Monday, July 21, 2014

Guest Blogger, K. Charles Introduces the so Cool, so Cute, so You, Double Dutch Dolls

Thanks to Debbie for offering me the great opportunity to introduce you all to the Double Dutch Dolls. I have had so much fun creating this line of dolls and books and I hope you will love them as much as I do. Okay, here goes.

The Story
Once upon a time there was a young girl (me) who loved to read. She would read anything and everything but her favorites were Sweet Valley High and anything Judy Blume. She always wished though that there were stories like those that featured girls like her. So, when she grew up she decided to write stories for multicultural little girls. From that the Double Dutch Dolls were born. The series is based on 14-year old African-American identical twins Kaila and Zaria and their four friends: Sascha (African-American), Alainna (Hispanic), Trinity (African-American/Caucasian), and Kadence (Caucasian/Latina). The stories are all about fashion, fun, gossip, peer pressure and all sorts of other girlie things.

The characters became so real to me. I could picture how they looked and how they dressed so I worked with a graphic designer to bring them to life. After hours, days, weeks and months of me describing every detail about the girls and him pulling it all together, the Double Dutch Dolls were really born. They were beautiful. At that moment, I thought, I have to bring these characters to real life. There are so many little girls out there who would love them, not just in the stories, but also as real life dolls who would become their forever friends.


Shown above: the actual doll colors for the entire Double Dutch Dolls doll line


Doll Details
The first two dolls based on the main characters Kaila and Zaria are currently available and retail for $69.97. Double Dutch Dolls are 18-inch, all-vinyl fashion dolls with pierced ears, a realistic child-like body and jointed limbs. They have extra joints in their elbows, knees and wrists so they can be posed in many natural looking positions. Since one of the key elements of the Double Dutch Dolls story line centers around fashion, I wanted the dolls to be poseable and thinner than 18” dolls like American Girl, Target’s Our Generation or Toys R Us Journey Girls, which have cloth bodies. The thicker cloth bodies don’t look as good in fashion outfits.

Double Dutch Dolls also have wigged rather than rooted hair, which is superior. Their wigged hair is machine sewn onto a fabric wig cap, glued onto the doll’s head and then cut and styled. Because of this, their wigged hair better retains its hairstyle more easily than rooted hair. All dolls come with pierced ears (earrings sold separately) and super cute fashion outfits.


Double Dutch Dolls, Kaila and Zaria
What’s Next
I am hard at work putting the finishing touches on the four other Double Dutch Dolls (Sacha, Alainna, Trinity and Kadence) and hope to release them soon. I have received such an outpouring of support from doll enthusiasts, moms, grandmothers, aunts, and daughters. And, I thank you all. I am very excited to share the Double Dutch Dolls with all of you and I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. You can log on to www.doubledutchdolls.com for more information, email me at info@doubledutchdolls.com, or visit and "like" the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DoubleDutchDolls.

K. Charles
K. Charles is the creator of the Double Dutch Dolls and author of the books written about them.
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I would like to thank Ms. Charles for sharing information about the "so Cool, so Cute, so You," Double Dutch Dolls and the books she has written.  With her permission, I have shared photos of my girls as well as a photo of the back of one of the doll's boxes.

Double Dutch Dolls Kaila and Zaria pose with the books, Double Dare and Double Trouble.
The jointed elbows and wrists can be better seen in this close-up of Kaila without her hoodie.  Their knees are also jointed. 
The back of the box provides even more detail about the twins.


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Friday, July 18, 2014

Black Petitcollin Dolls

A bathing baby by Petitcollin of France circa early 1990s

I purchased my first Petitcollin doll in December 2010.  He is a 10 in/25 cm bathing baby, circa early 1990s made by the Petitcollin company of France, item #2025705. His box is undated.    He wears a light and dark blue striped bathing suit, has a light blue terrycloth towel, and red inflatable lifesaver.  Fashioned after the original early 1900s dolls made of celluloid, he has a very dark complexion, painted brown eyes, a broad nose and full lips.  His molded curly hair is painted black.  He is jointed at the arms and legs.  His neck is not jointed.

Written in French with English translation, the back of the box reads:

Hello, my name is Petit Colin.  I am a true Petitcollin doll.  I was born in Etain, in the Lorraine region of France.

I come from a very large family of dolls.  I was made in France with a lot of care.  I was hand-decorated in the traditional manner.  My skin is soft like the skin of a real baby.  You can take a bath with me.

According to a Wikipedia entry, in 1995, Vilac acquired the company, which became known as SARL Jouets Petitcollin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petitcollin). The factory has been open to the public for tours since 1998.  A video of their doll making process can be viewed below:




African Mother and baby, stock #2025741; and Father, stock #2025740 by Petitcollin of France post 1995

I recently acquired an African family of Petitcollin dolls from Linda Hayes who continues to sell her extensive black-doll collection.  This family was made post 1995 as their boxes are marked Jouets Petitcollin.   Like the bathing baby, Mother and Father are also 10 inches (25 cm).  Baby is 3-1/2 inches (9 cm).  The larger dolls use the same mold as the bathing baby.  A boubou is worn by Mother and Father.  Mother has headwrap; Father has Kofi of the same colorful fabric.  The nude baby is a miniature version of his parents. 

This close-up of African baby includes mother's cardboard hang tag, which illustrates a white Petitcollin doll.


Better known for its wide variety of white dolls, the company has made black (Hindou) versions as well as Asian dolls and those with the deepest complexion like my examples that are described by the company as genuinely black (Negri) dolls.  At the company's website, under the products link, the only black dolls are a snow globe baby and a vinyl baby doll in a couple of sizes.


History of Petitcollin Doll Company
African Petitcollin Doll (nude)


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So in Style Fan Club-Exclusive Chandra

2014 So In Style Fan Club-Exclusive Club Doll

This year So in Style Fan Club members had an opportunity to select Grace, Marisa, Kara, or Chandra as their club-exclusive doll.  If desired, more than one doll could be purchased.  I chose to purchase one doll, my favorite among the available choices, Chandra.


 Inspired by vintage Barbie, the doll's hair is styled in a ponytail with curly bangs. 




She wears a beautiful purple satin, one-shouldered, full-length dress with gold pleated satin at waist. 


Her jewelry of gold hoop earrings and gold and purple gem bracelet (next image) ...




...along with a gold satin clutch and gold strappy heels are perfect accessories. 

A purple faceted perfume bottle and certificate were also included.


In this final photo, Chandra's exquisite beauty speaks for itself.

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The So In Style Fan Club at Yahoo! Groups was founded in December 2009.  The So In Style dolls are discussed, photos shared, and lots of activities take place throughout the year.  If you collect So In Style Barbie and are interested in joining (it's free), click here.  

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