Analysing Barbie body types
These are the most common body types of Barbie, lots of variation also occurs, but you will find these helpful in choosing and fitting outfits. I stopped collecting few years back so this post isn’t up to date.
|The Vintage (and reproduction) body. This is the first body type created for Barbie. The same body type is used for reproduction dolls, but is identifiable by the stamp on her bottom, which includes the year “2004” in the original stamp.|
|TNT, which is short for Twist n’ Turn is probably the most common body type of them all, because it was used since the early 70’s all the way to the 90’s. All TNT bodies are stamped 1966.
There are 3 types all put together, one being the mod-TNT, with the difference to the modern straight arm TNT that the turn joint was tilted as shown in the image. The only difference between the two modern versions is the arms, which are clear to see in the photo, and marked with number 3.
The most common body type used in the Mackie-era. Compared to the straight arm TNT, which most resambles the shani-body, the easiest identification method is the arms: Simply put; shani arms move to the sides, where TNT arms only turn front and back. The shape of the arms is also different. (See later for clear comparisation picture.)
|Fully Jointed body
This is the first fully jointed body type, of which there is 2 different versions; the flat feet (pictured) and the high heel or ‘pointy toe’ version. Usually referred to as “jointed body”, “articulated body” or “poseable body”.
|Basic Belly Button
This is the basic belly button body, but in the ID area “era” is separated by the size of the head, the body is the same. (In the photo, it’s the bigger head.)
There is also a versions of the belly button that has jointed elbows and one that has Fashionistas arms.
This body type was introduced in 2000, starting with the Ever Flex -variation of it. (Below)
|Ever Flex belly button
Same as above with the difference of the mid section of the torso, that is covered with rubbery skin-like material. The Ever Flex -material is hiding a joint that allows free movement of the waist.
Collector doll special body, which had non-bendable legs, with a body that allows very little movement at all. Intended for display instead of play.
|Pivotal / Jazz Baby
Officially named as “Pivotal”, but often referred to as “Jazz Baby Body”, because the Jazz Babies were the first ones to get this body. In proportions and shapes, it is almost identical to the Model Muse, apart from the waist.
This bodytype is the latest addition – released in 2009, and is the most freely moving body type made for playline Barbie. The Pivotal body has one extra moving part (the knee) compared to Fashionista. Shapewise, Fashionista is a belly button body.
|Comparing similar bodytypes|
|Vintage, TNT and Shani
First, click to see the larger version of this image.
1. Difference in the waist of Vintage and TNT. Note that vintage body has no waist joint.
2. TNT body is taller than Vintage.
3. The ONLY visible difference between two types of TNT bodies is the arms. (Neck joint varies.)
4. Difference between straight armed TNT and Shani is easy to see by the hands and arms. (Sometimes TNT body is combined with Shani arms, check step 5.)
5. Also a difference, a very subtle one, is the shape of TNT hip compared to Shani.
|Belly Button variations|
|Pivotal and FashionistasIn 2010 a new wave of Fashionistas was released with technically the same knee joint as the Pivotal body, but with same proportions as the old. (My personal favourite body of all of them!)
|Different sort of jointed bodies
(why we can’t just call them “jointed”)
|Muse & Pivotal|
|The skin colour doesn’t effect the name of the body.This is pretty much all you need to know about body types. Even though there are variations, the bodies are well grouped together.
If you have any questions, please comment below.
Finding clothes and patterns
Currently the shops are selling belly button clothing only, so to find clothing that fits other body types you’ll have to hit the op shops, flea markets or websites such as eBay. There are some patterns available for Barbie fashions, but you still have to check the date they’ve been published to properly match a body. The most common, and the most problematic doll type to clothe; TNT-bodies match the Superstar era clothing, and they stopped making those in the early 1990’s.