Monday, July 6, 2015

Now I Know Her Name

Fashion Corner Clearly Casual and Fashion Corner Zahara by Lucky, IND. CO., LTD., 1997 and 1999, respectively

Things happen for a reason.

Recently, Supremeboy23 posted a couple of comments to an old blog post about Yla Eason's Imani dolls (he's a huge fan of the original Imani head sculpt).  His second comment included a link to his Ellisse, Naomi, Imani and Friends Facebook group.  I followed the link and found a link to his eBay auction for the Fashion Corner dolls that I now own. "There she is," I thought, "and now I know her name!"

I believe I first saw the black version of Lucky's 11-1/2-inch fashion doll online in a Limbe Dolls blog post.  That is when I knew I needed to add her to my collection of Barbie competitors.  This was two or three years ago, but without knowing the doll's given name or the manufacturer's name, this was understandably a difficult task to complete.  Prior to seeing Paulette's doll, I might have actually seen the dolls in person at Big Lots, where according to this blogger, they were sold as individual dolls and in themed sets.   Her unique look (I like her facial structure) was not apparent to me when I saw her at Big Lots, so I totally dismissed Zahara, or whatever name she went by then, as a cheap Barbie competitor, and I left her shelved.

The African American version of Lucky's fashion doll uses a different head sculpt than the white counterpart.  The "bone structure" and facial expression appeal to me.  I don't often like dolls with "teeth" or the appearance of teeth, but this doll's teeth add to her appeal.
With knowledge of the manufacturer's name, I checked my black doll references by Myla Perkins and found two versions in Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide 1820-1991.  Because the images are in black and white, seeing them in the book during the early 1990s, when I first purchased the book, would not have incited a desire for a fashion doll by Lucky.  Scans from this book are shown next.


The above two images are scans from pages 191 and 192 of Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide 1820-1991 by Myla Perkins

After viewing the completed, unsold doll auction, I went to Facebook (FB) and messaged Supremeboy23, who uses his real name on FB, and expressed my interest in purchasing.  An Imani doll by Olmec (new head sculpt) had been included in the original completed auction along with my two dolls, but I explained to him that I only needed the dolls by Lucky, whose imperfections were described in the auction.   He relisted the dolls at a reduced price in a buy it now and the rest, as they say, is history.

The dolls arrived swiftly, neatly packaged with the blister doll tucked carefully inside Zahara's box where there was plenty of room for her to travel alongside her sister.  See the first photo.

This doll from 1997 was sold on a blister card as simply Fashion Corner Clearly Casual.  Her black rooted hair is styled in a ponytail with bangs, while Zahara has bone straight root black hair without bangs.
The back of Zahara's box (1999) illustrates several other versions that were available dressed in a variety of brightly colored clothes representative of the late-1990s fashion styles.
A close-up head shot of one of the Zahara dolls is shown on the side panel of the box.

Their hairstyles can be better seen in this photo.

Their Injuries
They are both unfortunate amputees.
One has an amputated leg; the other has an amputated arm.  Both will need new bodies, which will be easy to provide since their heads are easily removable.  I also have several thrift store doll finds available as potential body donors.

The doll on the left has a round knob molded onto her neck.  The other has a movable prong attached to her neck that is not connected to the inside of her head.  As a result, both heads can be easily popped off.
Even though they are injured, I am very happy to have found not one but two Zaharas*!

Thank you again Supremeboy2 for helping me cross Zahara off my wish list.  Had you not posted a comment on my Olmec dolls post, I would not have found your FB page in the precise amount of time to see your link to the completed auction for my dolls. The events that followed, leading me to now own both dolls, might not have occurred.

*As the caption of the first image notes, the doll in the blister package is referred to as "Clearly Casual," and was not actually named Zahara by the manufacturer.  Until I can think of a better name, she will be called Zahara, too.

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18 comments:

  1. Things do happen for a reason! I'm glad that you were able to add these dolls to your collection. They are cute, and I can't wait to see them on their new bodies, whenever that occurs.

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    1. Thanks, Roxanne! I have been tinkering around with them a bit.

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  2. Congrats. She's really cute. LimbeDolls has such a great collection of clones on her blog, I'm not surprised you were tempted.

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa. Paulette's variety of non-Barbie dolls is what incited my renewed interest in adding additional clones and competitors to my doll family.

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  3. Oh! I ALMOST FORGOT 2 other factoids! This head sculpt (with teeth) was also issued without teeth (same sculpt, they just didn't paint on the white part) so she looks like she's whispering or blowing you a kiss =) as soon as I find her I will show you a picture, because I know for a fact I do have one or two that are "toothless" I just have to dig for them in my boxes =D
    And...this very head mold has also been issued for a Native American Princess doll by Fashion Corner. I'd like to get her because she's also very beautiful and looks Latina (like me) Dolly hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Supremeboy23, for sharing additional information about this line. Now I know that there is a Native American with this same head sculpt and others without teeth. In your pictures, I thought one of my two did not have teeth, but it was the angle of your photo that threw me off. I am please with my twins.

      I failed to mention in the post that, like most fashion dolls of the 1990s, these dolls have white removable panties, which is something of the past for playline dolls these days.

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  4. A happy chain of events!

    Congratulations on adding them to your collection - and thanks for all the details about the line: they're new to me, so it was great to hear about them!

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    1. Thank you and you are welcome, jSarie. Thank you for allowing me to introduce them to you.

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  5. But how did they lose their limbs like that? Was there a story about that? Did they just fall off?

    Nosy.

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    1. Hi Muff,

      Supremeboy23 said each limb fell off when he removed each doll from the box. That's all I know.

      As long as I have been looking for this particular head sculpt with one failed previous opportunity to trade with someone who did not follow through, I didn't mind purchasing these two just as they are.

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    2. Oh yes Muff, sadly when I purchased them originally, I opened the box and the blister package and the Zahara's arm had simply fallen off, and the Casual Fashion Corner happened the exact same thing but with her leg. Now, I didn't make a stink with the individual sellers simply because I had acquired them as parts of larger lots and very good prices, and I was very happy all the other dolls, eventhough neither seller had describde the doll's "injuries" How could they have know? The dolls were truly MINT when I opened them, so I wouldn't blame them for the dolls. I don't recall which states these dolls originally came from BUT i believe they might have come from northern states where its dry, as that might have affected the limps to just flake off. Now, often times when you buy a doll from the lower southern states, the legs or other body parts might be "oily" or sticky somehow, and that "plastic sweat" is simply due to the heat. Dolly hugs!

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    3. Thanks for that response, Supremeboy! I have found that most of my boxed Liv dolls have noticeably greasy faces.

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    4. Oh you're very welcome Muff =) And about your dollies with "greasy faces"? Well, they probably came from either sellers in the south OR if you got them at a store? They might have been stored in warehouses located down here, before they were shipped to the stores.
      Hugs!

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  6. Congratulations on getting them! I remember seeing the Fashion Corner dolls at Big Lots, but I have never seen Zahara.

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    1. I really like the Zahara line, (I have all the 6 sisters in their assorted outfits and hairdos) because she's not just another "black version of..." but as Zahara, she has an identity of her own, and although I have seen this exact same headmold for Native American dolls, I have NEVER seen this headmold for caucasian looking dolls, so being black Latino, I kinda appreciate that this headmold was kept for more ethnic dolls =)

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    2. Thanks, GG. Wish I had purchased when seen at Big Lots. I saw other dolls by Lucky, mostly babies, at Toys R Us during the 1990s, but I don't recall seeing fashion dolls by them. They might have been there and again overlooked because I wasn't interested in fashion dolls at the time.

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  7. I had an Imani gymnast doll when I was about 9-10 years old, I purchased her from Wal-Mart and she came in a pink and gold leotard with a matching jacket, gold medal, and duffle bag. She also wore white tube socks with white tennis shoes. Although her plastic felt sort of hollow, she was pretty sturdy and had more articulation than the same articulation as the new Barbie Fashionistas. This line also came with a male doll who I also purchased though I can't recall his name, Hakeem maybe? He had a nice looking mold and came in a few different versions.

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    1. I don't remember the Imani Gymnast but I have Dance Lights Imani that "really dances" with the push of a lever on her back. I do not believe she has full articulation, however. She has the new Imani face or the last one produced. Olmec's male doll's name is Menelik, named after the son of Yla Eason, who was the creator of the Olmec doll line. You can see one of my three Menelik's here.

      Note that my two Zahara dolls were made by Lucky IND Co., Ltd. An Imani doll by Olmec was offered in their original eBay auction, but I did not want that doll.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!