Friday, June 15, 2012

No, No! Sergio

During the 1980s, Sergio Valente jeans were "hot" in the minds of some.  To this day I still love and wear denim jeans.  They are a staple for me, but I never, ever-ever-ever wore Sergio Valente jeans or any others like them.  The pocket design and gold bull's head-shaped logo on the sides of the pant leg are just not my style. 

A decade later, after I began collecting dolls, and after reading Myla Perkins' Black Dolls, an Identification and Value Guide, I discovered African American versions of the Sergio Valente female and male fashion dolls.  Back then manufacturers rarely took the time to create a unique head sculpt for black dolls when white and black versions were made.  The Sergio Valente dolls typify the use of shared molds for all ethnicities. 

Miss Sergio Valente had potential for entering my collection, but the male never did.  Even though both dolls have white facial features, the male doll screamed (in my mind) white doll painted brown.  His 1980s, black, molded, Vinny Barbarino-style hair added volume to that scream. Fashion dolls were also of little to no interest to me at that time, and especially none dressed in Sergio Valente (SV) jeans. 

Of course, collectors' tastes change and I am no exception.  I recently desired both dolls.  Interestingly, I wanted the male more... probably because I'm on this dark skinned playscale male quest.  While finding black male dolls is not as difficult as it was in past years, it is still no easy feat, ethnically correct facial features or not. 

I found Miss Sergio Valente first.  She is shown in the following images along with close ups of her SV jeans.
Miss Sergio Valente (1981 Toy Time Inc.) has a swivel waist, black rooted bubblecut hairstyle, and brown painted eyes.  She wears a pink polyester SV logo'd top and SV jeans.  Her white high-heel shoes are enclosed in plastic, still attached to the box liner.  (Reduced 1980s Toys R Us price, $2.98; I paid $9.99 plus shipping.)

Sergio Valente label is on pocket; bull's head-shaped logo streams down sides of jeans.

About a week following Miss Sergio Valente's arrival, I decided to conduct a quick Google search for the male (even though I had a saved eBay search already in place for him).  Much to my amazement, that Google search result led me to a California pawn shop owner's auction page for the African American male priced at $9.99 (buy it now) or best offer.  What-t-t-t?  (I thought!)  I didn't want to take a chance on attempting to get him for less, so I completed the buy it now and immediately paid the $14.99 total -- shipping was only $5.  Woo hoo! 

He is shown below, in close up and full view, with his chocolate self, and I don't e-ven care if he's just a white doll dipped. 
"Oh, Oh, It's Sergio!"

Sergio Valente the Male Fashion Doll, also has a swivel waist. (Original, circa 1982, Toys R Us Price, $5.97)


As illustrated on the back of the male's box, there were separately sold Sergio Valente fashions for the dolls.
Click to enlarge for better detail.
While I have welcomed the Sergio Valente dolls into my collection with wide open arms, I'll still never, ever-ever-ever wear Sergio Valente jeans or any jeans like them.

For readers too young to remember Sergio Valente jeans, I've included the following Miller's Outpost commercial. 








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15 comments:

  1. Jordache jeans was the closest I came to SV jeans. Glad you were able to add both dolls. I will go on record as saying that is the worst Black male figure I've ever seen. Are you sure he wasn't supposed to be a Mexican. He makes a great Mexican male.

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    1. I never wore Jordache or Braxton jeans either. Lees were my favorites followed by bell bottom hip huggers in denim and every other color of the rainbow including yellow, purchased from the Army-Navy store way-way back in the day.

      Your "on record" comment was hilarious, Vanessa. The SV male doll does look more Mexican than African American. I will go on record now to say that I am his proud owner. This is something I could not have said some years ago.

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  2. Those are cool dolls. I didn't have any SV. I did have Jordache, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Calvin Klein jeans. They were the fads! Lol!

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    1. Thanks, Georgia Girl! The dolls and their jeans are great examples of the 80s look.

      :-)

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  3. When I came to this blog entry, I scrolled down to look at the photos before reading the text and had the thought "This guy seriously needs to stay out of the tanning bed." It's so funny that he's supposed to be black. He's not the worst that I've seen, though. I think that my brown dollar store doll with the pompadour hairstyle is worse than this.

    I have no recollection of Sergio Valente jeans, so thanks for linking to the commercial. I do remember Jordache jeans, and I seem to remember that even as a pre-teen, I had too much booty for those jeans. If they fit on my waist, they were too tight on my butt; if they fit my butt, they were way too big on my waist. I had a couple of pairs of Braxton jeans, though, even though it was a tight squeeze on my butt.

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    1. Hi Roxanne,

      It's funny that you thought Sergio had suffered from a case of too much sun. He does not at all look AA except for his complexion, but I think that's why I like him. I would love to see your dollar store doll and find one for myself, just because he's unusual. I believe D7ana has or had a similar dark-skinned male, too.

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    2. Debbie, your SV guy reminds me of the lady that was in the news recently after being arrested for putting her 6 year old daughter in a tanning bed.

      As for my dollar store doll with the pompadour, I posted about him on my blog a while back. There are photos, although they do not do him justice. He is truly craptastic.

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    3. The woman in the news has some serious issues. Her face appears darker than her body. I wonder if she uses makeup to make herself even darker. Scary!

      Thanks for the link to your dollar store guys. The AA one may be craptastic but I think he's interesting. LOL!

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  4. I have seen this doll come up on ebay but haven't been fully tempted to buy them. What kind of body does he have? Is it simular to Ken or Integrity Toys Menelik?

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    1. Hi Ms. Leo,

      Sergio's body is flimsy PLASTIC! His arms are made of a sturdier, rubber-like material, similar to Ken's. His face is a softer rubbery material that has become oily from the chemical breakdown of materials used. Hope this helps.

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  5. Very funny and informative post. I also enjoyed the comments. I was a Wrangler girl when I wore jeans. As a gymnast/ dancer I always liked to sit in the floor and stretch. Jeans were always too stiff to allow me the full range of motion. I did have a pair of Guess jeans once, though.

    Like Roxanne I have a dollar store male who is even less convincing as an African American so I named him Vignesh. He's a software engineer from Guyana. If I could just find an upgrade body for him I could do a fun Diwali story about him.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this Paulette.

      I would love to see your dollar store male doll in a future blog post.

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      PS I never wore guess jeans either. Actually, I've never owned a pair of designer jeans. Well... take that back, I did have a pair of guess overalls in the 1990s that I probably wore once. Just never have been a label girl because I'm too frugal fashion wise for that.

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  6. Memories. I did have a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans (the fake ones). I do own both of the dolls and love the memories that they bring back from the 80's.

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  7. I wish I could find a good website with info about this doll line plus the Jordache doll line. I've been trying for a while to collect all the info I can find on these dolls and fashions but sometimes I just find pictures with no stock number.

    Anyway love them. Yes the male doll looks weird but I still think this was a great line of dolls.

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    1. HI Ada,

      More information on the Jordache and Sergio Valente dolls would be wonderful. Most people do not know the dolls existed, The toy manufacturers who were commissioned to make them may no longer be in business. SV clothing is still on the market. I am not sure about Jordache. Perhaps you could contact the SV people to see if information about the dolls and clothing products is still available in their archives. Good luck in your search.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!