|Vanessa and Vanessa by Collector's Lane as seen in a "vintage" photo because I was too lazy to take an updated one. :-)|
One of Target's answers to the 18-inch doll craze brought on by the American Girl folks in the mid-1980s resulted in a line of dolls called Collector's Lane Kids manufactured by Dayton Hudson Company, circa 1999. The line included 18-inch dolls with a variety of brightly colored fashions and accessories. There were also 5-inch, all-vinyl, exact replicas of the 18-inch dolls. The black doll's name was Vanessa, shown above with her mini-me.
From this line, during the early 2000s, I also purchased a doll trunk, which is very well constructed of heavy wood covered with burgundy fabric. I use it for the doll shown at the link.
What I enjoyed about the Collector's Lane dolls is the uniqueness of Vanessa's head sculpt. Instead of using one sculpt for the white and African American dolls, the company created a separate head sculpt with ethnically correct features for Vanessa.
For the past several years, Target's 18-inch doll line has been sold under the name Our Generation Girls (OGG). The dark-skinned dolls use the same head sculpt as Collector's Lane Kids Vanessa. The name Vanessa has been retired and different shades of brown are used for the six different dolls with African American skin tones. Unless things have changed in countrywide Targets, all dolls may not be available at all stores.
This was a known fact in the past based on a 2013 video that went viral because a Deluxe African American OGG doll with book and other accessories was not available at a Target store in Staten Island, New York. On the day of the video, only the Basic African American package was in stock which includes the 18-inch doll and a hairbrush priced the same as the Deluxe dolls that were all white. A year later, in another video, a different parent pointed out the same scenario. She stated, "If I were to purchase the [Regular] Abriana doll, I would have to spend $12 extra in order for me to have accessories. Something isn't right with the picture."
Someone brought this disparity to my attention in 2013. I checked the company's website where I found Deluxe versions of the African American doll that did, in fact, include a book. So the fault must have been with the buyers at Target. While Deluxe dolls were at the OGG website at the time I researched the issue, even Target.com did not offer the Deluxe African American doll. So something definitely was askew.
|Specialty and Deluxe offerings of Our Generation Girls Maeva and Nahla seen in Maryland recently|
Fast-forward to 2015. There seems to have been some improvement in the Our Generation Girls buying department at some Target stores. Did those online videos help? Probably. Bad press usually results in positive change.
At the OGG website, currently there are five categories of 18-inch dolls: Regular, Deluxe, Specialties, Hair Play, and Retro. African American and/or Hispanic dolls are offered in all categories except Retro.
At Stores Now
I recently saw photos of OGG dolls and accessories taken by another Debbie. Her photos included a Deluxe package of the dark-skinned doll, Nahla, shown above with Maeva. Maeva is a Specialty OGG that comes with jewelry for accessorizing. Nahla's Deluxe package includes the doll, her jumpsuit, underpants, apron, two pairs of shoes, gardening gloves, hair bow, knee pads, small rake, small shovel, bucket, garden markers, tomato, pepper, zucchini, three seed envelopes, storybook, and bookmark. (I understand why customers voiced complaints that Deluxe black dolls were not on shelves in the past. Who wants to pay the same amount or almost the same amount for a Regular doll when the Deluxe package comes with so much more?)
Debbie V. took the following additional photos of items available at her Maryland Target.
|Abriana is the Regular doll that was usually the only OGG doll available at Target stores when Deluxe versions of non-black dolls were usually plentiful. This one was seen in a Maryland Target.|
|Poor resolution phone camera image of Our Generation Girls mini dolls recently seen at my local Target.|
|Cyarra (the dark-skinned mini OGG) is accompanied by a redhead, Zarya.|
While I was happy to see the availability of Cyarra, I was not happy that her head sculpt is identical to the other dolls'. Unlike Collector's Lane Kids, Vanessa, nothing sets Cyarra apart from the others except her slightly darker complexion. Another unfortunate feature about the minis in general is they are no longer all vinyl. They have vinyl heads, arms, and legs but the bodies are cloth!
I do love the fashions that all the minis wear as well as the extra boxed fashions shown next.
|OGG mini denim fashion|
|OGG mini winter fashion|
|Two additional OGG mini winter fashions|
I did not bring any OGG items home. Will I do this at anytime in the future? Only time will tell.
For those who create doll stories, I do think the possibility exists for the minis to be incorporated in dioramas as children or other family members of playscale dolls.