Friday, October 28, 2016

Debbie Goes West


Made for children over three with a box date of 1981 (MCMLXXXI), this version of Debbie Goes West by Uneeda is Assortment No. 70870.  The subtitle on the box reads "The Best Dressed Doll in Town."  Could this be because of her western outfit and accessories, which consist of a brown and white gingham shirt, yellow vest, tan felt hat, chaps, fringed pouch and skirt, brown boots and lasso?

The back of the box provides the doll's name, contents description, stock or assortment number, copyright information and year, and manufacturer's name:  Uneeda Doll Company.

As seen here, a white version of Debbie Goes West exists as well.  At least one other doll with a different name also "went west."

Donna Goes West wears an outfit that is identical to the outfit worn by the white version of Debbie Goes West.  Photo courtesy of D. Spears.

I was alerted to the eBay auction for my doll by a doll friend who owns the Woolworth-exclusive, Donna Goes West.  Both versions (Donna and Debbie) were probably manufactured by Uneeda but sold through different merchants.  Based on the photo, Uneeda is not on the front of Donna's box.   According to my doll's original $3.99 price tag, marked down to $2.66, my doll was sold through YDC.

At the time I received the auction alert and asked if I was interested in Debbie Goes West, because of her name, I answered, "Yes!" I rarely see dolls named Debbie.  I own only one other, whose name is Baby Debbi (note the different spelling).  The baby doll was made by Super Doll in 1965.

Baby Debbi a 16-inch doll by Super Doll, 1965.  She arrived dressed in infant's clothes.


Baby Debbi is featured on page 276 of Modern Collector's Dolls by Patricia R. Smith and was given a 1973 value of only $10!

One additional doll that I would not mind owning but refuse to pay the secondary market value of is Debbie the Elegant Doll, which is a Barbie clone of sorts.  Her body is a bottle.  White versions of Debbie the Elegant Doll dressed in a variety of fashions were also made, but of course the black versions are the rarest and most difficult to find since fewer were made.

~*~*~*~*~*~
July 1957, yours truly at age two.

As a child of the 50s, when dressing children in cowboy and cowgirl outfits was popular, I didn't actually go west or live west, but I did follow the trend of dressing up as though I did.

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22 comments:

  1. OMG, Debbie, my sister and I had outfits like yours in the late fifties as well. We called them our Annie Oakley outfits. We wore them all of the time! They were handed down from my sisters and we handed them down to my younger sisters, so we all had a chance to wear them. I grew up on a farm with 7 other siblings, so we did hand down a lot of toys and clothes. I remember my mother collected "Green Stamps" from the grocery store all year and we would paste the stamps in these books and then we could order our Christmas toys from the catalog based on the number of stamps that had been collected. With our big family, we filled quite a few books each year. My sister, who was a year older than me, both wanted baby dolls. She had a blonde baby doll named Debbie and I had a dark haired one named Patsy. I love seeing your posts that go back into time as they bring forward memories for me from my childhood!

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    1. Hi Phyllis,

      Thank you for sharing your memory of you and your sister's Annie Oakley outfits and the dolls you and your sister received one Christmas, Debbie and Patsy, that were purchased with the Green Stamps your family saved throughout the year. Some bonding time for me and my mother involved us (or her having me do it alone once I got older) moisten the backs of Green Stamps and add them to the pages of the Green Stamps books. I am not sure what she purchased with the stamps, but she collected them from trips to the grocery store, stored them in a kitchen drawer along with the books, and redeemed them when she had enough books filled. I had forgotten about that until you mentioned it. Thank you for taking me down memory lane.

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    2. Today when I visit her, I am going to ask her if she remembers anything she purchased with Green Stamps. :-)

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    3. My mother doesn't remember what she purchased with her books of Green Stamps but we both agree that it was probably something for the house. She has always been into interior decorating and back then she really did it and everything on a budget, although from looking you would never know it.

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  2. I was born in 1946, and there are photos of me in one of those outfits as about age 4, complete with my faithful rocking horse. My Wild West was the living room, with ruffled sheer priscilla curtains at the windows. You look adorable in your outfit!

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    1. Hi Gina!

      My Wild Wild West was being the youngest (for six years) of a then family of four children with three older brothers who all had western get up to include cap guns, bebe guns, and a red wooden rocking horse attached to springs. I'd take my turn riding that rocking horse in the living room, too, or sometimes I think I was allowed to ride it on the front porch. The brother closest to me in age would pull me around in the red Rancho (Radio Flyer type) wagon that I am pictured standing in at age 2. Until my mother corrected me recently, I thought the wagon was mine, but she said it was my brother's. Of course I didn't know because I was probably allowed to ride in it whenever I wanted, being the only girl and the baby for six years until my sister was born?

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  3. Thanks for sharing your pics of that cute doll and your memories. What an adorable little girl you were.
    It sparked some of mine; I had a red cowboy hat, a silver gun with holster, a lasso and a version of rocking horse that was on springs. All of this had completely slipped my mind until this post, thanks for reminding me.:D

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    1. It pleases me, Maricha, that this post also helped you remember the western get-up you owned as a child. As I posted in my reply to Gina, my brothers had a red rocking horse on springs that I enjoyed riding, too. Now I am also remembering a stick horse that one of the brother's owned as well.

      Toys from our era encouraged children to use their imagination. Nothing was electronic. Kids today would probably frown on rocking horses, stick horses, and the other toys we had that encouraged thought.

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    2. They just don't make toys like they used to. Whenever I go to a toystore I'm depressed to see how much space is taken up by electronic and digital games. I made some dollhouses for my godchildren years ago and had to then teach them how to play with dolls. Everything is also tied in as merchandise for a movie or show that I had to completely redress and restyle their Disney Princesses before they could see them as just a doll they could call whatever they wanted to and have grocery shopping or picnicking.
      You're so lucky to have had siblings to play with, I love that. I was an only child and didn't have many kids over nor did I go play with them so it's a testament to how entertaining toys that leave it up to you to bring them to life that it's only as an adult that I realized how much I played without friends. (My mom did play with me a lot, though :D .)
      The best part about that spring rocking horse is that when I rode a real horse it felt very similar. Whoever invented that variation was a genius.

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    3. Today's toy aisles can be depressing. It's sad your godchildren didn't know how to play with dolls but wonderful that you took the time to show them the dolls' potential (without all the princess garb). I am sure they appreciate and will remember that experience.

      Having brothers and later a sister was a blessing as a child, but as an adult, I don't mind being alone, at all. I actually prefer it.
      :-)

      I have never ridden a horse, but my imaginative experience with my brother's rocking horse gives me an idea of what it must be like to ride a real one minus the fear of falling off or my inability to control it.

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  4. Hola, que bonitas fotos. Me gusta mucho tu blog, tienes una coleccion muy bonita.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and for commenting Lindaivette!

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  5. Hi Debbie!
    This is adorable. The Debbie doll is so cute in her cowboy outfit, almost as cute as you were in yours.
    Take care of yourself!
    Arlette

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  6. I just realized there are not that many dolls named Debbie. And that my favorite cousin on my father's side is named Debera or "Debbie" as we called her when she visited. It does seem that there may have been a Barbie clone with the name, Debbie. I'll look through my computer files and when I get them, my doll books to see if there was. I'll let you know if I find one ;-)

    Oh, and I didn't dress up as a cowgirl or an Indian girl; I was a black cat or a witch and later, a hippie. (My siblings and I were into the Hammer House of Horrors movies, lol.)

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    1. Hi D7ana!

      You're from a younger generation, so it's understandable that the cowboy/cowgirl phase had died by the time you were born. :-)

      I do recall seeing a Barbie clone named Debbie, one other than the Debbie the Elegant Doll that this post mentions. My interest would only be in dark-skinned versions. It seems there was one by Eegee or Eugene.

      I just googled "Barbie clone Debbie," and found a doll I saw recently: Debbie in Different Moods, A Doll for Each Day. It came with a total of four heads with different facial expressions. I don't think a dark skinned one was made, unfortunately.
      Debbie in Different Moods

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    2. Hi again, D7Ana,

      Scroll down at the link and there is a Debbie and her boyfriend Don (wow... if they were in black they would be perfect, I mean really perfect for me). Here is the Debbie and Don

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  7. On October 30, 2016 at 12:17 p.m., I received a text message from Betty A., who cannot post comments directly to this blog. When asked, she gave her permission for me to share the text:

    "Wow, what 'Juicy Fruit' sprung from 'Debbie Goes West.' I remember Mama saving green stamps too but I have no memory of what she got for them! Your blong reminds me of archaeology uncovering our dolly history with exciting revelations of our forgotten past!"

    ----
    Thanks again, Betty! I appreciate you! I hope future posts continue to help "us" all excavate forgotten fond memories of our past.


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  8. Ah man, I would love to see pictures of you dressed in your 'Go West' gear. I love western clothing, though I don't own any myself. Debbie is quite the gem.

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa! Debbie Goes West is a keeper. The photo I shared of myself in this blog at age 2 is one of two that I own where I am wearing this cowboy outfit. In the other photo (not included in this post), I am seated in the same red wagon. Please revisit the blog if you missed this photo.

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    2. Thanks for bringing me back. I did see the photo, but I apparently didn't read it. For some reason I didn't connect the dots. I was expecting an older photo of you, thinking you went through a western phase. Didn't expect your mom would be dressing you in western wear. Funny how our thoughts affect what we see.

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    3. I would have been disappointed in my mother had she "tried" to dress me in western wear beyond my toddler years. I think this was the only western outfit I had and once I grew out of it, that was it. She was more of a frilly-dresses-for-girls type mother when I was young, but I protested that style when I realized I could at about age 8. No more of those for me. Just keep it simple was my motto (stylish, but simple). :-)

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