1991 Filipina Barbie (Limited Edition 500)
Filipina Barbie made a splash in the Barbie collecting world in 1991 dressed in traditional Philippine costumes designed by Patis Tesoro, a renowned Philippine designer. Mattel Philippines (now Richwell) took special efforts to make the doll’s skin and hair colors to be as close as possible to those of the Filipina’s. The dolls’ heads were specially painted and then rooted with black and brown hair strands. Featured in the fashion booklet that accompanied the doll were four dolls wearing the traditional Philippine formal gown styles. The "mestiza" dress" features a fitted one-piece dress with flared skirt and stiff elbow-length sleeves popularly referred to as "butterfly" sleeves. The "baro't saya" features a blouse with bell-shaped sleeves ("baro") and flared skirt ("saya") with "panuelo" (wide collar) and "tapis" (decorative apron). The "Maria Clara" features a "baro"-style blouse and full skirt and is worn with or without a panuelo. The gowns featured embroidery, beads and sequins and used snaps and hooks for closure.
Because only four dolls were featured in the booklet, some collectors think that there are only 4 dolls in this 1991 series. Richwell released additional styles in this truly limited series of only 500 dolls per dress style. Demand for the dolls by overseas collectors was cited as the reason for the additional production. Variations within a dress style are known to exist. Richwell did not skimp on materials so that it was not uncommon for them to use a different fabric or shade of sequins for the same style number. We have not found any authoritative source on the number of dress styles (and variations) in the 1991 Filipina Barbie series. Richwell did not give names to the dolls, but instead identified them by their stock numbers. If Richwell used all stock numbers between 7355-9898 and 7355-9909, there would be 12 dolls in the 1991 series (we have not located 7355-9901):
Maria Clara style - 9988 (pink with flowers), 9989 ("jusi" or pineapple fiber, with flowers), 9906 ("jusi" with sequins and beads), 9907 ("jusi" with colored sequins and beads, in bright and pastel variations)
Mestisa dresses - 9990 and 9903 (black floral), 9902 (burgundy), 9904 (olive and gold variations), 9905 (pink/green/gold and pink/blue/purple variations)
Baro't saya - 9908 (black/purple/gold) and 9909 (black/purple/blue)
The doll's box is six-sided with a plastic front and cardboard back held together by white plastic top and bottom lids, on which is embossed the "Barbie" logo. Richwell used this box design for their Collector Edition dolls (up to the 1998 Flores de Mayo series). The box liner's graphic serves as suitable background for the doll, allowing it to be displayed nicely when left in its box.
Baro't Saya (1991 Filipina Barbie 9908)
1993 Filipina Barbie (Limited Edition 1,000)
In response to the high demand for the 1991 Filipina Barbie, Richwell introduced in 1993 another Filipina Barbie series. With gowns designed again by Patis Tesoro, the dolls were issued in ultra limited editions of only 1,000 per style. In addition to the three dress styles featured in the 1991 series, 1993 Filipina Barbie also modeled informal dresses like the "kimona" (sleeveless blouse), "camisa" (informal "baro") and "patadyong" (narrow skirt, usually wrap-around).
As with the 1991 Filipina Barbie, Richwell did not give names to the dolls but instead identified them by their stock numbers and the accompanying fashion booklet did not have pictures of all the dolls. If Richwell used all numbers between 60481-9894 and 60481-9909, there would be 16 dolls in the series (we have not located 9986 and 9899).
Maria Clara style - 60581-9897 (with panuelo in jusi with sequins), 9900 (maroon and white floral print), 9902 (maroon and black floral print), 9903 (white with beaded yellow and pink flowers), 9904 (white with small pink and lilac flowers), 9905 (pink beaded flowers), 9906 (beaded neckline and embroidered flowers, white and pink variations), 9907 (white with sequinned scallops)
Mestisa dresses - 60581-9895 (orange and purple), 9898 (purple with scalloped skirt)
Baro't saya - 60481-9908 (black with coral and green sequins), 9909 (black with gold/green/purple sequins)
Kimona and patadyong - 60481-9901 (white sheer top and pink floral skirt)
Camisa and patadyong - 60481-9894 (yellow top and purple floral print skirt)
Mestisa dress (1993 Filipina Barbie 9895)
1994 Ethnic Barbie (Limited Edition 1,000)
In 1994, Richwell issued "Ethnic Barbie", another collector edition with a limited edition of only 1,000 dolls per style. The series features Barbie in the costumes of indigenous Philippine tribes with miniaturized accessories such as handwoven baskets and containers; beaded bags, necklaces and headpiece; wooden water jug and bowl. Philippine handwoven fabrics and materials were used for the fashions and accessories, which are as intricate in the detailing as the earlier Filipina Barbie dolls. Richwell reportedly spent two years in the research and production of these dolls. There are seven dolls in this series: five dolls were issued in the first edition --Ibaloi, Tagakaolo, B'laan, Ilongot and Ga'Dang -- although pictures of only four dolls were featured in the accompanying fashion booklet (Ibaloi was not featured). Mangyan and Ifugao were issued in the second edition and were accompanied with the first edition fashion booklet.
Mangyan (61369-9903, halter top and wrap with shell jewelry and case)
Ifugao (61369-9904, red top and striped beaded skirt with wooden water jug and bowl)
Ibaloi (61369-9905, beige top and skirt with embroidery and wood beads, wood bead jewelry)
Tagakaolo (61369-9906, red top with black sleeves and plaid skirt with chain belt and reed covered basket)
B'laan (61369-9907, beaded red and black top with striped skirt and beaded headdress)
Ilongot (61369-9908, embroidered beige top and skirt with rattan basket)
Ga'Dang (61369-9909, beaded striped top, skirt, shawl and purse)
Ethnic B'laan Barbie
1997 Santacruzan Barbie (Limited Edition 1,000 to 1,600)
Richwell lived up once again to its reputation for intricate detailing with the release of the "Santacruzan Filipina Barbie" series in 1997. The series pays tribute to the Santacruzan, a religious procession that commemorates the mythical finding of the Jesus' cross by Saint Helena. The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country. Originally held during the Feast of the Holy Cross on May 3, the procession is usually held during the feast day of a town's patron saint. Although basically religious in nature, the procession also features women dressed in costumes to symbolize Philippine cultural and historical themes. The women in costume are given the title "Reyna" (Queen). There are ten dolls in this series with production numbers of 1,000 to 1,600 per style:
Reyna de las Aetas "Queen of the Aetas" (tribute to the aboriginal people of the Philippines) -- 63815-9901, LE 1000, midriff halter top, vest and fitted skirt in blue/gold/fuschia stripes with seed and tube bead accents
Reyna Mora "Muslim Queen" (tribute to the Muslim majority in the southern Philippines) -- 63815-9902, LE 1200, gold blouse with heavily beaded blue sash and wrap-around skirt, with beaded headdress
Reyna Banderada "The Flag Bearer" -- 63815-9903, LE 1000, white knit bodice with sun and stars crystals, red and blue velvet skirt with gold beads and sequins, with beaded tiara
Reyna Justicia "Queen of Justice" -- 63815-9904, LE 1000, white sheer blouse over fitted sheath with flared skirt accented with teardrop beads, with beaded shawl
Reyna Fe "Queen of Faith" -- 63815-9905, LE 1000, Maria Clara in purple boucle decorated with gold tube beads and overskirt with two beaded crosses, beaded tiara, rosary
Reyna Esperanza "Queen of Hope" -- 63815-9906, LE 1200, Maria Clara with white beaded knit top and sequinned organza skirt and dove in hand, beaded tiara
Reyna Caridad "Queen of Charity" -- 63815-9907, LE 1000, gold gown and beaded shawl with flared tulle skirt decorated with gold teardrop beads
Reyna de las Flores "Queen of the Flowers" -- 63815-9908, LE 1200, Maria Clara in jusi (pineapple fiber) with beads and embroidery, beaded tiara with silk flowers
Reyna Elena "Queen Helena" -- 63815-9909, LE 1500, Maria Clara in red velvet with bead and sequins, beaded tiara with red crystal
Reyna Emperiatrix "The Empress" (represents Queen of Rome, the wife of Constantinople) -- 63815-9910, LE 1600, mestiza dress in burgundy velvet, choker and tiara all encrusted with beads and pink crystal
Santacruzan Reyna Fe Barbie (Queen of Faith)
1998 Flores de Mayo Barbie (LE 1,050 to 2,500)
Probably owing to the popularity of the Santacruzan series, Richwell re-issued the same theme in the "Flores de Mayo Barbie" in 1998. This festival, held in May, is a festival that pays homage to the Virgin Mary, similar to the "May Crowning". Filipinos use the terms "Santacruzan" and "Flores de Mayo" interchangeably to refer to these summertime religious processions. There are also ten dolls in this series, with gowns designed by Nicky Martinez (there is no designer credit for the 1997 Santacruzan). Production numbers range from 1,050 to 2,500. Although higher than the Santacruzan series, these production numbers are still truly very limited. As in the 1997 series, the gowns feature embroidery and beadwork. With this series, Richwell started using "Velcro" strips for closures. In this series, there is no Reyna de las Aetas; it is replaced by Reyna Esther.
Reyna Elena (63820-9984, LE 2050, red velvet with lace and beads/sequin accents in diamond pattern with stand-up collar, beaded tiara with red crystal
Reyna Emperiatrix (63820-9985, LE 2050, Maria Clara pink and silver satin with silver bead/sequin accents in diamond pattern, beaded tiara with pink crystal)
Reyna de las Flores (63820-9986, LE 2050, Maria Clara in jusi (pineapple fiber) with gold beads and silk flowers, beaded tiara with silk flowers)
Reyna Esther (63820-9987, LE 2050, Maria Clara in black velvet with gold brocade panel and beadwork )
Reyna Caridad (63820-9988, LE 2500, Maria Clara with dark-green velvet blouse and white satin skirt with gold net overlay, beaded tiara with crystal)
Reyna Esperanza (63820-9989, LE 2500, mestiza dress in aquamarine boucle with beaded satin overskirt, beaded tiara )
Reyna Fe (63820-9990, LE 1450, mestisa dress in fuchsia with beaded crosses on bodice annd sleeves and bead-encrusted skirt and satin overskirt, beaded tiara with cross)
Reyna Justicia (63820-9991, LE 1050, mestisa dress in white satin with flared skirt, organza sleeves and shawl with bead accents, beaded tiara)
Reyna Banderada (63820-9992, LE 2500, white knit bodice with sun and stars crystals, red and blue velvet quasi-wrap around skirt hemmed with gold beads and sequins, with beaded tiara)
Reyna Mora (63820-9993, LE 1800, royal blue satin blouse and wrap-around skirt with gold net and seed pearl accent, beaded tiara with gold veil)
Flores de Mayo Reyna Mora (Muslim Queen)
1998 Philippine Centennial Barbie (Special Edition of 12,230 to 22,270)
The year 1998 saw more than one Filipina Barbie series. To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Philippines' declaration of independence from Spain in 1898, Richwell issued "Philippine Centennial Barbie". Barbie is dressed in the "Maria Clara" which was popular during the Spanish era in the Philippines. In the "Formal Centennial" series, which were also designed by Philippine couturier Nicky Martinez, the dresses are more elaborate in styling than the "Casual Centennial". The gowns generally feature the blouse and "panuelo" (collar) in organza with lace trim and the floor-length skirt and "tapis" (apron) in cotton, lace or sackcloth. The gowns are less ornate than the previous Filipina Barbie series and do not feature embroidery or beadwork. The Formal Centennial Barbie (Stock No. 63814-9980 to 9993) is in 14 styles and comes in a wide box (style similar to the "American Stories" Barbie box) with a Centennial commemorative pin made of "capiz" (pressed shell) with a fashion booklet. There are two fashion booklets: a First Edition and a Second Edition; Styles 9980, 9981 and 9982 are not included in the booklets. Production numbers for the Formal series range from 12,230 to 22,270 pieces. According to our Richwell sources at the time, the much higher production numbers for this series (compared to the 1,000 to 3,000 of previous series) was due to the huge pre-orders from the Philippine government. The government intended to offer these dolls as gifts to visiting dignitaries and delegations during the Philippine Centennial celebrations.
Formal Centennial 63814-9980, LE 12,230 (blouse in white, skirt and panuelo in green with white hearts calico print)
Formal Centennial 63814-9981, LE 12,230 (blouse with pink bodice and white sleeves, panuelo and tapis in burgundy floral, skirt in mauve and white plaid
Formal Centennial 63814-9982, LE 12,230 (blouse in white lace, panuelo in white, skirt in pale green floral calico print)
Formal Centennial 63814-9983, LE 22,270 (blouse in white lace, panuelo in white, skirt in pink calico print)
Formal Centennial 63814-9984, LE 18,500 (blouse in white lace, panuelo in white, skirt in beige and pale blue calico print)
Formal Centennial 63814-9985, LE 18,850 (blouse and panuelo in lilac organza, skirt in lilac/blue/yellow lace)
Formal Centennial 63814-9986, LE 22,270 (blouse in white, panuelo and tapis in purple/yellow plaid, skirt in white satin
Formal Centennial 63814-9987, LE 22,270 (blouse and panuelo in white organza, skirt in black-lined pink lace)
Formal Centennial 63814-9988, LE 18,500 (blouse in pink lace, panuelo in pink satin, gored skirt in pink and black satin)
Formal Centennial 63814-9989, LE 22,270 (blouse and panuelo in white organza, skirt in beige-lined black and gold lace)
Formal Centennial 63814-9990, LE 22,270 (panuelo and separate blouse in white organza over fitted sheath with flared skirt in mustard, tapis in red/black plaid)
Formal Centennial 63814-9991, LE 22,270 (blouse and panuelo in white organza, red and white striped "tapis" or apron, black and white plaid skirt)
Formal Centennial 63814-9992, LE 18,500 (blouse and white organza, panuelo and skirt in beige)
Formal Centennial 63814-9986, LE 18,500 (blouse in white lace, panuelo in white, skirt in green diamond print)
Formal Centennial Barbie 9987
The Casual Centennial Barbie (Stock No. 63821-9990 to 9993) is in four regular-issue styles and two store exclusives (Banderada-style, no special number); it comes in a smaller regular cardboard box with front cello display window, and with no booklet. There was no certificate of authenticity with the doll, so production number is not known. However, we decided to include these dolls in this catalog.
Casual Centennial 63821-9990 (blouse and panuelo in red/green plaid, skirt in beige sackcloth)
Casual Centennial 63821-9991 (blouse in beige, panuelo and "tapis" or apron in blue/brown plaid, skirt in blue)
Casual Centennial 63821-9992 (blouse and skirt in green with white hearts calico print, panuel and tapis in white)
Casual Centennial 63821-9993 (panuelo and separate blouse in white organza over fitted blue sheath, tapis in blue/pink/white plaid)
Casual Centennial 63821 Banderada ShoeMart exclusive (white blouse, yellow panuelo red skirt, blue tapis)
Casual Centennial 63821 Banderada Tesoro exclusive (white blouse and panuelo, gored skirt in red and blue)
Casual Centennial Barbie - Banderada (Tesoro exclusive)
1998 Philippine Islands Ken
The first and only Philippine-themed Ken doll series was issued in 1998 -- "Philippine Islands Ken" -- featuring Ken dressed in the "barong Tagalog", the national costume for men. The barong is a loose, long-sleeved shirt with button-down front. When used for formal wear, it is usually made of jusi and can have decorative embroidery or cut-out detail. The doll comes in a regular cardboard box with front cello display window. Ken (with moulded hair) wears barong shirts made of organza or cotton with black or brown pants. There is no certificate with these dolls so edition size is not known. There are eight dolls in this series:
64525-9986 (sheer barong with lace trim and pleats near shirt bottom, white undershirt and beige sackcloth pants)
64525-9987 (tan cotton barong with four vertical columns of loop trim, brown pants)
64525-9988 (purple/yellow plaid cotton barong with lace trim, brown pants)
64525-9989 (sheer barong with thin vertical pleats, white undershirt, black pants)
64525-9990 (sheer barong with gold buttons, white undershirt, black pants)
64525-9991 (sheer barong with gold trim, white undershirt and beige sackcloth pants)
64525-9992 (tan cotton barong with single partial column of loop trim, brown pants)
64525-9993 (sheer barong with lace trim, beige sackcloth pants)
Philippine Islands Ken 9991 (barong with gold trim)
2000 Tradisyong Filipina Barbie (Limited Edition of 1,000)
Richwell continued its commitment to Philippine cultural themes with its Tradisyong Filipina (Philippine Tradisyon) series. Introduced in the Philippine market in late 1999, this year 2000 series features five dolls in dresses worn during the observance of Philippine customs and traditions. The Philippines is largely Catholic, with a heritage of three centuries of Spanish colonization. Because of this, religion is an integral part of its traditions as seen in this series -- nuptials ("Kasalan") Christmas ("Paskuhan"), Holy Week ("Semana Santa"), celebration of a saint's feast day ("Pistahan"), and harvest ("Anihan").
Kasalan (64793-9989, in jusi with lace skirt overlay, heavily encrusted with beads and sequins)
Paskuhan (64793-9990, with panuelo and "cola", or train, in green with hand-painted red and yellow flowers accented with beads and sequins)
Semana Santa (64793-9991, white organza blouse and skirt accented with beads and sequins, with black skirt panels)
Pistahan (64793-9992, with panuelo in tea-stained sheer fabric with hand-painted red, orange and green floral pattern accented with beads and sequins, beaded tiara)
Anihan (64793-9993, blouse in "abaca", or banana stalk fiber, with hand-painted red flowers and gold beads, and red/green/yellow plaid skirt, sash and head band with tassles)
2000 Wedding Barbie (Limited Edition of 2,500)
Since its introduction in 1991, Filipina Barbie has sported the smiling "Superstar" face mold. Richwell gave Filipina Barbie a new look in 2000 with the close-mouthed ("Mackie") face mold in Wedding Barbie. This new look is combined with the traditional wedding look of the Filipinas. Barbie models four wedding gown in white, with each style limited to 2,500 pieces. As with the earlier Filipina Barbie series, no names are given to the styles. The gowns' detailing, which include lacework, beading and sequins, is rich although less ornate than Tradisyong Filipina Kasalan Barbie. The box design is similar to the Tradisyon (minus the flap with the circular display window). This is also the first time that Richwell showed pictures of all dolls in the series at the back of the box:
48140-9990 (Maria Clara without panuelo with braid lace bodice and sequinned organza sleeves and full skirt, beaded tiara and tulle veil),
48140- 9991 (Mestisa dress in beaded braid lace with satin-lined tulle skirt from the knee, braided seed bead headdress and tulle veil)
48140- 9992 (Maria Clara bodice and panuelo of sequined lined net and full satin skirt, beaded tiara and tulle veil)
48140-9993 (Maria Clara with panuelo with gored skirt featuring lame panel inset, wide lace trim, beaded tiara and tulle veil)
Wedding Barbie 9991
Buying, Selling and Care Tips
If you plan to display your doll in the box and box condition is very important to you, ask for a detailed description of the box condition from the seller. For the dolls packaged in the six-sided box, the cello front and sides are susceptible to creasing and cracking during handling. Unfortunately, these box exceptions are very hard to capture in pictures. It is also possible for the wire ties holding the doll to the box liner to break during shipping, resulting in the doll coming loose in the box. This is repairable, although one will have to open the box to do so.
For the six-sided box, the cardboard/cello sides and the plastic lids are secured with double-sided tape, whose tackiness may decrease with age (these dolls are from the 1990's). So some dolls' boxes may have been taped to further secure the box. For a doll that has been represented as NRFB (never removed from box), the presence of this tape that is not original to the manufacturer does not necessarily mean that the box has been opened and removed from its box. We have purchased dolls in the late 1990's directly from Philippine retailers and have found additional tape put on by the stores themselves to prevent the boxes from coming loose.
Most Philippine department stores use price stickers that have an adhesive that makes these very difficult to remove. If the stickers are on the cello portion of the box, these can be removed through patient treatment with an adhesive dissolver. If the sticker is on the cardboard portion of the box, it is probably best to just leave it as is since it is possible to remove part of the box's cardboard surface layer along with the price sticker.
Some dolls' boxes, especially the Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo, may have the doll's name printed on a white label stuck to the top plastic lid or somewhere on the cardboard portion of the box. We have been told by some Philippine retailers that they have put these on the doll boxes themselves to help them identify the dolls since the original Richwell doll boxes do not identify the dolls by name. The same box is used for all dolls in a series, with the last four digits of the stock number printed on a small sticker affixed on back of the doll's box. Sometimes, a doll's box may be missing the sticker or may have the incorrect sticker. Hence, a picture of the actual doll is the best way to verify the identity of a doll.
If you plan to display your doll out of the box, then you are in for a special treat! Most of the dolls, especially the early Filipina Barbie dolls have the beautiful detailing even at the back of the dress! Enjoy!
"Barbie Doll Around the World, Identification & Values 1964-2007" by J. Michael Augustyniak, Collector Books, KY, 2008, pages 263-314.
"Filipina Barbie Doll For the New Millennium" by Rowena Torres-Ordonez and Mary Jennifer Young, Dolls in Print, Spring 2001, pages 62-70
"International Affair - The Exotic World of Philippine Barbie" by Barry Sturgill, Miller$ Fashion Doll, November 1999, pages 46-53.
"Filipina Santacruzan Barbie" by Dan Miller, Miller$, Fall 1997, pages 52-57.
"Barbie from the Philippines" by Rudi Teruel, Miller$, Summer 1996, pages 39-43.
"The Barbie Doll Boom" by J. Michael Augustyniak, Collector Books, KY, 1996, pages 153-156.
"Filipina Barbie" by Faith Wagner Barbie Bazaar, November/December 1992, page 29 (inside front cover also has photo of four 1991 Filipina Barbie dolls).
Filipina Barbie on eBay