Head and Body Markings

Please note: The information below - especially on transitional dolls - derives from my own independent research and most of it has not been published in any form before. Like all parts of this website no part of this information - neither written information nor photographs - may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means including but not limited to electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without my written consent. You are entitled to use the information for your private, non-commercial use only. If you want to use the info on your book/website/etc. PLEASE CONTACT ME PRIOR TO USE!

Head Markings

(Almost) all Skipper dolls had markings on the inner rim of their heads. (You can find a list of these markings on page: "Identification help: List of Skipper dolls 1964 (1963) - 1988") Sometimes they are hard to detect, because some dolls do have some kind of a very thin “plastic skin” on top of the inner rim, which prevents you from seeing the markings. You need to carefully lift the plastic skin in order to see them.


There are exceptions though: The so called “Test Market” or “Sample” dolls don’t have a head marking. In addition, some “Color Magic” Skippers - as well as “Two-Tone” Skippers (the ones with the beige eyebrows). Which indicates that the Color Magic and Two-Tone Skippers must have also been some of the very first Skipper dolls ever produced.


A very rare Skipper doll with a row of extremely long bangs on top of extremely short rows of bangs also doesn’t have markings on the inner rim of her head. Since she’s on a later SL Skipper body it is possible that Mattel ran out of heads for a short period of time and used some leftovers from the test market period on these bodies.

Extremely rare doll with unusual bangs

In addition, most of the vintage Skippers have colored paint on the rim or inside their heads near the rim. If you ever noticed this, you probably assumed, that a kid did this with a marker a long time ago. But the markings were part of the manufacturing process. There are also vintage dolls without paint – maybe it faded during the years. “Test Market”/”Sample” dolls don't have paint markings. Many of the vintage Barbie dolls do have these markings as well.


What they were intended for, isn’t known. One guess was, that they could be hair color markings. But there are different colored markings on dolls with the same hair color, which makes this an unlikely assumption. Maybe one day we will learn more about these markings.

Above: Paint markings

Body Markings

In addition to the copyright markings, Straight Leg Skipper dolls also had a digit marked on their buttocks. Test Market Skippers were marked 1 and 2. Other very early Skippers - for example the "Dressed Doll Box Skippers" - were found with the same markings, BUT these dolls also came with other digits, e. g. 3, 4 and 5. Later dolls can be found with the same digit markings. 


So we cannot tell by these markings, WHEN a Skipper doll was produced. Mattel probably used several body molds simultaneously - for years. 


An overview of all body markings can be found on this page (still under construction):

Skipper dolls also had markings on the inside of their arms. These markings show which mold was used, but they aren't of interest to collectors: