Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Church Rummage Sale Finds: Vintage Barbie and Board Game

A local church had its annual summer festival this past weekend, and it included a rummage/jumble/white elephant sale. A lot of collectors have given up on these sorts of sales, in the belief that things like eBay and the Antiques Road Show have resulted in a much more antiques-savvy public, who know better than to donate valuable items to be sold for pennies. But I optimistically persevere, and am occasionally rewarded with a treasure. Or, in this case, two treasures. Amongst the miles of tables full of household detritus, I finally spotted:

1) Why: the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Game from 1958:  complete and in fantastic condition. Price: .75 cents!!! This is a much-sought vintage game that typically sells in the $45-$65 range, with appeal for TV, movie, horror, toy, and board game collectors.

2) a 1963 Barbie Fashion Queen doll, with two of her three original wigs, also in great condition. Price: $5.00!!! This Fashion Queen would normally retail for about $50-70.

I gleefully scooped them both up and raced for the checkout, where a smiling little old church lady took my $5.75. For a moment, I felt a pang of guilt and thought, "should I tell her what these are and how they should be priced?" But I didn't. I am SO going to hell....

Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Game, Why, is basically a paranormal version of Clue, the classic detective game. The premise is that Alfred's mansion, depicted on the wonderfully illustrated game board, is haunted by several ghosts, and he's hired four famous detectives, one of whom is played by you, to determine how and why the ghosts were murdered. 

The detectives are clever spoofs of famous mystery icons like Sherlock Holmes and Dick Tracy:

The Fashion Queen Barbie was an unusual entry in the legendary doll line. Instead of rooted hair, she featured a molded 'do, and came with three wigs in differing colors and styles so her young owner could change her looks. Unfortunately, the materials in the wigs and head reacted badly to each other over time, resulting in chemical melt marks to the doll's cranium if the wigs were left in place for an extended period. This makes finding a Fashion Queen in good condition a bit trickier than one might expect. My rummage sale find is amazingly and delightfully melt mark free.

Here she is as found, with her two wigs:

Here she is with her brunette flip:

And with her red bubble cut:

 Barbie is dressed for church...


  1. Lovely finds, although I am a tad envious of your Fashion Queen. She is lovely!

  2. Thanks! I thought she was quite a nice example, and I'm still stunned that I got her for five bucks. I keep worrying that the "church lady" is going to somehow show up at my door and demand her back!

  3. I'm not surprised that you still find these bargains because unless your specific item turns up on the Roadshow you have no idea what it's worth and it usually wouldn't occur to you to look it up on ebay.For example I have a Kenner Blythe doll from 1972,she's just always been around and I would never dream of parting with her for sentimental reasons Quite by accident while searching ebay to buy her some clothes I found out she is worth at least a thousand dollars because of some strange craze that has been going on for nearly a decade.Who'd have thunk it?

  4. Yep, there's been a HUGE Blythe craziness going on for awhile now. That's fantastic, that you still have yours from childhood! It's surprising, sometimes, the things that become so pricey: I agree with you, I would never have expected it of Blythe!