Thursday, 30 January 2014

Who signed Barbie's illustrations for the Panini 76 Album ?

Following a reader's recent question, I decided to look a bit further into who signed the illustrations in my Barbie Panini album 1976...

We know for certain that the Panini album Barbie Parade published in 1978 was the work of the italian illustrator Angelo Bioletto (1906-1987) - You can see some of the Barbie Panini albums that have been published here

So did he also sign the 1976 album ? I wouldn't say so...

Here is more of his work on Barbie :

Illustrations are from this very interesting blog on Children in Art History

So not exactly the same style as in the 76 Panini... What do you think ?

What's more confusing is if you have a close look at Barbie through the pages of the Panini 76 album, one notices that she never look quite like the same girl... Here she is in order of appearance, Barbie in 28 close-ups...

I can number at least 7 different ways of drawing Barbie here... And you ?

Sometimes her eyes are too big (nº8), sometimes they are too small (nº1) and sometimes they are just right (to quote Goldilocks)... Her softest features perfectly balance are in the ballerina page (nº22) but would you say it is the same girl as nº 6 ?... Surely not !

So I am wondering, if there were just one or SEVERAL illustrators working on this album ?

Furthermore, there is a series of books published around the same year (1976 & 1977) than my 76 Panini album... And interestingly they look as if they were the work of one person...

The books are a Mattel franchise published in many European countries by different publishers but credited to Dolly & Gloria (as authors ?)... And for the illustration one can notice on the front cover this hand signature (look down on the left of the cover, vertically ) :

One can read V. or J. Gonzalez... And I can't find anything else about him/her at present... Did she/he sign the cover only of these books or all the illustrations inside too ?...

Furthermore, this illustrator could be the same as the one of the Panini 1976 album...

Let's look at a sample :

Here is the Panini 76 album :

Remember, you can see the complete Panini album on my Flickr stream here and check my post on Panini Barbie 1976 earlier on my blog too...

And here is an inside page of Barbie at the Beach published the same year (1976) :

Convinced ? Not convinced ?

The good news is that you can see the complete book (and two others) on Stengo's blog (Imago Recensio) here (in Italian)

And if you are interested in the publishing company Panini itself, there is also on Stengo's blog a fantastic post on the firm with a complete advertisement catalogue dated 1976 showing all the process to make the stickers album and to release them into the world at the time...

See for yourself here

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  1. Hello Ysé, unfortunately they are not able to write in English, so I use Google Translate.

    There is no problem, feel free to use all the images you want, and thanks to the kindness of asking.
    Thanks for the appreciation to my blog ^_^

    If you hear I also have a fourth book on Barbie: "Barbie and the dog."

    I'll publish it later, I also have the sticker album Panini Barbie that you present, but in Italian (published in 1978), but it is full ;)

    I have noticed a certain similarity in the designs with the book of Big Jim:

    Big Jim's book resembles the drawings album figurines Big Jim (always Panini).

    They could all be the work of the same hand?

    I have no information on Dolly & Gloria.

    Ciao ^__^

    Album Panini on their production system is really great, I've been lucky to find it!

    1. Hello Stefano ! And thank you for your visit ! Much appreciated ! And yes what a great find this Panini production brochure you have ! Thank you so much for generously sharing it !
      I had a look at the Big Jim album you mention and I think that it is the same illustrator who did this as Barbie Al circo... What do you think ? Whoever did Barbie al Circo didn't do Barbie Al Mare... At this stage I am not even sure we are not dealing with three different illustrators... (La casa di Barbie ; Barbie e il Cane and La Caravane de Barbie are all signed V. or J. Gonzalez on the cover, but unless I am mistaken Barbie al Mare and Barbie al Circo aren't, are they ? Furthermore I don't think that Barbie Al Circo/Big Jim are by the same illustrator as Barbie Al Mare... And Barbie Al Mare illustrations are the ones which seem pretty similar to the Barbie Panini album 76... So unfortunately probably back to square one on this research for the moment... But I trust that truth will surface, it always does... We just need to be patient...

  2. WOW, you really did a great research!!! Thank you for taking your time trying to solve my question :-) I was wondering have you heard about a Barbie album published by Panini in 1983 called Barbie Barbie Barbie? As far as I know,it was available in ex.Yugoslavia and a couple of other countries too. It is also illustrated and you can find it on Ebay.

    1. Hello again Lupko,
      You are welcome... I am actually doing research on vintage Mattel at the moment so your question came bang on time... I haven't heard of the 1983 album (are you sure it is that year ? Or that is twas published by Panini ?) ... I thought that all the Panini albums that ever existed could be found on this page :
      Do you have a link on Eb or a picture of the Panini album 83 you are thinking of ?

  3. Hi again :-) This is the link where you can see the album,
    Here is the picture:$T2eC16hHJF8FFp-JCgd7BR2Ctml(cg~~60_1.JPG
    there are 8 more pictures showing the inside of the sticker album

    1. Thanks for the link ! So the site I had mentioned in the post doesn't comprise all the Panini albums that existed... I have modified the text in that line, thanks for making me aware of it... I am looking a little bit closely at the pictures of this 1983 album and will get back to you soon...

  4. No problem,glad I helped :-)

  5. Ciao Ysé ^ _ ^
    I have included the latest issue of "Biblioteca di Barbie", you find it at the link below:

    I seemed to notice a lower quality in the drawings, in particular in the car of Barbie (out of scale) and Ken (too young).
    Stefano (message written by Google translate)

    1. Ciao Stefano ! Thank you for this new upload ! I am just back from your blog and I do agree with you about the lack of realism... Most of the furniture / vehicles represented in the pictures were actually produced as toys by Mattel... And there was a camper in 1972, where only Skipper could fit... They didn't always get their scales right in 3D either ! here is a good link for those interested in all the Mattel vehicles from day 1... ...

  6. Hello YSE,
    I may have found out the name of the designer of the books of Barbie: Dino Busett.
    I found the news in a magazine of Barbie 1978:

    1. Hello Stefano ! Well done ! We are progressing... Sorry for the long delay in replying I had a long break from blogging... Hopefully I am back on track now...