Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nelson R. Mandela Ltd. Ed. Talking Action Figure

After searching this blog for a prior post on the Nelson R. Mandela Talking Action Figure and finding none, I stopped on this final day of Black History Month to share.


Prior to purchasing my own Nelson R. Mandela figure, the following details about it were included in chapter 6 on page 329 of my book, Black Dolls:  A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion (2008):




Illustration 699 - Time Capsule Toys®Nelson R. Mandela, ca. 2003  (actually made in 2005)
Material:  All vinyl
Height:  12in/30.48cm
Hair/Eyes/Mouth:  Molded gray hair/painted blue/smiling, open mouth with teeth
Clothing:  Blue three-piece suit, white shirt, blue tie, black shoes
Other:  The first democratically-elected President of South Africa portrayed as a talking action figure, speaks 23 unique and authentic phrases; limited to 10,000, comes with doll stand.
Value:  $60
Photograph courtesy of Debra Richardson

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While writing my third book, published in 2010, I acquired my own Nelson R. Mandela and through me, he wrote the following entry on page 115 of The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak, I Listen:




­Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I finally arrived to Texas today along with two additional dolls.  Debbie ordered me at least two months ago from an Amazon.com seller, who obviously had some difficulty fulfilling the order.  She plans to keep me in my box, but would like to hear the 23 unique phrases I am supposed to speak in the voice of the real person I represent, Nelson R. Mandela, the first democratically-elected president of South Africa, who served from 1994 through 1999.  It is a mystery to Debbie why Time Capsule Toys, Inc. made my eyes blue.  The type of batteries that I require is also a mystery.   The current batteries are obviously dead because I remain mute when Debbie presses my chest in an attempt to hear me speak.   


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The Nelson R. Mandela figure also includes a biographical pamphlet covering the president's life before and during his service as the first democratically-elected President of South Africa with the inclusion of biographical facts and rare photographs.

Close-up image of Nelson R. Mandela Action Figure; the eyes appear more green than blue to me now.

I have yet to hear Mandela speak, but I disrobed him this morning and removed his three dead 357/303 Energizer batteries.  I plan to replace these with working batteries soon as I am still eager to hear his up to four minutes of audio, the text of  which is included on the inside flap of the box.  His first and last statements are shown as:

  • I have dedicated my life to this struggle.
  • It seems most strange that man should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.  Now men who believe in that, you disappear under a cloud of glory, your name lives beyond the grave.

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12 comments:

  1. Hello from Spain, i like this Nelson Mandela doll. I had not seen before. Point well taken. Keep in touch

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Marta. I am always happy to introduce collectors to dolls that were once unfamiliar to them.

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  2. I don't think it's a very good likeness, even if his eyes were the right color. If I saw that doll out of the box I would never guess who he was supposed to be. What do you think Debbie?

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    1. I agree, Zendelle. I was going to add this shared opinion when I revised the post to add the headshot. Instead, I deleted what I wrote as I didn't want to sway anyone else's opinion. It is pretty clear that Timecapsule Toys did not create an exact portrait doll of Nelson R. Mandela. Had they given him a fuller face, maybe I could see him more in this figure, maybe.

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    2. Here's a link to some other action figures by Timecapsule Toys made in the "likeness" of real people.

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    3. Link most appreciated. I have yet to buy a doll this year and something pretty and historically significant would make it all the more special :3

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  3. This is a great historical ornament in itself! Pity the speaking function might be a bit of a hassle. If they had a proper off switch somewhere it might isolate the batteries from the circuit and prevent it from draining itself eventually.

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    1. This figure is a treasure to own even if it is not a true portrait.

      The figure, although new, was four years old when I acquired it, which is probably the reason the batteries were dead on arrival. An on and off switch or a removable insert in the battery compartment to prevent the batteries from touching the power source would have been a better design.

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  4. Wow, what a find! This is a wonderful addition to your collection. I would jump at the chance to add him to my own collection. Yes, the blue eyes are strange. Hope you get to hear his wonderful voice soon.

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa. I purchased batteries for him this afternoon (thanks for the reminder; they are still in my purse). I had to shell out $10 and change for them at Walgreens. They probably cost less at Target or Walmart, but I would have eaten up the savings in gas going there. Hope they work.

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  5. While that doesn't look quite like him, perhaps it could have been him in is 20's? Either way, I think it's a doll worth having.

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    1. I agree, Muff. He's well worth owning.

      The company made an honorable effort. Some of the other action figures they made can be more readily recognized as the persons they portray. Even Jesus (and that's not my image of Him) but I knew who he was supposed to represent.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!