Friday, November 6, 2009

Poll Results and E-mail from Danbury Mint

The Michelle Obama Inaugural Doll "I like it; I don't like it" poll closed today.  Based on the photos of the actual doll that I took and shared in last week's The Excitement Has Fizzled blog, 18% of voters like the doll and 81% dislike it.

With reference to the aforementioned blog and the photos that I shared, I received the following e-mail from  Mr. Jerry March, Vice President, Danbury Mint.  I asked and was granted permission to share the contents of this email including its photo attachments:

Dear Debbie,

I am the marketing manager for the Michelle Obama Doll, and I just came across your posting and photos on your blog. I am very sorry that you are not happy with your doll. We've done everything possible to make sure that our doll is as close a likeness as you can get in a 16" porcelain doll, and we take your criticism seriously. In looking at the photos on your site, it appears that the doll is not positioned or styled as we had intended. Attached are two photos taken of a production doll from our warehouse with a standard camera that shows the doll after it has been styled as described in the unpacking card. Though it is not identical to the photo in the advertisement (which used an artist's rendering based on our actual sculpture since the doll had not been produced yet), I hope you would agree that it is an attractive doll, and actually a very good likeness of the First Lady. We've used only the finest quality porcelain, the dress is embellished with real crystals, and all the materials used for the dress and jewelry are of the highest quality. We chose to paint on the shoes because you can get much better accuracy and detail with hand painting than with constructing shoes that size.

We take our customers' opinions very seriously, and we are dedicated to creating the best products possible. I hope you will take another look at your doll and perhaps change your mind about its quality. If not, please accept my apologies, and know that we will do everything in our power to create the best product possible going forward, and will continue to go to great lengths to make our customers happy.

Thank you for understanding.

Best regards,

Jerry March
Vice President

I conveyed my appreciation to Mr. March for his personal attention and informed him that I had already returned the doll. 

There is a definite need for more companies like his, where customers' opinions truly matter.



  1. What a lovely email. I must say that in this day and age when good customer service becomes more rare everyday, this type of response is quite refreshing.

    It is worth its weight in gold to know that your voice has been heard and that efforts are being made to increase customer satisfaction in the future.

  2. WOW - I didn't like your doll that arrived - but I do LOVE that wonderful email. Customer service is everything. I think Danbury should take a lesson in this and WAIT to advertise with the actual doll that is produced, and not the artists rendering, as obviously the differences are huge. KUDOS to Danbury Mint though, I am really impressed by his email.

  3. I will give them credit for this email and also for the fact that the restyled doll looks better...but there is really no excuse for their website still showing the "artist's rendition" rather than the actual doll. They are only guaranteeing further headaches for their customer service department.

  4. It's a lovely doll... But I think the dissappointment is that the doll is drastically different from the advertisement photo. Danbury should redo the ad by including photos of the actual doll, instead on a artist's rendering. That way ppl will know what to expect!

  5. I was also disappointed in the Michell Obama doll when I received her. For the price they could have did a much better job in making this doll & they could have made her teeth to look more real with a glossy look, instead of the dull paint job that they did on this doll's teeth!!! It looks as if they did a rush job on this doll instead of taking the time to make this doll right!!!

  6. My mother got this doll last month. Although I do not like it she has decided to keep her. They really do need to put up the actual photo of the doll.

  7. I just got off the phone with Danbury Mint disappointed that my doll would not arrive by Christmas as they guaranteed over and over on their website. They said they will do their best to get it or offer a discount but now I'm even more displeased hearing that the doll doesn't look like the picture. How do companies get away with this type of false advertisement, even if they have good "Customer Service"? I'm not going to cancel just yet because It is for my mom. I'll show her a picture of the real doll and let her decide. If anyone knows another company making a better Michelle Obama doll please share. So, so so upset.
    Mari Wood

  8. Hi Mari,

    I am sorry the doll you ordered is delayed. Is the Danbury Mint doll, the one you actually ordered? I sent mine back. I was not pleased with it.

    You might consider purchasing the Franklin Mint doll for your mother. There are pictures of the actual doll here.

    In my personal, black-doll enthusiast's opinion, the Franklin Mint doll is the best 16-inch portrait doll of First Lady Michelle Obama on the market to date. Their doll is vinyl, which will be more durable (in my opinion) than porcelain, which is breakable! While I have not seen the Franklin Mint doll in person, I look forward to receiving it and will provide an up close and personal opinion as soon as it arrives.

    Please show your mother the picture of the Franklin Mint doll and allow her to decide which one she prefers. It costs more than DM's, but in this case, I believe the saying "you get what you pay for" holds true.

    Best wishes!


  9. My mother passed away and I inherited her extensive porcelain doll collection. Many of the Dolls are African-American and American Indian porcelain. I purchased the dolls for my Mom over the last 30 years from Danbury Mint, Paradise Galleries, The Georgetown Collection and The Ashton-Drake Galleries. All dolls are NIB or like new in the box with stands.

    The collection includes dolls of the following artists:
    Kelly RuBert
    Patricia Rose
    Shelley Daniels Lekven
    Anne Timmerman
    Linda Steel
    Shelley Simon
    Lee Middleton
    Sissel Skille
    Gladys E. Rodgers
    Barbara Whiteman
    Jeanne Singer
    Marilyn Aldred
    Thomas Francriek
    Marlena H. Nielsen
    Elke Hutchens

    The Bedtime Prayers Musical Collection by Patricia Rose

    An Authentic re-creation of the hard-to-find original rare African-American all fine porcelain talking Chatty Cathy. New in the original box

    I would like to know if you can advise me of resources where I might be able to sell the collection whole versus selling the dolls one by one. I would prefer not to deal with Craig's List or Ebay and work directly with those who love and appreciate dolls.

  10. To sell your mother's dolls as a lot or have someone else sell them for you, contact McMasters Harris Auction Co. or another similar premier doll auctioneer for specifics on selling the dolls individually or as a lot. McMasters's email contact information is:

    Best wishes to you.


  11. Thank you so much Black Doll Enthusiast! What a wonderful resource you are. Although I am not a collector, I did keep the full page glossy advertisements for many of the dolls. I enjoy looking at the pictures, but I am sure being part of a collectors treasure is where my Mom would want the dolls to be and is where they belong. She left this earth on 9/5/09. I'm blessed to have made contact with you. Will keep you posted. God Bless and have a fantastic life! Winegirl

  12. You are welcome. I hope you will keep one of your mother's cherished dolls as a physical reminder of how much she loved dolls.



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