1960 Barbie Doll was the production year of the 3rd and 4th Ponytail Barbie Vintage dolls and Mattel decided to change the look of the doll after much study of the doll market and what department stores were looking for in a new blonde Barbie doll.
The change to 1960 Barbie was now quite a bit different to her predecessor of the 1959 Barbie and she was warmly accepted. Mattel did away with the heavy dark make-up and opted for a softer, gentler faced doll. The new look entailed moving away from the thick black eye-liner and dark eyes and replacing her with blue eyes with brown or blue eye-liner used only on the upper eye-lid, rounded eye-brows and better colour to her skin tone. These dolls were made with blonde or brunette hair styled in a ponytail with the curly bangs (fringe). Some Barbie’s wore gold loop earrings like the #1 doll and others wore pearl studs, she also kept her red nail/toe polish.. The shoes were open toed slip on mules with a solid heel.
The vinyl that the first 3 ponytail issued dolls (1959 and 1960) were made of had a manufacturing problem that seen some dolls skin tone fade in spots or change to an off white colour and become blotchy. Some dolls also over time presented an oily texture to the facial skin.Due to this manufacturing fault in the vinyl of the early dolls, it can work in favour of the serious Barbie doll collector as it is a positive indication that they indeed have an authentic and rare doll in their collection and not a reproduction doll.
By the time the 4th doll was to be released Mattel had rectified the problem with the vinyl. 1960 Barbie Doll produced a 4th doll that was identical to the #3 doll, the only difference being that the #4 Barbie maintains her flesh toned skin colour. The structure of the doll feels more like rubber than hard plastic and she has been made with blue eye-liner only and not a shade of brown that some previous dolls had.
1960 Barbie also produced a #4 doll with her hair done up in a bun instead of the ponytail and was dressed in the original 1959 bathing suit, this is a rare doll now as not alot of them were manufactured. These early dolls had soft flocking under their hair which would not be there in upcoming doll issues. All these dolls are now classified as vintage and are seriously collectable, and can be very hard to find in great condition, let alone mint. A mint doll, still in original packaging can fetch serious dollars, from hundreds of dollars up to several thousand!
Some outfits for the #3 Barbie doll were ‘The Commuter Set’ item #916, ‘The Resort Set’ item #963 and ‘Barbie Q’ item #962. An outfit for the #4 dolls were ‘Enchanted Evening’ item #983. All are rare items now.