Tuesday, May 31, 2011

They Like Them Taller, Dark, and Handsome

As a result of one reader's comment, "I have yet to meet a 12" GI Joe doll that is as tall as Barbie," posted on my Memorial Day blog, which features several of my male, never-removed-from-box (NRFB) playscale  action figures by Hasbro, I had to see for myself if Joes are, in fact, too short for Barbie and similar-sized dolls. 
L-R:  (c)1992 GI Joe, 2006 Reproduction of 1960s Adventure Team GI Joe, and another (c)1992 GI Joe

First, I retrieved a pair of loose 1992 GI Joes from my son's former bedroom.  These eliminated the need to debox my other Joes.  I did debox Adventure Team GI Joe (a 2006 reproduction of the 1960s GI Joe).  Using a 12-inch metal ruler, I measured each figure.  Repro Joe stands approximately 11-1/4 inches.  The 1992 Joes are 11-1/2 inches. 

Desiree (Mattel) and Boogie Beach Dayle Reese (Integrity) are the females used for the comparison.  Desiree is a little over 11-3/4 inches tall.  Dayle Reese is 12 inches. 

Front trio:  Left and middle (c)1992 GI Joes; front, far right Repro Joe
Back Row:  Desiree (Mattel) far left; Boogie Beach Dayle Reese (Integrity) far right
Back Row: Variety of male playscale figures

Next, I gathered and photographed the entire group of dolls used for the comparison and included the metal ruler in the group image.  The dolls were lined up from left to right on two rows.  The shortest dolls (the Joes, as Vanessa said) were placed on the front row.  Repro Joe (front, far right) is the shortest in the group.

Omega and Boogie Beach Dayle Reese

Triad's Omega the ebony-complexioned doll shown in the above image, is the tallest male doll used in the comparison.  He stands 12-1/4 inches.  As noted previously, Boogie Beach Dayle Reese is the tallest female.

Desiree and Dayle Reese with DID's Obama (with extra body)

With the exception of DID's Obama figure, all dolls' heads are on on their original bodies.  The head  of the DID Obama figure uses an extra action figure body purchased separately to use with the extra head included in the DID Obama set.  I am not sure if the extra body is identical to the body used by the manufacturer, but the figure I created measures approximately 11-3/4 inches tall.

I took several comparison photographs.  These illustrate the size differences in the dolls used for the comparison. 

(c)1992 GI Joe and Desiree

(c)1992 GI Joe and Dayle  Reese

Comparison with 12-inch Tyr Anasazi

Comparison with 12-inch Darren

Comparison with 11-3/4-inch World Peacekeepers Figure

The girls pose with the tallest (Omega), to the shortest (the GI Joes)

Based on my findings, it is safe for me to assume that my NRFB Joes are similar in height to the Joes used in this comparison.  They are shorter than my other playscale males and females.

One finale pose with the tallest, darkest male, Omega.

Like Vanessa of Fashion Dolls at Van's Doll Treasures, I also have never "met" a GI Joe doll that was taller than Barbie. While the playscale males in my collection are all dark and handsome, the Joes definitely did not measure up for Desiree and Dayle Reese.  These two women prefer male companions of Omega's stature; they desire to look up to their men and not down on them.


22nd International Black Doll Show Recap

Show vendor, Linda Hayes, shared a recap of  the 22nd International Black Doll Show and Sale, which took place this past Saturday at Temple University's Mitten Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The show was sponsored by the Philadelphia Doll Museum and Dark Images. 

According to Linda,
The attendance was good, but not like the last show.  I say that because although some of my customers from last year were there,  a lot of  Broad St. folks wandered in.  I found myself actually educating a group of white college girls and what I would call an African advocate.  I enjoyed it though.  They had a lot of questions.  It was fun.  No sales from them, I just passed on knowledge and I'd like to think interested new black-doll collectors!   I'm told that the museum did advertise heavily, attendance was just low.   I would like to add that the building [Mitten Hall] was beautiful!  High stained glass windows, polished dark hardwood floors, very clean.  Smaller than the space at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where the show has been held in past years, but it was filled up with sellers.

My sales were great in comparison to some,  but I made about half of that made last year.  Still good, but not great.  My booth was busy the whole time!  I remembered my business cards this time, and a lot of people took them and want me to email them about my Ruby Lane store.  Other sellers sent people to me to look for rare dolls or reasonably priced dolls, so I felt great about that!   And thank you, because some folks recognized my name from your blog.

I think I had the most fun just being able to fellowship with other doll lovers.  This is what is lacking when you only belong to an online doll club.  I love talking about dolls!  Even with all my ailments and conditions,  facts about Black dolls,  I can remember!  It's amazing what a passion can do for you. There was a lady there from Chicago, I think, asking if we were in a doll club.  I told her about [your group] WLBD and gave her one of your flyers and my business card. She said she wants to put together a directory of Black doll clubs across the country so we can interact and help each other.  She will probably get in touch with you.    

Angela by Cassandra Harrison of Atlanta, GA is one of two dolls Linda purchased at the show.

I think I'm getting into artist dolls.  They [the artists dolls*] were talking to me up a storm Saturday!   I bought two sista' dolls!  There I was trying not to spend any money...but couldn't resist this new artist from Atlanta, Cassandra Harrison. Beautiful work!   The doll I purchased from her is Angela (probably inspired by Angela Davis).  Angela is standing on a piece of a real tree branch attached to a very heavy wooden base.  She has a tag attached to her wrist that reads:  "2010-11, Disco Jeans & Large AFRO.  I AM...ANGELA.   POWER TO THE PEOPLE."

I noticed some of Harrison's other dolls are attached to the lid of sewing implement boxes, the old fashioned kind with the center cloth and stitched.  She said all her dolls are made of recyclable materials that she finds wherever.  Deep work!

Cloth doll by an unknown artist has articulated fingers and natural-textured hair.

I purchased another doll from an artist from Pocono, PA.  Unfortunately, I did not get her information and the doll is unmarked.  The dolls fingernails are painted and the fingers are articulated.  The Afro-textured hair feels and looks like human hair.  Very detailed!"
I'm glad Linda had a good show and appreciate the recap she shared.  Although she was there to sell and unable to resist bringing home two additional dolls, they are quite unique, handmade art dolls.  Angela is full of sass while the unknown doll exudes elegant class. 

*When dolls speak to Linda, she listens, too.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day and Moment of Remembrance

Today in the United States, the last Monday in May 2011, we observe Memorial Day in remembrance and honor of military persons who served and died defending our country and its values.  We remember these heroes for their ultimate sacrifice.

Did you know that, in the year 2000, President Bill Clinton established a National Moment of  Remembrance?  He did this "encouraging individual [government] department and agency personnel, and Americans everywhere, to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all."

1:6 Scale (12in/30.48 cm) Military Action Figures by Hasbro (in year-of-release order)

GI Joe Action Soldier Masterpiece Edition, 1996

GI Joe Action Sailor, Masterpiece Edition, 1996

GI Joe Classic Collection GI Jane US Army Helicopter Pilot, 1997

1997 GI Joe Classic Collection Tuskegee Fighter Pilot (WWII Forces Collection GI Joe Limited Edition)

1997 GI Joe Classic Collection Tuskegee Bomber Pilot (WWII Forces Collection GI Joe Limited Edition)

GI Joe Classic Collection General Colin L. Powell, Historical Commanders Edition, Fourth in a Series, 1998

GI Joe Classic Collection Vietnam Nurse, 1999


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Motor City Doll Club: History and Current Membership Drive

Opera Diva Cisette, souvenir doll

Motor City Doll Club of Detroit Michigan's most recent social event was a doll luncheon entitled “Motor City Opera Diva.” The world renowned Madame Alexander Doll Company designed two customized African American dolls for the event, a 10-inch (25.4cm) souvenir Opera Diva Cissette in a limited edition of 100 and a 21-inch (53.34cm) Motor City Diva Cissy in an edition of only 10 centerpiece dolls.

After learning about the event and the event dolls, I contacted Motor City Doll Club (MCDC) President, Terry Crawford.  I wanted to know the club's history, if associate memberships are available, and if quantities of either event doll remained.  Crawford shared the rich history of the club, confirmed that the club does offer associate memberships, and while Motor City Diva Cissy is no longer available, limited quantities remain of Opera Diva Cissette.* 

Club History
Founded by Myla Perkins and Beverly Dooms, Motor City Doll Club was established in 1994 under the name The Michigan Metro Society.  There were 18 original members. In 1995 the club became affiliated with the United Federation of Doll Clubs (UFDC) under its current name, Motor City Doll Club.

The original purpose of the organization was to provide an avenue for sharing information on the history of dolls, to increase awareness of the importance of black dolls for black children and to promote the hobby of doll collecting.

Each meeting includes a discussion and display of the dolls that are the subject of the meeting. Some of the highlighted presentations have been mini-workshops in doll quilts, travel trunks, and doll pins. Seminars have included cataloging dolls, basic doll care, and doll insurance.

In 2000, members presented “A Century of Dolls” where each monthly meeting focused on the history of dolls for each decade from 1900-2000. Each member researched the most popular dolls of the era, and the most popular manufacturers and events of the decade. MCDC has hosted “ tea parties” and “dress-up parties” where members dressed-up as one of their favorite dolls.

In 2000, MCDC contracted with Madame Alexander to produce a customized African-American version of 1998 Wendy’s Special CheerThe limited edition doll was received in 2001.

MCDC has taken several doll adventure trips. In 1998 th club traveled to the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY with a side trip to the Victorian Doll Museum and Chili Doll Hospital. In 1999, the Ann Arbor Doll Club traveled with MCDC to the St. Charles, Illinois Toy Fair. This trip included stops at Gigi’s Doll Store and Shirley’s Dollhouse.

Over the years, the club has had special guest presenters such as; Uta Bauser, designer of The Street Kids; Helena Hamilton, designer of Candi Couture dolls; Joe Golembrieski, paper doll collector; Michele Sapp, designer of soft sculpture dolls. Nancy Goldstein, author of Jackie Ormes: The First African- American Woman Cartoonist was the guest speaker in March 2008.

Doll-Themed Luncheons and Events
MCDC has hosted several doll-themed luncheons.  Marcella Welch designed and sculpted the club's first luncheon doll in 2003. In 2004 Robert Raikes designed and sculpted a wooden souvenir doll for their luncheon.

In July 2007, the UFDC Convention was held in Detroit, Michigan.  MCDC and Royal Oak Doll Club hosted a themed luncheon entitled “Up On The Roof.” The luncheon souvenir doll was Jimi, an African American boy doll designed by Helen Kish. Sue Sizemore designed a soft sculpture doll for the club's luncheon in 2009.

In 2010, the luncheon doll, Opera Diva Cissette was designed by Madame Alexander.

At the 2010 UFDC Convention held in Chicago, IL, Motor City Doll Club, along with Royal Oak Dolls and Friends sponsored a Madame Alexander Doll event.

Work in the Community
Over the years, MCDC has been involved in various outreach programs. In 2008 the club conducted a seminar to increase awareness of doll collecting to the Roosevelt Middle School in Detroit.

Motor City Doll Club has an annual Charitable Giving Program during the Christmas season, which provides food, clothing, dolls, other toys, books, and/or cash to needy families. The program has assisted a facility for abused women, families in need of financial and material aid, and a homeless shelter.

Meetings and Membership Information
Everyone is welcome to the meetings, which are held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. the third Sunday of each month, September-June, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan.

MCDC is expanding their membership nationwide.  Membership to the most dynamic club dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of black dolls is $49 annually and includes membership in United Federation of Doll Clubs.  Associate memberships for those persons who live too far away to attend regular meetings are now available for $24 annually.

MCDC's current membership drive will culminate with a membership tea at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in September.

Persons interested in visiting and/or joining MCDC may contact Membership Chair, Pat Felder (Parys@aol.com)

*Limited quantities of Opera Diva Cissette are available for $120.00, which includes shipping.  Contact Pat Felder at the above email address if interested in purchasing this lovely souvenir doll.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Jimmy: Scenes from the Life of a Black Doll

...Told by Himself to J. G. Sowerby

Jimmy, the doll, and his owner, Joanna, (note the steaming bath in the background... poor Jimmy)

A fellow collector recently acquired an original copy of the January 1888-published book,  Jimmy:  Scenes from the Life of a Black Doll written by John G. Sowerby.  Intrigued by what the collector shared about the book, I Googled the title and discovered it is free in Google's eBookstore.  I downloaded a copy and read it this past Saturday on my electronic reader. 

Obviously written for children or anyone who owns dolls, Jimmy suffers "slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune" at the hands of his wicked little owner, Joanna.  A wise little chap and obviously a trooper who does not oppose his mishaps, Jimmy offers insight about his situation instead and leaves the reader with an ending message. 

The book is a quick, 32-page, color-illustrated read.  Allow Jimmy to share his story with you.  With a Google.com account, navigate to the book using the link below and add it to your library, or establish a Google eBook library with it.  A PDF download option of Jimmy's story is also available here.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Twin Dolls

Nora by Paola Reina of Spain* purchased from Nubidollz of England

Throughout my 20 years as a black-doll enthusiast I've consciously and sometimes unconsciously duplicated dolls in my collection. 

The conscious, duplicate doll purchases were made to upgrade the original dolls that may have been played with or preloved before I claimed ownership.  Usually, the preloved firsts were sold or otherwise eliminated from the collection after the upgrade was acquired.  Some conscious duplicates arrived because the price of the duplicate was too good to pass up, and I never followed up on the plan to find a new home for the first.

As the collection has grown, doubled, tripled, quadrupled, and multiplied several dolls over, the unconscious duplicates have entered the collection because I simply forgot about the first doll.  This has not happened too often, but it has happened. 

A third category of duplicate dolls has resulted from those received as gifts from people who did not know I  had the doll.  In most cases, I have kept the duplicate doll gift because that's what I do with gifts... keep them for sentimental reasons.  The thought that someone took the time to pick a gift for me outweighs any idea to re-gift or otherwise discard it.  When gifts like these are dolls, they are simply considered twins in the collection. 

For my birthday I received not one, but two dolls I already own.  These were given to me by one of my most dear doll friends that I've known for probably 15 years.  We reside in different states and are not able to physically see what the other has acquired doll wise.  If she doesn't tell me or if I do not tell her, we usually never know about each other's new dolls.  She has duplicated dolls that I have in the past, but only one duplication at a time, until now.  I just had to laugh this year when I received three new dolls from her for my birthday.  I had already purchased two of the three.

I am going to do something different this year with these newly acquired duplicates.  After asking Dear Friend if she had either doll and listening to her story about how she acquired one of them  (it was the last one at the store... she thought it was so cute but decided to buy it for me), I told her that I am sending that doll and the other one back to her.  They will remain twins, but will "live" in different collections.

Before sending Journey Girls Taryn and Party Pink Dru to their new homes, I took photos and also took photos of a few other conscious and unconscious doll duplicates that are considered twins in my collection. 

Dear Friend also sent me a really nice boxed fashion for the duplicate Taryn.  During our phone conversation, as I told her my plan to send the dolls back, I held Taryn's fashion box in my hand and said, "I really like Taryn's extra outfit.  I don't know if I'm going to be able to send this back to you.  You might have to buy your own outfit."  She laughed and agreed that I should keep it.

Journey Girls Taryn #1 and #2

Taryn's boxed fashion... that I'm keeping :-)

Tonner's Party Pink Dru #1 and #2

Rewind to the 1990s, as a novice collector, I enjoyed collecting manufactured, life-size baby dolls.  My all-time favorite was MiBeBe made in Spain circa 1980s, girls and boys.  Above are two boys.  I have at least three pairs of girls and boys that were deliberate purchases.

The duplicate, still boxed Princess of South Africa Barbie was a birthday gift from my son the year the doll was released.  After receiving the duplicate doll, I redressed the one I purchased.

The duplicate, Kiri on the right, by Ping Lau was a gift several years ago from Dear Friend.  I rewigged the one on the left with saved clippings of my "natural" hair. 
Both Wilma dolls by Mary Moline were intentional purchases.  The original doll was purchased loose (without the original box) several years ago.  I always wanted the doll's box, which contains the illustration of the Norman Rockwell painting, "The Problem We All Live With."  The duplicate doll on the right was purchased for the box. 

Vogue's Jill, left, was another Dear Friend gift.  Dear Friend also made Jill's dress and trimmed her straw hat with matching fabric.

The duplicate of So In Style Pastry Trichelle was an intentional purchase.  It may eventually be used as a gift, but for now, the dolls are twins in the collection.  Trichelle is one of my favorites in the SIS doll line because she has the most textured hair. 

Barbie Basics Model 017 was duplicated intentionally.  I love the new sculpt used for AA Ken/Steven (whatever his name is), and I wanted a doll to debox and one to keep in the box. 

Have you ever duplicated dolls, intentionally or unintentionally?  Has anyone given you a doll you already own?


*The Nora dolls were intentional doll purchases.  I purchased one for myself.  The other was a past Christmas gift for Dear Friend.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vendor's Pre- (Philadelphia Doll) Show Plans

On Saturday, May 28, 2011, fellow Black-doll enthusiast, Linda Hayes, will travel from Virginia Beach, VA to Philadelphia, PA to participate as a vendor at the 22nd International Black Doll Show and Sale.  The show is sponsored by the founder and director of the Philadelphia Doll Museum (Barbara Whiteman) and Dark Images.  "Sophisticated Dolls" is the theme.

About this year's upcoming show, Linda writes:
I decided to exhibit at this particular show because I am very familiar with the sponsor and the participants. This is the best Black Doll Show and Sale! Our doll community is largely small, so to speak. We are like a family, and I love connecting with doll people.

(D7ana, A Philly Collector of Playscale and Action Figures, captured images of Linda's table at last year's show and wrote a nice post-show review.)

Linda continues,

This year I want to present a different side than I did last year. I plan on bringing more vintage items:  strollers, dolls, furniture, including stoves, refrigerator, pantry with dishes, antique wicker pram and a pull stroller, if possible; doll stamps, books, etc.   [I will also have] the standbys, Barbies, celebrity dolls, clothes... and yes, they will be priced to sell, as low as a sista' can go without hurting herself.
Linda shared pictures of some of the items she will make available this year:

Antique wicker stroller

Vintage stroller

Vintage Child's Refrigerator

A working Suzy Homemaker Oven

Working Empire Stove

Past shows for Linda have been very successful.  She adds,

Some of my customers said that I had some of the most unique, clean and reasonably price dolls there.   Several complimented me on my knowledge about my product, specifically my vintage Black dolls. They definitely respected and recognized my passion.
Linda is looking forward to another successful show this year and promises to share images and give a post-show report. 

Other exhibitors that I am aware of who will participate in the 22nd International Black Doll Show and Sale include:

Lorna Paris, one-of-a-kind leather doll artist
Goldie Wilson will have original porcelain dolls, oil painted doll portraits, and oil-painted cloth dolls
Kor January (I am told) will be there.  I NEED one of his wooden dolls

Past Philadelphia Black Doll Shows have been held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center; however, this year the show will take place at:
Mitten Hall at Temple University located at Broad and Berks St. (Polett Walk)
Philadelphia, PA
Saturday, May 28, 2011
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission:  $7 adults, $5 seniors and children
Philadelphia Doll Museum contact:  215.787.0220
Host hotel:  Conwell Inn 215.235.6200; 888.379.9737

I hope this year's show is fruitful for exhibitors and patrons.  Support them if you can.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Autographed Paperback Version of The Doll Blogs

The paperback version of my third doll publication, The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak, I Listen, is an active Amazon.com product.  Unlike the electronic version, the paperback can be purchased by both domestic and international customers.

For a few dollars less than the Amazon.com price, domestic customers can also purchase the paperback version using the Paypal Buy Now link on the home page of this blog. 

Initially released as an electronic (eBook) via Google's eBookstore and their affiliates (such as Powell's and Alibris), by popular demand from those who enjoy holding books in their hands, an ultra limited amount of autographed, numbered paperback copies are now available.  Sales commenced yesterday. 

For additional information about both versions (eBook and autographed paperback) of the first book featuring a variety of dolls that blog, click here

Many thanks in advance for your consideration and purchase!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Karito Kids Dolls and Fashions 50% Off Through 05/20/2011!

Join Zulily.com and take advantage (or just view) their daily offerings of discounted children's and women's products.  These include fashions, accessories, and ... dolls!  Dolls are not offered daily, but do surface from time to time.  The dolls featured now are Karito Kids and their fashions at 50% off retail.  The dolls retail for $100.  During this event they are $49.99. The fashions are from $9.99 up.  I already own Lulu, featured on the left, but I ordered three fashions.  The dolls are vinyl except for their abdominal area.

You must become a registered Zulily.com member in order to see the daily offerings and/or make a purchase.  Join now... it's free. 

The featured dolls and fashions above are:  Lulu from Kenya doll and book, Boho Chic fashion, and Gia from Italy doll and book.  Other dolls available are Wan Ling from China with book, Piper from Australia doll and book, Pita from Mexico doll and book, and Zoe from USA doll and book.  Separately sold books are also included in this event for $5.99.  This event ends 05/20/2011 at 6 a.m. PDT.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Doll Collector Seeks Info on Amos 'n Andy Dolls

After receiving the following email (next paragraph) without images, I asked the owner of these dolls (Amos, on left; Andy, on right) to forward images of the dolls in question.  I was not able to provide additional information beyond what the collector already knows about these circa 1930s-1940s, 14-inch composition advertising dolls, but offered to share the images and the information  that she has obtained about them thus far.  (Click on images to enlarge in a new window.)

I own a pair of Amos and Andy composition head dolls with cloth bodies. They have clothes and small paper tags stamped with "Hello Folks I'se Andy". The other says "Howdy Folks I'se Amos". Makers Gerlins Toy Co. New York. I have researched some and cannot find any information on these dolls. Please let me know if you can help me as to value and where and if I could sell them. Thank you. V. Meier

On the dolls' paper tags, the maker's name is spelled "Gerling" with a "g" on the end. The Andy doll has a cigar in its mouth, which was often the case for the character, Andy Brown, played by actor, Spencer Williams, on the Amos 'n Andy TV show. 

Both dolls have suffered a considerable amount of crazing to their composition exteriors (crisscross cracks and lifting of the surface), which is clearly visible in the close-up image of Andy. 

Additionally, Ms. Meier shared a 1990s reply she received from a doll publication after requesting information about the dolls.  The publication suggested the dolls were made by the Gerling Toy Co. in New York (instead of Gerlins as Meier spelled it in her correspondence to them).  According to the publication, Gerling was "listed from 1912 to 1930 and later. The firm is known to have made character dolls, black dolls, and composition dolls." They added, "Amos 'n Andy were leading characters in a radio comedy show that premiered in 1928 and ran through the 1940s. It became a television series on CBS from 1951 to 1953. The show lived on in reruns until 1966, when opposition to black stereotypes forced it off the air. The characters inspired a number of toys. Your dolls probably date from the 1930s to the 1940s." The reference sources cited by the publication were Collector's Encyclopedia of Dolls, Vol.2 by Dorothy, Elizabeth, and Evelyn Coleman (Crown, NY, c1986); The Collector's Encyclopedia of Black Dolls by Patikii and Tyson Gibbs (Collector Books, Paducah, KY, c1987); and Prime-Time Television by Fred and Stan Goldstein (Crown, NY, c1983).

Amos' tag reads: 
Howdy Folks!
Gerling Toy Co
New York

Ms. Meier did not share an image of Andy's tag, but indicated it reads the same as Amos' with the exception that Andy's tag contains Andy's name.  As the dolls' paper tags read, they were indeed manufactured by Gerling Toy Company of New York.  I have scoured my doll references: Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide books 1 and 2 by Myla Perkins (Collector Books, Paducah, KY 1993 and 1995), and several other general-doll and composition doll reference books without finding these dolls documented.

Ms. Meier is attempting to assess a value and obtain additional information about these advertising/character dolls.  If you have seen dolls like these or have additional information about them, please share your knowledge as a comment.

Thanks in advance.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Baby Beatriz Doll Project Visual - Equal Doll Representation

Click the video's "play" arrow to download, then click the "play" arrow to view the graphics or read the text at each pause point.  Continue to press the "play" arrow to view each segment of Emily Kissner's "Baby Beatriz Doll Project Visual Presentation" until you reach THE END. 

I want a Baby Beatriz doll; I want Baby Beatriz dolls available for everyone who desires one; I want equal doll representation for all the little and big children [at heart] of the world. 

Emily, I applaud your tenacity, your brilliance, your hard work.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Brownstone Buddies, As Seen In...

Brownstone Buddies

... the May 2011 issue of Essence, page 132, Brownstone Buddies are soft-sculptured dolls created by partnering moms and friends, Crystal Ganderson-Reid and Janai Nelson.  In an effort to add diversity to the toy market, the multicultural doll line includes an African American math whiz, a Spanish book lover, and an  Indian dancer.  Other ethnicities, male and female, are represented in 28-inch doll form. 

The Essence article notes that the line was launched in 2009 by FAO Schwarz (women, you go!)  The dolls are priced $19.99 with an original retail of $59.99 at the FAO website and are described as:
Brownstone Buddies are a group of fun-loving friends who live in an idyllic brownstone neighborhood. These spirited preschoolers represent the many cultures of children across the globe. Each of the Brownstone Buddies has an exciting back-story and a specific interest. They all come with the collectible Brownstone Buddies Passport to the World which you can personalize and stamp. Traveling with a world of ideas, Brownstone Buddies invite you to join them in exploring worlds and expanding minds!

For more information about Brownstone Buddies, meet the women behind the dolls here; visit their website, tell a friend, and if you collect dolls of this type, order one or two. 


Friday, May 6, 2011

A Mother's Love

From Africa ...

to America, a mother's love endures.*

A Mother's Love

A mother's eyes so often shine with laughter, joy, or tears...and with the pride of seeing children blossom through the years.

A mother's lips give kisses, cautions, praise, and good advice. She shares her faith and values through hard work and sacrifice.

A mother's hands are busy trying to meet her children's needs, but quick to give applause whenever one of them succeeds.

Throughout her children's lives, a mother plays a vital part.

She is their shining star, their inspiration, and their heart.
Author Unknown


*These circa 1970s drawings, signed by Larry Wooden, were unframed when a cousin gave them to my mother during the 1970s.  She (the cousin) purchased them from the artist on an NYC street.  My mother later re-gifted them to me during the 1990s.  

After searching the Internet for images that illustrate a mother's love, I found Son of Ellis' striking image and almost asked if I could use it, before remembering my own. 

As I removed the now framed drawings from the wall in my den for individual close-up photos, I remembered when Mama asked, "Do you want these?" and my thrilled reply, "Yes!"  What a blessing to know the meaning of a mother's love.

Thanks, Mama, for all that you are and for all that you do.

*Addendum: 08/15/2020. Recently a Facebook friend posted the cover of the June 1970 issue of Essence magazine. I immediately realized that the artist of the second black and white sketch was inspired by the Essence cover image of the late Tamara Dobson and child. Ms. Dobson was a popular 1970s-1980s actress who portrayed the 1970s Blaxploitation movie character, Cleopatra Jones.