Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dolls and Good Music-Related Memories

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 piƱata 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.

More Links:
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

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3 comments:

  1. Oh, I love that song! I recognized the title when you mentioned it.

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  2. I am needing help finding a black baby doll for my daughter. The dog ate the hand off today. I have been searching for any pics of her all day and found an almost match in your pic. The dress of the doll on the right is a match to my daughter's doll whom we call Kimmi. After reading your posting, I realize that my doll was indeed redressed as I had thought. We purchased Kimmi from a yard sale for a dollar, so the cost is not why I am upset, but rather the fact that this doll is very special to us. Kimmi is the very first doll my daughter wanted to hold or play with. You see we are white, Kimmi is black. Some people think it strange that my daughter loves her black baby the most. But we know why, when my daughter, (who is amost 3)was about a year old, some friends let her hold their 3wk old foster baby. That baby was black and about the same size as Kimmi, same beautiful brown eyes and tight tiny curls. My daughter fell in love and we believe that is why she saw Kimmi at the yard sale and absolutely had to have her.
    If there is any info you can share to help me find a replacement or a new hand, I would be so thankful. Our Kimmi is about 14 inches, with a soft body, plastic/rubber legs, hands, and head. Open mouth with two teeth, brown eyes, and short curly hair with two little pink bows sewed in to the hair(which is pretty nappy right now). On her neck is printed ©2004,2008 Mattel, Inc. She also came with a diaper which says Newborn Wonder, which I am also thinking was not original either. When googled, newborn wonders come up inder Lee Middleton.
    If we never find a replacement for her, well, we will still love her. And I learned that her dress is pretty old. Thanks for any help.

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  3. Mattel has made a series of Little Mommy dolls. The doll you have described might be one. Click here.

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