For those who aren’t familiar, Skipper is Barbie’s little sister. Launched in 1964, she was designed to look like a kid. But in 1975, someone at Mattel had the bright idea to release a Skipper doll that hits puberty. This controversial doll grew breasts (and became slightly taller) when you rotated her arm.
Hannah Khalique-Brown plays Growing Up Skipper in the movie, sparking interest in the doll. So when someone posted a demonstration of the original 1975 toy on TikTok, it got a lot of attention.
@krysteybelle #growingupskipper #barbie #skipper #barbiemovie #barbiemoviedolls ♬ Barbie Girl – Lady Aqua
Captioned “Proof that Growing Up Skipper actually exists,” this video shows TikToker @krysteybelle demonstrating the doll’s unusual gimmick. As she rotates Skipper’s arm, the doll grows an elongated torso and boobs. And yes, it looks pretty weird.
In a follow-up TikTok, @krysteybelle went into detail about how the doll worked, talking about how she played with Barbie and Skipper as a kid. Removing Skipper’s shirt, she reveals the doll’s rubber-covered torso, which allows her to stretch and expand.
@krysteybelle Replying to @I ate🥱 #growingupskipper #barbie #skipper #barbiemovie #barbiemoviedolls #allenbarbie #vintagebarbie #vintagedolls @Barbie Movie @barbie @MattelCreations ♬ original sound – Krystalyn Fowler Dro
The replies to these TikToks express nostalgia for other weird Barbie spinoffs like the pooping dog, or the pregnant doll with a baby in her belly. But you can definitely see why Growing Up Skipper was discontinued.
The weirdest footnote to this story is that Mattel released a very similar (and similarly controversial) doll in 2007. Growing Up Glam belonged to the shortlived My Scene doll brand, which Mattel launched to compete with Bratz. They never really caught on.