Friday, April 19, 2013

Karen Mother-With-Baby African American Version



Until seeing the contents of the above shipping carton on eBay, I was only familiar with two other 11-1/2-inch (playscale) African American pregnant dolls.  

Mommy-To-Be by Judith Corporation 1992
Happy Family Midge and Baby (a.k.a. Pregnant Midge) 2002

Karen Mother-With-Baby arrived swiftly after the auction ended with me as the only bidder. She wears a floral print maternity dress typical of the styles worn during the 1990s and prior when women attempted to conceal their protruding bellies with loose-fitting maternity clothing.  Today, expectant mothers often wear non-maternity attire that accentuates and celebrates their growing bellies.
 

Karen Mother-With-Baby, 1992, Raffoler LTD comes with extra flat stomach cover, instructions, and certificate of birth.


Karen is in pristine condition, with plastic hair protective band still in place.  Her side-glancing eyes are black with blue pupils.



Karen has two removable stomach covers .  One cover mimics the pregnant stomach.  The other is flat for the postnatal period (see the flat cover attached to the instructions in the second image above).  An abdominal cavity houses the anatomically correct infant as illustrated next.



The gender of the baby is not revealed in the packaging as the babies are said to have been inserted at random at the time of manufacture.  My doll's newborn is male.


Check boxes for the owner to indicate male or female are included on the baby's certificate of birth.  There is also a space to enter the date of birth.

The instructions, which were printed in Hong Kong, read in upper case letters as shown:

DEAR CUSTOMER,

CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING KAREN PART OF YOUR CHILD'S DOLL FAMILY !

YOUR NEW KAREN™ MOTHER-WITH-BABY COMES TO YOU "PREGNANT", WITH BABY INSIDE HER STOMACH.  WHEN YOU REMOVE THE COVER FROM KAREN'S STOMACH, YOU WILL KNOW WHETHER KAREN HAS A NEW LITTLE GIRL OR A NEW LITTLE BOY.

THE STOMACH COVER IS REMOVED BY GENTLY LIFTING THE TOP PART OF THE STOMACH OR BY PRESSING THE LOCK TABS WHICH ARE LOCATED ON THE SIDES OF THE COVER.  AFTER BABY IS REMOVED, THE SECOND, FLAT COVER SHOULD BE FIT ONTO KAREN'S STOMACH.  IT IS EASIEST TO INSERT BABY IN KAREN'S STOMACH JUST THE WAY YOU RECEIVE IT, FEET FIRST WITH HEAD  FACING DOWN.

WE HOPE THAT KAREN WILL BE PART OF YOUR DOLL FAMILY FOR YEARS TO COME.

Distributed by Raffoler, LTD, 1200 Shames Drive, Westbury, NY 11590 in 1992, the doll was Imported to EC by:
Janbo, Trading Ltd
Symbal House, Edgware Rd.
London, NW90HU
England

A white Karen Mother-with-Baby can be seen at this link.

*****

It appears that 1992 was the year of the gravid doll. In addition to the Mommy-to-Be doll by Judith and Raffoler's Karen Mother-With-Baby, Tyco released the 18-inch Mommy's Having a Baby doll in both African American and Caucasian versions.

This all-vinyl doll wears a stationary ring on her ring finger and has a soft vinyl belly plate attached to her convertible maternity dress. When the pregnant stomach is removed, the dress converts to a "stylish" everyday dress.  Accessories include a "baby scope" (to see the baby move), scale, birth certificate, comb, and of course, the newborn baby.

An image of my Tyco doll, removed from the box for the first time specifically for this post, is shown below followed by images of the back of box and a close-up of a note to parents (obviously to minimize any potential pregnant-doll alarm or controversy).


Mommy's Having a Baby by Tyco 1992
Back of box illustrates little ones exploring the doll and baby.

Mommy's Having a Baby note to parents on back of doll's box (click to enlarge).

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12 comments:

  1. I can remember when I first purchased my Mommy is having a Baby Doll some folks were not pleased in the store, however. Birth is a reality, it is a part of life. I notice that that doll went very fast, off the shelves. People were purchasing them quickly. So glad I made her an addition to the Doll Family. She's my favorite!

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    1. I am glad you own Mommy's Having a Baby, too, Sandy.

      I purchased mine while it was still on the market after Toys R Us reduced the price to $16.98 (probably because sales were sluggish based on the doll's concept). I am unaware of the original retail price.

      As you indicated, birth is a reality and without going into detail about how babies are conceived, this doll would have been an excellent way to introduce a curious child to the post-conception process.

      Times have changed. Dolls like those mentioned here might be more acceptable today.

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  2. Although I think it's a great educational concept, I gotta say I was very taken aback the first time I saw one of the "having a baby" dolls. I remember thinking more along the lines of "she's got an Alien in her!," rather than she had a pregnant tummy and a c-section.

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  3. I had never seen or heard of her. I would have gotten this one had I known about her. I did purchase the pregnant Midge and very glad I did.

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    1. Sorry you missed out on this one GG. Another might show up on eBay, which is where I stumbled upon this one.

      dbg

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  4. I don't think that I've ever seen either of these pregnant dolls. I used to want the Mommy-to-be by Judith Corp. dolls. Thanks for sharing these 2 pregnant dolls.

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    1. You're welcome, Roxanne.

      I need to complete the C-section on the Mommy's Having a Baby Doll to unveil the gender of her baby.

      dbg

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  5. I had purchased the Karen doll when it came out. I think she was only available through mail order. She was created after the Judith Corporation doll. I also purchased the Mommy's Having a Baby Doll. I wanted to get all the dolls that were having babies during that time.

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    Replies
    1. Hi MDW,

      The eBay seller indicated that the Karen doll was available by mail order only. That's probably why very few people know about it.

      dbg

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  6. I have one available for anyone that's interested

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  7. Have one brand new on box forsale

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!