Analysing Barbie body types

Jul 01, 12 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.

vintage repro Barbie body type 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.
Barbie tnt body 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.
Barbie  shani body The Shani-body
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.)
Barbie fully jointed body 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”.
Barbie belly button 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)
Barbie everflex body 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.
Barbie model muse body Model Muse
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.
Barbie pivotal body 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.
Barbie fashionistas body Fashionistas
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
analyzing differences between Barbie's vintage, tnt and shani bodies 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.
comparison of different versions of Barbie's belly button body types Belly Button variations
Comperison between the Barbie pivotal body and Barbie Fashionistas body 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!)
Comparisons between the different jointed body types of Barbie Different sort of jointed bodies
(why we can’t just call them “jointed”)
Comparison between the pivotal Barbie body and the model muse Barbie body 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.

70 Comments

  1. kymagirl /

    Sorry this comment appears so long after the original article…

    Will Silkstone Barbie clothes fit Barbies with a Model Muse body? I keep looking at some of the new Barbie Basics dolls.

    • Sebastyne /

      I wouldn’t count on it – and I should have included silkstone in the analysis and I think I’ll ad it later when I get a chance – the bust, waist and hip area is very different on these dolls and depending on the outfit some will be okay some won’t fit at all. I would say the waist will be too tight and the bust and hips will be too loose on the muse body, if the outfit is very fitted.

      • Roselyn /

        You are absolute right. The Muse Barbie’s clothes will not fit the Silkstones. The Silkstones wear the clothes of the Vintage Barbie. Thanks for a wonderful article.

        • You also forgot the all jointed and super bendy waste with no visible joints covered in latex, I have one I saw a red haired one on ebay and my friend has one

          • Sebastyne /

            No, just didn’t include them as they are fairly easy to identify and are very rare. There is tons of body types that I haven’t included.

  2. Thank you! I have been looking at ebay and keep seeing “silkstone” and “model muse”…and had no idea what they were talking about. I do have one more question, what is the “fashion royalty” doll? Is that another type of Barbie, or is that an “off-brand”? Thank you again for your very helpful article above.

    New to the doll world!
    Marie

  3. Åsa Krooks /

    How to re-attach legs to a TNT doll? The joints are broken so I can´t just “pop” them to place. :/

  4. have they made any more dolls with the pivotal body type

  5. Christie /

    I found this article and the accompanying photos to be very helpful. I collect Barbie dolls and I know a good bit about the different body types, but it’s nice to see the side by side comparisons without having to strip some of my dolls :p The Silkstone body is similar to the Shani body (the arms are different and Silkstone Barbies are taller, but the torso is the same; they both have the 1991 date stamped on their lower back). I redress my dolls sometimes and depending on the fashions, some Model Muse clothing can fit Silkstones and vice versa. Some of the Model Muse fashions will be a bit snug though since they’re thinner than other Barbies. And some of the Silkstone fashions will be a little loose on a Model Muse doll, while some fit quite well. I’ll definitely be bookmarking this page for future reference :)

  6. Tatiana /

    Hi, Thanks for the article)). Very informative.
    And could you tell please, if the legs are bendable?
    I mean Belly Button versions.
    I was fond of TNT bodies. But unfortunately I can see now only all-plastic dolls(((.
    And I don’t like the types with visible joints…
    And not every picture can give you all the information about particular doll.

    • There are non-bendable belly button bodies around, as well as bendable non-jointed ones. You should easily see which ones are which.

  7. Do you know if model muse fashions will fit fashionista bodies? I’m thinking they might not because fashionistas have wider hips and thicker thighs than model muse, but I’ll ask just to make sure.

  8. Lorrilee Gorman /

    Thanks so much for this site! I learned a lot, very informative, thanks for putting it together. I recently pulled out my “old” Barbies and wanted to try crocheting some of the gowns. There are a ton of free patterns out there but they all seem to be for the newer Barbies as they are not fitting correctly. Does anyone out there crochet for vintage bodies? The ones from the 60’s and 70’s that are stamped 1966? They seem to have much larger breasts and tinnier waists…am I correct in this? Thanks

    • Sebastyne /

      Yes that’s true, it’s called a belly button body what the newest patterns would be for. I am sure there are plenty of patterns on the net – you should look for TNT body for the dolls stamped 1966 and vintage for those stamped 1959.

    • @Lorrilee,

      I’ve spent the past eight months working on crochet patterns/original outfits for a wide range of Barbie/Midge/Francie, et. al. dolls. Try the Ravelry site for patterns and ideas. There are a couple pattern books, though many of them are not necessarily geared to vintage bodies. Through trial and error, I’ve determined it’s actually best to design your own pieces for each doll. For examples of such work, see WatBetty’s designs on Etsy. I found one set of patterns for a vintage body, but I had a really hard time with the instructions, some of which seemed a bit “off.” Try a few patterns first, just to get your feet wet, then you should be ready to create your own custom designs. You can also adapt some of the newer patterns to the vintage measurements by constantly trying your piece on the vintage dolls to adjust your stitches as needed. Many of the patterns are pretty simple stitches (single/double crochet, shell stitch). I also invested in a whole range of used Barbies, et. al. from Etsy, which has some great deals. I spent under $200 for a collection of 22 dolls. They’re now my models, as I create samples I will eventually offer in my Etsy store. Happy crocheting! Also, thanks to Sebastyne for offering such wonderful information.

  9. Lorrilee Gorman /

    Thank You!

  10. Natalie /

    This is an amazing article! Thank You so much for it! I was born in former USSR and as a kid I wanted Barbie so bad! but my parents were unable to buy it because there were no such toys in our shops (maybe in some big supermarkets in Moskow there were Barbies also, but we lived far away from Moskow and my parents never went there). Now I am a big girl :) and I’ve bought Barbie just to make my child dream come true, but I’ve discovered, that her body is not the same as I saw when I was a kid. I looked up in internet and found Your article, so now I know: that’s because Barbie’s body change with time. That is really sad to me, because I want exactly the same (TNT) doll which I saw in my childhood, but now they sell only Belly Button in the shops :(

    • Sebastyne /

      Worry not Natalie, you can find these dolls on the Internet for next to nothing New in box. :) I’d guess you’re looking for 80’s dolls right? Do you remember what you were looking for, the name of the doll or what they wore? I can probably ID the 80’s girls for you. (Some of the popular ones: Peaches & Cream Barbie, Day to Night Barbie, Crystal Barbie, Magic Moves Barbie, Dream Glow Barbie, Barbie and the Rockers… Put those into Google and see if you can find one that you wanted!) eBay is your dream location if you ache for the old era Barbies, you’ll find so many you won’t lack variety! (NRFB abbreviation means Never Removed From Box and the doll should be pristine inside.) Good luck on hunting and don’t let the Barbie bug bite too hard!! :))

      • Natalie /

        Oh, thank You so much! Yes, I am probably looking for a doll from 80s – early 90s. Since I live in Austria now, I can try eBay (have never used it before). Thank You for this idea! BTW, Barbies’ faces are also very different now and it was really hard to find a doll with Belly Button body looking at least a little similar (I mean her face) to what I saw in a childhood. Well, I’m afraid it’s too late and I’ve been bitten by Barbie bug long time ago and forever :D

        • Sebastyne /

          The face mould you are looking for is called the Superstar face, and you can find most of them using the term “Superstar era Barbie”. There are SO MANY, but as an 80’s kid myself, I know exactly why you’d feel disappointed with the current selection. The belly buttons can be attractive too, but only AFTER you nourish that need for Superstar! ;)

          • Hi Natalie, I’m from the USSR as well! I have a friend who collects Barbies from the 80’s and 90’s and she buys them either from a stocker in Moscow or from Amazon. Ebay is flooded with these dolls as well. I don’t like them, but I bought one for “historical interest ;)” from a local flea market, used for 2$. I hope you’ll find what you are looking for and return to share the experience :)

          • Ariane /

            Hi, I found your article via a Google research, I have a vintage Barbie (stamped 1966 on the bottom) with real eye brows and bendable legs, and I’m lost when I look at the shoes and clothes in the shops, they don’t fit well (especially the shoes). My other problem is to find fitting clothes for my Francie Malibu, I don’t know which doll’s could match her body ? I don’t like the joints (too visible) on the Fashionistas, but the last Barbie I bought (basic one) has straight legs, are they all like that now ??? Thanks for your article, it helped me a lot though! Oh, and I live in Belgium :)

          • Sebastyne /

            The clothes in shops won’t fit a 1966 body. They’re long gone. You are looking for TNT fashions, and your best chance to find some is eBay. They may sell as TNT, mod or superstar era fashions. Your dolls are from the mod era, if you want their clothes to match their age, but superstar era clothes should fit, too.

    • Natalie,

      Have you found a TNT Barbie yet? I just picked up some Barbies (some of them TNT, dated 1966) at a garage sale this past weekend.

  11. Janet Schumacher /

    I am making Barbie clothes for my niece and she has Fashionista Barbies. Will Belly Button clothes fit the Fashionista. Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Sebastyne /

      Yes they will, they are exactly the same shape and size apart from the joints, so avoid very tightly fitting outfits that will stretch over the joint below the breast line, other than that the belly button body is a perfect match.

  12. kayla /

    I recently purchased a Model Muse Barbie doll on ebay…I haven’t received her yet and was wondering how tall the Model Muse barbies are?

    • Sebastyne /

      She’s about the same height as a Ken doll, depending on her posture.

  13. Marie /

    I like your blog!

    You’re missing some body types though…

    There’s the Generation Girl body- they have TNT waists, flat feet, rubber legs, BB sized busts, TNT sized bums, nice pose-able arms. They were pretty much the barbie and the rockers of the 90s- http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ivA1BoB4RQc/TJkPpT7_eOI/AAAAAAAAAD4/GMCObdWkKhQ/s1600/P1050085.JPG
    Super dated.

    In the vein of ‘is this a teenager or an adult proportioned doll?’ there’s this body
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TmYEdkOoq0c/TokmzulWvzI/AAAAAAAACjA/cagOwzIjWl8/s1600/HobbitFront.jpg
    Not sure what it’s really called- I have a few NOIDs with this body.

    Then there are the larger sized bodies, such as ‘happy family grandma’ and ‘Rosie O’Donald’s’ body. those are easy to find info on.

    • Sebastyne /

      Thanks for those, I forgot about the latter mentioned, it’s been only used for one year 2007 I think, in large scale. The generation girl is a variation of a Shani-body with joints I believe… There is all sorts of combos made of each bodytype, I didn’t include the jointed variations of other body types here as they would have made the post huge.

  14. Hi! I found your article very informative, but I didn’t see a mention of the My Scene dolls. I’m just wondering if you have any information about them. I bought a few to make-over into fairies because I thought the larger head was kind of cute. I know there was a big controversy related to the Bratz dolls, and I haven’t seen My Scene dolls in the stores for some time now. Any comment? Thanks!

    • Sebastyne /

      My Scene’s have been discontinued some years back, but I can’t remember the year right now… 2007ish. This article is about the body types, not the head sculpts, MyScene dolls uses the belly button body type, in case you are looking for that information.

  15. Donna /

    Hi, I have just purchased the outfit Party Perfect (Blue Brocade) and I can’t seem to find a Barbie that it will fit, which body type will fit this dress. One doll I can get it on but the clips won’t do up. Please help! Thanks

    • Sebastyne /

      Sorry I haven’t answered earlier; that would be a Model Muse dress. Very difficult to fit on any other body type unfortunately; the model muse dresses are often so beautiful, but they don’t fit but the one body type. You can find a Model Muse doll at most department stores that sell Barbie; the Barbie Basics -line is all Model Muse.

  16. Hi. Just stumbled onto your site and am hoping you are able to help me identify one of my Barbies. She is a bellybutton barbie with jointed elbows. She also has a switch on the left side of her back that moves the left arm out slightly. I have searched and searched to no avail. So ANY help would be appreciated. Thank you kindly, Melody

    • Sebastyne /

      Could it be a Stylin’ Pup Barbie? Google that for size. :)

      • Hi again. Sadly, it is not a Stylin pup barbie. She has streaked hair which is a darker blonde and also a straight, short fringe, which is not very thick. Eyes are dark blue and her lips are a purple-pink colour. Open mouth smile. Perhaps the extra info will help?

        • Sebastyne /

          Well it would have been too good to be true. :D (I just answered this and then realized the second option had a standard belly button body, you might have gotten an email copy of that answer already.) There is so many, but I’d try to find the doll around that era, 2004ish. Hard to tell without a photo and even then it’s tricky… Hence the reason I should get my identification database back online. *sigh*

          • I’ve tried to find dolls with jointed elbows only, but none of the ones I looked at had a switch on their back. I saw one or two with buttons, but not lever type switches. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack – which I think is easier :) Is there a way to load a pic?

          • Sebastyne /

            I’m pretty sure I can’t help you much with that if it wasn’t Stylin’ Pup, but you could send me a very clear picture of her face on my email at gmail and for Sebastyne. It’s mostly the hair that is a problem, there’s plenty of dolls that have that mechanism, but they all seem to be blondes or red heads, no streaks.

  17. Chelse /

    This site is very helpful but I just collected a my scene doll and I wanted to know is there some way that I could use one of the bendable body that has bendable joints from elbows, wrist, knees, feet ? What bendable body is closest to the My Scene dolls and will they fit the Barbie clothes ?

    • Sebastyne /

      The dolls that are currently in stores that sell Barbie, Fashionista Barbie bodies would all fit a MyScene head, you just need to match the skin colour as close as you can. (Usually no bit issue.) The clothes will fit perfectly.

  18. Carina /

    My daughter is asking Santa for a “ballet Barbie that has hands and feet that move”. Is there a Barbie that has articulating hands AND feet?

    • Sebastyne /

      Yes I believe there is… She maybe referring to a doll that was released a couple of years back, that I recall had buttons on each side of her waist making the legs and arms move at the same time. To the life of me I can’t recall under what name they were sold as, but if she has seen such a Barbie before maybe you could sniff out where and ask the owner where they got it from. However, there are SO MANY Ballerina Barbies around that you can easily find something spectacular, especially if she didn’t mean the arms and legs need to move on their own. There are dolls that come with a stand that rotates the doll around similarly to a music box ballerina and all kinds – try eBay for the best results – physical shops have long ago sold out of previous year’s stock!

  19. Anastassia /

    Hi thank you for this article. I am so disappointed that Mattel discontinued the Superstar dolls. In my opinion they were the most beautiful lines. The new ones loom cheap and tacky, and are often not made very well. Also I like the perfume aroma that came out of the box for the Superstar dolls – the new ones just smell like a plastic factory :'( I know I’m not the only one who feels that way as many people that I meet feel so too.

  20. can you add to your article this barbies bodies
    “Bedtime aka soft body”
    “Dance a flex”
    “American Idol”
    also an new article about Ken body and Sisters and celebrities…

    I love this article

    • Sebastyne /

      I don’t have the dolls (used to but not anymore) so I can’t add pictures but they’re good to know. Thanks for commenting.

  21. missmoneypenny /

    Question: Do the articulated Barbie basics, series 2.5 have hollow les like fashionistas or solid ones like classic model muse? thanks

    • Sebastyne /

      I don’t know – if anyone has an answer to this, please do tell. I’ve been out of the Barbie collecting for a few years so I haven’t had the pleasure. :)

  22. Hello, your blog is a wealth of information. I am new to the doll world and am blown away at all the different doll body types etccould you tell me if a Wedding dress for a fashion model doll will fit a barbie silkstone doll.
    Thanks Jane

    • Sebastyne /

      Depends which fashion doll we’re talking about, but the generic ones probably fit somewhat but are likely to be lose around the waist and tight around the chest, if they are made to fit the current playline Barbie (belly button / fashionista). Difficult to give you a good answer not knowing the manufacturer of the dress, or whether it’s intended for children or adult collectors.

  23. Marian /

    Hello, i love your blog, i was wondering if francie silkstones kitty corner outfit would fit my repro barbie. Thank You Marian

    • Sebastyne /

      A silkstone body is slightly narrower around the torso than the vintage body type (including repros) so that would probably be a tight fit, but at the same time the fashion is loose so it might be okay. A tightly fitted silkstone outfit will close from the waist but won’t close around the bust, so that’s where the trouble will be with this particular fashion. Try get it removed from box maybe so you can resell it if it doesn’t work for you without losing money on it.

  24. Hi, I would like to ask if you know Barbie in the dream house has a fashionista or pivotal body, or otherwise. Thank you!

    • Sebastyne /

      That is a fashionista – pivotal body is primarily used for collector dolls, and fashionistas body is mainly used for playline.

  25. Barbara /

    Hi , I was given a Barbie doll which was designed by one of the original designers for Mattell. He had saved it from their planning stage for Barbie. She has a serial number molded into her. I wonder where I can find out more about her. Thanks,
    Barbara

    • Sebastyne /

      Try and contact the designer in question, that’s such a rarity that I don’t think there’s any public information of her available.

  26. Matthew Sutton /

    Very informative! If I may clarify things with regards to the Vintage and TNT bodies….

    The Vintage body changes a little, from earliest forms through the “Midge/Barbie” body and American Girl body– the torsos, while similar, are a little different in size. Not enough to make clothing an issue, but there is no basic “vintage” body, really…

    The Twist n Turn body is specifically the one with the angled waist cut. The torso is more delicate like the “vintage” body styles That body runs from 1967 through the early 70s… at some point in the mid 70s (with the Deluxe QUick Curl dolls?) the torso is resculpted– eliminating the angled twist. The torso becomes bulkier– which is what you mainly see from them on through the late 90s (Shani torso excluded, and is actually closer to the “vintage” and real “tnt” torso in proportion– but it’s the “main” body style until the switch to the belly button body)

    Vintage through mod (TNT) bodies also have a nice little round butt on them– at some point post “superstar” torso (for lack of a better term– but the huskier straight twist waist) that body gets a really flat butt…lol It may have happened mid 80s when the leg changes to one with a rounder, less sculpted foot…..

    • Matthew Sutton /

      The 1966 stamp on the torso ref’s to the patent date for the twist mechanism… sinc ethe engineering of the design hasn’t changed enough to warrant a new patent, all of those type bodies bear that date ^_^

    • Sebastyne /

      Cool stuff, thanks for adding. I think I would have that Deluxe Quick Curl doll somewhere, I got her after I wrote the post… Might include it at some stage.

  27. Can you please tell me the dimensions of the Avon timeless silhouette doll? I am not sure of her body style. I design fashions for collectors. I have a customer who is asking if one of my designs will fit her. I normally make ensembles for the Barbie Silkstone and reproductions. My designs are supposed to be real fashions in miniature, so fit is important. Thank you so much.

    • Sebastyne /

      She looks to be a standard Shani, you should be able to find a doll that you can fit the clothing on easier than what it would be to use measurements that can be tricky to take on a doll that size.

  28. I have Beautiful Handmade Dresses for Fashion Dolls like Barbie, Silkstone, Model Muse and more.
    Please visit my web store. http://www.fashiondollsboutique.com
    Thank you.

    • Sebastyne /

      They are cool, please don’t send more spammy comments on unrelated posts, please. I’ll allow this one, but only because I’m on a good mood and the dresses are nice.

  29. Jennifer Silcock /

    Just wondering if you know what shoes may fit the flat foot Barbie..very difficult to fine anything that fits

    • Sebastyne /

      Tennis shoes and sandals are pretty much it. :( Gotta get creative and make something yourself? (Don’t you just wish you had a 3D printer and some skills? :) )

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