Bionic Gloria

16 Aug


I have a little agreement with myself that I will buy every Gloria/ Betty Teen (whatever you want to call her) I see. This isn’t a difficult vow to stick to – for starters, Gloria dolls are not widely known about or collected in my country so there’s never much competition for them on the second hand market. For seconds, they don’t come along very often. This is only my third Gloria.

I never expected to find a poseable, pivotal Gloria but here she is. I think that unless you specifically collect pivotal vintage dolls (like Dollikin for instance) it’s easy to forget how good some of the forerunners to the Fashionistas actually were in terms of poseability. My new Gloria is wonderful – even though she has articulated ankles instead of articulated wrists, she can strike poses that pivotal Barbies could never manage. Speaking of her ankles, they are only hinged but they look great and she has really cute little feet:


Gloria has had a little work done on her. When I first got her, she looked like this:


As you can see, she had a little black pen on her (which washed off) and she was very dirty. If I could change one thing about Gloria dolls in general, it would probably be the quality of the hair. By the time I get them, its always frazzled and fluffy. This time round I just gathered it into bunches and left it frizzy, as the top was OK and I thought it looked quite cute, but in future I might re-curl it at the bottom. The biggest change I made was the colour of the lips, as I really didn’t like the neon orange shade they were originally painted.

Although I don’t think she is quite as pretty or well-painted as my other two, Bionic Gloria is a lot of fun to photograph. It’s been a nice little Friday morning project.







10 Responses to “Bionic Gloria”

  1. Teresa B. August 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    You are so good with the lip painting! I have a Spot Scene Barbie that I tried this with and well, let’s just say it didn’t go over so well. Luckily I got another one and I think I’ll leave her as is. πŸ™‚

    Gloria is so pretty. Beautiful pics!

    • barbielea August 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

      Thanks so much Theresa! If you want to try painting again, I have a couple of suggestions – firstly, normal paintbrushes won’t cut the mustard, you need a super-thin, small brush. These can be found for sale on art supplies websites, I think my favourite cost me about Β£5 (off the top of my head $9ish I think) – its a good investment to make. Second, as a warm up practice try painting the smallest dot you can paint – then think to yourself “I can paint smaller than that!” and try again – repeat a few times and hey presto, suddenly following a Barbie’s lipline doesn’t seem so tough! Best wishes πŸ™‚

      (by the way, I tried replying earlier by email but something is obviously awry with WordPress because it never showed up – so I’ve cut and pasted it straight into the comments – apologies if it ends up showing again)

  2. Andrea August 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Great job on the lips! she looks much better with pink lips.

    The hair quality has always been my pet peeve with the clone dolls. Some of the clones have really cute faces, but when you find them second hand, their hair often looks like an exploded porcupine. I hope the Fleur I got last Sunday will still be saveable.

    Her body looks nice, especially the articulated feet. Gymnast Barbies should have had those as well.

    • barbielea August 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

      Hi Andrea πŸ™‚ thanks very much, I agonised about the change of lip colour but really I couldn’t have lived with that terrible orange. You have a Fleur – cool! I remember you saying you own a Suzi Estrella too, what a great Sindy interest collection you must have. Let me guess – betting you’ve got some Tammys tucked away too? I love all of these,
      although its unlikely I’ll be able to source a Suzi at an affordable price in this country (tho you never know) Tammy and Fleur are definitely on my hitlist.

      Anyway, I’m surprised that Fleur has poor quality hair, her clothes and facial painting always look so nice. Other clones – yeah. I have a whole flock of little bubblecut Sindy clones somewhere waiting to be rerooted, my hands aren’t so bad at the moment so I might give one a try this weekend. Their hair feels like a washing-up brush or something – not good. I’d like to reroot a Gloria one day too, but my reroot list is so long, I don’t know when I’d get round to it …

  3. mangusta August 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Betty Teen is very popular among doll collectors in my country but also rare. Last week my friend collector accidentally found 2 boxed Bettys in a small village at the seaside, one blond, one dark-haired. There surely is something about Bettys and Glorias.

    • barbielea August 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

      Hi Mangusta – really? I’ve spoken to a couple of people on Instagram who like this doll, maybe they’re from your country then. I’ve never seen a boxed one, I find it hard to imagine them with proper hair πŸ™‚ that’s a great find. I agree that these dolls have something special, I’m always on the lookout for more but they’re few and far between …

      • mangusta August 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

        here you are:

      • barbielea August 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

        God, they look adorable! Thanks very much for those links. Those curly hairdos! Well, that explains the frazzled look they all end up with …

  4. Andrea September 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Sorry for being MIA, but real life got in the way. I wish my Sindy collection was that great. Since I never had a Sindy in my childhood, I’m still looking to find a vintage Sindy. So besides a couple of 90s Sindys, that I actually bought for the Barbie clothes they were wearing at the time Suzy and Fleur really are the highlights. And both were coincidental buys. They were both fleamarket finds and the sellers obviously just wanted to get rid of them, since they both were real bargains. No Tammys stashed away, sorry, but I still have a couple of vintage Tressy outfits, which survived my childhood..

    The dolls from Mangusta’s links are very cute, what a great find. I remember giving one of these to my niece in the 80’s. I can’t recall if she was a Gloria or a Betty, but she definitely had that short curly Hairstyle, wearing a purple and white traveling suit and coming with an airport trolley with several suitcases. My niece so wanted to have the trolley and the luggage, so I bought it for her. I guess I should have gotten one for myself too at the time.

    • barbielea September 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      Pesky real life!! Constantly trying to distract us from collecting πŸ™‚ Well, if you were going to wish for a brilliant flea market find, I don’t think you could do all that much better than a Suzi Estrella.

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