Monday, February 7, 2011

BDHT: Shindana's First Fashion Doll

#1 Wanda Career Girl by Shindana Toys ©1972

She's ebony in color, made of soft, pose-able vinyl, has rooted hair and eyelashes, and resembles Mattel's vintage Christie.  She's Shindana's first fashion doll, Wanda Career Girl and stands a diminutive 9 inches. 

The original Wanda  Career Girl, stock #2050 is described in the 1973 Shindana Cataglogue as, "Shindana's all new career girl. Her shag hairdo gives her that 'in look' for work 'n play.  She is 9" tall with a twist waist, movable arms and legs, and real rooted hair 'n lashes.  Wanda is dressed in a basic green tunic with matching shoes."  Like a few other Shindana dolls, a white version of the original Wanda Career Girl  was also made, stock #2150. 

A scan of page 4 from the 1975 Shindana Toys Catalogue features Wanda Career Girl as a singer/performer; sky diver/race car driver; tennis pro; doctor (described as a nurse in the accompanying booklet); stewardess; and ballerina.  With the exception of the sky diver/race car driver, each Wanda Career Girl came with an extra casual fashion and a booklet describing the career the doll depicts. 

The booklet, illustrated above, features pictures of and comments from an African American nurse, a ballerina, and a stewardess (now known as flight attendants).  There is also an invitation for girls to join the Wanda Career Club.  To learn about their favorite career, girls were urged to send letters to a South Central Avenue address in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to the #1 Wanda Career Girl, I own the others illustrated in the 1975 Shindana Catalogue.  Their images are included below:

Wanda Career Girl Singer/Performer and Tennis Pro

Wanda Career Girl Skydiver/Race Car Driver

Wanda Career Girl Nurse

Wanda Career Girl Stewardess

Wanda Career Girl Ballerina

Shindana's attempt to educate children and inspire career goals and aspirations through the dolls, toys, and games they manufactured was certainly successful with Wanda Career Girl.  Wanda plays an important role in  doll history, too.  She is the first multi-career-oriented fashion doll mass produced by a black-owned company in America. 

BDHT = Black Doll History Tidbit


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  1. Thank You,Debbie!
    I Guess The Doll For Sale Here Is Wanda Nurse,By The Style Of The Hair.
    It's Amazing The Face Of This Doll!
    I'm Enchanted!!
    Thank You Debbie!!

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  3. You're welcome, Jorge!

    The doll in the picture you shared with me could also be Wanda the Skydiver/Racecar driver. The nurse and the skydiver have the same hairstyle.



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