Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nitey-Nite Baby Finds New US Home...

... without even trying.

Nitey-Nite Baby was made in Spain by Famosa during the  late 1980s.  I added this 21-inch vinyl doll that has a soft cloth body to my collection during the mid 1990s after responding to an advertisement in Collectors United (CU), a monthly periodical of doll ads. 

Oh how I used to wait with bated breath for each monthly Collectors United to arrive.  After it arrived, I would stop, drop, and read each ad in hopes of locating a coveted Black doll to add to my collection.  My monthly long-distance phone bill was enormous after calling several American households in response to their Black-doll ads.  As my fingers did the dialing, I hoped the doll I desired was still available.  Often it was.  Nitey-Nite Baby is one such doll.  I first saw her in Myla Perkins' book, Black Dolls:  An Identification and Value Guide 1820-1991.  Like so many of the others in Perkins' book, I wanted her.

My monthly activity of scouring doll periodicals took place prior to my Internet access.  At that time, there was no eBay, no doll web sites to browse, or other instantaneous doll-buying access.  For doll buying, I relied on periodicals like CU, Master Collector, doll magazine ads, doll dealers with whom I had established a buyer's relationship, the now defunct HSN doll shows, and QVC's doll shows.

After recently deciding to sell some of my early doll acquisitions, beginning with large baby dolls, Nitey-Nite Baby was on a mental list of possible dolls to sell.  I had not yet decided to list her on eBay or use any other source to immediately sell this doll until I received an email from an eBay doll forum member requesting doll ID assistance.  It is still a mystery how the forum member found me. 

She wrote:

Hi Debbie,

A young woman posted to the eBay Doll Board yesterday about her search for her beloved childhood doll. So far we have been unable to identify the doll for her. It is indeed presumptuous to contact you, but I would very much like to see this girl find her doll again. Perhaps you could take a peek at her photo. I have attached her picture, but if you are as afraid as attachments as I am, her link is on her post.

Thank you,
JL

This is the image JL shared .  I immediately knew the doll was Famosa's Nitey-Nite Baby and sent JL a reply with the doll's ID.  She agreed to post this information to the forum in hopes that the person seeking this doll would read the updated post.  I as well posted a followup with a link to a past blog that features my Nitey-Nitey Baby and other dolls from Spain.  

Within a few days, I received an email from the young woman, Alina, thanking me for providing the doll's name.  She asked me to let her know if I ever decided to sell my doll.  She reassured me she would provide a good home for her and would not trust anyone with her like she did when she was 10.  Alina did not go into specifics about what happened to her long lost doll, but I can only imagine.  I promised her I would offer my doll to her if I decided to sell it.

A few days after our email communication, I stumbled upon another forum that contained a post with Alina's plea for help identifying her doll.  This post was made one day prior to JL's email to me.  It included pictures of Alina with her doll, and a screen shot of the same doll featured in "The Getaway" episode of the Cosby Show.  The plea along with the additional pictures melted my heart.  It was then that I knew my Nitey-Nite Baby needed to be the one to replace Alina's childhood doll.  

Nitey-Nite Baby and Alina have been reunited for several days now.  After the doll arrived to her new home, Alina addressed the following email to me:

Hi,

I received Nitey-Nite Baby today. She is beautiful and exactly the way I remember her. Thank you so much for letting me purchase her. I am so excited to enjoy her for many years to come.

Wishing you all the best,

Alina T.


I have since watched this Cosby Show episode. The doll is only shown for a split second. I wondered how in the world Alina recognized it as the doll she owned as a child, but then I realized, a "mother" knows her "child."

Alina, who often watches syndicated episodes of The Cosby Show, didn't realize her doll was featured on the show until recently.  As she watched "The Getaway," she shared, "I looked up at the TV and there she was in the box Olivia was carrying. I think I about broke down in tears. I have been searching for my childhood doll for years so I was extremely excited to see her on one of my favorite shows. Thank God for DVR cause I quickly paused and recorded the episode to show my mom. That is the first time in 15 years that I had seen my doll."

If you would like to watch the episode of The Cosby Show that fueled Alina's doll search and find, it is available in two parts on Youtube.  Nitey-Nite Baby is in Part 1, but don't blink because you might miss her.  Amazingly, Alina didn't.

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8 comments:

  1. Wow! What a story. Of course I got all teary eyed. What is wrong with me. One might get the impression that I am a softee and they would be so wrong. Anyway, this was very touching and I am glad that you were able to bring her such joy. God was definitely in the details here.

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  2. You already know how great you are! I love stories like these when it comes to reunited a babydoll with it mother. I really love your blog.

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  3. Hi Vanessa -- God certainly had his hand in this.

    Hi Brini -- Thanks again Brini. You are too kind. I hope you continue to enjoy my blog.

    dbg

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  4. Hi everyone,
    This is Alina. I just wanted to let everyone know how I lost my favorite doll.
    My parents are divorced and lived in different states. I was packed and ready to visit my mom for the summer. I had Nitey Nite Baby sitting on top of my carry-on luggage. My dad told me I should leave her and after much debate he won. I left her in his care thinking I would only be gone for the two month summer break. I ended up being gone for a little over a year. When I returned my father had put all of our stuff in storage. He didn't keep up with the payments and the storage was lost along with my beautiful doll. It took him a long time to tell me what happened. Although I lost many dolls and other special items in the storage she was the only one I cared so deeply about. I missed the other items but nothing compared to how much I cried over her. That was about 15 years ago and I never forgot her.
    A piece of my heart will always be with the doll that I lost but I am so happy to have this new Nitey Nite Baby in my life. She truly does bring me a lot of joy and closure to the one I lost many years ago.
    Thank you again.

    Alina T.

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  5. Hi Alina,

    Thanks for sharing with the readers how you became separated from your first Nitey-Nite Baby. I know that had to be a traumatic and devastating experience for you. I am so glad you now have your replacement.

    dbg

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  6. Alina,

    sometimes parents dont realize what things mean to us. I had a tressy and velvet doll that i cherished. I lost them during a move to another house. It hurt alot, because i thought i would have them forever. I have since replaced them.

    I am so glad you got a new nitey nite!

    Sharon

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  7. Hi all,

    I found my old childhood doll who i named, Eida I've had her since 1993.Today I had a look at the back of her head and found she's a 'Famosa made in Spain' doll!

    I started doing some research and found this website. My doll looks just like the one in the photo, plastic limbs,soft body,light brown skin and curly hair.I love her.Does anyone know where I can see more pictures of this particular doll?

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    1. Hello RCR,

      There is a picture of my former Nitey-Nite baby in an older blog post featuring other dolls made in Spain. Click here to view.

      dbg

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!