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.



  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. You mean your collection is not inventoried and catalogued to prevent such things as duplicate purchases? That was a joke. I am surprised that anyone would even attempt to give you a doll as a gift. I guess I imagine that you have just about every Black/AA doll there is. Love the new Taryn outfit. Not sure why you even considered sending that back. Surprised I hadn't heard of the MiBeBe dolls. He is adorable! You almost had me deboxing my South Africa Barbie. But I have Basic Model #4 deboxed and I just need to dress her and put her to work. Love the Wilma and Vogues Jill dolls! I made the mistake of trying to style one of my Trichelle dolls hair, man oh man! I have yet to get it back to something presentable. Where's my pressing comb? Model 17 is his name. It would be nice to know what their internal mold name is at Mattel, if they even have one. Love the Nora dolls too. The only time I have intentionally bought duplicate dolls is when I had intention to sell them. Like Top Model Nikki, who is currently for sale at my new Dollpage account.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about "some of" my twin dolls, Vanessa.

    I did create a doll database in 2007 and have maintained it with every doll purchase to date. However, the years prior to '07 cannot be fully documented except for the dolls that I included in my first book and even that does not include all the dolls from 1991 through the 2003 publication date.

    My Dear Friend is about the only one brave enough to buy dolls for me. The only dolls I have received from family were requested.

    I need to intentionally sell some of my non-duplicates soon. I really have too many dolls period and do not need to buy another doll ever, but you and I know that will not happen.

    Good luck with selling TM Nikki and the other items that currently seek new homes.


  3. Just wanted to wish you a belated Happy Birthday!

  4. How sweet of you to send me HBD wishes. Thank you so much, limbe dolls!



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