No bendy knees or anything of that sort, just a stiff, hollow, plastic body.  The molding is rough in places too, though not as rough as another of my clone dolls!  Here's how Jennifer's hand compares to the hand of Katya, another of my clones...and quite possibly the lowest-quality clone I've ever seen.
Since Jennifer's body is similar to an older Barbie's, she can wear the clothes with few problems.  Here she is in P.J.'s dress...
...and in nineties-era dress that one of my TNT Stacey dolls wears...
...and in Gretchen's Hip To Be Square dress.
Of course not everything I tried on Jennifer fit her.  This modern-day yellow and white outfit does technically fit, but it doesn't look good on her.
My newest Sparkle Girlz dress looks good in the front...
...but it doesn't close in the back.
Shoes are a little problematic, as Jennifer's feet are smaller than either P.J.'s or Gretchen's.
Thus P.J.'s cute pink pilgrim shoes are too big (even with putty)...
...while Stacey's lemon-yellow pumps WILL fit with putty (but not without).
Gretchen's green boots may be interesting since they're boots and not pumps.
Indeed, they fit, though I wouldn't take Jennifer out of the house without first fixing these shoes to her feet somehow.  They're quite loose and will fall off if I move Jennifer around too much.  They work for display purposes, though. 

Now, time to sum it up.

BAD
*Eyes are wonky, making Jennifer look vacant at times.
*Stiff, though not as bad as some of my other dolls.
*Dress is cheaply made
*No shoes, and very few of the shoes I do have will fit Jennifer's uniquely shaped feet.
*Fairly rare; this is the only Jennifer doll I've ever seen for sale.

GOOD
*Hair, though short, is soft and manageable. 
*Clothes are appropriate for the time period.
*Face is distinctive, and yet would fit in easily with a group of Barbie's friends.
*Body, though stiff, is fairly well molded.  Some seams are a little rough, but not as bad as Katya's.
*Can wear Barbie's older clothes, but not the newer stuff.
*Cute!  I love this doll's happy face and short hair!

I really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to come up with too much positive or negative about Jennifer.  She's your run-of-the-mill clone, cheaply made with a few hiccups in production, but like most Barbie clones she provides a fresh new face to what can at times be a monotonous dolly world.  If you're a fan of clones and love the thrill of searching, this little gal will be a good find for you.  At the very least she's a good display doll, perfect for showing off that obscure Mod-era Barbie fashion that you've been wanting to show off.  I personally would love to see this doll dressed in Twinkle Togs.

Much love,
RagingMoon1987

4 comments:

  1. I love her crazy dress! Wow, those are some tiny, *tiny* feet, though!

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    1. Aren't those feet freaky? I wonder if Licca-chan shoes will work? I may have to give that a whirl.

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  2. I don't recognize Jennifer, but I do agree with you that she looks like Casey, Twiggy, and Becky.

    Her feet might fit the Smartees shoes - they also have teeny tiny feet.

    Thanks for sharing and good luck getting fashions and footwear for Jennifer.

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    1. Thanks for the info! I never would've considered Smartees.

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