Saturday, July 31, 2010

Marvelous Mariah and Sweet Sydney

They're back! The controversial Ty Girlz, cloth dolls formerly known as Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha return as 4-1/2 inch (Kelly-type) vinyl dolls under their cloth-doll , changed names, Marvelous Mariah and Sweet Sydney

They are part of Ty's Li'l Ones series.  A familiar-looking pet dog with a familiar name, Bo, is included with the separately sold dolls.  According to the following website, the dolls are sold in the United Kingdom as Marvelous Megan and Sweet Sophie.  At the above link, click on each dolls' name to view larger images.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bijou, Oh Bijou, Where are You?

Moxie Teenz Bijou

After learning about MGA Entertainment's new line of 14-inch, articulated, vinyl dolls approximately a month ago, I immediately searched for and viewed online images to see if the line included a dark-skinned doll.  Initially, I thought Arizona was "it," because she, along with the other two readily available dolls was located on websites available for ordering.  The fourth, unreleased doll was either not mentioned or shown as "out of stock."

I visited a local Toys R Us soon after viewing the dolls online and after learning that Bijou is actually the darkest of the four (the most tan, is a better description).  Others had looked in their areas and found Bijou... absent.   Rumors were afloat that MGA Entertainment's plan is to release the doll in "select" areas (based on what, I thought, demographics?) Arizona, Tristen, and Melrose were in stock at my local Toys R Us while Bijou was missing in action.  Hmmm... "I thought."

My question:  Bijou, oh Bijou, where are you?  Why did MGAE not release you along with the other dolls in the line?  Is this a marketing tactic to influence doll-buying consumers to want you more?  Is this an attempt to boost the sales of the other three?  What is really going on?

After reading the third comment to an unrelated blog, I also wrote MGAE to inquire about Bijou's release.  Their reply follows:

Unfortunately, we cannot inform you of a specific date when this particular doll will be available at retailers. We can tell you that most new items for Fall are released in August. Please keep checking with your retailers on a periodic basis for availability.

Thank You,

MGA Entertainment
In person at TRU, Arizona was tempting, but not enough for me to purchase.  I am still holding out for Bijou whenever, wherever she surfaces.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who Am I - Pedigree/NZ (New Zealand)?

The owner of this doll desires to know its identity and more about Pedigree dolls made in New Zealand. 

The doll is described as follows:
She is 26cm [10 inches] tall, has a Green bead necklace on a Red thread, grass skirt over a Red material.

The back of her head says PEDIGREE (only just readable) the tag on her skirt says PEDIGREE MADE IN N.Z.

She is a soft rubber/plastic type doll. Her eyes [don't] close, she has Red cheeks. (refer to photo)

I would like to know a bit about Pedigree dolls made in N.Z, i can only find hard plastic walky talky type that were made in England.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again, Dave Rushbrook.
Chiefly distributed in the United Kingdom, Pedigree dolls and dolls made using Pedigree doll molds were also made and sold in other countries, New Zealand being one of them.

The following link offers information about Lines Brothers, who made Pedigree dolls:

This unknown tribal doll, based on the material from which it is made (vinyl/rubber), is circa 1960s.

If you can help Dave ID this doll and/or add additional information about Pedigree dolls made in New Zealand, please do so as a comment to this blog.  Thanks!


Friday, July 23, 2010

New York Black Doll and Art Show Recap!

Click here to access the recap of the July 10, 2010, New York Black Doll and Art Show.  According to the comments and image slideshow, this was a  fabulous event!  I'm sure the best is yet to come!


Who Am I - Doll from Australia?

From time to time, I receive emails requesting help with dolls' identification, specifically black dolls.  While I do not offer free appraisals, if I know a doll's name, its maker, and/or year of manufacture, I do not mind sharing that information.  The most recent request for aid in identifying a doll came in this week.  I was not able to offer the owner any information about this interesting doll.  With her permission, I am posting the picture and the information she shared about it here. 

My name is Michelle and I live in Brisbane, Australia.
I'm trying to find some information about a doll I own...and have owned since the 70s (it may be older as it was passed on to me by someone else) but can't find any information. I was wondering if you had ever seen a doll like this before.
The only marking is DA1 in a circle and JapanHe's about 29cm (11.4inches) tall and is made of a hard plastic. His arms move and his body twists at the chest.

Anything you could add would be really helpful.

Thank you.



Can you help Michelle identify her doll?   Thanks!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Tiny Brown Treasures

Googly-Type Dolls

Various shades of brown have been used throughout the history of doll making to manufacture dark-skinned dolls representing a variety of ethnicities.

This morning before returning dolls to a built-in shelf, I decided to photograph one group and share their images here. These five dolls share similar face molds. All have side-glancing, googly-type eyes. Some have stationary eyes while some have sleep (open-close) eyes. They all stand approximately 6 in (15.24 cm). The three center dolls are dressed as Native Americans with real leather costumes glued to their bodies.  Their costumes cover any manufacturer’s marks. The one in light blue has a Mohawk hairstyle. The two nude dolls’ differences are their marks, eyes, skin tone, and the color of their molded-on socks and shoes. The one on the far left is marked:


The far left one’s socks are painted blue. The googly-type eyes are stationary.

The one on the far right is unmarked, has sleep eyes, unpainted socks and shoes, and a reddish undertone to the brown used for its complexion.

Many companies made these dolls. In addition to Knickerbocker, Plastic Molded Arts Co. made a version.

I began and probaby concluded the purchase of these dolls in the late 1990s.  I do not recall where I purchased the nude ones. The dressed ones were purchased separately.  Each one was included in a plastic bag of miscellaneous toys, purchased because they were in the bags.  I might have paid $3.95 or less for each bag of toys at a local thrift shop.

Based on their hard plastic medium, these separately marketed and purchased quintuplets are probably from the late-1950s to early-1960s. Because of their age, they often have issues with their arms caused by a break or stretch in the rubber band used to string them. The one in the burgundy top arrived without arms. For that one, I used the arms of a similar-sized vinyl doll as replacements.

They are back on their display shelf with similar-sized, brown dolls that represent a variety of dark-skinned ethnicities—African, African American, Hawaiian, and a few additional Native American dolls. When grouped together, these are the cutest of the bunch. Their cuteness inspired this blog.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Collecting and Giving Paper...

... paper dolls, that is. 

I recently ordered several items from Diana E. Vining’s Paper Doll Shoppe for myself and a few extras as gifts.  Yes, I collect paper dolls, too.

Coloring book and Happy Birthday card designed by Diana E. Vining (

My young niece, who will be 5 later this month will enjoy Diana’s new paper doll coloring book, which has several pages to color with fashions and dolls to cut out for the paper doll.  A cute, Happy Birthday paper doll greeting card will accompany the coloring book and other items I plan to ship my niece.

For a close, non-doll collecting friend, who recently mentioned, “They don’t make paper dolls anymore,” I ordered two of Diana’s paper doll sheets, Roselle and Edie Mae. I know L. will enjoy owning these.

New to the shop are standing, "Glittery Greetings" paper dolls fashioned after Victorian-era paper dolls.

Because I love sending and having all types of greeting cards on hand, my order included paper doll greeting cards.

Two boxed sets of blank note cards

Through paper doll play, girls are allowed to use their imagination. The gesture of sending handwritten notes of gratitude and paper greetings is a tangible way to illustrate to the recipient that the sender cares.   A girl is never too old to play with or collect paper dolls, and the tradition of sending paper greetings should never become passΓ©.

Adorable bookmark

Check out Diana’s new paper doll offerings here. There is something for everyone--birthday and holiday greeting cards, thank you notes, boxed note cards, and other items, most with a paper doll theme. The cute-as-can-be bookmarks have yarn hair!

Frame-worthy personal hand drawn greetings from Diana, cut out from envelopes/mailers and saved from prior orders (the art is just too cute to discard!)

For the paper doll collector, Diana’s paper dolls are “dollightful” to own. They are also excellent gifts for family and friends!


Friday, July 9, 2010

New Terri Lee Dolls Coming Soon!

Terri Lee Swing into Spring

New play line Terri Lee dolls will be available to order next week exclusively from the Terri Lee website, which is still under construction. The website will go live during the week of July 11, 2010.

In addition to the new doll offerings, the new and improved website will offer information about the historic Terri Lee doll company. Part of their history includes their association with Zelda “Jackie” Ormes, the first syndicated African American female cartoonist. Ms. Ormes’s comic-strip character, Patty-Jo was transformed into doll form by the Terri Lee doll company in 1947.

Terri Lee Winter Wonderland

Terri Lee dolls are well known for their quality and fashions.  The two new African American dolls, Terri Lee Swing into Spring and Terri Lee Winter Wonderland are dressed adorably.  They retail for $34.99 plus shipping and handling. While the 15-inch, all-vinyl dolls with rooted, comb-able hair are designed for girls ages 3 to 7, Terri Lee enthusiasts will find them appealing, too.

Based on positive sales, additional garments and dolls are future possibilities. (I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a play line Benjie.)

As indicated, the dolls are only available through the company’s retail website and ordering commences after the website is fully launched. (

For additional information, send an email inquiry to:


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Show Reminder: New York Black Doll and Art Show 07/10/10

I just received the following Facebook reminder from

Hi Everyone! This is the final reminder that the New York Black Doll and Art Show occurs this Saturday, July 10th at the beautiful Riverside Church, South Hall in New York City.

It is with great pride that we bring you an eclectic mix of some of the nation's top black doll and art notables and rising stars. For example, confirmed for this show are:

* Goldie Wilson (Original Dolls by Goldie)

* Patricia Coleman-Cobb (Patricia Coleman-Cobb)

* Tanya Montegut (Dolls by MonTQ)

* Carole Brothers (Agape Dolls)

* Diana Stanley (Skykay Dolls)

* Tonya Dyce (Painted Threads)

* Beverly Flowers (Black Dolls From the Past)

* Daisy Carr (Daisy Carr's Crafts)

* Sharon Alexander (Afro Vintage)

* Willie Mitchell (Willie Mitchell Designs)

* Joyce Stroman and Minnie Curry (Art-Zee Sistas Art Dolls and Crafts)

* Lorna Paris (Lorna Paris)

And that's just a fraction of the wonderful artists and retailers who will be in attendance!

Another wonderful thing about this show is you will find merchandise that fits a wide range of budgets, including yours. All gift-givers, enthusiasts and collectors will be able to shop for beautiful, cherishable and affordable pieces. Yeah, we've got you covered!

When you wake up Saturday morning please consider bringing your children, grand children, nieces, nephews, cousins and even the neighbors kids to experience a room full of dolls and art reflective of the African diasporan body, image and form. Help children appreciate others by first appreciating themselves. This is of paramount importance.

Finally, unlike the children in your immediate sphere of influence, many children in Haiti are still suffering from the 7.0 earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince in January and collapsed much of the country's infrastructure. In an attempt to help these children escape harsh physical realities, we ask you to donate at least one inexpensive toy black doll that will go directly into a child's hand. A hand that will transcend destruction through healthy, imaginative doll play. Find out more about this initiative and the organization who will manage the distribution of these dolls, Yele Haiti, by visiting our Dolls for Haiti page.

Now you know all the reasons why you can't miss the New York Black Doll and Art Show. We sincerely hope to see you Saturday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM at the Riverside Church. For directions to the Riverside Church, please visit the show home page.

Take care and be well!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bratz are Back...

...but wait... did they ever leave or just slow down in production during the MGA/Mattel litigation over copyright infringement? Word has it that the litigation has ended with MGA maintaining rights to produce dolls. The new and improved Bratz are scheduled for release just in time to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Jade and Sasha, pictured here are 10th anniversary dolls.

From what I've seen, the dolls appear a little less attitudinal and show less skin than the original bunch. Their features are more refined, although their barely there noses couldn't possibly get any smaller. Their new 'do's improve their overall appearance.

What do you think?


Friday, July 2, 2010

The Picture Says is All

Madame Alexander's American Flag Wendy celebrates my country's independence. 

Happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate.