Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gabbigale Mute but Cute


Kenner's Gabbigale, 1972 (click image to enlarge)

After purchasing the first printing of Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide 1820-1991 by Myla Perkins (Collector Books, 1992), I created an extensive mental wish list of black dolls that had to enter my collection.  They were needed for their historical significance or aesthetic appeal. 

Kenner's Gabbigale from 1972 (shown, described*, and valued in the scanned image from the updated-values version of Perkins' book, copyright 1995) was desired for her aesthetic appeal.  To find a black one, I knew, would probably be difficult, as most black play dolls do not survive the rigors of doll play.  But I remained hopeful.

I did not conduct an active search for Gabbigale, but each time I referred to Perkins' book for something else and happened upon page 180, I remembered, I want her.

During the latter part of April, I received a comment on a blog  from a reader attempting to sell her elderly mother's black doll collection.  After requesting and reviewing the list of dolls for sale and noting that Gabbigale was included, I immediately expressed interest in purchasing and asked for a picture.  The seller complied and I completed the transaction.

Gabbigale... at home at last.

Gabbigale arrived this week after a difficult travel experience and lots of anxiety on my part.  Some 18 years after adding Gabbi to my mental wish list and 39 years after Kenner made her, Gabbigale (who no longer talks) is finally home.  She's mute but still cute!


1972 J. C. Penney Catalogue page 459, courtesy of Bonnie Lewis

*Perkins described Gabbigale's dress color as "gold."  As verified in the above 1972 J. C. Penney Catalogue scan that only illustrates the white version, the doll's original dress is blue with red floral-print sleeves, neck trim, and matching panties. 
 
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12 comments:

  1. Cool find and congratulations, Debbie!

    I remember the name Gabbigale, but until I saw your photo, I couldn't "see" her.

    Do you know if Kenner? Remco? ever made a black Mimi, the doll who wanted to teach the world to sing in multiple languages. (For some reason, I used to LOVE that Coke commercial and I even half-wanted that doll.) She wore a beret, I think. Not sure if the white version had blond or auburn hair.

    Do you have that doll, too?

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  2. I always love when it all comes together. It may seem like a lifetime when you are waiting, but then there is that feeling of divine intervention (at least on my part). Congrats on your Gabbigale. She is a cutie. I had never heard of her until now.

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  3. Hi Vanessa and Dana,

    Yes, waiting sometimes is the toughest part, but if and when it's meant to be, it will. Thanks for the congrats!

    Remco did make an AA Mimi. She had been on my wish list almost, if not as long as Gabbigale. I finally located Mimi two years ago (I think) when Linda Hayes began selling some of her dolls. I just happened to ask her if she had Mimi and she did. I featured her on my blog this past February: Remco's Mimi, complete with coke commericial!

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  4. congratulations on adding Gabbigale to your family. Good things are worth waiting for.

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  5. Thanks, Cindy! I have your first book on Tammy dolls and continue to enjoy it!

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  6. That´s terrific! I appreciate hearing that.:)

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  7. Have any one heard of the baby heather doll?.. I am looking for some information on this doll ..I recently purchase this doll on eBay, it is an 1987 Mattel interactive doll..I have a beautiful African American Heather doll that works very well.. Thank you...

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    1. Hello Ninti Bower,

      Thanks for writing and asking about Baby Heather. I also own an AA version of the doll that worked -- at least she did when purchased some 10 or so years ago. I will try to do a blog post about her in the near future and include all the information that I have gathered on her.

      Congratulations on finding your doll.

      dbg

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    2. The promised blog post about my Baby Heather has been published here.

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  8. Hello I would like to know did you receive the pictures of my baby heather doll?..

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    1. No, I did not received the pictures.

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    2. I did receive your picture today! She is adorable and in such pristine condition. Thanks for sharing the picture. I emailed you!

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!