Recently I found hard copies of photographs taken at a 1990s family reunion. In these were images of elders who have unfortunately passed away. Children, captured in time as they gathered, watching cousins, brothers or sisters forcefully strike a Big Bird piñata in hopes of rupturing its outer shell; and, finally, dolls photographed on the same roll of 35 mm film were the focus of the other found photographs.
I was amused at one particular doll photograph of the above three Baby Come Back dolls made by Mattel ©1976. They were on the market by Christmas 1977. I fondly recalled how these three came to live with me in the 1990s.
The redressed black doll on the far right and the white doll were separate thrift store finds. I paid less than a combined total of $5 for both. In the 1990s, I thrift store shopped for dolls and provided TLC for those I rescued. I usually kept black-doll finds for my collection and sold others to help fund future doll buying. I recall finding a 1950s “basket case,” bald and nude, Madame Alexander Cissy at a thrift store for $12! It sold “as is” on eBay for 21.5 times that amount! Those were the days of eBay’s seller’s market climate.
Back to the Baby Come Back trio: The all-original black doll was purchased from another collector/doll dealer for about $15. She confessed having found it discarded in a trash can! As she drove by, she saw the brown legs of the doll, stopped her car, and retrieved it. Other than its outer layer of grime, Baby Come Back was perfect in my eyes. I brought it home, gave it a much needed head-to-toe bath, and hand-soaked and air-dried the clothes. The other two have found new homes, but the formerly discarded doll remains in my personal collection.
Since finding the photograph of the dolls, the chorus of “Baby Come Back” by the 1970s group, Player, has been intermittently playing in my head. This morning I viewed a YouTube video of the group performing their 1978 breakthrough single. I briefly wondered if the doll inspired the title of the song, but surmised that the inspiration was most likely true heartbreak. Listening to Player’s song brought back my six degrees of separation association with The Steve Miller Band. In 1977, I worked for Steve’s father, a former local pathologist. I also gave birth to my first born, a daughter, in 1977. Memories… good ones.
I attempted to find a Baby Come Back doll commercial, but only found pre-Christmas 1977 print advertisements for the doll priced from $6 to $12. In the commercial search results, I located a home-produced YouTube video of Baby Come Back toddling upon a table. Watching it made me laugh out loud and smile.
The photographs, dolls, and song, along with the times in which they were produced conjured up pleasant memories of former activities, special events, people, places, and things.
Mint-Looking with Box Baby Come Back on Ruby Lane (I am not affiliated with the seller.)
The Steve Miller Band
Additional Pre-Christmas 1977 Baby Come Back and other vintage toy ad links