Thursday, June 28, 2012

Box : 1982/1983 Box (last of the red and yellow house boxes)



I have scoured Feebay for years and have honestly never seen this box that surfaced on google this week. Thank You Mary (http://skippercollector.blogspot.com/ for letting me know that the outfits featured on the photo are 1982/1983.

Factory packed parts. Windows came in a cellophane wrapped light weight cardboard box. 

Original, unopened plant bag.



Miscellaneous : Impound


Let my people go! I dont know what this A Frame did to deserve solitary confinement, but hopefully it will get bailed out and refurbed soon. What is that weird light coming out of the house and through the chain link? Is it a haunted A Frame? Hhhmm....I guess thats another mystery. =-) 

2013 A Frame Dream House : Then Vs Now...


I'm so glad I found this photo to compare the original and new A frames. For me the new one just seems cluttered with small bits of stuff, the house is smaller, has fake views outside the windows, smaller rooms, I'm not sure what the black grates at the bottom of the window boxes are. I just dont get the new house. I think Mattel test marketed reissuing the 1978 house with the promotional ad they ran 1-2 years ago (see previous post), and must not have had a great response so decided with the reinvention. If someone ever repaints it in vintage colors please email me I would love to make a post about it. 




They have also reintroduced the 1970's townhouse will elevator. In this case, I think it's an improvement. lol


Custom OOAK repaint barbie beach house. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Miscellaneous : Professional Grade Photos




Okay, so not complete, but it does show the houses off well. I havent spent any time on the Cottage (in person or here on the blog), so when time permits I will do some cottage and 1980 pool posts. 

Box : 1979ish

Lots of color photos depicting different scenes, very nice look. 

While most artists renderings are blue or pink this years was black, nice update. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Renovation : Post Covers

As far as I could take the shattered remnants from 2 renovations ago. These are prepainted and you can see just how much tape is involved in making them functional once again. There were 2 or 3 other posts that I got from the original bunch not featured here because they are apart of the current reno for sale now. If I didnt take the time to repair these fragments, I wouldnt have been able to complete the posts on the reno. So you are helping yourself out by taking the time to do this part of the restoration. 
From out of the shipping box. (before)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Box : 1980/1981 Version





These boxed jewels just keep popping up on evilbay. Fetching on average $200-450. I like the artist's renderings, it is a shame that the original shipping carton will have to be defaced for and during shipment. Its also amazing to me that they have been in storage for all these years. I wonder how many are still rotting away in attics, basements and storage facilities. If anyone out there knows the difference in size between the furnished and unfurnished house boxes please add a comment below. Note it is furnished with pink and white furniture.


1978 Mattel A Frame Barbie Dream Doll House Red roof yellow floors mod groovy 1970s 1980s custom OOAK 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blogger's Own: A Closer Look At My Own A Frame Smallhouse

An important aspect of getting undamaged windows is nice, tight hinges that haven't been broken or worn down with repeated removal. All my windows hold position well like a new house. PS This is an unpainted house, so it is possible to find a house still white with minimal discoloration. The panes themselves are like glass, surprisingly minty. 

I decided to move all the original flowers upstairs as that seemed more natural as window planters to have the most flowers. I added a few sprigs of family dollar and micheal's silk florals in there to round it out. 

I recently redid the downstairs planters as well. The monstera was a one time find at family dollar, the fern looking ones in the back were a recent, one time find at family dollar i was going to put in my refurbished one for sale, but liked them so much decided to incorporate them into my personal A Frame. The small yellow flowers are the ones featured in another post, also from family dollar, and the rest is original Mattel 1978 Barbie DreamHouse plants. Plus the reddish one in the middle is aquarium plant from petco. I am really happy with the final product.


1978 Mattel A Frame Barbie Dream Doll House Red roof yellow floors mod groovy 1970s 1980s custom OOAK 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Renovation: Some Finer Points On Refurbishing

Could not believe these amazing flowers from Family Dollar a few months back. It was the only bunch they had and nearly identical to the 1978 flowers Mattel put out. 

Family dollar flowers with aquarium plants. I have checked several times and they have not restocked these small yellow flowers. 
My toolkit for refurbing planter boxes. A bread knife for cutting the Family dollar  florist's styrofoam to fit into the downstairs planters, garden snips, wire snips, and heavy duty kitchen shears all make this an easy task (just time consuming and requiring creativity and design skills. 

This paint brush is good for dusting nooks and cranies. 
Aerial shot of refurbed palnter boxes on latest flip. 

Left side is spray painted, ride side is my personal A Frame, unpainted. Big difference, nes pas? 

Original, unopened bag of plants.



1978 Mattel A Frame Barbie Dream Doll House Red roof yellow floors mod groovy 1970s 1980s custom OOAK 

Renovation: From Start to Finish

Perfectly packed. 

Quality material used, best to ship post covers on posts. Its safer for them and uses less room.

I dont love the mess popcorn leaves, but it does prevent weight from shifting. 

Obligatory brown, shattered post covers. 

34 years of garage dust. A grime against humanity. 

Filth, flarn and more filth. 

Finger smudge. 

Shower power! 

Priming rusty screws to match non rusty ones. I assume the rusty ones were the floor screws left on a damp basement or garage floor during storage. 

During, from brown to crisp white. My personal A Frame looks off white as its not painted. Almost switched out the pieces as these came out so nice. 

After on the posts, gleaming, oxy clean brite white! 

The before photo on evilbay. 


The after photo. Total project time: 3 days. Yes, this is the same house as above. The red and yellow parts are rather faded, its amazing how much richer the colors look next to ultra white.  

House beautiful, new flowers. 

This house is clean. 

Nice rear. 



As long time site fans will know I have had a few rough experiences buying the Mattel 1978 Dreamhouse  online. Sellers using photos of other houses, no packing material used, boxes that are mostly painters tape, holes in boxes with screws falling out and damage occurring during shipment are just a few of the highlights. I was all but done renovating due to the above mentioned. However, a few weeks ago I was looking for a project and decided to peruse ebay hoping to find a good deal on a used, abused A frame. The worser the shape, the more challenging (and fun) it is to transform it to its former glory. I found this one house that was typically filthy and had no flowers, but it did have every other part. I won it for $47 after shipping. The sellers were so nice, even asking me how to pack it and what type of box I recommended, it was packed extremely well with quality foam wrap and thick packing tape.  After an hour of shower power, 3 cans of Rustoleum gloss white spray paint, much repair work done to the post covers, a few bucks worth of dollar store flowers, some tire shine polishing on the red and yellow parts it is looking pretty spiffy. Its mucho trabajo, but it pays off.


1978 Mattel A Frame Barbie Dream Doll House Red roof yellow floors mod groovy 1970s 1980s custom OOAK